Thriller-The Complete Series (1973)

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Released 15-Mar-2010

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Thriller Main Menu Audio
Featurette-3 featurettes
Introduction-to all 43 episodes by Brian Clemens
Introduction-audio introduction on 25 episodes by Brian Clemens
Audio Commentary-on Possession episode only - Brian Clemens & John Carson
Alternative Version-US alternate opening & end titles on all 43 episodes
Alternative Version-US titles for Possession - with commentary by Brian Clemens
Trailer-US Trailers for 16 selected episodes
Gallery-Photo-18 Galleries - one on each DVD
Gallery-Photo-Thrilling Designs x3
Additional Footage-Extended episode - If It's A Man - Hang Up!
Bonus Episode-Who Killed Lamb?
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 1973
Running Time 2392:00
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered
Multi Disc Set (18)
Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Shaun O'Riordan
John Sichel
John Scholz-Conway
Robert Tronson
Studio
Distributor

Madman Entertainment
Starring Helen Mirren
Bob Hoskins
Dennis Waterman
Pamela Franklin
Donna Mills
Ian Bannen
Robert Powell
Diana Dors
Tom Conti
Judy Geeson
John Le Mesurier
Brian Blessed
Barbara Feldon
Case Custom Packaging
RPI $149.95 Music Laurie Johnson


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Full Frame English Dolby Digital 2.0 mono (224Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.29:1
16x9 Enhancement No
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.33:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles None Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    A couple of years ago, I reviewed the six-disc set of series one and two of the 1970's British suspense program, Thriller. This edition was released by Umbrella Entertainment and has now been deleted from their catalogue. I was beginning to wonder if we'd ever see the other four seasons released on DVD in this country, when I noticed that Madman Entertainment were planning to release the entire forty-three episodes in a large (eighteen disc) box-set. Not only does this set contain every episode of Thriller, each has been digitally restored and the set also contains a multitude of extras.

    As a teenager, one of the highlights of my TV viewing week was watching an instalment of the program. Each episode delivered a dose of macabre suspense, which I found totally compelling back in those days. So, naturally I was very keen to get my hands on this set and check out exactly what was on offer.

    Thriller was created and written (story or script) by the prolific TV screenwriter, Brian Clemens. Brian is probably best known for bringing The Avengers to the small screen in the sixties. But he has also contributed to scores of other popular programs over the years, either through writing or producing.

    Thriller was produced for ATV and as previously mentioned, it ran for six seasons (forty-three episodes), with the first instalment screening in the UK in April 1973. Fashioned on Hitchcock, each tale features trademark story twists and the obligatory red herrings, which are also thrown into the narrative.

    Over the three years of its production, Thriller showcased the talents of many well-known British and American actors, these include, Helen Mirren, Bob Hoskins, Denholm Elliot, Tom Conti, Donna Mills, Pamela Franklin, John Le Mesurier, Jenny Agutter, Robert Powell and Ian Bannen to name just a few.

    Naturally some episodes are more successful than others, but in general terms, the entire anthology is quite consistent. Each episode of Thriller has a running time of around sixty-five minutes, which equated to a ninety-minute timeslot on commercial television.

    Thriller was aired in the US with different opening and closing sequences. I don't understand why the US market felt the need to make these ridiculous additions to the opening sequences. They are all mundane and nowhere near as menacing, or to the point as the original British titles. Apart from these issues, Laurie Johnson's wonderful theme music is also missing and the video grades simply don't match up. Some of the episodes also have different titles for the American market. All of these additions have been included in the extras of this presentation, so you can compare them for yourself.

    This complete set of all six seasons of Thriller from Madman Entertainment is a first class presentation. Some considerable effort has gone into the design of this box set. There are six "book style" folders - each containing three discs. The discs are housed in individual jewel case inserts, which protect them against damage. The inside of each folder lists the particular episodes and extras featured on those discs.

    An outstanding twenty-four page booklet is also included, providing an overview of the entire set. This booklet contains notes about the series and lists the contents of all eighteen discs. Relevant information also includes episode synopsis, the cast, the writer and the director of each episode.

    To finish off the set, all six folders and the booklet are contained in a cube style box, with a flip top lid. When the paper sleeve (dust cover) is removed from the outside of the box, the full design is revealed. When the lid is flipped open, the front of the box drops down to reveal all six folders and the booklet for easy selection - wonderful packaging. I believe this packaging may be limited to one thousand sets.

    Sure, the production values are lacking by today's high standards and some of the scenarios, acting and dialogue are a little corny at times, but for the most part Thriller is still a really enjoyable series. Suspend your logic, sit back and enjoy Brian Clemens' macabre tales in this superb eighteen disc set of the entire collection.

    A brief, spoiler free introduction to each episode follows.

Disc One:

    Season One - Episode One - Lady Killer

    A young and handsome English gentleman wins the heart of an American woman. While she falls head over heels in love with him, the audience is distinctly aware that there is something more sinister about his motives. After a whirlwind romance the couple marries and his deadly intensions are slowly revealed. Starring Robert Powell, Barbara Feldon, Linda Thorson and TP McKenna.

    Season One - Episode Two - Possession

    A middle-aged couple purchases a country mansion, only to discover the place has a dark and sinister history. When the maintenance man discovers the body of a murder victim buried in the cellar, a medium is brought in to help. She informs the couple that the spirit of the killer has returned to the house to complete unfinished business. Starring John Carson, Joanna Dunham, Hilary Hardiman and Athol Coats.

Disc Two:

    Season One - Episode Three - Someone at the Top of the Stairs

    Two female students take up lodgings in an eerie looking boarding house. This house has a variety of tenants, none of whom appear to be completely normal. Why are these strange tenants so protective of the attic under the stairs and who is this unseen person who lives in the room at the top of the stairs? Starring Donna Mills, Judy Carne, Francis Wallis and Alethea Charlton.

    Season One - Episode Four - An Echo of Theresa

     A mature aged couple arrives in London for their second honeymoon. Although this is his first trip to Europe, he begins to recall particular locations and people, including a woman named Theresa. Certain things trigger off bizarre behavioural changes in the man as he gradually takes on the identity of another person. Starring Paul Burke, Dinsdale Landen, Basil Henson and Polly Bergen.

    Season One - Episode Five - The Colour of Blood

    The notorious "Carnation" serial killer has escaped from police custody. A case of mistaken identity has given him the perfect escape route. He sits on a country train in the company of an unsuspecting beautiful woman, carrying forty thousand pound in cash and bound for an uninhabited country mansion. Starring Norman Eshley, Katharine Schofield, Derek Smith and Garrick Hogon.

Disc Three:

    Season One - Episode Six - Murder in Mind

    A confused woman walks into a police station reporting that she has committed a murder. They soon discover that she is actually the wife of a famous novelist and that she has just described to them the plot of her husband's new book. It's quickly accepted that this woman has some psychological issues - or does she? Starring Richard Johnson, Zena Walker, Robert Dorning and Donald Gee.

    Season One - Episode Seven - A Place to Die

    A doctor and his wife move to a small country village. Upon their arrival, the people of the village begin to treat her as some kind of superior being. Worrying symbols of witchcraft start to appear in, or around the house and the doctor's wife is determined to find the truth behind the bizarre behaviour of the townsfolk. Starring Bryan Marshall, Alexandra Hay, John Turner and Sally Stephens.

    Season One - Episode Eight - File It Under Fear

    A community is shocked by a spate of vicious murders, all involving young women. The local library soon becomes the focus when one their own disappears, probably another victim of the killer. As the list of possible suspects grows, the police seem to be at a loss to stop the carnage. Starring Maureen Lipman, John Le Mesurier, Richard O'Callaghan and James Grout.

Disc Four:

    Season One - Episode Nine - The Eyes Have It

    Three would be assassins select the "Clinical Training Centre For The Blind's" building as a perfect vantage point to attempt the assassination of a world-renowned peace activist. They covertly set up a rocket launcher in an upstairs room and wait for the passing parade. A small group of blind students are the only hope of preventing the impending catastrophe. Starring Dennis Waterman, Sinead Cusack, Alun Armstrong and Peter Vaughan.

    Season One - Episode Ten - Spell of Evil

    The wife of a wealthy businessman dies suddenly in mysterious circumstances. A year later the man meets a very seductive woman and proposes to her the same day. It becomes apparent that this woman has great control over people's lives and can easily manipulate any situation. However, the businessman's secretary is convinced she has seen her face somewhere before. Starring Edward De Souza, Diane Cilento, Jennifer Daniel and William Dexter.

Disc Five:

    Season Two - Episode One - Only a Scream Away

    A young couple marries and purchases a stately country property. A mysterious American gentleman buys a property close by and begins visiting his neighbours on a regular basis. He seems to have extensive knowledge about the young woman's life and many of her possessions. Sudden and suspicious tragedies mask this man's hidden agenda. Starring Hayley Mills, Gary Collins, Joyce Carey and Jeremy Bulloch.

    Season Two - Episode Two - Once the Killing Starts

    A university professor murders his wife in a clever plot to be with his mistress - a young student. However, after the murder he is dogged by anonymous letters that simply arrive with no hint of the sender. They are from someone who knows exactly what the professor has done. This sets him on a mission to find the culprit and silence them once and for all. Starring Patrick O'Neal, Angharad Rees, Michael Kitchen and Gerald Sim.

    Season Two - Episode Three - Kiss Me and Die

    A young American man arrives in a small English village to locate his missing brother. He finds that the small community is very protective of the people who live in the nearby stately mansion. When he finally meets the father and daughter living there, he senses that the key to the mystery of his brother's disappearance is close at hand. Starring Jenny Agutter, Anton Diffring, George Chakiris and Russell Hunter.

Disc Six:

    Season Two - Episode Four - One Deadly Owner

    An aspiring fashion model buys a used Rolls Royce from a dealer who assures her the car has had only one careful owner. She soon realises this car has a mind of its own and takes her to strange places of no consequence - or so it seems.When she finds an expensive diamond earring in the boot of the car, she tracks down the previous owner to find answers. Starring Donna Mills, Jeremy Brett, Robert Morris and Laurence Payne.

    Season Two - Episode Five - Ring Once for Death

    After acquiring an inheritance through an act of lethal deception, an evil butler "completes" his dealings with one wealthy widow before simply moving on to his next unsuspecting victim. With seemingly impeccable references the next widow promptly hires the butler. He thanks her for her trust before casually stating, "Madam I assure you, you won't live to regret it". Starring Michael Jayston, Nyree Dawn Porter, Barry Nelson and Thorley Walters.

Disc Seven:

    Season Two - Episode Six - K is for Killing

    This is one of my least favourite Thriller episodes. It's also a departure from the usual brooding style. Here, Clemens has tried to inject some intentional comedy into the episode, but unfortunately the idea has failed dismally. Someone is trying to kill a wealthy businessman. A bumbling husband and wife team of private detectives is brought in to track down the would-be murderer. Starring Stephen Rea, Gayle Hunnicutt, Jean Kent and Christopher Cazenove.

    Season Two - Episode Seven - Sign It Death

    A deranged, yet beautiful young woman sets her sights on marrying a mature and successful businessman. She begins an evil plan to become his personal secretary and manipulate his life in order to achieve her goal. When the businessman's original secretary goes missing, the police stumble upon a common thread with an un-solved murder. Starring Francesca Annis, Patrick Allen, Moira Redmond and Edward Judd.

Disc Eight:

    Season Three - Episode One - A Coffin for the Bride

   A young, debonair man marries older, wealthy women and then murders them. Each murder is well disguised as an unfortunate accident. The man simply collects his inheritance and moves on to find another victim. But when he meets a beautiful young woman, he falls in love for real and plans to stay with her. But first he must finish with his final conquest. Starring Helen Mirren, Michael Jayston, Michael Gwynn and Arthur English.

    Season Three - Episode Two - I'm the Girl He Wants to Kill

    An American woman witnesses a serial killer leaving an apartment building. Although she gives police a detailed description, he remains at large. When she accidentally sees him again, he follows her to her place of work - a 12 storey office building. Starring Julie Sommers, Robert Lang, Anthony Steel and Tony Selby.

Disc Nine:

    Season Three - Episode Three - Death to Sister Mary

    The line between reality and fantasy is blurred when the fan of a television drama series becomes obsessed with one the characters. To him, Sister Mary isn't a character, she's a real person - and he is intent on having her all to himself. Starring Jennie Linden, Robert Powell, George Maharis and Derek Fowlds.

    Season Three - Episode Four - In the Steps of a Dead Man

    Before a young soldier can return home from duties, he is tragically killed. Naturally, his fiancé and his parents are totally devastated by the sudden lose of their only child and struggle to regain control of their lives. Then one day a young man claiming to be their son's best friend arrives unannounced at the front door. Starring Richard Vernon, Faith Brook, John Nolan and Skye Aubrey.

    Season Three - Episode Five - Come Out, Come Out, Wherever You Are

    Late one night, a young and attractive woman arrives at a country guest house. In the morning she claims that her cousin, who she says, arrived with her, has vanished. Nobody at the house has ever seen the missing woman and there is no record of her signing the visitor book. Starring Lynda Day George, Peter Jeffery, John Carson and Colette O'Neil.

Disc Ten:

    Season Three - Episode Six - The Next Scream You Hear

    A business man is accused of murdering his wife. However, all things lead to the man being framed. A dapper private investigator is hard on the case and reveals what the police struggle to find. Starring Dinsdale Landen, Richard Todd, Christopher George and Suzanne Neve.

    Season Four - Episode One - Screamer 

    A young American woman is followed and raped after travelling alone on a country train. While the serial rapist remains at large, the woman endures a mental struggle with reality. Every man she sees takes on the image of her attacker. When police finally arrest a suspect, the woman feels at ease - until she sees the man in the town. Starring Pamela Franklin, Derek Smith, Kay Frances and Jim Norton.

Disc Eleven:

    Season Four - Episode Two - Nurse Will Make It Better

    On a country estate, a young and beautiful woman becomes a paraplegic after a horse riding accident. Without anyone's knowledge, a middle-aged nurse arrives to take care of her. However, it soon becomes apparent that something strange is going on, when the paraplegic woman is completely cured. Starring Diana Dors, Patrick Troughton, Ed Bishop, Cec Linder and Linda Liles.

    Season Four - Episode Three - Night is the Time for Killing

    On a long distance train, a politician is assassinated while alone in his cabin. One of the passengers accidentally witnesses the dead body, but when the relevant people come to investigate, the politician is in fact, alive and well. Starring Judy Geeson, Charles Gray, Duncan Preston, Jim Smilie and Jeffry Wickham.

    Season Four - Episode Four - Killer with Two Faces

    A psychopathic killer escapes from his cell at the asylum. He immediately picks up where he let off by murdering a series of unsuspecting women. But, the killers drive for perfection is interrupted when he is invited to a ladies country house under the guise of being an architect. Starring Donna Mills, Ian Hendry, Roddy McMillan, Robin Parkinson and David Lodge.

Disc Twelve:

    Season Four - Episode Five - A Killer in Every Corner

    A renowned psychiatric professor randomly invites three students to his mansion for the weekend. Meeting the great professor is a dream come true for the students, but they are completely unaware that there is a very sinister reason behind their invitation. Starring, Patrick Magee, Joanna Pettet, Don Henderson, Petra Markham and Eric Flynn.

    Season Four - Episode Six - Where the Action Is

    A wealthy Texan gambler has his henchmen kidnap unsuspecting, cashed up casino patrons and have them delivered to his country mansion. Under constant guard these people must participate in the man's house of gambling. The games build in intensity, finishing with a game of death. Starring Edd Byrnes, James Berwick, Ingrid Pitt and Trevor Baxter.

Disc Thirteen:

    Season Five - Episode One - If It's A Man - Hang Up!

    A beautiful model is being harassed by sinister phone calls from a deranged man. Virtually every man she knows could be the perpetrator, but it isn't until she is lured to a country cottage that the stalkers identity is finally revealed. Starring Carol Lynley, Tom Conti, David Gwilim, Paul Angelis and Michael Byrne.

    Season Five - Episode Two - The Double Kill

    A wealthy man catches a burglar in his palatial house, but instead of calling the police, he makes a deal with the burglar. He will pay the burglar a handsome sum of money for him to return later and murder his sleeping wife. Starring Peter Bowles, Gary Collins, James Villiers and Penelope Homer.

Disc Fourteen:

    Season Five - Episode Three - Won't Write Home Mom - I'm Dead

    An American woman goes to an artist's commune in the hope of meeting up with her boyfriend. However, she becomes aware that he may have actually arrived much earlier and has met with foul play. The psychic connection she has with her boyfriend will lead her to the truth. Starring Pamela Franklin, Ian Bannen, Oliver Tobias, Dallas Adams and Suzanne Neve.

    Season Five - Episode Four - The Crazy Kill

    Two dangerous criminals escape prison and arrive at the stately home of a renowned heart surgeon. The criminals take the surgeon and his wife hostage and wait in the house until the police manhunt subsides. But, a female journalist arrives unexpectedly at the house and complicates their plans. Starring Denholm Elliot, Anthony Valentine, Claire Nielson and Tandy Cronyn.

    Season Five - Episode Five - Good Salary - Prospects - Free Coffin

   A series of young women vanish after taking the same job at a foreign embassy. When her two flatmates disappear consecutively, a woman applies for the re-advertised job, with the aim of finding some answers. Starring James Maxwell, Keith Barron, Julian Glover, Kim Darby and Susan Dury.

Disc Fifteen:

    Season Five - Episode Six - The Next Voice You See

    While touring in England, a famous American pianist and his wife become accidentally involved in a bank heist. The man is permanently blinded and his wife is killed. Ten years later, the man returns to England to perform at a lavish party. During his performance, he hears the voice of his wife's killer somewhere amongst the guests. Starring Bradford Dillman, Catherine Schell, Geoffery Chater, Holly Palance and AnnetteLynton.

    Season Five - Episode Seven - Murder Motel

Brian Clemens' discrete homage to Hitchcock's Psycho. A man and his sister check in to two separate rooms of a motel. They covertly set up bugging devices to record a planned meeting. But, when they both vanish in suspicious circumstances, the man's girlfriend checks in to investigate. Starring Ralph Bates, Edward Judd, Derek Francis, Robyn Millan and June Watson.

    Disc Sixteen:

    Season Six - Episode One - Sleepwalker

    The daughter of a well known writer is tormented by the same reoccurring nightmare and episodes of sleepwalking. Her grip on reality is even further distorted when she actually meets one of the people in her dream. Starring Michael Kitchen, Darleen Carr, Robert Beatty, Ian Redford and Elaine Donnelly.

    Season Six - Episode Two - The Next Victim

    A wheelchair bound woman returns home to her apartment after a serious car accident. Her husband and friends are delighted to have her convalescing at home. In the meantime, a serial killer remains at large and suspicion centres on someone living in their building. Starring TP McKenna, Ronald Lacet, Caroll Baker, Maurice Kaufmann and Max Mason.

    Season Six - Episode Three - Nightmare for a Nightingale

    Despite a busy touring schedule, a world renowned opera diva announces she is retiring to marry an American politician. But her world comes crashing down when her ex-husband - who was thought to be dead - suddenly appears and tries to blackmail her. Starring Keith Baxter, Susan Flannery, Sydney Tafler, Ronald Leigh-Hunt and Stuart Damon.

    Disc Seventeen:

    Season Six - Episode Four - Dial a Deadly Number

    In desperate need for help, a psychologically troubled woman phones a psychiatrist. Unfortunately, she dials the wrong number and gets an unemployed actor. The financially strapped actor sees an opportunity to make some quick money and poses as the psychiatrist. But, this performance may prove to be his last. Starring Gary Collins, Linda Liles, Richard Warner, Peter Schofield and Gemma Jones.

    Season Six - Episode Five - Kill Two Birds

    A man is released from a ten year stretch in prison. Immediately, he has the mob on his tail, trying to track down a hidden stash of cash from a prior bank heist. While touring through Europe, two young American women become accidentally involved in the stand off. Starring Bob Hoskins, Dudley Sutton, Susan Hampshire and Gabrielle Drake.

    Season Six - Episode Six - A Midsummer Nightmare

    A young teenage girl is brutally murdered in the English countryside. Although everyone in the small village believes they know who the killer is, they can't find the evidence to convict him. Five years later the bored wife of a private detective becomes involved in the investigation. Starring Joanna Pettet, Freddie Jones, Brian Blessed and Tony Anholt.

    Disc Eighteen:

    Season Six - Episode Seven - Death In Deep Water

    A retired hitman is in hiding after threatening to turn informer. In a quiet fishing village he lives a peaceful, yet uneasy life. One day a beautiful woman arrives on his doorstep, looking to shelter from the storm outside. Against his better judgment, he invites her inside  Starring Bradford Dillman, Ian Bannen, Suzan Farmer and Philip Stone.

Bonus Episode - Who Killed Lamb?  (See notes in Extras column)

    A Chief Superintendent from Scotland Yard arrives in Oxford to assist in the investigation of a murder. The victim is businessman, Octavius Lamb. As the police soon discover, although he seemed to be a very popular person, the list of suspects in this case is quite large. Starring Stanley Baker, Denis Lill, David Swift and Derek Francis.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    The series is presented fullscreen in an aspect ratio of 1.29:1, which is not 16x9 enhanced. This is the original aspect ratio.

    As is the case with most television productions of this vintage, Thriller was filmed entirely on video stock. As such, the production values are somewhat limited, but thankfully, not really problematic. Overall the series tends to be on the soft side. Blacks were clean, but shadows were often undefined and murky. The image quality tends to improve after the second season.

    Naturally with 1970's video stock, colours are certainly drab by today's standards. However, the production design of many of the episodes also contributes to this, with sombre colours used to create the required atmosphere.

    Some film-to-video artefacts were present, but they were surprisingly minor in nature. I won't be pedantic, but some very minor colour bleeding was noticed occasionally, as were comet trails and posterization in the odd instance. These were more of an issue in the first two seasons - the overall image quality improves from there. Although I expected major artefacts, in the end I was really quite happy with the overall quality of the image - it exceeded my expectations. Considering the limitations of the 1970's video source material, there was nothing of major annoyance in the transfer. A few years ago the British Film Institute remastered all the original two-inch videotapes of Thriller onto digital stock. I think fans of the series can buy with some confidence that they are receiving the best possible result. A brief look at the restoration results has been included as an extra on disc eighteen.

    Apart from some very small and infrequent scratches in the video stock, there was little in the way of film artefacts.

    Unfortunately, there are no subtitles.

    Each disc in the set is a DVD 9, dual layer disc. I didn't notice any problems with layer changes. It is likely, that the majority of layer changes have been placed between episodes.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

    The audio transfer is faithful to the original mono recording.

    There is only one audio track available on each of the DVD's, English Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s) mono.

    Dialogue quality was excellent throughout and in general, audio sync appeared to be accurate.

     One of the highlights of the series is Laurie Johnson's ominous music, which is always spot on in heightening the tension without pretensions. His superb theme music is also unmistakable and combined with the random convex images from each episode, provides a haunting introduction to each tale.

    The surround channels and subwoofer were not used.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

Menu

The main menus on each disc are the same static design. They all feature the familiar fish eye lens image, in conjunction with Laurie Johnson's music.

Episode Introductions (video & audio) Brian Clemens (Writer & Creator )

Before the commencement of each episode, there is an optional introduction by writer and creator, Brian Clemens. These intro's are brief, but give the viewer some background information regarding that particular episode. From season four on, there is also an optional audio only introduction, in which Clemens gives a short overview of each episode.

Disc One Extras:

Featurette - Creating Thriller (12:00)

A short, but interesting little piece featuring Brian Clemens discussing the origins of the series.

Audio Commentary on the episode, Possession - Brian Clemens (writer- creator) & John Carson (actor)

Moderated by Henry Collins, Brain and John discuss their memories of the series and the episode, Possession. Unfortunately, this is the only audio commentary in the set.

U.S. Trailer for Lady Killer (1:33)

U.S. titles for Possession with Brian Clemens commentary. (3:01)

Brian Clemens explains how he seriously dislikes these U.S. titles. As previously mentioned in this review, the American market chose to feature different opening and closing sequences. I totally agree with Brian - in my opinion, they are a waste of time. However, these additions still have relevance to the series and have rightly been included as extras in this presentation. The changes made to every episode can be viewed if you're interested.

Photo Gallery

A collection of 28 images from the episodes, Lady Killer and Possession.

Disc Two Extras:

Photo Gallery

A collection of 23 images from Someone at the Top of the Stairs, An Echo of Theresa and The Colour of Blood.

Disc Three Extras:

U.S. Trailer and Ad Break Caption for A Place to Die (2:07)

U.S. Trailer for File It Under Fear (3:06)

Photo Gallery

A collection of 29 images from Murder in Mind, A Place to Die and File it Under Fear.

Disc Four Extras:

U.S. Trailer and Ad Break Caption for The Eyes Have It (1:41)

Alternate U.S. opening and end titles for the complete Season One (64:03)

U.S. Trailer for Spell of Evil (1:38)

Photo Gallery

A collection of 22 images from The Eyes Have It and Spell of Evil.

Disc Five Extras:

Photo Gallery

A collection of 21 images from Only a Scream Away, Once the Killing Starts and Kiss Me and Die.

Disc Six Extras:

Photo Gallery

A collection of 18 images from One Deadly Owner and Ring Once for Death.

Thrilling Designs

A collection of 13 production drawings found in the ITC/ATV archives.

Disc Seven Extras:

U.S. trailer for K is for Killing (1:39)

Alternate U.S. opening and end titles for the complete Season Two (46:45)

Photo Gallery

A collection of 16 images from K Is For Killing and Sign It Death.

Disc Eight Extras:

Featurette - Directing Thriller (4:15)

This wonderful piece is unfortunately way too short on running time. ATV director, Shaun O'Riordan directed seven episodes of Thriller. In this entertaining piece he briefly discusses his experience on the program, including a great anecdote regarding the late, Diana Dors.

Photo Gallery

A collection of 12 images from A Coffin for the Bride and I'm the Girl He Wants to Kill.

Disc Nine Extras:

U.S. Trailer for Death to Sister Mary (1:38)

U.S. Trailer for In the Steps of a Dead Man (1:39)

U.S. Trailer for Come Out, Come Out, Wherever You Are (1:41)

Photo Gallery

A collection of 27 images from Death to Sister Mary, In the Steps of a Dead Man and Come Out, Come Out, Wherever You Are.

Disc Ten Extras:

Alternate U.S. opening and end titles for the complete Season Three (40:10)

Photo Gallery

A collection of 13 images from The Next Scream You Hear and Screamer.

Disc Eleven Extras:

Thrilling Designs - Season 3 & 4

A collection of 23 production drawings found in the archives of ITC/ATV studios.

Photo Gallery

A collection of 21 images from Nurse Will Make It Better, Night is the Time for Killing and Killer with Two Faces.

Disc Twelve Extras:

Featurette - Filming Thriller (9:29)

Director/Producer, John Power talks about his experiences working on Thriller. John directed two episodes and produced four.

Alternate U.S. opening and end titles for the complete Season Four (35:21)

Photo Gallery

A collection of 14 images from A Killer in Every Corner and Where the Action Is.

Disc Thirteen Extras:

Extended Version of If It's A Man - Hang Up! (76:31)

This extended version also has a different title sequence.

U.S. Trailer and Ad Break Caption for If It's A Man - Hang Up! (1:55)

U.S. Trailer and Ad Break Caption for The Double Kill (1:40)

Photo Gallery

A collection of 13 images from If It's A Man - Hang Up! and The Double Kill.

Disc Fourteen Extras:

U.S. Trailer for Won't Write Home, Mom - I'm Dead (1:39)

U.S. Trailer for Good Salary - Prospects - Free Coffin (1:39)

Thrilling Designs - Season 5

A collection of 6 production drawings from the vaults of ITC/ATV studios.

Photo Gallery

A collection of 19 images from Won't Write Home, Mom - I'm Dead, The Crazy Kill and Good Salary - Prospects - Free Coffin.

Disc Fifteen Extras:

Alternate U.S. opening and end titles for the complete Season Five (55:57)

Photo Gallery

A collection of 19 images from The Next Voice You See and Murder Motel.

Disc Sixteen Extras:

U.S. Trailer for Sleepwalker (1:40)

Photo Gallery

A collection of 24 images from Sleepwalker, The Next Victim and Nightmare for a Nightingale.

Disc Seventeen Extras:

U.S. Trailer for Dial a Deadly Number (1:39)

U.S. Trailer for Kill Two Birds (1:40)

Photo Gallery

A collection of 17 images from Dial A Deadly Number, Kill Two Birds and A Midsummer Nightmare.

Disc Eighteen Extras:

Alternate U.S. opening and end titles for the complete Season Six (48:34)

Featurette - Restoration (2:28)

This short piece demonstrates the improvements made to the Thriller series through an extensive restoration process.

Bonus Episode - Who Killed Lamb?

Another addition is a bonus episode, which is titled Who Killed Lamb? This episode has no connection with the Thriller series, but was originally screened in the UK directly after the screening of series two. Although the running time and overall concept are similar, the differences are quite obvious. Because Who Killed Lamb? was originally promoted on TV as a Thriller episode, it is a welcome addition to this collection.

Photo Gallery

A collection of 8 images from the final Thriller episode, Death In Deep Water.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    There is one R1 and two R2 editions of Thriller available. The R1 edition is a four disc set of the first series only. This set was released by A&E Home Video in September 2006 and has the bonus of a couple of nice extras. The fourth disc contains interviews with Brian Clemens, Shaun O'Riordan and John Cooper and each episode has a brief introduction by Brian Clemens.

    The first of the R2 editions is also a four-disc set of series one only. This set was released by Carlton in September 2004 and has no extras. The other R2 edition is a fifteen-disc set of the complete collection of Thriller episodes (all six series). This collection was released in June 2005 and features extras including trailers, the bonus episode Who Killed Lamb?, extended version of Nurse Will Make It Better, US credits, stills gallery and original set designs.

    I would have to say, the local eighteen disc set from Madman Entertainment seems the obvious winner.

Summary

     Brain Clemens' Thriller series is an outstanding anthology of macabre tales from the 1970's. The sometimes shaky sets, flimsy stunts and corny acting, highlight how styles and production values have changed over the years. While most of the episodes have dated in some way, they are still fun to watch and will provide many hours of entertainment. This is a first class presentation from Madman - highly recommended.

    Considering the vintage and origins of the source material, the transfers are quite good. Due to the gradual improvements in 1970's video technology, the image quality on the DVD's enhances through the seasons.

    Madman has included a comprehensive set of extras, spread over all eighteen discs.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Steve Crawford (Tip toe through my bio)
Thursday, May 13, 2010
Review Equipment
DVDPanasonic DMP-BD35 Blu Ray Player, using HDMI output
DisplayHitachi 106cm Plasma Display 42PD5000MA (1024x1024). Calibrated with THX Optimizer. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080i.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with THX Optimizer.
AmplificationPanasonic SA-HE70 80W Dolby Digital and DTS
SpeakersFronts: Jensen SPX7 Rears: Jensen SPX4 Centre: Jensen SPX13 Subwoofer: Jensen SPX17

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