Written by Stephen Gallagher, Glen Chandler, Antony Horowitz
Produced by Lawrence Gordon Clark
Directed by Lawrence Gordon Clark, Bob Maloney, Rob Walker
Starring Nigel Havers, Sophie Ward, Tony Haygarth, Martin Clunes, Serena Gordon, Phyllis Logan, John Simm, Peter Egan, Miles Anderson, Maggie O’Neill, Don Warrington, Kevin McNally, Lorraine Ashbourne

 

Chiller 2Chiller is a five-part British horror fantasy anthology television series, produced by Yorkshire Television, that first broadcast on ITV on 9 March 1995.[1] Described by The Guardian as ITV's "answer to The X Files",[2] the series was inspired by, but unconnected to, the 1991 Channel 4 thriller Gray Cray Dolls, which broadcast under the Chiller banner, the series featured writing contributions from renowned playwrights Stephen Gallagher, Glenn Chandler and Anthony Horowitz.[1]

With John Simm, Martin Clunes, Phyllis Logan, Sophie Ward, Nigel Havers and Kevin McNally featuring among its combined casts, and novelists and screenwriters Anthony Horowitz (Foyle’s War) and Stephen Gallagher (Bugs, Murder Rooms) among the writers, this acclaimed five-part contemporary horror/fantasy anthology could not be anything other than compelling viewing. Chiller also features the direction and production talents of Lawrence Gordon Clark – best known for his direction of the BBC’s classic Ghost Story for Christmas thread during the early 1970s. This set contains the complete series, originally screened in 1995.

Each story involves, to some extent, a supernatural element; and also a number of leading British actors, including the likes of Nigel Havers, Martin Clunes, John Simm, Peter Egan and Kevin McNally.[1] Lawrence Gordon Clark, a former showrunner for the BBC's Ghost Story for Christmas, acts as executive producer, alongside David Reynolds and Peter Lover.[3] The series' opening episode, Prophecy, was adapted from a story by novelist Peter James.[3] The complete series of Chiller was released on Region 2 DVD via Network Distributing on 1 July 2013.[4] Shout! Factory, copyright holders of the series, uploaded all five episodes to YouTube on 31 October 2018 as part of their Halloween celebrations.[5]

Reception

George Bass, writing for The Guardian wrote; "Chiller is worth it for Toby alone, but the other four stories will spook you out too. Martin Clunes appears an overworked and sceptical professional; such characters recur, particularly in opener The Prophecy. We watch as death catches up with a circle of college friends, only one of whom (a young Sophie Ward) was smart enough to see that there may be trouble ahead after a ouija board delivers the verdict death/death/death."[2]

Chiller 1He continued; "It’s a tale that bears astonishing similarities to the Final Destination film franchise. Then there are the blinkered sceptics standing firm against overwhelming evidence, and contrived deaths galore. Chiller is reminder of a time when networks weren’t afraid of giving horror writers free rein. It also features John Simm as a seriously ill young man, delivering the line: “If it wasn’t for the murders, and all the psychiatric problems, and me breaking into your house and bringing you here, and everything, do you think you could’ve taken to me at all?”[2]

In a review of Prophecy, critic David Howe praised the serial as "...the tale of eerie coincidence and death rattled along at a tremendous pace, leaving the viewer breathless. At the end of it, I found myself wondering whether I had just watched a 90 minute film, rather than a 50 minute drama, such was the amount of characterisation and plot that Gallagher managed to cram in."