Tales of the Unexpected

Season 1 Episode 4

Lamb to the Slaughter

Aired Unknown Apr 14, 1979 on ITV
out of 10
User Rating
19 votes

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Episode Summary

Lamb to the Slaughter
An enraged detective's wife, Mary Maloney, kills her husband Patrick by smashing in his skull with a heavy blunt instrument - but no murder weapon can be found, and the police are baffled. The answer to the riddle lies under the detectives' noses - or, rather, it did...

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    Brian Blessed

    Brian Blessed

    Detective Sergeant Jack Nolan

    Guest Star

    Susan George

    Susan George

    Mary Maloney

    Guest Star

    Michael Byrne

    Michael Byrne

    Patrick Marney

    Guest Star

    Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


    • TRIVIA (0)

    • QUOTES (2)

      • Roald Dahl: My friend, the late Ian Fleming, the James Bond man, is really responsible for the story you're going to see now. We were staying the week-end at the house in Vermont. And at dinner the roast leg of lamb was so dry and tough that Ian looked across the room and whispered, "This ruddy thing must have been in deep freeze for ten years, you ought to be shot". "No, I said, I..I..I think there must be a more interesting punishment than that". That's how the idea for this story began.

      • Click here to read Roald Dahl's original story.

    • NOTES (3)

      • This story was also adpated for a 1958 episode of Alfred Hitchcock Presents, with Barbara Bel Geddes as the murderous housewife. Hitchcock himself directed it, and it was often said to be his favourite episode in the seven-year series.

      • This episode is based on Roald Dahl's story Lamb to the Slaughter, first published in Harper's magazine in September 1953.

      • Susan George commented on this episode -
        "Making Lamb to the Slaughter is the best time I've had on a production for five years. I told them I don't know what I've been doing in Los Angeles because this is what life is all about. This is acting."

    • ALLUSIONS (1)

      • The title is an allusion to the prophecy of the coming of the Messiah in Isaiah 53 - "like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before its shearers is dumb..."