In Every Corner
(ITC Movie title "A Killer In Every Corner")
Original UK transmission: 1st February 1975
Original US transmission: 19th November 1974
WRITTEN BY: Brian Clemens
DIRECTED BY: Malcolm Taylor
PRODUCED BY: John Cooper
MAIN CAST: Joanna Pettet (Sylvia), Patrick Magee (Professor Carnaby), Max Wall (Kesselheim), Eric Flynn (Slattery), Don Henderson (Boz), Petra Markham (Helga), Peter Settelen (Tim)
Late at night, a fox skulks in the grounds of a large imposing residence. A tower bell chimes as the camera pans up to a window; silhouetted in the frame is the figure of a man talking. Inside, the man paces thoughtfully across his study whilst talking into a hand-held tape recorder. Sitting down, he reflects that there are still "a million unanswered questions" on the subject of conditioned behaviour, and presses a button on his desk. In the kitchen, a manservant is chopping meat with a cleaver when an alarm bell on the wall begins to blare. The servant turns dementedly towards the sound, then races out of the kitchen with the meat cleaver still in hand. When he reaches the study, he strikes from behind at the head of the figure sitting in the chair - until soothing music begins to play and he emerges from his madness in a confused state. The other man is standing calmly nearby, and we see that the mutilated figure in the chair is in fact a dummy.
Psychology students Sylvia, Helga and Tim are invited to the home of the renowned Professor Carnaby for a weekend seminar, but little suspect that they are in fact to be the guinea pigs in a terrifying real life experiment. Carnaby has been researching conditioned behaviour in criminals, and is determined to test his 'cure' on live human subjects. When the three undergraduates arrive at the house, they are tended to by the Professor's servant Boz, who is in reality a deranged psychopathic killer. Held in check only by his conditioning, Boz reverts to his homicidal tendencies at the sound of a bell. Dazzled by their host's charm and reputation, the students remain oblivious to the danger they are in, even after one of them seems to recognise a notorious escaped killer in another of the house staff. Inevitably, two of them quickly vanish and Sylvia must face the terrifying prospect that they were murdered. Investigating more closely, she soon realises that she is at the centre of Carnaby's bizarre and unethical experiments, but even then doesn't suspect the full extent of the danger she is in, or from where it might really stem.
This nerve-wracking piece of television contains some of the series' most unforgettable images, such as Don Henderson as Boz degenerating into a slavering maniac at the sound of a bell. Patrick Magee is superbly cast as the dignified yet totally amoral Carnaby, who experiments on his young guests as casually as if they were specimens on slides. Joanna Pettet fared well enough to be invited back in the final season's A Midsummer Nightmare. One of the series' most terrifying and disturbing episodes.
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