Tales of the Unexpected

Season 2 Episode 4

The Hitch-hiker

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Aired Unknown Mar 22, 1980 on ITV
9.1
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Episode Summary

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The Hitch-hiker
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Paul Duveen, a writer, gives a lift in his ultra-fast new BMW to a rat-faced elderly hitch-hiker who says he is on his way to Epsom for the Derby. Duveen, cajoled into taking the car to its limit, is promptly booked for speeding. During the rest of the journey, the passenger reveals his astonishing skills as a professional pickpocket - his name for himself is a fingersmith - and before they part, the fingersmith has a little present for Duveen...

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    Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

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    • TRIVIA (0)

    • QUOTES (1)

      • Roald Dahl: All my life, I have made it an absolute rule never to pass a hitch-hiker at any time of day or night without giving him or her a lift. Then, on a pouring wet evening in September, just outside Oxford, I picked up two unhappy looking young men who were soaked to the skin. Both had hair down to their shoulders and bushy beards. One of them said as they climbed into the back, "What a relief. Thank you so much." Suddenly I felt the point of a knife pressing into my neck. "Hey", I said, "Steady on!" "Get out", the knife-man said, "and hurry!" I got out. They drove off and left me standing in the rain.

        Since then, I have never given a lift to any man with long hair or with a bushy beard. The hitch-hiker in this story has neither.

    • NOTES (2)

      • This episode is based on Roald Dahl's story The Hitch-hiker, first published in Atlantic Monthly magazine in July 1977.

      • The late Cyril Cusack, born in South Africa, was an important Irish stage actor who may be best remembered now for his television role in Clochemerle. He was the father of four well-known actors, Sinéad, Sorcha, Niamh, and Catherine Cusack, while his son Pádraig Cusack became a theatrical producer.

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