Monday, 13 May 2019

Thriller: Killer with Two Faces

I must start this post by correcting something I said, ooh, two or three blog posts ago, which was that I thought the episodes ran on to play a bit again, on the Network DVD box set. This was completely wrong and in fact the way the shows are arranged on the DVD is to show the whole episode as originally seen in the UK, and then there are the opening and closing titles as made for the US market. Very complete indeed, but a bit confusing for a bear of little brain like myself. Personally I would have preferred the US titles put separately as an extra, because I can't find a way of watching the whole DVDS episodes through without seeing different titles over and over.
Here in the UK we got the ATV In Colour titles as seen above. What memories those titles bring back for me - one of these days I am going to get round to writing the post I keep talking about, about UK regional TV stations, not least because it will force me to get the matter finally clear in my own head. Then after the ATV thing we're straight in to Ian Hendry's hairy chest without a pause. I love the way he sucks his gut in while talking to the doctor about how his clothes would fit him!
This episode is what it is. It would be wrong to expect too much of it, since the (spoiler alert) twin device is a plot device which is genuinely ancient. This episode attracts valid criticism that it is always easy for the audience to tell which twin is which. They could have had the good twin in league with the bad twin, or had the bad one murder the good one, or whatever. The real problem is that once you know there are twins it becomes obvious how this will end.
Stellar performance, though.
I am slightly disappointed to find that the box set doesn't include some cut scenes, which are nonetheless available on t'internet:

4 comments:

Mike Doran said...

Chicago Calling (after a discreet interval):

Your points about US versus GB DVD presentation of Thriller (Brian Clemens version) set me to thinking.

My copy of Thriller is a Region 1, put out in North America by Visual Entertainment Inc. (VEI), which I think is a Canadian company (correction welcomed if needed).
Duly licensed by ITV Studios Global Entertainment. All Rights Reserved.

The shows on the discs are from all appearances the versions that aired in GB: they all start with the ATV Colour logo, and all carry the Thriller title in their openings.

Deleted scenes, from one continent to another (either way), are something that I as a Yank was unaware of.
I am aware that things like this have taken place over the years; perhaps the most notorious was when CBS in America picked up the hour-long Danger Man episodes, changed the title to Secret Agent, and tacked on a theme song, "Secret Agent Man" by US rock singer Johnny Rivers, which became a charted hit record hereabouts.
I've always wondered (never known for sure) whether you in the Empire ever heard "Secret Agent Man', and if so, what - or how - you felt about it.
(I've heard - can't confirm - that Patrick McGoohan hated it.)

I suppose I ought to say something about "Killer With Two Faces".
I mean, after all, there's my fellow Chicagoan Donna Mills as the damsel-in-distress du jour again; I can't help wondering if the '80s Mills (post-Knots Landing) would have been a lot harsher with the bad guy …

Oh well … here's to next time!

John said...

Now you say that it seems even more bizarre that the US titles would be included on the region 2 DVDS as a compulsory extra but the region 1 set should just be the episodes as aired in the UK!
There are a number of deletions from this show on Youtube.
Personally I quite like secret agent man but I think the UK theme tune is better suited to the series. I don't think it would be widely known here, but of course I am an old TV fanatic.

Mike Doran said...

Chicago Calling (requesting a clarification):

When you refer to "titles made for the US market":

When the ABC network ran the Clemens/Thriller series in its Wide World of Entertainment late-night slot, all they did was to eleiminate the word Thriller from ATV's opening.
Everything else - the music, the font, everything else - was exactly the same as the British original.
ABC added their own network logo, plus a general announcement by Fred Foy that tonight's show was "Written By BRIAN CLEMENS!!!".
This last, plus US commercials, both network and local, brought the just-over-an-hour Thrillers to 90 minutes (here in Chicago that was 10:30 pm to 12 Midnight).
I'm guessing that there were different titles made for post-network syndication in the US and elsewhere - correction welcomed if needed (if you didn't hear Fred Foy's Lone Ranger voice, that's not the "US (ABC) version").

Yours in further confusion …

John said...

Erm, yes 😃