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Thriller: In The Steps Of A Dead Man (ITV 22 Jun 1974 with John Nolan and Richard Vernon)



UK / ITV Network – ATV – ITC / 1×75 minute episode / Broadcast 22 June 1974

Writers: Brian Clemens, Luanshya Greer / Original story: Brian Clemens / Production Design: Ken Wheatley / Director: Shaun O’Riordan

Series: Thriller / Season 3 Episode 4

In the excellent Thriller episode In The Steps of a Dead Man, George and Betty Cornfield are mourning the loss of their soldier son Tommy when his “best friend” Marty Fuller turns up on their doorstep. He quickly charms the both of them along with Tommy’s fiancee Sheila and agrees to stay with the Cornfields for awhile. Meanwhile Sheila’s American friend Grace is less than convinced about Marty’s motives and her discovery of an old diary of Tommy’s proves that Marty is not quite as charming as he says he is.

Vintage stuff, a strong episode from the third season of this series which is just about when the series was at its zenith. Plotwise it carries a bit of Dennis Potter-ness about it with it’s stranger inveigling their way into a household under false pretences. A lot is made of architect/inventor George’s skills at making things, something which is clearly there to provide the very cool denoument to the story. A rare co-written piece from Clemens too, here assisted by newcomer Luanshya Greer who would go on to marry actor John Carson who appears in the Thriller episode Possession.

JOHN NOLAN as Marty Fuller
RICHARD VERNON as George Cornfield
DENISE BUCKLEY as Sheila Howes
FAITH BROOK as Betty Cornfield
SKYE AUBREY as Grace Worth
DEREK ANDERS as Sergeant O’Hara
ANNE ROBSON as Mrs Howes
ROBERT MARSH as Miltary Policeman