Write Home Mom
- I'm Dead
(ITC Movie title "Terror From Within")
Original UK transmission: 26th April 1975
Original US transmission: 3rd March 1975
WRITTEN BY: Dennis Spooner based on a story by Brian Clemens
DIRECTED BY: James Ormerod
PRODUCED BY: Ian Fordyce
MAIN CAST: Pamela Franklin (Abigail), Ian Bannen (Frank), Suzanne Neve (Beryl), Oliver Tobias (Alan Smerdon), Dallas Adams (Douglas Sadler), Lesley North (Janet Sadler), Norman Scace (Teller)
A shot of five elm trees dissolve into a close-up of a desperate young man in a cellar. Wielding a scrap of paper in his hand, he looks frantically around him and stuffs it into the frame of a painting resting in a pile against the wall. He rushes upstairs in a state of panic, where he suddenly doubles up in pain; he falls down the stairwell to the cellar screaming the name "Abby!" By the time he has reached the bottom he is dead, as a gloved hand wielding a knife slowly appears.
American Abby arrives at a hippy commune in England in search of her boyfriend Doug, but the cousin who she has not seen for fifteen years insists that he was never there. Abby nervously reveals that she has a psychic link with Doug and that he sent her a telepathic message, but the commune members ridicule the idea. When they conclude that her boyfriend must still be due to arrive, she asks to stay and is taken in by the eccentric group, one of whom appears to be possibly dangerous. While staying at the cottage, Abby repeatedly hears Doug's disembodied voice calling her name and even imagines seeing him surrounded in flames. Fearing for her lover's safety, Abby becomes convinced that he has met with ill fortune and that a recurring mental image of five elm trees holds the key to his fate.
This one can either be considered to be slow and plodding or eerie and atmospheric. I must admit that originally I found it rather dull, but if one can make it past the halfway point there are many rewards waiting. The eccentric yet sinister members of the commune are all well portrayed and make good foils for Pamela Franklin's innocent portrayal of Abby (Susan Neve had previously played a small part in Season Three's "The Next Scream You Hear", while Ian Bannen would return in "Death In Deep Water"). Surprisingly for such a slow story, the ending is one of the most dramatic ever. Watch it with an open mind.
TV TIMES CLIPPING