TV Cream

TV: B is for...


NIGEL “KINVIG” KNEALE takes responsibility for these plays about various animal/human horror confrontations. BARTY’S PARTY was the best: rats invade the home of a woman via the toilet while she listens, shocked, to reports on the radio (the unseen vermin being much more scary than the shitty in-vision puppetry of your late-period hamfisted DOOMWATCH; cue puppet rats poking heads out of toilet bowl and man whacking them with a broom). Another one had PAULINE “PAULINE QUIRKE’S” QUIRKE as a supermarket shelf-stacker haunted by a ficticious invisible rabbit that was in fact not even a rabbit but a manifestation of her telikinetic abilities to dislodge produce from supermarket shelves. Then there was the one with the dolphin-ghost starring Martin Shaw. Finally there was the disenchanted actor playing a monster in a series of films, THE DUMMY. He starts killing the other actors and blaming it on the monster, but no one believes this until the monster, yes, kills him.



  1. Tim'rous Beastie

    March 26, 2010 at 6:43 pm

    You didn’t mention the scariest one, During Barty’s Party may be like James Herbert without any actual rats on the screen, but the one that’s truly chilling is Baby with the young pregnant wife worrying that something represented by a thing found in a jar in the wall of her country cottage is after her unborn child. The ending is absolutely horrible.

    Although the dolphin one has Martin Shaw beating up Stuart McGugan.

  2. Paul Gatenby

    May 4, 2010 at 2:50 pm

    Or What Big Eyes where an eye-rolling Patrick Magee tries to turn himself into a wolf, does a wolf impression and then dies, whereupon Michael Kitchen throws a tea towel over his head and says ‘He’s dead’, oblivious to his rising and falling chest.

    Beasts is brilliant (even the one with the ghost dolphin and topless ladies), working on the assumption that a slow accumulation of suspense is better than a series of sudden shocks. Its all done in lens-flary video and there’s absolutely no sentimentality or pity in it whatsoever. The bonus on the DVD is a one-off called Murrain and has M from James Bond playing a Yorkshire farmer (it’s also brilliant).

  3. Barbersmith

    February 1, 2017 at 6:16 pm

    ‘Late-period’ Doomwatch? Tomorrow the Rat was an early Doomwatch. As evidenced by the presence of Robert Powell, and, well, being early.

  4. Tom Ronson

    March 25, 2022 at 2:36 pm

    The supermarket in the Pauline Quirke episode is the most frightening thing about it, positively reeking of Eastern Bloc grimness.

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