Thriller (1960–1962)
7 user 4 critic

The Incredible Doktor Markesan 

Penniless Fred Bancroft, along with his new wife Molly, visits a sinister uncle he hasn't seen in years in hopes of living rent-free in his musty, decaying mansion.


Robert Florey


August Derleth (story), Donald S. Sanford (adaptation) | 1 more credit »


Add Image Add an image

Do you have any images for this title?



Episode cast overview:
Boris Karloff ... Himself / Dr. Konrad Markesan
Dick York ... Fred Bancroft
Carolyn Kearney ... Molly Bancroft
Richard Hale ... Prof. Everett Latimore
Henry Hunter Henry Hunter ... Prof. Angus Holden
Basil Howes ... Prof. Charing
Billy Beck ... Prof. Grant


Fred and Molly Bancroft, a pair of penniless newlyweds, are so desperate that they visit Fred's mysterious uncle Konrad Markesan, whom he hasn't seen in over twenty years. They are hoping to live in with him rent free until they can find jobs and be self-sufficient. The once-beautiful mansion is in a decrepitly musty state, filled with dust, cobwebs, and rats while Fred's once-kindly uncle is now a disheveled, cadaver-like figure who offers them shelter on condition that they never leave their room after dark, a condition that Markesan insures by locking them in at night. Written by (

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis



Release Date:

26 February 1962 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Did You Know?


The twilight of his illustrious career saw Boris Karloff come full circle, as THRILLER was filmed at his longtime home studio Universal; the house seen in this entry is the same one where Lon Chaney's Kharis perished in the fiery finale of 1942's THE MUMMY'S TOMB. See more »


Fred leaves his wife after midnight in order to visit Professor Holden at the university. Against all logic, the Professor is found working diligently in his office. See more »


Boris Karloff: Above all, do not seek me out or disturb me for any reason whatever.
Fred Bancroft: Whatever you say, sir.
Boris Karloff: [Pausing by the door before he leaves] One more condition, and this is vital - I don't care to have you venture forth at night. You must either stay in these rooms from dusk until dawn or leave the house entirely for the night. You understand?
[He exits and closes the door]
See more »

Crazy Credits

Professor Latimore's name is spelled "Latimer" in the end credits. See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Raising The Dead
6 October 2010 | by telegonusSee all my reviews

If there's a lesson to be learned in this Thriller, it's the old "do as I say, not as I do", which is stated (somewhat differently) by the elderly, dessicated looking Dr. Konrad Markesan when his nephew, accompanied by his wife turn up broke at his door looking for a place to stay. That this wholesome young All-American couple would consent to spend the night in such a gloomy, dusty, filthy, neglected, ramshackle house strains credulity from the outset, but, as host (and star of this episode) Boris Karloff was fond of saying, "this is a thriller",--so put on your seat-belts and get ready for a wild ride.

What follows is, as one might expect, a tale of terror, more straightforward than most entries in the series in that it has almost no padding to speak of. It's about what happens when a young couple disobeys the order of their host and venture outside their room at night. They get much more than they bargained for, as uncle Konrad is not only up to no good, he's literally raising the dead. Adapted from a story by August Derleth and Mark Schorer, the episode itself is not particularly well written, and there's little in the way of characterization, but this is a horror story, not a character study. The art direction is superb, worthy of a feature film, and while I doubt that Chas Addams was technical adviser on the show, he may as well have been. The decaying Markesan house somewhat resembles an Addams cartoon, only without the funny stuff.

The director was Hollywood veteran Robert Florey, and he handled his chores brilliantly. From a purely technical standpoint, the episode is flawless. It should therefore come as no surprise that Florey had, fifteen years earlier directed the cult horror film The Beast With Five Fingers, and that fifteen years before that made Murders In the Rue Morgue. Most of Florey's work in films was at the B level, but occasionally he was handed an A assignment. One such came early in his career when Universal gave him the splendid opportunity to direct the first sound version of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein. Bela Lugosi, fresh from his triumph as Dracula earlier the same year, was slated to play the monster. Lugosi was made up as the monster, Florey had some scenes storyboarded, filming was ready to begin, then problems arose.

There are many different versions of what occurred but the end result was that Lugosi, who didn't want a non-speaking part, never wanted play the monster in the first place, was gone, and Florey was yanked off the project. He was replaced by English director James Whale, who, after some shopping around for the right actor to play the monster, chose an obscure British character man named Boris Karloff, and the rest is history. Fast forward thirty years, Karloff, a by now a horror icon of long standing, is set to star in an episode of a TV series he's hosting in which he plays a doctor who resurrects the dead,--shades of Frankenstein here--and whether by luck or design the man chosen to direct the episode is none other than the man who had been assigned to direct the 1931 Frankenstein in the first place. This was the first and only time Robert Florey directed Boris Karloff, by which time the actor was a veteran at playing mad doctors and monsters, who now gets a chance to play a mad doctor who is a monster. So it all comes together in the end: Florey and Karloff working together on the Universal back lot.

To get back on track here: this one's a pip. It moves at a good place, the actors all do good work, with Karloff in particular in fine form. The ending is not what one might expect, runs counter to what was the norm at the time, and should even today provide quite a jolt for a newbie unaccustomed to Gothic black and white horrors.

20 of 21 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 7 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Tony Shalhoub and Alex Borstein: Happy to Win Together

"The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel" stars Tony Shalhoub and Alex Borstein discuss their wins, their characters' similarities, and what's changed in the 13 years since Tony last won an Emmy.

Watch now

Stream Popular Action and Adventure Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular action and adventure titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial

Recently Viewed