“As sure as my name’s Boris Karloff…”

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I was less than five months old when NBC aired the first episode of Thriller on 13 September 1960, fronted by the legendary Boris Karloff, and I’m fairly certain the show never made it across to these shores before the 1990s, when it became available for import on VHS and laserdisc. To be honest, if anyone had asked me about Thriller even then, I’d probably have thought they were talking about the 1970s anthology series devised by Brian Clemens whilst working on the screenplay for Captain Kronos Vampire Hunter.

Anyhow, I’ve spent the past month watching at least two episodes an evening, and the majority are rather splendid. Our host, Boris Karloff, brings his customary cocktail of menace, mirth and malarkey, even stepping centre-stage for a number of episodes. How irritating to learn that Alfred Hitchcock pushed for this show’s cancellation when NBC picked up The Alfred Hitchcock Hour, proving yet again what an insecure and petty little twat he could be when opportunity presented itself.

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