The heavy-breathers find a voice
You couldn't, either, argue that this was exactly the film BT would have wanted to make - on the contrary, it provided a perfect example of the difference between "good television" and a good information film. Of the cases in "Telephone Terror" almost all were obscene calls - the one exception being a nasty piece of work tormenting her boyfriend's ex-wife. In other words the documentary left you with the impression that the overwhelming majority of such calls are sexual in nature and male in origin. The truth is rather different - only about 15 per cent of malicious calls are obscene, about a third of them are made by women and the great majority are silent. But silent calls, for understandable reasons, do not make very arresting television.
Certainly not as arresting as a young woman picking up the phone and hearing a man whispering: "I get money by licking men's feet... licking men's feet in front of their girlfriends." "Have you got a juicy fanny?" asked another furtive voice, ringing a Kentucky Fried Chicken outlet. "Oh...hi," said the woman who'd picked up the phone, as routinely as if she had just been asked about that week's menu specials. You saw these things because Inside Story had attached video cameras to the phones in question, so they could stare at the victim as the calls came in. This undeniably voyeuristic device delivered the film's greatest coup - the story of Kym Ogilvie, a woman who had been receiving increasingly menacing obscene calls.
She had been assured that it is very rare for nuisance callers to act out their threats but she fell on the wrong side of the statistical divide. She was first attacked in her garden and then abducted while on a routine shopping expedition. Her persecutor bound, gagged and sexually assaulted her. On screen you saw her frantic partner, talking to the police and, at last, receiving a call from the bemused farmer to whom she had staggered for help. It was television which froze you in your seat - a raw depiction of the terror such crimes cause. It was also, in the grim way of these things, an astonishing stroke of luck for the film-makers. On the soundtrack Hubicka's comforting tones insisted on the extreme rarity of such cases but that was just words - the distant burble of facts. The unforgettable pictures, and the structure of the programme, told quite another story - that this is how such calls conclude.
TVBBC hopes latest Danish import will spell success
tvU2’s latest record has been accused of promoting sex between men
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Which country would be hardest to invade?
- 2 The man who filmed the Freddie Gray video has been arrested at gunpoint
- 3 Royal baby girl born: Duchess of Cambridge's second child will be a princess thanks to Queen
- 4 Uploading pictures to find out how old you are gives Microsoft the right to post them wherever they want
- 5 Teen suffers embarrassing wardrobe malfunction in front of deputy PM
Daredevil, Netflix, TV review: Marvel wins first fight in bid for television domination with Charlie Cox's superhero vigilante
London art exhibition features portrait of Iraqi migrant shot dead in Iraq after being refused UK asylum
Grace Dent on TV: Peter Kay's Car Share made me genuinely LOL
Fifty Shades of Grey movie shows first sex scene 'after 40 minutes'
London Marathon: Best running songs from Beyoncé and Kendrick Lamar to 'Uptown Funk'
Over 50,000 families shipped out of London boroughs in the past three years due to welfare cuts and soaring rents
EU asylum policy is 'a direct threat to our civilisation', says Nigel Farage
Indonesia executions live: 'Hysterical' families heard prisoners being shot dead by firing squad
General Election 2015: SNP and its activists 'openly racist' towards the English, Farage says
EU exit would hit UK economy much harder than neighbouring countries, study finds
General Election 2015: UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power, Labour warns