Worst & Best Tales of the Unexpected Episodes/List

About the Series

Genre: UK Mystery/Fantasy/Horror Series
Series: 9
Episodes: 112
First Transmission: 1979-1988
Channel: ITV

Tales of the Unexpected is a British television anthology series.

Each episode told a different story, often with sinister and wryly comedic undertones, with an unexpected twist ending. Most of the episodes of series 1, series 2 and series 3 were based on short stories by Roald Dahl collected in the books Tales of the Unexpected.

The series was made by Anglia Television for ITV with interior scenes recorded at their Norwich studios whilst location filming mainly occurred across East Anglia. The theme music for the series was written by  Ron Grainer.

Throughout its run of 112 episodes, many famous British actors and some American actors made starring roles.


Best Episode [ S3 Ep1 ]

The Flypaper – The police are dragging the marshes for a missing school-girl and a sinister man is being looked for after approaching other young girls. Schoolgirl Sylvia is on a bus on the way home when a friendly old man begins to talk to her.

9 August 1980

Imdb Score [8.3]


Worst Episode [ S7 Ep8 ]

Wet Saturday – It is a wet Saturday and  Mr Princey learns that his daughter Millicent has hit and killed the man with whom she was obsessed with a croquet mallet. Mr Princey cannot afford a scandal so he tries to cover it all up. Nothing will go wrong. Will it?

7 July 1984

Imdb Score – [4.0]



Full Episode Guide

Blue episodes rated above par.
Brown episodes rated below par.

Season One

Man from the South (1979) –
A man makes a bizarre bet.
Mrs Bixby and the Colonel’s Coat (1979) –
Mrs Bixby’s lover has bought her a fur coat, but how can she wear it?
William and Mary (1979) –
William’s will stipulates that his brain be kept alive after his death.
Lamb to the Slaughter (1979) –
Mary kills her cruel husband with a frozen leg of lamb and then has to dispose of it.
The Landlady (1979) –
Billy weaver’s landlady has something odd about her.
Neck (1979) –
Outrageous philanderer Lady Turton gets her head stuck in a valuable statue.
Edward the Conqueror (1979) –
Is Louisa’s cat really the reincarnation of a great composer?
A Dip in the Pool (1979) –
William Botibol tries hard to win a bet but pays the ultimate price.
The Way Up to Heaven (1979) –
Mrs Foster will do anything to be punctual!

Season Two

Royal Jelly (1980) –
Bee-keeper Albert Taylor gives his baby Royal jelly – the effects are weird.
Skin (1980) –
A penniless beggar is walking around with a valuable painting on his back!
Galloping Foxley (1980) –
William Pekins is sure the new man on the train bullied him relentlessly at school – but is he?
The Hitch-hiker (1980) –
American Paul Duveen gives a pickpocket a lift.
Poison (1980) –
Harry is petrified when a poisonous snake sits on his belly.
Fat Chance (1980) –
Mary Burge is fat and her husband wants to be rid of her.
Taste (1980) –
A pretentious wine expert makes an outrageous bet.
My Lady Love, My Dove (1980) –
Pamela Beauchamp gets her husband to bug their guests’ bedroom but hears more than she bargained for.
Georgy Porgy (1980) –
One day a shy vicar finds that women are madly attracted to him.
Depart in Peace (1980) –
An art collector becomes entangled in a struggle between two beautiful women.
The Umbrella Man (1980) –
An elderly con-man inadvertently exposes a couple who are cheating on a woman’s husband.
Genesis and Catastrophe (1980) –
In 1889, after having lost three children, an Austrian woman is concerned that her newborn baby boy is ill.
Mr. Botibol’s First Love (1980) –
Mr Botibol is obsessed with Classical music and builds a concert hall in his house, to which he takes a woman with a love of music.
Back for Christmas (1980) –
A man plots a seemingly foolproof way to murder his wife, but she manages to avenge herself from beyond the grave.
The Orderly World of Mr. Appleby (1980) –
Mr Appleby has married and murdered three wives. The fourth one is determined not to be a victim.
The Man at the Top (1980) –
A young seaman fights and kills another man. His friend, Diane, sets him up with someone who can help.

Season Three

The Flypaper (1980) –
Sylvia, a quiet, teenage girl, is being pestered by an old man. A woman steps in to help and takes her to her caravan to call for the police.
A Picture of a Place (1980) –
A con-man buys a valuable picture from a woman at a knockdown price.
Proof of Guilt (1980) –
A police inspector investigating a murder can find no evidence against the suspect even though he was there at the time of death.
Vengeance is Mine Inc. (1980) –
Two out-of-work actors in London set up a scheme whereby they take revenge on a newspaper critic, Lionel Brewster, for money.
A Girl Can’t Always Have Everything (1980) –

Parson’s Pleasure (1980) –
A crooked antiques dealer masquerades as a clergyman.  He encounters a farmer who sells him an antique piece worth a fortune.
The Stinker (1980) –
Tinker gets a job from the millionaire Harold Cutler, who used to bully him at school, but he suspects that he is having an affair with his wife.
I’ll Be Seeing You (1980) –

The Party (1980) –
Harry Knox, the manager of a toy factory for 40 years is uneasy when the company is taken over, so he burns it down.

Season Four

Would You Believe it? (1981) –
Two archaeologists in Jordan discover the statue of a woman and try to smuggle it out of the country.
Vicious Circle (1981) –
An elderly woman catches a thief in the act and then tries to set him on the straight and narrow.
The Boy Who Talked with Animals (1981) –
A boy on holiday in Jamaica disappears with a turtle washed up on the beach.
The Best of Everything (1981) –

A Woman’s Help (1981) –

Shatterproof (1981) –

The Sound Machine (1981) –
Mr Klausner believes that his machine can detect the screams of flowers when they are being cut.
Never Speak Ill of the Dead (1981) –
Bob and Sim believe that their friend, David, has killed his wife.
The Best Policy (1981) –

The Last Bottle in the World (1981) –

Kindly Dig Your Grave (1981) –

Completely Foolproof (1981) –

There’s One Born Every Minute (1981) –

Bosom Friends (1981) –

A Glowing Future (1981) –
Jack devastates his partner by announcing his departure to Australia with his new girlfriend.
The Way to Do It (1981) –
Roger Carson takes to gambling and comes up with a way to kill his aunt and inherit her money.
Hijack (1981) –
An airplane is hijacked and an air stewardess held hostage in the toilet.

Season Five

Blue Marigold (1982) –
Blue Marigold, a fashion model, comes back years later and finds that things have changed.
The Eavesdropper (1982) –
When Moira overhears a conversation between two women, she is convinced that one of them is having an affair with her husband – she takes drastic action.
Operation Safecrack (1982) –
Sam, an ex-safecracker, is challenged to crack a new safe as part of an advertising campaign.
Run, Rabbit, Run (1982) –

Stranger in Town (1982) –
An eccentrically-dressed stranger arrives in town, endearing himself to the local community – but he has an ulterior motive.
The Moles (1982) –

Decoy (1982) –

Pattern of Guilt (1982) –

A Harmless Vanity (1982) –

Death Can Add (1982) –

Light Fingers (1982) –

Death in the Morning (1982) –

What Have You Been Up to Lately? (1982) –

The Absence of Emily (1982) –

In the Bag (1982) –

A Man with a Fortune (1982) –

Who’s Got the Lady? (1982) –

The Skeleton Key (1982) –

Season Six

A Passing Opportunity (1983) –

The Memory Man (1983) –

A Sad Loss (1983) –

Clerical Error (1983) –

Heir Presumptuous (1983) –

Where’s Your Sense of Humour? (1983) –

Down Among the Sheltering Palms (1983) –

The Vorpal Blade (1983) –

The Wrong ‘Un (1983) –

The Luncheon (1983) –

The Tribute (1983) –

Hit and Run (1983) –

Youth from Vienna (1983) –
Caroline Coates, a news anchorwoman, tries an experimental youth formula.
Turn of the Tide (1983) –
Slade, a criminal lawyer,  asks Spalding to cover up a crime. Spalding refuses, so Slade needs to dispose of him.

Season Seven

The Dirty Detail (1984) –

The Best Chess Player in the World (1984) –

Proxy (1984) –

Have a Nice Death (1984) –

Number Eight (1984) –

The Last of the Midnight Gardeners (1984) –

The Gift of Beauty (1984) –

Wet Saturday (1984) –

Sauce for the Goose (1984) –

Bird of Prey (1984) –

I Like It Here in Wilmington (1984) –

Accidental Death (1984) –

The Reconciliation (1984) –

The Mugger (1984) –

The Open Window (1984) –

Season Eight

People Don’t Do Such Things (1985) –

In the Cards (1985) –

Nothin’ Short of Highway Robbery (1985) –

Scrimshaw (1985) –

Season Nine

Skeleton in the Cupboard (1987) –
Robert Smythe killed a little girl in a hit-and-run twenty years ago. He takes drastic steps to prevent exposure.
The Colonel’s Lady (1988) –
Colonel George Peregrine’s life is disturbed when his wife writes a bestselling raunchy novel. On reading it, he becomes convinced that she has been having an affair.
The Surgeon (1988) –

The Verger (1988) –

The Facts of Life (1988) –

Wink Three Times (1988) –

The Dead Don’t Steal (1988) –

The Finger of Suspicion (1988) –

A Time to Die (1988) –
Yves Drouard tries to kill his wife with an explosive device, but there is something he has overlooked.
Mr. Know-All (1988) –
Archaeology professor Max Kelada is a notorious womaniser and is open about the tricks he uses to seduce women.