Sunday 10 December 2023

Someone at the Top of the Stairs

Wyrd Britian reviews 'Someone at the Top of the Stairs' from the ITV series 'Thriller'.
'Thriller' ran for six series on ITV between 1973 and 1976.  The title of the series is pretty self-explanatory but amongst it's 43 episodes there was one with a supernatural aspect, 'Someone at the Top of the Stairs'.

When Chrissie Morton (Donna Mills) and Gillian Pemberton (Judy Crane) rent a room in an old, dilapidated boarding house filled with initially kindly but increasingly odd residents - including a prepubescent peeping tom (Alan Roberto), an underwear stealing Colonel (Peter Cellier) and a mysterious man in the attic (David de Keyser) - the pair find themselves drawn into a devilish web.

Wyrd Britian reviews 'Someone at the Top of the Stairs' from the ITV series 'Thriller'.
Writer Brian Clemens - who has a Wyrd Britain pedigree like no other having written movies ('Dr. Jekyll and Sister Hyde', 'Captain Kronos: Vampire Hunter' 'And Soon the Darkness') and TV shows ('Danger Man', 'The Avengers', 'The Professionals') for the likes of Hammer, ITC and very many others - digs deep into the gothic bag of tricks to confront us with a smorgasbord of occult hi-jinks and it works, it works well, all the way to the big reveal where it unfortunately falls a little flat.  Until that point the show develops at a perfect pace and I cant shake the feeling that had this been a movie script the extra half hour would have allowed them to make good on the suspense, fill in some of the plot holes, allow Donna's character to develop completely and to have developed that ending into the one it should have been but it is what it is and what it is is a fun, minor, occult oddity but it could, and maybe should, have been marvellous.


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