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BRIAN CLEMENS
adapted by Ted Hart
More Stories from Thriller


click to enlarge

Fontana, London, 1975
(price: 40p; 162 pages)


The blurb on the back:

COUNTRY WEDDING
"In the centre of the makeshift altar was a large crystal bowl. It was filled with blood and a long jewelled knife lay across it. Tessa was led towards it, her eyes glazed with terror. Then strong hands lifted her into the air and began to strip her with reverent lust..."

ONE CAREFUL OWNER
"He began to move towards her, his hands reaching for her throat. As they clamped around her neck, she began to struggle violently, fear lending her strength. But it was the adagio of death and gradually her movements slowed. Peter tightened his grip. 'I love you. But I have to, you see. I have to.'"

K IS FOR KILLING
"His words were ended by a shot, as a bullet sped through the open window to smack into the far wall. Instantly he dived at Leonora, knocking her to the floor, his body shielding hers. From outside came the sound of running and the roar of a fast engine as a sports car departed into the night."


There really is no equivalent anymore. Brian Clemens - the man who gave us The Avengers and The Professionals - created Thriller in the mid-1970s as a series of one-off full-length dramas, whose only connecting theme was an atmosphere of suspense and a reliance on the sturdy second division of British actors: the likes of Helen Mirren, Denholm Elliott, Diana Dors and (pictured on the cover of this book) Nyree Dawn Porter. It was a format that later passed onto Tales of the Unexpected and Hammer House of Horror, both of which are better remembered than Clemens' blueprint.

The series ran for four seasons from 1973 and used to attract a steady 6 million or so viewers, which for ITV at 9pm on a Saturday night in those days was pretty decent (nowadays, it'd be miraculous). I haven't seen any of them for years - decades even - but in my memory they were okay, you know. Not classics, admittedly, but the kind of solid TV drama that is in somewhat short supply nowadays, particularly on ITV. Re-reading these five stories now, however, I have to say that if they were any good then it was down to the quality of the acting and the directing, 'cos the stories sure aren't up to much. Derivative to a fault, they're not even from the pen of Clemens himself, but adapted by Ted Hart from Clemens's original stories. 'Original' may be pushing his luck.

suave
Brian Clemens


ARTISTIC MERIT: 2/5
ENTERTAINMENT VALUE:
2/5
HIPNESS QUOTIENT:
2/5


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