Saturday, 2 October 2010

The Party and Vicious Circle

My recent TV diet has included a couple more Tales of the Unexpected, both of which are agreeable time-passers. The Vicious Circle, from a story by the American writer Donald Honig, offers the neater twist at the end. This is a story which involves an elderly lady catching a young man who tries to burgle her. He injures his ankle, and she takes him home and tries to encourage him to reform. Her well-meaning efforts don’t succeed, but before long, he receives an unexpected surprise.

The Party is based on a story by Doug Morgan. It features a long-serving manager of a company which is about to be taken over. His career is under threat, and it seems that the younger generation is about to overtake him. When he over-reacts in response, fate takes over.

The Party is notable less for its story than for its cast. Robert Morley stars as Mr Knox, the grumpy manager, and his wife is played by Irish actress Joyce Redman. And in a smaller part as a young girl in the office is Joyce’s niece – Amanda Redman, nowadays a very big name indeed. This must have been one of her very first TV roles.

These episodes were made almost 30 years ago, and by the standards of today, they seem a little slow, even though they are short. But as amiable and undermanding pieces of light entertainment, they remain worth watching.

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