(ITC Movie title "One Deadly Owner")
Original UK transmission: 16th February 1974
Original US transmission: 6th November 1973
WRITTEN BY: Brian Clemens
DIRECTED BY: Ian Fordyce
PRODUCED BY: John Sichel
MAIN CAST: Donna Mills (Helen Cook), Jeremy Brett (Peter Tower), Robert Morris (Freddy Green), Laurence Payne (John Jacey), Eric Lander (Hans), Michael Beint (Hawkins)
The camera pans across a stretch of grassland and then closes in on a dark forest in the foreground. Under the cover of darkness, a white Rolls Royce pulls to a halt and a black-gloved figure steps out. The figure slowly opens the boot, and an expensive earring drops unnoticed as a woman's body is lifted out and dragged a short distance away. Then, silently, the unknown figure gets back into the car, reverses and disappears into the night.
NOTE: This sequence was not included in the "movie" version of the episode (released on video by ITC).
Rising model Helen Cook finds herself so infatuated with a pre-loved white Rolls Royce in a showroom window that she spends her entire life's savings in buying it. She quickly finds, however, that the car has a mind of it's own and is apparently possessed by an unknown entity. Despite the scepticism shown by her photographer Peter, Helen begins to investigate the background of the former owner and finds that the woman disappeared just before the car was sold. Determined to find the answers, Helen allows the car to lead her to the heart of the mystery, with shocking consequences.
This story of a possessed Rolls Royce harks back to the Out Of The Unknown episode "The Chopper" where Patrick Troughton had come into ownership of a "haunted" motorcycle. Though it's now impossible to compare the two (the latter no longer existing), this atmospheric tale still fares quite well. A very youthful looking Jeremy Brett seems to play his supporting role with a little too much vigour though, and Donna Mills while an attractive presence is a fairly bland actress. The eerie opening teaser sequence where the original deed is committed (thus setting up the entire story) was inexplicably dropped from the movie version. Worth seeing if you've got a spare hour to kill.
TV TIMES CLIPPINGS
An original TV Times interview with Donna Mills