Colour Of Blood
(ITC Movie title "The Carnation Killer")
Original UK transmission: 12th May 1973
Original US transmission: 18th June 1973
WRITTEN BY: Brian Clemens
DIRECTED BY: Robert Tronson
PRODUCED BY: John Sichel
MAIN CAST: Norman Eshley (Arthur Page), Katharine Schofield (Julie Marsh), Derek Smith (Baverstock), Garrick Hagon (Peter), Geoffrey Chater (Graham), Malcolm Terris (Detective Superintendent), Tim Wylton (Forbes)
The camera pans across a deserted heath, where a well-dressed man is pushing a pram full of junk aimlessly along. He reaches the top of an incline and, smiling, sends the pram tumbling into a ditch. Amongst the junk, the body of a dead girl rolls out, whereupon the man pulls a fresh red carnation from his pocket and, smiling once again, pins it on his lapel. Waving goodbye, he turns and heads back the way he came.
When secretary Julie accidentally rendezvous with the wrong man at a railway station, she unknowingly finds herself in the company of Arthur Page, a deranged serial killer who has just escaped from custody. Seizing the opportunity, the handsome and personable Page boards the train with the pretty Julie and is handed a briefcase full of money and the keys to a deceased estate: "Westerling". When the real heir to Westerling reports that the secretary never showed up with his money, her employer becomes concerned and calls in the police. But their investigations fail to turn up anything, and Julie - becoming ever more alarmed at her companion's odd behaviour - is forced to spend the evening at the deserted country manor. What Page does not realise however, is that his demure looking companion has some dark secrets of her own.
An absolutely classic episode with a storyline that is so ingenious it keeps one guessing right throughout. Norman Eshley is perfectly cast as the charming yet deranged "Carnation Killer", who's presence becomes increasingly threatening as the story progresses. Indeed, part of the pure joy of this episode is simply in watching the hapless Julie squirm under his overbearing influence. As with many Thriller episodes, a drastic twist in the plot halfway through usurps the viewers preconceptions and prevents the interest from waning. Riveting.
(Trivia: this is one of the few episodes to not feature an American in the cast)
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