Tales of the Unexpected

Watch Tales of the Unexpected

  • TV-14
  • 1979
  • 9 Seasons
  • 7.6  (2,386)

Tales of the Unexpected was a British television series that aired on ITV1 from 1979 to 1988. The show was based on the short stories of Roald Dahl, who also served as the series host and narrator. Each episode followed a different story, featuring a mix of thriller, horror, and drama elements.

Airing on Saturday evenings, the show had a cult following and was known for its eerie and unsettling ambiance. Many of the stories were centered on twists and surprises, often with a dark sense of humor. The show's opening sequence and theme music, which featured a silhouette of a dancing woman and a hypnotic tune, became iconic.

The series did not have a fixed cast, with each episode featuring new actors to portray the characters in the story. However, some notable actors of the time appeared on the show, including Andrew Ray and Forbes Collins. The guest stars added to the suspenseful atmosphere and often delivered memorable performances.

Tales of the Unexpected was a departure from the usual family-friendly programming of its era. The stories touched on adult themes such as infidelity, greed, and murder, and often ended on a note of irony or poetic justice. The show also relied heavily on atmospheric set pieces and lighting, creating a moody and surreal effect.

Despite its short runtime, the series had a lasting impact on British television. It inspired a generation of writers and filmmakers and continues to be remembered as a classic example of horror and suspense storytelling. The series is also notable for its use of Dahl's unique perspective and storytelling style, which often featured dark twists and unexpected endings.

The show was later released on DVD, allowing new generations to experience the tales for themselves. In 2019, it was even reported that a modern reboot was in development, proving the enduring appeal of Dahl's storytelling and the show's legacy.

In conclusion, Tales of the Unexpected was a groundbreaking television series that defied conventions and created a new genre of storytelling. Its mix of suspense, horror, and drama blended with Dahl's unique perspective to create something truly unforgettable. Though it only ran for nine years, its impact on television and popular culture continues to be felt decades later.

Tales of the Unexpected is a series that is currently running and has 9 seasons (112 episodes). The series first aired on March 24, 1979.

Tales of the Unexpected
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Mr Know-All
10. Mr Know-All
May 13, 1988
Pretty medical student Elly Somerton is working as a hotel chambermaid and falls for a guest at the hotel, Professor Max Kelada. Kelada is a well-known archaeologist, staying at the hotel for a conference, but womanising and fun are more on his mind than business. He tries to seduce Elly, with unexpected results.
A Time to Die
9. A Time to Die
May 6, 1988
Yves Drouard is a romantic French electronics expert whose love life has become rather too complicated. His marriage to Marthe has cooled, and his young mistress, Violette, has announced that she is pregnant. Yves is forced into a decision - but something he failed to foresee leads to an outcome he did not reckon on at all.
The Finger of Suspicion
8. The Finger of Suspicion
April 29, 1988
American safe-cracker Steve Baker is married to a beautiful Arab, and they are leading an idyllic life together in a Middle Eastern country - but then Steve is threatened with extradition for a crime he says he didn't commit.
The Dead Don't Steal
7. The Dead Don't Steal
April 22, 1988
Lilian Brett, a beautiful air hostess, is having an affair with Ken Johnson, the boss of a charter firm. Ken sets up a drug smuggling operation to cover the cost of their affair, but Lillian is in turmoil. She says she wants to end their affair and life of crime, and Ken has to work out what to do about it.
Wink Three Times
6. Wink Three Times
April 15, 1988
Jeremy Tyler, a timid provincial solicitor, is visiting a smart London hotel on a business trip and becomes embroiled in a curious case of mistaken identity. Babs Colport has arranged a blind date through a dating agency. Jeremy, looking for female company, tries to seduce her.
The Facts of Life
5. The Facts of Life
January 29, 1988
Nicholas Lillie is a naive fencing enthusiast from the country, constantly held back by his parents. Thanks to a national fencing contest he travels to the bright lights of London and gets caught up in a bizarre adventure.
The Verger
4. The Verger
January 22, 1988
Albert and Milly Dobson have given sixteen years of devoted service to their parish church, but a new Vicar arrives who does not like the old ways and has little time for the Dobsons. Following radical changes, a secret Albert has hidden for years causes consternation. In defiance, the couple build a new life... Of course, God moves in mysterious ways.
The Surgeon
3. The Surgeon
January 15, 1988
An Oxford doctor, Robert Sandy, faces up to his own lust for money when a grateful patient, a Saudi Arabian prince, gives him a huge diamond. Robert and Betty Sandy find their new asset a huge liability... Sandy's demise is unforeseen - but is it a form of rough justice?
The Colonel's Lady
2. The Colonel's Lady
January 8, 1988
Eve, the wife of Colonel George Peregrine, writes a book of love poems which is a huge success. Eve is soon in demand from unexpected quarters, but her book, containing revelations about her love life, has unhappy effects on her marriage. George is anxious to find out the identity of the young man Eve's poems were addressed to - and when she tells him, the truth comes as a huge shock.
Skeleton in the Cupboard
1. Skeleton in the Cupboard
December 18, 1987
Robert Smythe is a ruthless executive with a dangerous twenty-year-old secret... An echo from the past prompts him into a new cover-up of the truth, but his wife becomes suspicious.
Where to Watch Tales of the Unexpected
Tales of the Unexpected is available for streaming on the ITV1 website, both individual episodes and full seasons. You can also watch Tales of the Unexpected on demand at Amazon Prime.
  • Premiere Date
    March 24, 1979
  • IMDB Rating
    7.6  (2,386)