Don't have nightmares
October 31, 2011 9:21 AM   Subscribe

The Nightmare Man was a four part BBC sf/horror drama about some... thing slaughtering the inhabitants of a remote Scottish island.

It was broadcast just once in the early 80s, terrorising a generation and did not appear again until a DVD release many years later. In its absence it had become a bit of a mini-legend, helped by the fact it was directed by Douglas Camfield and adapted by Robert Holmes (from the novel Child of Vodyanoi by David Wiltshire), both Doctor Who stalwarts. Naturally you can now watch the whole thing on the internet... if you dare!

Episode 1 (1,2,3)
Episode 2 (1,2,3)
Episode 3 (1,2,3)
Episode 4 (1,2,3)
posted by fearfulsymmetry (13 comments total) 33 users marked this as a favorite
I've never seen it. I think, TBH, the generic title made me assume it was a set of one shot horror stories and also a bit naff. But if it's Ghostwatch grade nightmare fuel then I'll have to give it a go.

I wonder if "Vodyanoi" is a bit of a giveaway. Glub glub.
posted by Artw at 9:36 AM on October 31, 2011

So, this is like the Old Greg episode of The Mighty Boosh, except its serious? Sounds fun.
posted by dortmunder at 9:50 AM on October 31, 2011

At the time, and as a kid, it was utterly terrifying (a playground legend!)... and bar the odd naff bit due to budget constraints I still think it holds up pretty well today.

Odd aside, I once saw Maurice Roëves at my local train station... good job it happened during the Nightmare unavailable years and I'd forgotten he was in it, as I would probably call out 'Inspector Inskip!' and totally embarrass myself if I saw him now...
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 9:51 AM on October 31, 2011

Previous halloween
posted by Artw at 9:52 AM on October 31, 2011

Might fire up the witch story from Beasts tonight...
posted by Artw at 9:53 AM on October 31, 2011

This is great. So far I'm getting tiny hints of The Wicker Man crossed with Take The High Road and some early 80s Who effects. Also, Celia Imrie! (obligatory SLYT link to Acorn Antiques).
posted by frogbit at 9:54 AM on October 31, 2011

Oooh, Bob Holmes! Easily Doctor Who's best writer, ever (and writer of the best episode ever). Will definitely watch this.
posted by orrnyereg at 10:30 AM on October 31, 2011 [1 favorite]

Artw: "generic title made me assume it was a... bit naff."

Knowing that 1970-80s Doctor Who folks were involved, generic -- or just flat out stupid -- titles is something one would expect.

From just Robert Holmes, off the top of my head, we have:
"The Deadly Assassin"
"The Mysterious Planet"
"The Ultimate Foe"

Other 'winners' include "The Web of Fear", "The Mind of Evil", and "[Anything] of the Daleks" where [Anything] rarely relates specifically to the story being titled (the exception being "Genesis of the Daleks" because calling it anything different would be as ridiculous as all the other titles are.)

And don't even get me started on "Doctor Who and the Silurians" which, before you cam even start to judge its worth as a good or bad title, is wrong in at least 3 ways, which is really quite impressive for just 5 words.

Derail over, this is maybe the perfect Halloween post and I thank you for it.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 11:28 AM on October 31, 2011

Oh, I'm very big on the "Doctor Who and the [Noun][Verb] of the [noun]" style of title.
posted by Artw at 11:29 AM on October 31, 2011

Scared the living shit out of me when I was a kid. That and theOmega Factor.
posted by reynir at 11:40 AM on October 31, 2011

Which was scary because IT ATE SPACES BETWEEN WORDS, obviously.
posted by reynir at 11:40 AM on October 31, 2011

One point worth noting is that I'm always glad to see that the Scottish constabulary is entirely fuelled by whisky.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 4:20 PM on October 31, 2011

Super awesome. fearfulsymetry, I was struck as well by the constant swilling of booze throughout the whole thing, that and the smoking. I feel like I don't even remember growing up during the 70s and 80s; how much drinking and smoking was still a part of the acceptable culture.

I have to say I was a little disappointed that it was just an 80s cold war fantasy and not more creepy in the end.
posted by Belle O'Cosity at 5:11 PM on November 1, 2011

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