Synopsis by Hal Erickson
One of the most successful and influential British TV miniseries of the 1960s, Talking to a Stranger was a Rashomon-like experience written by John Hopkins. A traumatic weekend experience was recalled by four different members of the same family -- daughter, father, son, mother -- each with a radically different perspective; by the time all four tales were told, it was obvious that irreparable emotional damage had been inflicted on the hapless principals. The first of the series' four 90-minute episodes, telecast October 2, 1966 by BBC2, featured the daughter's story, played by a young Judi Dench, who won the BAFTA Best Actress award for her efforts. Subsequent episodes were devoted to the father (Maurice Denham), the son (Michael Bryant), and, finally, on October 23, 1966, the mother (Margery Mason). Talking to a Stranger was restaged for Canadian TV in 1971, starring Budd Knapp (the father), Douglas Rain (Alan), Martha Henry (Terry), Norma Renault (the mother). John Hopkins' teleplay also served as the inspiration for The Offense, a 1973 theatrical feature starring Sean Connery.