Tales Of The Unexpected – 1979

A bit of cult drama for today’s post.  Yes it’s the one with the haunting theme tune and swaying dancers in the titles.  Well we like to keep it interesting.

Originally titled Roald Dahl’s Tales Of The Unexpected, this was the British drama series that ran for nine series between 1979 and 1988, a total of 112 episodes.

Originally the stories were adapted from Roald Dahl’s anthology books (yes, he of Charlie and The Chocolate Factory, James and The Giant Peach, children’s books fame).  By series two there were four episodes from other writers, by series three and four only two episodes from each series was written by Dahl.  In the final series only one episode was written by Dahl – The Surgeon.  The title of the show changed to Tales Of The Unexpected – Introduced by Roald Dahl.  Then later just Tales Of The Unexpected.

Dahl had introduced all of his own stories himself, giving short monologues explaining what inspired him to write them. ceased providing introductions for episodes after the program had reached series three. The series three episode Parson’s Pleasure was the final regular episode to feature an on-screen introduction by Dahl, although he did return to provide an introduction to the series eight episode On The Cards and gave a brief voiceover introduction to the series four episode Shatterproof.

Despite being produced on a low budget (wasn’t everything in those days ?) the series attracted the highest calibre of actors.  Famous names included: Joan Collins, Elaine Stritch, Derek Jacobi, Brian Blessed, John Gielgud.  In the early days episodes were set in the UK, however many later episodes were made in the US.

The series was cancelled in 1988 after the ninth series following criticism that the episodes were beginning to decline in quality.


As the title suggests, each episode told a story, often with sinister and wryly comedic undertones, with an unexpected twist ending.







Channel: ITV
Created By: Roald Dahl
Produced By: Anglia Television
Original Transmission Dates: 24th March 1979 – 13th May 1988


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