Tales of the Unexpected

Season 1 Episode 2

Mrs Bixby and the Colonel's Coat

Aired Unknown Mar 31, 1979 on ITV
out of 10
User Rating
20 votes

By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

Mrs Bixby and the Colonel's Coat
Cyril Bixby is a New York dentist. Once a month, for years, his wife goes to Baltimore by train to visit her aunt. She does not tell Bixby about her affair with the Colonel, a single man with a big house near Baltimore, who is the real reason for all these visits. One Christmas, Mrs Bixby gets a parting gift from the Colonel - a splendid mink coat. So that she can explain the coat to her husband, she devises a complicated scheme which depends on pawning the coat and then 'finding' the pawn ticket... but when she sends Bixby to collect on the pawn ticket, she gets a surprise.moreless

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  • Do you trust your local pawn broker?

    This story opens with Mr and Mrs bixby getting ready for bed. Mrs Bixby's suitcase is packed and ready for her weekend visit to her sick aunt Maude. After Mr Bixby leaves for work, Mrs Bixby dolls herself up before taking an Aer Lingus flight to Ireland. Mrs Bixby has been secretly meeting with her lover, the Colonel, one weekend every three months for the past eight years. Meanwhile Mr Bixby has been putting in long hours at his London Dentist office. Before she leaves for home, the Colonel give Mrs Bixby a very expensive full length mink coat and says the affair is at an end. She loves the coat but now needs a way to explain where she got such an expensive mink coat. Her plan is to pawn the coat, leave the pawn slip blank and tells Mr Bixby she found the slip. Mr Bixby says since the slip is blank, they can claim the pawned item. Mr Bixby insists on picking up the item on the way to work in the morning. He calls his wife to tell her the item was a mink. She rushes over to his office to get her mink coat and is dumbstruck when Mr Bixby gives her a small mink neck wrap. He says the pawn broker gave it to him in a big box. I love the twist at the end of the story.

    I give this story a 9.0.moreless

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (1)

    • The late Michael Hordern was one of the most prolific English actors and worked on well into his eighties. He is also remembered as the voice of the BBC's Paddington Bear stories.

  • QUOTES (1)

    • Roald Dahl: This is a play about a very expensive mink coat. The original story's quite short, but I'm such a ridiculously slow writer that it took me something like five months to get the thing finished. Which is more than six hundred working hours. That probably sounds a bit silly to you, but then trying to work the plot out properly too took so many wrong turnings, and went up so many blind alleys, I went nearly crazy. Don't forget, a short story writer's working in miniature and he can't afford to splash his paint all over the canvas. He has to be extremely precise. I find it very difficult, anyway see what you think of it.

  • NOTES (2)

    • This episode is based on Roald Dahl's story Mrs Bixby and the Colonel's Coat, first published in the magazine Nugget in December 1959.

    • 'The Lonely Londoner' writes - This story appeared in Alfred Hitchcock Presents before Tales of the Unexpected. The question is, is this version better than Hitchcock's?