1976 | United Kingdom

Creator of some of the most outstanding television plays made in the last fifty years, Nigel Kneale (Quatermass, Nineteen Eighty-Four, The Year of the Sex Olympics) created, in Beasts, an anthology of six plays designed to showcase the breadth of his fertile imagination. Laden with suspense, drama and a thick vein of black humour, each play was a variation on the theme of civilised man in conflict with the primal, animal side of existence. This malevolent and menacing thread runs through all six terrifying stories, which feature outstanding performances from actors such as Martin Shaw, Simon MacCorkindale, Glyn Houston, Michael Sheard and Pauline Quirke. 

The six episdoes were Baby: A mummified creature is found in the walls of a house. Buddyboy: Has a dolphin's spirit returned to haunt the living? The Dummy: An actor becomes possessed by the monster he is playing. Special Offer: A poltergeist is loose in a supermarket. What Big Eyes: An eccentric scientist tries to turn himself into a wolf. During Barty's Party: A couple are trapped in their home by a horde of rats. The series was released on DVD in 2007 by Network and featured a number of special features including Murrain - A single play by Kneale from 1975, written in the same vein as Beasts

Published on November 29th, 2018. Written by Laurence Marcus for Television Heaven.