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Omnibus: Whistle and I'll Come to You


We have produced a Style Guide to help editors follow a standard format when editing a listing. If you are unsure how best to edit this programme please take a moment to read it.
Omnibus presenting Michael Hordern in Jonathan Miller's adaptation of the famous ghost story by M. R. James.

[Photo caption] Michael Hordern as a professor who discovers the dangers of playing with superstition - Whistle and I'll Come to You

Jonathan Miller writes: "Film subjects usually occur to me without much warning. One evening last autumn I was watching John Betjeman on Take It or Leave It. He was talking about the ghost stories of M.R. James and I was reminded of the grisliest of them all - Whistle and I'll Come to You. I knew that this would have to be my next film for the BBC. The story is familiar to most people who enjoy tales of the supernatural - the winter holiday on the Norfolk coast, the mysterious whistle discovered in the sand, the horrible animations of the bedclothes.
Strangely enough ghost stories were only a sideline for James. One after the other he was Provost of King's College, Cambridge, and Eton. He was a Medieval and Classical Archaeologist of enormous distinction. He had a prodigious memory and a standard of scholarship which became a myth in his own lifetime.
The stories are full of strange academics and in Whistle and I'll Come to You he illustrates the horrifying punishments that lie in store for those who put too much trust in the intellect. It is a story of academic solitude and of the dangerous forces that lie beneath the surface of reason and scholarship.
With a story as famous as this it is obviously impossible to satisfy everyone's expectations, but I have adapted it very freely since most of James's original dialogue is ludicrously stilted."


Author: M.R. James
Adapted by/Producer: Jonathan Miller
Professor: Michael Hordern
Colonel: Ambrose Coghill
Hotel proprietor: George Woodbridge
Proprietress: Nora Gordon
Maid: Freda Dowie

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Omnibus: Whistle and I'll Come to You

BBC One London, 7 May 1968 22.25

Blog posts that mention this programme:

A taste of the scary 31 October 2015
The Sunday Post: The history of Arts 4 October 2015

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