The Yellow Pill

1962 | United Kingdom

Who is the strange man brought by the police to Dr. Frame? Is he a murderer? How did he gain his uncanny knowledge of Frame's private life? Is it possible that he really comes from anothert time? This is the most unusual case the doctor has ever had.

The Yellow Pill, starring Nigel Stock, Richard Pasco, Peter Dyneley and Pauline Yates, was the first in ITV's new anthology series, Out of this World

Originally it was planned to be the second episode with Dumb Martian preceding it, but ITV Head of Drama, Sydney Newman, decided to put Dumb Martain out under the Armchair Theatre strand a week before. Therefore, The Yellow Pill(which sadly no longer exists in the archives) takes its place in television history as the first episode of ITV's first science fiction series. 

Broadcast on Saturday 30 June 1962 the episode was (as was each in the series) introduced by Hollywood's British born master of horror, Boris Karloff. Immediately following the broadcast of Dumb MartianKarloff appeared on screen in a promo to tell viewers: "Tonight's play has taken us to Jupiter 4-2, the second moon of Callisto. A mere pebble in space about forty miles across - four hundred and eighty-three million miles out of this world. Out of this World! - the first play next Saturday evening is called The Yellow Pill. If you do not find it a most unusual story, then my name isn't Boris Karloff." 

The episode pulled in 11 million viewers and was the eleventh most popular ITV broadcast of that week. Nationally it came 18th - equal to the BBC's long established series Z-Cars. The original story was written by American science fiction writer Rog Phillips and adapted for television by Leon Griffiths.   

Published on April 4th, 2020. Adapted from original TV Times article..