(ITC Movie title "The Next Victim")
Original UK transmission: 17th April 1976
Original US transmission: 23rd September 1975
WRITTEN BY: Brian Clemens
DIRECTED BY: James Ormerod
PRODUCED BY: Ian Fordyce
MAIN CAST: Carroll Baker (Sandy Marshall), T P McKenna (Frampton), Maurice Kaufmann (Derek Marshall), Ronald Lacey (Bartlett), Max Mason (Tom Packer), Ian Gelder (Small), Brenda Cavendish (Betty Tyler), Martin Benson (Spiros Lemke), Anita Sharp-Bolster (Mrs Bluther), Andrea Allan (Janet Cunningham)
A young girl sunbaking on a balcony is surprised by an intruder who strangles her and then proceeds to break up the place. Later, the police arrive and the doctor reflects on the intensity of the crime, with the detective adding "our killer is psychotic...and insatiable..."
A sweltering heat wave on a Bank Holiday causes a mass exodus from London, and American Sandy Marshall is left virtually alone in her apartment block when her husband is called away on a business trip. Sandy is confined to a wheelchair following a car accident, and inadvertently lets a killer posing as a delivery man into the building. Remembering that several girls have been found strangled of late, she suddenly realises her mistake and begins to fear for her safety. With the phone cut off and no-one to turn to, she attempts to escape the building but discovers that there is someone still at home downstairs. She invites the affable young man up to her room, but soon begins to suspect that she may have in fact made a terrible misjudgement.
This one doesn't quite work somehow, even though by rights it should! The idea behind it is sound, but the performances and direction simply aren't up to par in my opinion. There is one particularly annoying moment where Maurice Kaufmann "corpses" (laughs) during a serious moment, and his performance throughout the rest of the episode is little better. One suspects that a director like Shaun O'Riordan could have turned it into a frantic masterpiece in the style of "I'm The Girl He Wants To Kill". Caroll Baker is also perhaps somewhat too glamorous for the part, and seems very ill at ease. T.P. McKenna had also been in the very first episode "Lady Killer".
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