(ITC Movie title "The Eyes Have It")
Original UK transmission: 9th June 1973 (repeated 31st May 1975)
Original US transmission: 14th January 1974
WRITTEN BY: Terence Feely based on a story by Brian Clemens
DIRECTED BY: Shaun O'Riordan
PRODUCED BY: John Sichel
MAIN CAST: Peter Vaughan (Anderson), Dennis Waterman (Frank), William Marlowe (Jeffries), Sinead Cusack (Sally), Leslie Schofield (Moore), David Jackson (Martin), Michael Lees (George Mullard), Alun Armstrong (Mike), Colin McCormack (Peter), Catherine Chase (Jenny), Angela Walker (Pat), David Sands (Tom)
The camera lingers in close-up on a British flag being raised, then turns down towards the street below and begins to follow a moving car. The car pulls up outside a large house, and the three male occupants sit and stare silently. Inside, an instructor is demonstrating to a group of students the art of physiotherapy, while in a nearby room a young girl prepares to post a letter. The students leave, after which one of the three men enters and stares silently at the instructor. The employee tells his visitor that he is the only staff member around, to which the man quietly replies "They've all gone to watch the big parade?" The girl then enters but is told to wait outside, after which the man pulls a pistol and murders his victim in cold blood. Strangely, the girl watches on unconcerned through the glass; after a moment the killer spots her and waves his hand in front of the window. She continues to smile happily, as the camera pans across to a sign bearing the words "Clinical Training Centre For The Blind".
NOTE: Unfortunately the impact of this sequence was completely ruined in the ITC movie versions by the inclusion of several "preview" spoiler scenes at the start, which totally gave away the plot.
The adult students at a school for the blind remain blissfully unaware when a small group of terrorists murder their director and infiltrate the building with the intention of assassinating a passing head of state. One of the students - Sally - begins to notice some odd things about the "plumbers" who have moved in upstairs and tries unsuccessfully to convince her fellow students that something suspicious is going on. Her alarm is further increased when she begins to notice the conspicuous absence of the director Mr Mullard, and even believes she has heard someone impersonating him. Eventually the truth is revealed, and the seemingly helpless students find that they are far more capable and resourceful than they had realised...
Another all-time classic with first class performances all round. The central premise is simple, but the action unfolds with such precision that there is scarcely a flat moment in the entire 65 minutes. The image of the students groping sightlessly in their struggle to outwit their captors is one that few could forget, and in fact this is probably one of the best-ever remembered episodes of Thriller. The opening scene where George Mullard is quietly murdered in full view of a smiling Sally is particularly poignant. The episode was given a special repeat in May 1975, after it had deservedly won an award for its portrayal of the blind.
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