Help me identify this (I think) British children's TV show/film
May 22, 2014 2:56 AM   Subscribe

Does anyone remember what I believe was a British children's TV show or film in which at one stage a villainous and possibly alien woman reveals herself to have no thumbs on her hands? She removes a pair of black gloves to reveal it. Possibly in a ruined building or building site. This is a very distinct memory I've carried with me for years without ever working out what it's from.
posted by Kirn to Media & Arts (10 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
You're not thinking of Roald Dahl's "The Witches" are you?
posted by runincircles at 3:11 AM on May 22, 2014 [2 favorites]

Sounds like The Witches to me too, does this clip look right Kirn?
posted by litleozy at 3:17 AM on May 22, 2014

I thought Witches too. They have no toes, and the head witch reveals herself.
posted by catatethebird at 3:53 AM on May 22, 2014

Hmm it could be - it's not like what I'm picturing but maybe it was an image I had from reading the book or mixing it up with something else. The no toes thing is certainly similar. Not sure!
posted by Kirn at 3:59 AM on May 22, 2014

It sounds kind of familiar to me, and I've never seen The Witches.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 5:31 AM on May 22, 2014

Not British but The Dick van Dyke show had an episode where Rob dreams everyone else is an alien with no thumbs. It May Look Like a Walnut
posted by cda at 5:33 AM on May 22, 2014

Cloak & Dagger has a scene where one of the spies (spoiler! it's the kindly old couple) has some fingers missing. YouTube link. Definitely villainous, if not alien. Unfortunately, they are white gloves and that's an American (filmed in San Antonio and Glendale, even--two places I've been!) movie. Still totally memorable and totally terrifying to a then-seven-year-old me. Weirdly, I was just telling Mrs.tranenie about this movie the other night and how much it made an impression on me.

Could it be an older episode of Dr. Who? I haven't seen the earlier stuff but there's loads of interesting, creepy bitlets of WTF in the aliens that the Doctor encounters throughout his career in the more recent episodes.
posted by ostranenie at 6:56 PM on May 22, 2014

cda: thanks but it's not that although the clip is actually pretty creepy! Glad I saw it.

ostranenie: this is much closer to what I'm picturing but I don't think it's it, thank you though. I don't think it's Doctor Who simply because I'm a big Doctor Who geek and I think I would have come across it by now.

Maybe I'll never know! I think the image is actually from the very end of a VHS tape - you know how if you recorded over them they usually wouldn't quite overwrite all the previous recording? So I'd seen it a bunch of times. I guess it's possible it was from something more grown-up in that case, but the no thumbs thing just feels like kids' scares to me.
posted by Kirn at 12:24 AM on May 23, 2014

This brings to mind for me an episode of Tales of the Unexpected called The Man From the South. It's a story about a gambler who tries to get someone to bet on whether a lighter will ignite 10 times in a row. If the gambler wins, the mark has to lose a finger, if the gambler loses the other person wins their car. The unexpected pay off is that the gambler's wife turns up and explains that the gambler has nothing to bet with anymore as she won all his possessions. She then removes a glove and reveals that she has one finger left.

I certainly remember seeing it as a kid and it has that 70s UK TV drama feel that might make you think it's sci-fi/kids.
posted by merocet at 4:17 PM on May 23, 2014

Hmm, doesn't sound familiar merocet although great to hear about all these weird films/episodes. Maybe I could program a missing-finger cinema strand. I'm pretty sure the woman with the hand was revealing that she had never had a thumb - in my memory this was a revelation that she was some kind of alien or monster although I might have misinterpreted this, I'm not sure how old I was when I saw it.
posted by Kirn at 7:29 AM on May 24, 2014

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