"The Lost Thriller Scenes"

Material Seen Only In The US Broadcasts Of Thriller

Nineteen episodes of Thriller first networked by ABC in North America in the early 70's each featured 2 to 3 minutes of additional original footage that was subsequently cut from the ATV versions before their broadcast in the UK. This span comprises the episodes "Only A Scream Away" through "Where The Action Is".

By looking at the details below, it is easy to see that the cuts were made for artistic reasons and not to accomodate timeslots. Because the episodes generally debuted in America weeks or months before they were shown in the UK, there was time for extra editing to be performed to "tighten up" the stories. Occasional changes were also made to the way certain scenes were cut, but these variations were usually very minor and are too numerous to list. Changes were also frequently made to the incidental music. For reasons unknown this luxury of additional editing came to an end after Series 4 and the subsequent episodes were the same in both the UK and the US, bar "If It's A Man - Hang Up!" which (in a reversal of the general trend) had material in the UK broadcast not present in the US version.

Though the "peephole" versions of Thriller shown by ABC in the early 70's have long since vanished into obscurity, the additional scenes were happily carried over into the US "movie" versions created in 1978 and later released on video and screened late at night well into the 90's. Aside from two curious exceptions, these do not appear in the versions of the movies screened in the UK and Australia - they are unique to the US. Note also that eight of these extended versions were also issued on video in the US in the 1980s and can still be found in rental libraries and in auctions.

Unfortunately I have not been able to locate off air US recordings of four of these 19 movies: "Once The Killing Starts", "Color Him Dead" (AKA "K Is For Killing"), "Murder Is A One-Act Play" (AKA "Death To Sister Mary") and "The Killing Game" (AKA "Where The Action Is"). If anyone has original recordings of any of these movies as screened on US tv (no matter how poor the quality) then please contact me at blacknun@fishpeople.every1.net and I will be extremely grateful!


Only A Scream Away

  Extended scene (top) - where Aunt Liza arrives in her car with Samantha's toy chest, there is a very long scene where they both carry it into the house. Amongst other things, Samantha says that she wants Liza to visit often and they discuss the 'American' who has moved into the windmill. Aunt Liza goes to make tea, at which point Samantha opens the chest.
  Extended scene (top) - shortly after the above-mentioned scene, the panning shot of Heston sitting on the bed holding a doll is longer
  Extended scene (tail) - where Heston is seen tending to some items on the dressing table, the shot of him playing cat's cradle in the mirror goes on longer.
  Extended scene (top) - after Heston is seen viewing some slides of the church and the wedding, there is a shot of Samantha kneeling by her chest contemplating the white gloves, when her husband enters and says 'Coming to bed?'
  Altered scene - where Heston is seen sitting on the stairs at the windmill on the phone to Samantha, he asks her if she can come over right away. In the ATV version, there is a brief shot of her replying which is in fact taken from the deleted scene mentioned below. In the ABC version, she can be heard replying over the phone.
  Extended scene (tail) - after the above-mentioned scene, Samantha says 'all right' and hangs up and leaves, after which the camera pans down to the photo album and gloves.
  Altered scene - in the final moments where Samantha struggles with Heston, the music is different at the point where Tom grabs her, following which there is a long uninterupted shot of Heston on the floor (the ATV version cuts back to Tom and Samantha for the final shot).
  It should also be noted that the ATV version includes a short fragment or two not seen in the ABC version, most notably where Liza throws Heston out after news of the crash, where we see her say 'good day' and Heston leaves.

Note: for some curious reason the PAL movie version shown in the UK and Australia also includes these extra scenes, one of only two instances where this happened (the other being "In THe Steps Of A Dead Man")

Once The Killing Starts (unknown)

Kiss Me And Die (click to view clip)

  Extended scene (tail)- in his room at the inn, Robert Stone unwraps his easel and removes a knife, then crosses to the window and contemplates it.
  Extended scene (middle)- after the locals point out Ben Kroom at the pub, Stone gets up and crosses to the bar to return his glass, then Jack Woodbridge asks if he's having an early night, to which yawns and replies "country air!", then glances at Kroom and leaves.
  Extra scene - on his way to Dominie's first sitting, Stone is almost run down by Lanceford's Rolls Royce.
  Extended scene (tail) / extra scene - in his room at the inn, Stone plays back a tape recorded by his brother. He then crosses the room, and Dominie's face appears as a ghostly apparition in the window pane, repeating the words "I swore I'd hold on to him, even if I had to..." Stone then proceeds downstairs and slips out into the darkness, unaware that he was being watched by Jack Woodbridge.
  Extended sequence - after Stone and Dominie go up to his room, there is an extra couple of seconds as the barmaid turns around, then a slightly longer shot of Dominie as Stone enters the room behind her.
  Extended scene (top)- when Stone goes in search of Old Fred, there is a longer shot of him approaching the pond.
  Extended scene (top)- at home, Dominie plucks a Poe book from the shelf and reads a lament about love to herself as she crosses the room, then takes an embroidery of Jim Stone's face from a drawer and begins to work on it.
  Extended scene (tail)- after Dominie tells Stone over the phone she must never see him again, she hangs up suddenly and Stone is left looking puzzled.
  Extended scene (tail)- following the explosion, there is a longer shot of Dominie rushing towards the cellar stairs.
  Extended sequence - as the cellar crumbles underneath, there are multiple shots of rats swarming across the floor before the guests rush out the door. When Stone and Dominie find the dead body. Stone's reaction is much longer as he struggles to catch his breath. Directly following this we see Stone placing his suitcase in the boot of the car before joining Dominie. The music throughout this sequence is different to that in the ATV version.

One Deadly Owner

 
  Extended scene (top)- directly after the opening titles, there is a longer shot of Helen inspecting the car.
  Extended scene (tail) - after Helen first hears the scream in the car, there is an extra shot of her reacting after seeing no-one is there.
  Extended scene (top)- directly after the above shot, there is more talk from Peter as he comments that the German magazine owner has called him and tries to remember his name.
  Extended scene (tail) - after Helen phones Peter to say she's in Reigate, there is a long shot of her hanging up and then walking out to the car, where she places her hand on the bonnet and looks worried.
  Extended scene (top) - directly after the above scene, we see Helen enter with a plate of sandwiches while Peter berates her for not turning up to the meeting, to which she replies 'the car wouldn't let me.'
  Extra scene - just before Jacey's assistant arrives on Helen's doorstep, there is a closeup of the missing driver's manual on a high shelf. The camera then pans across to Helen searching vainly for it in the back of the car, after which the doorbell rings. She goes upstairs to answer and there is another closeup of the manual.
  Extended scene (tail) - after Jacey's assistant hands her a copy of the manual and she places it on the table, there is an extra shot of the original manual on the shelf in the garage. She then thanks him for his trouble and he invites her out to dinner. When she agrees he asks her where she'd like to go and she deliberately chooses Pernino's. There is then a sinister shot of the door to the Rolls closing by itself.
  Extended scene (tail)- after Helen says that she think Mrs Jacey was murdered, there are some extra seconds of Jacey's assistant reacting.
  Extra shot - just after Helen and Peter leave to look for Mrs Jacey's body, there is a shot of the pool of 'brake fluid' on the garage floor.
  Extended scene - as Helen and Peter drive down to Jacey's, there are extra shots of them silent in the car.

Ring Once For Death (click to view clip)

  Extended sequence - After Masters drives off after his interview, there are some extra seconds showing Betty walking into the room carrying a tray full of tea. After Betty leaves the room, there is a further segment as Laura Vallance pours herself some tea, which then cuts to a similar shot of Hugo Fane pouring a drink (also slightly longer). The exchange between Hugo and Piers Fane then goes on considerably longer than the ATV version which ends abruptly with Hugo saying "Oh dear!" Here Piers confesses that he had a crush on Laura Vallance when he was 16, and says that if his father doesn't pursue the matter then he will to which Hugo replies "You just go play with your rattle."
  Extended scene (top)- the shot of the milkman walking back to his cart is slightly longer.
  Extended scene (tail)- the scene of Betty leaving following her dismissal goes on longer, and we see her actually cross the road and walk off down Maida Avenue. The music here is completely different, and fades up during the final seconds of the preceeding scene.
  Extended scene (tail)- when Hugo arrives for dinner, we see him actually walk up the steps to the front door.
  Extended scene (top)- after the murder at the climax of Part Two, Masters stands in the darkened doorway of the house checking the street, then goes back inside where Lisa is cowering and begins to lift the body. He then changes his mind and goes back outside to open the boot.
  Extended scene (top)- Piers makes an additional phone call as he tries to locate his father.

K Is For Killing (unknown)

Sign It Death (click to view clip)

  Extended sequence - two extra shots of Tracy walking up to the newstand and Main striding along. Directly after their encounter there are some extra shots of her following Main through the streets.
  Extended sequence - after Tracy stabs Mr Seddon's hand, there are some extra seconds as she sits back down and puts her headset on. There is then an extra shot of Main crossing his office to open the door.
  Extended scene (top) - we see Janice Main pick up the phone and call the office, where Tracy answers and puts her through to Bill Lewis. There is an extra second of Lewis sitting at his desk before the phone rings.
  Extended sequence - the phone conversation between Tracy and Janice Main is longer, with Tracy attempting to stall for time by asking Janice for London shopping tips.
  Extra scenes - an additional scene where Main complains about not being able to locate his lawyer, following which Tracy makes a slight romantic advance, asking him to "drop the formalities" and call her by her first name. Directly following this is another extra scene in the police station where Bill Lewis attempts to convince the detective from the north that there is something suspicious about Tracy.
  Extended scene (tail)- after slamming down the phone when he realises his wife is in danger, Main rushes hurriedly out of the office.

A Coffin For The Bride (click to view clip)

  Extra scene - directly after the climax of Part One where Oliver Mason is attacked, there is an extra scene of Freddy shutting down the bar. He switches off the lights and walks off as Walker enters surreptitiously and begins to sneak up the stairs. Freddy surprises him and he pretends to be on his way down for a drink. As Freddy pours him an orange juice, Walker engages him in conversation to check his alibi has worked and then heads up to his room.
  Extended scene (top)- when Detective Quilly goes to question Connie, there are extra moments showing him entering and the secretary wondering out loud why Mason supposedly killed himself.

I'm The Girl He Wants To Kill (click to view clip)

  Extra scene - after Ann's interrogation at the police station, Mark takes her home to her flat. There they find Winters keeping watch outside her door and Mark makes some jokes at his expense, then makes a romantic advance towards Ann. When she replies that it's "hardly the time", he has another dig at Winters and leaves.
  Extended sequence - when the "wrong" man is brought into the police station for questioning, there is a shot of him rubbing his wrists after the handcuffs are removed. Shortly after there is an extra shot of The Man in the car park where the ATV version cuts to an adcap. During this entire sequence the music is different, and largely absent during the shots of Ann looking out the window at the carpark.
  Extended scene (tail)- where The Man is hiding in the toilet watching Ann get into the elevator, there are extra seconds as he closes the door and looks nervously at his watch.
  Extended sequence - the conversation between Mr Burton and Sam goes on longer, with the executive telling the security guard that the ladder of success is a treadmill and not to get on it, to which Sam responds with complete bewilderment. Directly following this in the conversation between Penny and Ann, Penny has some extra lines at the end where she hopes that Mark will propose to Ann soon.
  Extended scene (tail)- just after Ann takes the elevator down to reception go home, The Man arrives on her floor and runs towards her office. Drawing his knife, he slowly opens the door and finds the room in darkness and so switches on the light. When he sees that there is no-one there he looks puzzled for a moment, then swings around when he hears the elevator stop in the distance.
  Extended sequence - as Ann almost bumps into The Man coming up the stairs as she is coming down, there are extra shots of her listening and The Man resting momentarily. Where the ATV version cuts to the ad break, there are extra seconds showing the man puffing loudly as he climbs the stairs, which cuts directly to a shot of Ann puffing in the same way with her head face down on the desk.

Death To Sister Mary (unknown)

In The Steps Of A Dead Man

  Extended scene (top) - the opening shot is much longer, starting with a close-up of a water tower before pulling back and panning around to the Cornfield's home.
  Extended scene (tail) - just before Grace arrives with her "Boston To London" suitcase, the previous scene contains some extra material where Mrs Cornfield says to George that Grace will be "company for us" and encourages him to finish the gadget he had been making, to which he replies "That was for Tommy". Mrs Cornfield despairs and the camera pans to the photograph on the mantlepiece.
  Extended scene (top) - just after Grace thinks she sees someone spying on her and Sheila, the following shot of Mrs Cornfield is longer, showing her walking through the house switching off the lights before she goes to check on George in the basement.
  Extended sequence - after George unveils his "wake up" machine we see Grace pick up the phone and have a short conversation with Mrs Cornfield (only excerpted in the ATV version), and then there is an extra segment where Marty straightens his tie in the mirror and prepares to meet Sheila for the first time.
  Extended scene (tail) - after Marty and Sheila go off on their first date, Mrs Cornfield turns to Grace and says "Oh, Marty is going to make such a difference to us all!"
  Extended scene (top) - after the funeral party leave the Cornfields' home, we see them crossing through the garden before Sergeant O'Hara turns up in the jeep.
  Extended scene (tail) - as Marty and Mrs Cornfield return to the house after the incident above, there is an extra shot of them changing direction and going around the back way instead. This is also intercut with an extra shot of O'Hara writing his name on the notepad (in the ATV version he has just finished writing it).
  Extended scene (top) - just after George rushes down to the basement to start work on the hidden room, there is an extra segment where Marty descends the stairs, kisses Mrs Cornfield and the two of them wonder out loud what George is up to. Mrs Cornfield then goes to answer the phone call from Grace.

Note: for some curious reason the PAL movie version shown in the UK and Australia also includes these extra scenes, one of only two instances where this happened (the other being "Only A Scream Away")

Come Out, Come Out, Wherever You Are (click to view clip)

  Extended scene (top)- the initial pan around the empty hotel lobby is longer, beginning with a close up of some mounted fish behind the reception desk and then pulling back before moving up the stairs.
  Extended scene (top)- the cleaner gets out of his car and watches the police pull up.
  Extra scene - the cleaner looks on worriedly as Dexter begins his interrogation. He then proceeds up the stairs carrying a vaccuum cleaner.
  Extended scene (top)- Dexter clouts Arthur, who screams and demands a lawyer.
  Extra sequence - Miss Pendy approaches Cathy in the dining room and tells her the police are searching for a missing girl, then says she heard a scream. The police search the woods with dogs, and Cathy has a flashback in her room. Dexter looks on as the police car pulls up with Arthur. A fisherman by the river turns to see the police approaching.
  Extended scene (top)- Arthur finds a small bottle of whiskey, takes a drink and crosses to the bathroom.
  Extended scene (tail)/extra scene - after Paul says goodbye to Alice, she crosses to the window and stares out. Upstairs, Cathy paces worriedly around her room.
  Extended shot (tail)- the passionate kiss by the car outside the motel goes on a few seconds longer.
  Extra scene/ extended scene (top)- in Cathy's room, Paul strokes her hair and she says she wishes to leave immediately. He leaves, and she pulls a brush from her suitcase and begins to comb her hair, lost in thought. Outside, she pulls up in the car and Paul gets in.

The Next Scream You Hear (click to view clip)

  Extended sequence - after Karl Vorster comments on Peel's encounter with the blonde, Mathew Earp gives him an extra "arch" look. We then see Peel's car parked outside in the rain as he rushes up to it and climbs in.
  Alternate take/extra shot - after Peel arrives home, he does not find a note from his wife as in the ATV version. Instead, he smiles as he places the car keys on the dressing table, crosses to the bed and pours a glass of Scotch, drinks it in one gulp and replaces the empty glass. This is a completely different take from the more familiar one. Directly following this is a long pan across the grounds, showing Peel's car before the police drive up.
  Extended scene (tail)- after the incriminating number plate is revealed, Peel and Gifford exchange an extra look.
  Extended scene (tail)- after Gifford tells Earp that he has checked up on him, he says "You must need the money awfully badly" to which Earp reacts by suddenly closing the car window on him.
  Extended shot (tail)- a longer reaction from the "blonde" at the climax of Part Two.
  Extended sequence - an extra few seconds where Tulliver asks why Earp is so interested in his butler, to which he replies that he is not. There is then a long sequence showing Earp leaving the Maycroft building, getting into his car and driving to the butler's flat where he is followed along the way by a white Mini. The music in this sequence is the upbeat tune prominently featured in "K Is For Killing".
  Extended scene (tail)- after Peel mentions giving the safety deposit box key to Gifford, there are an extra few seconds as Earp exclaims "Gifford!" and gets up to leave.
  Extended sequence - Karl Vorster looks disgruntled and opens a letter, then there are some extra fencing shots before Earp enters the gymnasium.

Night Is The Time For Killing (click to view clip)

  Extended scene (tail)- after the main protaganists arrive to board the train, we also see the newly wed couple arrive.
  Re-cut and extended sequence - after the porter ushers Barkly into his cabin, we see him unpack a gun from his suitcase and then the porter asks the newly weds which sitting they'd like for dinner (in the ATV version the shot of Barkly is split in two with the greater half relocated after the bit with the newly weds). Shortly after this Bob Mallory asks where the bar is and there is an extra scene showing the newly weds examining photos of Vance and comparing them to the "husband"s reflection in a hand mirror. Finally, after the old lady departs leaving Vance to "think about it", there is an extra bit with him throwing his hands in the air in an exasperated fashion, then returning to his cabin and pondering out loud who she is.
  Extra scene - after the first meeting between Helen and Bob, there is a long conversation where Bob tells of his life in Australia and how he came to be an architect. He then attempts to bring Helen out of her shell, and she says that she has been in hospital because her fiancee has died.
  Re-cut sequence - when Bob drags Helen back to her cabin to prove that there is no dead body on the top bunk, the scene is interrupted by a segment re-located from the immediately preceeding scene where Vance asks the waiter for a cigar. As they enter the cabin together, the shot is not interrupted by the adcap as in the ATV version.

Screamer (click to view clip)

  Extended sequence - during the entire opening scene in the train compartment, there are three extra sections. At the very start, there is a much longer establishing shot of Nikky and the old woman where they exchange glances. When Nikky picks up the newspaper, there are multiple shots of her face and the headline that are not in the ATV version. Finally, when the "man" picks up the newspaper, there is a longer zoom in on him reading it before we see that he is actually peering over the top.
  Extended scene (top)- when the Holts return to find their home in a shambles, there is a longer shot of the blood stained hatchet on the wall.
  Extended scene (top and tail)- the scene showing Nikky and Virna playing a ball game is about twice as long.
  Extended scene (top)- in the scene where the female undercover police officer entraps the rapist, there is considerably more footage showing him lurking behind a newspaper as in the opening scene. Eventually he gets to his feet, slowly crosses to the girl and places a hand on her knee at which point she overpowers him.
  Extended scene (tail)- after Inspector Charles finishes talking to Jeff Holt on the phone, he looks at the rapist and then the sergeant and says "complications!" Then follows a slightly longer shot of Nikky before she speaks.
  Extended scene (top)- the shot of Nikky driving up the road towards the "Sturford" street sign is longer.
  Extended scene (tail)- the conversation between Inspector Charles and Balsam outside the mortuary is much longer. After Balsam makes the comment about his "small vested interest in Munich" they proceed towards his car and discuss the possible fate of the missing man. Balsam says he is going to try the railway station and Charles offers to send along help but is politely refused. The scene ends with Charles commenting that Balsam must be in a hurry to return to his "little blonde wife" in Munich, to which the German replies, "Inspector, my wife is in Hamburg!"
  Extended scene (top)- in the shot that establishes Nikky sitting on the stairs, the long pan of the living room leading up to it is even longer. When Nikky goes to the French windows, there is an uninterrupted shot of her face whereas in the ATV version there is a cutaway of the man inserted.

Nurse Will Make It Better (coming shortly)

Killer With Two Faces

  Extended scene (tail) - after Spelling kills the woman in her flat and decaptitates the figurine, there is an extra shot of him opening the door to the terrace and gazing out into the street while he collects himself. There are then some extra seconds as he goes back inside again.
  Extended scene (top) - after Patty introduces herself to Spelling, there is extra dialogue. She states that she has been in England two years after originally intending to stay for six weeks, and says that she has bought herself a house.
  Extra scene - after the 'PART TWO' caption, there is a scene of Patty in her office. Her assistant Sarah brings her coffee and asks if she wants to see the newspaper. Patty replies that she can't because she has an 'appointment' at 12. The assistant teases her about her 'pet architect' and Patty replies that it will be 'very proper... very British.' Sarah replies with 'You hope not.'
  Extended scene (top) - after Spelling strangles his girlfriend, there is more of the subsequent scene in Patty's office, where her assistant brings in a pile of work saying 'You're so popular today!' Patty groans and complains that she'll be late.
  Extended shot - just after Spelling visits the mental institution, there is more of the following shot showing Patty's car driving towards the camera.
  Extended scene (top) - after the 'PART THREE' slide, there is more of the detectives packing up and leaving Spelling's flat.
  Alternate edit/extended scenes - when Spelling is in his flat with Holland, there is extra dialogue where Spelling gets him a drink and asks the purpose of the visit. Holland replies that his wife wants the bathroom redone and makes some derogatory comments about 'the aristocracy'. Finally when Holland is ready to leave, there is some extra dialogue when Spelling refuses to go and Holland points out that he is contractually obligated to. Then follows extra material of Patty arriving at Holland's house, and marvelling over it.

In the ATV version, the scene with Spelling and Holland was shortened and split up by inserting a portion of what was originally a later scene showing Patty and Spelling together in Holland's house, with Spelling talking about his father. In the ABC version the scenes with Spelling/Holland and Spelling/Patty are self contained and consecutive.

A Killer In Every Corner (click to view clip)

  Extended scene (tail)- as "George" cleans the blood from the cell wall, there is a longer shot of his face at the end.
  Extended scene / extra scene - in the scene where George taunts Boz as he cleans the shoes, there are several extra lines from the former at various junctures. Where the scene ends in the ATV version, after Boz says "occupational therapy", there is an additional exchange where George yells "You didn't have to do that!" and Boz replies menacingly, "Getting all upset about a shoe? You know what I think? I think you must be mad..." Following this is an extra scene where Sylvia and Helga reflect incredulously on Boz's sudden appearance at the sound of the bell, and then notice that the graph the Professor had given them to look at bears the name "T. Hunter"
  Extended scene (tail)- when Boz carries Sylvia up to her room, there are extra seconds showing her asleep.
  Extra shot - just after Boz and the Professor run upstairs to check on Helga, there is an additional shot showing Sylvia fast asleep.
  Extended sequence - just after Sylvia discovers the telltale news clipping, there are a number of additional shots showing Kesselheim under hypnosis, and a longer shot of Sylvia running up the stairs to Michael's room.
  Extended sequence - as Boz carries the dead body from the cell, there is a longer shot of him and the Professor disappearing from sight down the stairs. Directly after there are a few extra seconds of Kesselheim attacking Sylvia.
  Extended scene (tail)- just after Sylvia tells Michael that there are three killers in the house, there is an extra shot of Michael looking skeptical.
  Re-cut sequence - as Sylvia and Michael listen to the Professor's dictated notes, there are several minute fragments that were subsequently trimmed.
  Musical differences - in the climactic scene where Aldridge attacks Sylvia right through to where he is shot, there is no music whatsoever. In the ATV version it was fully scored.

Where The Action Is (unknown)


With thanks to: Ian Kerr (for being the first to spot these variations), Jim Willis, Kevin Hughes and Melissa Milligan.

If anyone has original recordings of "Once The Killing Starts", "Color Him Dead" (AKA "K Is For Killing"), "Murder Is A One-Act Play" (AKA "Death To Sister Mary") and "The Killing Game" (AKA "Where The Action Is") as screened on US tv (no matter how poor the quality) in the 80s and 90s then please contact me at blacknun@fishpeople.every1.net and I will be extremely grateful!