Monday, 7 November 2016

Donald Pleasence as Carnacki

For those who don't know, Donald Pleasence (1919-95) was a British actor whose career spanned several decades and who appeared in a wide range of films and TV shows. One of his first major roles was as Syme, the Newspeak expert, in Nigel Kneale's BBC adaptation of Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four. In the Sixties Pleasence played Blofeld opposite Sean Connery's James Bond in You Only Live Twice. But he was best known for horror movie roles, such as Dr. Sam Loomis in the Halloween series.

Anyway, here he is in a British TV adaptation of one of William Hope Hodgson's Carnacki stories, 'The Horse of the Invisible'. It's part of a fascinating series of stand-alone dramas entitled The Rivals of Sherlock Homes. Like most supernatural drama of the period it's long on acting talent and short on visual effects, and some may find the conclusion a tad risible. But I think it's worth it to see a fine actor bring his talents to the role of a major figure in weird fiction.

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