Even considering the age of this episode I couldn’t possibly imagine spoiling how wonderful the plot of this episode is. I will do the barest job possible.
Michael Kitchen plays Curry a blustering government animal inspector (I’m not sure how the UK works on that sort of thing) who is dealing with a slippery importer. When examining the man’s logs, he finds something curious, timber wolves going to a rather ordinary neighborhood pet shop. Confident of the man’s bookkeeping chicanery, he visits the shop as a formality only to find out that the wolves HAVE actually been going here.
As it turns out the older woman behind the counter is taking care of her brilliant, but abusive scientist father. He is convinced that man’s evolution at one point included canine ancestors…wolves to be more precise, and with a little prodding lycanthrophy can be induced through science. After decades of experimenting it is almost over. And he’s ready to teach our presumptuous government official a lesson.
Patrick Magee dominates the screen as Leo Raymount, a man who has spent his life on only one thing, and it wasn’t his family. Madge Ryan has what I think is the most powerful role and performance as the daughter who surrenders her life for her father’s work, even though she hasn’t the ability to understand what it is. And Kneale creates a scenario much crueler than a werewolf ripping someone to shreds.
Saying anything else would be criminal, but this episode, more than any of others has Kneale understanding what the audiences expects, and has seen before, and toying with them.