Theatre Macabre: Season 1 Episode 12 Markheim

From Television and Film Character Encyclopedia

Markheim considers his life and actions.

Series Index

Theatre Macabre (1971-1972)


Host - Christopher Lee

Antiquarian - Aleksander Bardini

Markheim - Jerzy Kamas

Karolinka - Grazyna Dlugolecka

Karolinka's Boyfriend - Aleksander Iwaniec

Drunk - Jan Tesarz

Character thumbnails with links to profiles

Detailed Synopsis

The Host introduces Robert Louis Stevenson's story, Markheim.

On Christmas Eve, a horse drawn hearse rides past Markheim as he stands outside the shop of an Antiquarian. Markheim enters the store and the Antiquarian tells him that he was about to close. The Antiquarian complains about how commercial Christmas has become and says he never gives anything to anyone as the poor will be unhappy to receive a rich gift and the rich don't need presents. He calls Karolinka over to him and grabs her hand and talks about how lonely he is. She pulls her hand away and the Antiquarian complains about how she would rather sleep with someone young like herself. Before she leaves the Antiquarian asks Karolinka to kiss him and complains that he is still the same person as when he was young on the inside and enjoys the passion of young women. Markheim tells the Antiquarian that he is looking for a present and the Antiquarian offers to sell him a jeweled bracelet. When the Antiquarian has his back turned, Markheim walks up closely behind him. The Antiquarian tells him the price and Markheim tells him he cannot afford it and shows the Antiquarian how much money he has. The Antiquarian offers to sell Markheim a mirror, but Markheim tells him that he doesn't enjoy looking at himself. The Antiquarian looks for other items and opens up a drawer with a revolver in it. Markheim sees a knife and as the Antiquarian's back is turned again, Markheim grabs it and walks over and stabs the Antiquarian to death.

He starts searching the shop for money and finds the revolver and takes it. He enters a room and finds a parrot in a cage. He continues searching the shop and finds a pair of keys. He hears a dog howling and sees it standing near the Antiquarian and stabs it to death. He finds the safe and a Drunk starts banging on the door. The Drunk yells for the shop to be open, but then stumbles away. Markheim goes back into the basement to get the keys and the dog appears above the basement stairs. Markheim shoots at it, but the dog just disappears. He runs back upstairs and sees someone sitting in a chair. The person knows Markheim's name and says they know everything about him. The person asks Markheim if he regrets killing the Antiquarian and Markheim tells him that his death will stay with him forever. Markheim tells him that he murdered the Antiquarian due to his poverty and the person asks Markheim if his poverty is his own fault and that Markheim blames and hates those better than him for his failures when he really hates himself. Markheim goes to kill the person and he sees their face for the first time, which is his own. Someone knocks on the door and Markheim opens it. Karolinka and Karolinka's Boyfriend stare at him and she asks him where the Antiquarian is.

Time reverts to when Markheim was outside the shop and he wonders if what he imagined would have really happened.