Long standing hammer actor Peter Cushing was brought in to play Martin Blueck, a seemingly kind and aging pet shop owner who offers a job to recently released ex-convict Chuck (Brian Cox), but Blueck isn't as generous as he seems and has more sinister reasons for employing his services.
Behind the quiet pet shop front Blueck keeps a range of wild animals including tigers and panthers that he has trained to stay inside open cages. Through the use of an electric force field across the open cage, and bells at feeding time, Blueck has taught the animals to know when it is safe to leave the cage and when to return. The electric isolators loudly buzz when the force field is operational.
Blueck lays a devious plan to use Chuck as his human experiment to see if he can subject a human to the same tests and train a human being as he has the animals, for Blueck was a Nazi doctor in the second world war.
Chuck takes Bluecks bait and literally falls into his trap. Chucks concerned wife Annie comes looking for him and nearly manages to release her husband from his new prison but Blueck can't believe his luck when he captures her too.
Over a long period of time the couple are subjected to Bluecks experiment. The constant buzzing from the force field and feeding bells drive the couple to the brink of madness but they eventually think that they haved discovered a flaw in the operation of the force field and manage to escape and return to what they think is the apparent safety of their isolated home. But before returning home, Chuck decides to pay Blueck a vist. He enters the rear of the pet shop to find Blueck about to be attacked by a panther that has escaped from its cage. Blueck pleeds with Chuck to help him, but Blueck, whilst trying to avoid being attacked by the panther, falls into the prison below him. Chuck leaves.
But unbeknown to them, Blueck has rigged up their house with the same form of electric force field and had infact allowed them to escape. When they return home and close the door, the same annoying buzzing sound echos round the kitchen. Now Blueck in his own self made prison and Chuck and his wife in their isolated house are trapped with no-one to hear their Silent Scream.
25th October 1980 (UK ITV)
Production information for The Silent Scream
The building used as the pet shop was along Broad Street/Berkhampsted Road in Chesham, Buckinghamshire
When Chuck and his wife go to the supermarket, this was filmed outside what was the VG at the Park Parade shops at Cosy Corner, Hazlemere.
Chuck and Annie's isolated house has finally been located thanks to the great detective work of Tinker and Joe on the forum. The house is in Little Marlow