(ITC Movie title "Sleepwalker")
Original UK transmission: 10th April 1976
Original US transmission: 7th October 1975
WRITTEN BY: Brian Clemens
DIRECTED BY: Alan Gibson
PRODUCED BY: Ian Fordyce
MAIN CAST: Darleen Carr (Katey Summers), Robert Beatty (Dan Summers), Michael Kitchen (Ian), Ian Redford (Barnstaple), Basil Lord (Parsons), Elaine Donnelly (Esme), Eileen Peel (Suzy), Harry Webster (Hopcroft), John Challis (Peter), Desmond Jordan (Telson), Jane Williams (Louise), George Herbert (Pearson)
To the sound of hypnotic music, the camera slowly descends the staircase in an ordinary house to where a dinner party is taking place below. The guests are probing their American host as to why he is staying in England, and one demands "But why are you really here - another book in the offing?" while another baits "As sensational as the last?" The man protests that he is simply on sabbatical with his daughter, whom he explains is sleeping upstairs. A moment later the girl appears in the doorway in a trance-like state; she crosses to the table and picks up a knife, wielding it in a threatening manner. Gently, her father wakes her as she panics "Did I do anything? Did I do anything bad..?"
Katey Summer's sleepwalking has become so bad of late that her writer father Dan has had to have a gate installed on the staircase. Despite the precaution however, the young girl's night time wanderings continue and she begins to be troubled by strange and lucid nightmares: standing high upon a library gallery in a old fashioned room, Katey dreams of an elderly man performing a bizarre ritual over a bible. As he kisses his fingers and appears to bless the book, he intones greedily 'I'm rich - a fortune that no-one suspects!' A few nights later, she once again dreams of the old man and watches horrified as he is murdered by a younger man in 19th century costume. Katey comes to believe that she has dreamt of an actual murder and that the key to solving it lays in the symbolism of the dream itself. And when the young man actually turns up on her doorstep and claims to be having the same dream, she becomes convinced that they have together experienced a psychic precognition of death. Unfortunately, Katey cannot guess at the frightening truth of the matter, and that she herself is in mortal danger.
Another imaginative tale of amazing inventiveness, with the dream sequences being some of the most memorable moments in the show's history. The two central characters, Katy and Barnstaple, are a likeable pair and provide an anchor of normality amongst the surrounding weirdness. What could have been a run of the mill mystery drama has been transformed by Clemens' master touch into a colourful and evocative piece of television. Michael Kitchen had previously appeared in "Once The Killing Starts", while Ian Redford had a bit part in "The Next Voice You See". Highly recommended.
TV TIMES CLIPPINGS