(ITC Movie title "Only A Scream Away")
Original UK transmission: 26th January 1974
Original US transmission: 18th February 1974
WRITTEN BY: Terence Feely based on a story by Brian Clemens
DIRECTED BY: Peter Jefferies
PRODUCED BY: John Sichel
MAIN CAST: Gary Collins (Howard Heston), Hayley Mills (Samantha Miller), Joyce Carey (Liza Meredith), David Warbeck (Robert Miller), Jeremy Bulloch (Tom Manners), Jonathan Elsom (John Stratford), Ronald Mayer (Dr Lambert), Barrie Fletcher (Det. Sgt. Sullivan)
The camera hovers briefly on a windmill with a "for sale" sign out the front, before panning across rolling green countryside where we can hear the faint clamour of church bells. A wedding is taking place, and as the newly-weds emerge they are treated to cheers from the gathered onlookers. Without warning, however, a paint bomb is hurled at the bride's gown; the perpetrator escapes and the tearful victim turns to her husband with the words "Oh, Robert..."
(NOTE: In the movie version this sequence is intercut with extraneous US footage of an unseen figure mixing red paint).
Things get off to a bad start for newlyweds Samantha and Robert Miller when the bride becomes the target of a paint bomb attack the day of their wedding. Then, upon returning from their honeymoon, they find a bizarre wedding gift awaiting: a single white child's glove. The mystery deepens when a few days later Samantha discovers the other half of the pair in a trunk of her own childhood mementos, and a faded note within bearing the legend 'for ever and ever'. The same day, the Millers' new American neighbour Howard Heston comes calling and quickly befriends the newlyweds. But Heston appears oddly interested in Samantha and her past, and seems determined to unlock the memories of her lost childhood and enshrine her in his bizarre fantasy world.
Another great story. Gary Collins makes the first of three appearances in the series (see also The Double Kill and Dial A Deadly Number) and handles the difficult role of Heston with ease. The plot is the most intricate yet, with a strong sense of suspense and mystery running right through the story. Hayley Mills is also well cast as the vulnerable Samantha. Not to be missed.
TRIVIA: The windmill and church are located in a village called Turville.
TV TIMES CLIPPING