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The Cat Brought It In
Chillers The Cat Brought It In (1990– )
TV Episode
  • Director:
    Nessa Hyams
  • Category:
  • Writer:
    Patricia Highsmith,Douglas Livingstone
  • Cast:
    Anthony Perkins,Edward Fox,Michael Hordern
  • Time:
  • Year:
A pleasant country house weekend is interrupted when the family cat brings in a pair of human fingers instead of the usual mouse or bird. But not even murder can be allowed to disrupt the meticulous veneer of British respectability.
Episode cast overview:
Anthony Perkins Anthony Perkins - Himself - Host
Edward Fox Edward Fox - Michael Herbert
Michael Hordern Michael Hordern - Colonel Eddie Phelps
Bill Nighy Bill Nighy - Tom Dickenson
Rosalind Ayres Rosalind Ayres - Gladys Herbert
Amelia Shankley Amelia Shankley
Francesca Hall Francesca Hall
Richard Goodfield Richard Goodfield
Concha Hidalgo Concha Hidalgo

Chillers The Cat Brought It In (1990– )
The first episode of "Chillers" is a very witty satire on the stuffy country house Britishness and while the premise and execution are not exactly original or groundbreaking, its downright absurdist sense of humour (think Harold Pinter) makes for a fun viewing.

Colonel Phelps (Michael Hordern) and his morbid niece Phyllis (Amelia Shankley) are spending a pleasant weekend at the country house of one Michael Herbert (Edward Fox) and his wife Gladys (Rosalind Ayres) when their idyll is broken by the Herbert's cat that brings in a pair of human fingers. Their first instinct is to hide them from the housekeeper before indulging in a nice snack. Then Herbert and Phelps decide to investigate the matter on their own so as not to disturb the police on a weekend ("Wouldn't be decent"). Their investigation, however, is less concerned with finding the killer or justice as it is with keeping the status quo of British comfort and respectability.

Although a strange premiere for a series alternatively known as "Chillers" and "Mistress of Suspense", this entertaining and genuinely funny humoresque works largely due to an excellent script by Douglas Livingstone and the simply superb cast whose deadpan delivery and mannered performances would make Mr Pinter proud. Fox and Hordern are particularly good and their transparently conspiratorial behaviour as they "investigate" made me laugh out loud more than once. Bill Nighy is also excellent as the dead man's former employer who simply can't be bothered with the fact the man is dead.

Very funny and excellently executed even if it isn't bubbling with originality.