Tales Of The Unexpected: Series 1 (Import DVD)
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Shot on videotape, these 25 episodes compensate for modest budgets by emphasizing excellence in dialogue, direction, and performance, all heightened by the sophisticated savagery of Dahl's cynical but never off-putting appreciation for the dark side of humanity. Unlike the mostly supernatural twists of The Twilight Zone, murder and other kinds of extreme misbehavior provide the motivation for these Tales, most of which deliver a highly refined sense of devious delight. For the final three episodes, Dahl generously includes other authors of his ilk including John Collier, whose story "Back for Christmas" inspires a particularly grisly scenario. Consistently high in quality, these overlooked gems deliver quintessentially British twists of fate, each worthy of a sly and devilish grin. --Jeff Shannon
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