Terror of the Autons

Doctor WhoAs the Doctor begins investigating the theft of the last remaining Nestene energy sphere (left behind in the previous Auton invasion) and the disappearance of a radio astronomer, a Time Lord appears and warns him that the Master – the Doctor’s arch rival Time Lord – has come to Earth. The Doctor deduces that the Master’s plan is to reawaken the Nestene Consciousness, giving it the opportunity to invade Earth once more. The Master has already set up production of the lethal plastic Autons at a nearby plastic factory – and knows exactly how he wants to rid the universe of the human race…and the Doctor.

Season 8 Regular Cast: Jon Pertwee (The Doctor), Roger Delgado (The Master), Katy Manning (Jo Grant), Nicholas Courtney (Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart)

written by Robert Holmes
directed by Barry Letts
music by Dudley Simpson

Guest Cast: John Levene (Sergeant Benton), Richard Franklin (Captain Yates), John Baskcomb (Rossini), Dave Carter (Museum Attendant), Christopher Burgess (Professor Phillips), Andrew Staine (Goodge), Frank Mills (Radiotelescope Director), David Garth (Time Lord), Michael Wisher (Rex Farrel), Harry Towb (McDermott), Barbara Leake (Mrs. Farrel), Stephen Jack (Rex Farrel Sr.), Roy Stewart (Strong Man), Terry Walsh, Pat Gorman (Autons), Haydn Jones (Auton voice), Dermot Tuohy (Brownrose), Norman Stanley (Telephone Man)

Broadcast from January 2 through January 23, 1971

LogBook entry & review by Earl Green Read More

Make Me Laugh / Clean Kills and Other Trophies

Night GalleryMake Me Laugh: Jackie Slater, a struggling comedian, is dying to make his audiences laugh…but he consistently bombs on stage. A mysterious man claiming to be a miracle-performing guru offers to work wonders for Jackie: anything Jackie says will bring his audiences to nearly uncontrollable laughter. While this boosts Jackie’s career to incredible heights, he finds it to be a hollow victory. He decides to leave comedy and take up dramatic acting, but his attempts at pathos only bring about more laughter. Can he ever again bring someone to tears?

Download this episode via Amazonwritten by Rod Serling
directed by Steven Spielberg
music by Robert Prince / series theme by Gil Melle

Cast: Godfrey Cambridge (Jackie Slater), Tom Bosley (Jules Kettleman), Jackie Vernon (Chatterje), Al Lewis (Mishkin), Sidney Clute (David Garrick), John J. Fox (Heckler), Gene R. Kearney (2nd Bartender), Tony Russel (Director), Sonny Klein (1st Bartender), Michael Hart (Miss Wilson), Georgia Schmidt (Flower Lady), Sid Rushakoff (1st Laugher), Don Melvoin (2nd Laugher)

Night GalleryNotes: Steven Spielberg returns, racking up his third professional television directing credit (his second was a segment of the Night Gallery pilot movie in late 1969). By the end of 1971, he would go on to direct episodes of such series as The Name Of The Game, The Psychiatrist, Columbo, and Owen Marshall, Counselor At Law, ending the year with his first TV movie directing credit, Duel. Within three years, Spielberg was a movie director and no longer a TV director. Tom Bosley, of Happy Days fame, makes his second Night Gallery appearance here, having also appeared in Night Gallery’s pilot movie.

Clean Kills and Other Trophies: Obsessive big-game hunter Colonel Archie Dittman is unable to keep himself from expressing his disappointment that his son, now 21, does not share his preoccupation with hunting. He threatens to leave his son out of the will unless he can kill a deer. Dittman’s lawyer is aghast, immediately recommending that the junior Dittman take legal action against his father. The day of the hunt comes and goes without a kill…or at least without a death in the animal kingdom.

Night Gallerywritten by Rod Serling
directed by Walter Doniger
music by Robert Prince

Cast: Raymond Massey (Colonel Archie Dittman), Tom Troupe (Jeffrey Pierce), Barry Brown (Archie Dittman Jr.), Herbert Jefferson Jr. (Tom Mboya)

Notes: Herbert Jefferson Jr. would go on to numerous guest starring roles in the 1970s before landing a regular role in Battlestar Galactica.

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Pamela’s Voice / Lone Survivor / The Doll

Night GalleryPamela’s Voice: After five tumultuous years of marriage, Jonathan ends his marriage, not with a divorce, but by pushing his wife, Pamela, down a flight of stairs, killing her. Her ghost still taunts him, however. He can see her, and then he can hear her. And he can’t get away from her. As she rants at him seemingly endlessly, it’s as if she was still alive, and to Jonathan, death is looking like it might be a pretty good deal…or maybe that’s his problem.

Download this episode via Amazonwritten by Rod Serling
directed by Richard Benedict
music by Robert Prince / series theme by Gil Melle

Cast: Phyllis Diller (Pamela), John Astin (Jonathan)

Lone Survivor: An oceangoing ship pulls alongside a lifeboat that seems to bear the name Titanic. One survivor is recovered from the boat, wearing women’s clothing and wondering if it’s 1912…only to be told that it’s 1915, and he’s aboard the Lusitania. He predicts the ship’s doom – it will be sunk by a German torpedo – but no one listens, especially when he claims to be a Flying Dutchman doomed to repeat an eternity of shipwrecks. The Lusitania’s crew steers the ship into the crosshairs of history. An oceangoing ship pulls alongside a lifeboat that seems to be the name Lusitania. One survivor is recovered from the boat, and learns that he’s aboard the Andrea Dorea

Night Gallerywritten by Rod Serling
directed by Gene Levitt
music by Robert Prince

Cast: John Colicos (Survivor), Torin Thatcher (Captain, Lusitania), Hedley Mattingly (Doctor, Lusitania), Charles Davis (Officer of the Watch, Lusitania), Brendan Dillon (Quartermaster, Lusitania), William Beckley (Richards, Lusitania), Terence Pushman (Helmsman, Lusitania), Edward Colmans (Captain, Andrea Dorea), Pierre Jalbert (Officer of the Watch, Andrea Dorea), Carl Milletaire (Quartermaster, Andrea Dorea)

Notes: Canadian actor John Colicos (1928-2000) is a genre favorite, probably best known for his appearances as Count Baltar in the original 1970s version of Battlestar Galactica and in episodes of both classic Star Trek and Deep Space Nine as Klingon warrior Kor. He also appeared in Mission: Impossible, The Six Million Dollar Man, The Starlost, Wonder Woman, and was the voice of Apocalypse in the early ’90s animated X-Men Series.

The Doll: A retired British colonel looks after his niece with the help of Miss Danton, and both are disturbed when the girl begins telling them that a doll found among the colonel’s personal effects by Miss Danton is not only talking, but is making threats toward other dolls. The colonel never intended for the doll to be given to her, and must now contend with an escalating series of disquieting events, including the dismemberment of another of his niece’s dolls. This doll is linked to a dark chapter in the colonel’s colonial past, and its awakening may leave them all with no future.

Night Galleryteleplay by Rod Serling
based upon the short story by Algernon Blackwood
directed by Rudi Dorn
music by Robert Prince

Cast: Shani Wallis (Miss Danton), John Williams (Colonel Hymber Masters), Henry Silva (Pandit Chola), Than Wyenn (Indian), Jewel Blanch (Monica), John Barclay (Butler)

LogBook entry by Earl Green

They’re Tearing Down Tim Riley’s Bar / The Last Laurel

Night GalleryThey’re Tearing Down Tim Riley’s Bar: Randy Lane, a former hotshot salesman, crowds his day planner with “outside” sales pitches…which are usually spent in one local bar or another, but his favorite has always been Tim Riley’s, which is now scheduled, along with other older buildings in its block, for demolition to make way for a new bank. When he passes the boarded-up bar, it seems like he steps into the past – old friends are there, and the old times are back…and then it fades. The police respond when Randy breaks into Tim Riley’s now-empty bar, adding a rap sheet to his already shaky record at work. Can he shake off the ghosts of his past and return to his present before it’s too late?

Download this episode via Amazonwritten by Rod Serling
directed by Don Taylor
music by Benny Carter / series theme by Gil Melle

Night GalleryCast: William Windom (Randy Lane), Diane Baker (Lynn Alcott), Bert Convy (Harvey Doane), John Randolph (H.E. Pritkin), Henry Beckman (The Policeman), David Astor (Blodgett), Robert Herrman (Tim Riley), Gene O’Donnell (Bartender), Frederic Downs (Father), John Ragin (1st Policeman), David M. Frank (Intern), Susannah Darrow (Kathy Lane), Mary Gail Hobbs (Miss Trevor), Margie Hall (Switchboard Operator), Don Melvoin (1st Workman), Matt Pelto (2nd Workman)

The Last Laurel: Marius Davis, coping with a recent crippling accident, obsesses over his paranoid belief that his wife has embarked on an affair with Davis’ doctor. By sheer force of will, Davis is able to conjure up an astral form that has touch and mobility, and he plans to eliminate his worst enemy in cold blood. But who is truly his worst enemy?

Night Galleryteleplay by Rod Serling
based upon the short story “The Horsehair Trunk” by Davis Grubb
directed by Daryl Duke
music by Benny Carter

Cast: Jack Cassidy (Marius Davis), Martine Beswick (Susan Davis), Martin E. Brooks (Doctor Armstrong)

LogBook entry by Earl Green

The Mind of Evil

Doctor WhoThe Doctor and Jo pay a visit to Stangmoor Prison to witness a test of a revolutionary new device that promises to reform criminals permanently by entirely extracting the evil impulses from their brains. But in this case, the test subject – a hardened convict named Barnham – is not only relieved of the darkness in his mind, but most of his mind’s contents as well, rendering him mentally childlike. Not long afterward, Professor Kettering, checking the machine to find out why it overreacted so harshly, dies mysteriously. The Doctor becomes increasingly suspicious and decides to close off the room and check the Keller device himself…only to realize – too late – that it’s an alien life form that feeds on fear, that his arch enemy is behind its presence on Earth, and that the device is only a small part of a much larger plan to plunge the world into chaos.

written by Don Houghton
directed by Timothy Combe
music by Dudley Simpson

Guest Cast: John Levene (Sergeant Benton), Richard Franklin (Captain Yates), Eric Mason (Green), Roy Purcell (Powers), Raymond Westwell (Governor), Simon Lack (Professor Kettering), Michael Sheard (Dr. Summers), Bill Matthews, Barry Wade, Dave Carter, Martin Gordon, Leslie Weekes, Tony Jenkins, Les Conrad, Les Clark, Gordon Stothard, Richard Atherton (Officers), Neil McCarthy (Barnham), Clive Scott (Linwood), Fernanda Marlowe (Corporal Bell), Pik-Sen Lim (Chin Lee), Kristopher Kum (Fu Peng), Haydn Jones (Vosper), William Marlowe (Mailer), Tommy Duggan (Alcott), David Calderisi (Charlie), Patrick Godfrey (Cosworth), Johnny Barrs (Fuller), Matthew Walters (Prisoner), Paul Blomley (Police Superintendent), Maureen Race (Student), Nick Hobbs (American aide), Billy Horrigan (UNIT corporal), Peter Roy (Policeman), Michael Ely (UNIT chauffeur), Francise Williams (African delegate/Master’s chauffeur), Laurence Harrington (Voices), Paul Tann (Chinese aide), Jim Delaney (Passer-by), Charles Saynor (Commissionaire), Basil Tang (Chinese chauffeur), Richard Atherton (Police Inspector)

Broadcast from January 30 through March 6, 1971

LogBook entry & review by Earl Green Read More

The Claws of Axos

Doctor WhoFreak weather conditions mark the arrival of an unidentified flying object which lands near a power station. The Doctor, Jo and UNIT enter the ship, with an officious bureaucrat named Chinn in tow, finding that the ship’s organic nature is closely tied to its inhabitants, the Axons. Though they can appear in humanoid form, the Axons’ true shape is an amorphous blob of tentacles – and they have a passenger on board: the Master. The Axons strike up a bargain with Chinn for Britain to serve as the worldwide distribution hub for Axonite, a miraculous substance the Axons are only too happy to provide freely as a gift of peace in all good faith. The Doctor discovers, only too late, that Axonite is a Trojan horse from space – and it will allow the Axons to feed on Earth’s resources until the planet is drained.

written by Bob Baker & Dave Martin
directed by Michael Ferguson
music by Dudley Simpson

Guest Cast: John Levene (Sergeant Benton), Richard Franklin (Captain Yates), Peter Bathurst (Chinn), Michael Walker, David G. March (Radar Operators), Paul Grist (Bill Filer), Fernanda Marlowe (Corporal Bell), Derek Ware (Pigbin Josh), Donald Hewlett (Sir George Hardiman), David Saville (Winser), Bernard Holley (Axon man / voice of Axos), Kenneth Benda (Minister), Tim Piggott-Smith (Harker), Nick Hobbs (Driver), Royston Farrell (Technician), Patricia Gordino (Axon woman), Debbie Lee London (Axon girl), Roger Minnice, Geoff Righty, Steve King, David Aldridge (Humanoid Axons), Gloria Walker (Secretary/Nurse), Clinton Morris (Corporal), Peter Holmes, Steve Smart, Marc Boyle (Axon monsters)

Original title: The Vampire From Space

Broadcast from March 13 through April 3, 1971

LogBook entry & review by Earl Green Read More

Colony in Space

Doctor WhoThe Doctor is startled when his latest work on the TARDIS seems to have some measurable results – it suddenly whisks them away to an alien planet several centuries in Earth’s future where a small group of determined settlers are engaged in an ongoing battle with an unscrupulous mining company for the rights to the land, and the native population are fighting both parties for their very survival. The Doctor quickly learns that the IMC miners are willing to use any and all means at their disposal to solidify their claim to this world, and the miners’ solution to this problem is to call an Adjudicator from Earth to arbitrate the dispute. But two major problems crop up: the “Adjudicator” is, in fact, the Master – and the primitives of Exarius aren’t quite as primitive as they seem, since they’re sitting on a weapon that could turn the entire planet into a charred cinder.

written by Malcolm Hulke
directed by Michael Briant
music by Dudley Simpson

Guest Cast: Peter Forbes-Robertson, John Baker, Graham Leaman (Time Lords), John Scott Martin (Robot), David Webb (Leeson), Sheila Grant (Jane), John Line (Martin), John Ringham (Ashe), Mitzi Webster (Mrs. Martin), Nicholas Pennell (Winton), Helen Worth (Mary Ashe), Roy Skelton (Norton), Pat Gorman (Primitive), Bernard Kay (Caldwell), Morris Perry (Dent), Tony Caunter (Morgan), John Herrington (Holden), Stanley McGeagh (Allen), Pat Gorman (Long), Roy Heymann (Alien Priest), John Tordoff (Leeson), Norman Atkyns (Guardian), Stanley Mason, Antonia Moss (Alien priests)

Broadcast from April 10 through May 15, 1971

LogBook entry & review by Earl Green Read More

The Daemons

Doctor WhoA live television broadcast from an archaeological dig at Devil’s End – which Dr. Reeves plans to excavate at midnight – draws the interest of the villagers and of U.N.I.T., though the Doctor is unconvinced that there is any supernatural significance to these events until a local woman, claiming to be a white witch, interrupts the broadcast to protest the dig. Miss Hawthorne believes that the dig could unearth the devil himself. The Doctor and Jo rush to Devil’s End, arriving just as Dr. Reeves opens the barrow – and brings it crashing down on everyone inside. When the Doctor recovers, all hell has quite literally broken loose in the village, thanks to the new vicar – the Master in disguise – who is calling upon the powers of what most people could only describe as the devil.

written by Guy Leopold (a.k.a. Barry Letts & Robert Sloman)
directed by Christopher Barry
music by Dudley Simpson

Guest Cast: John Levene (Sergeant Benton), Richard Franklin (Captain Yates), Damaris Hayman (Miss Hawthrone), Eric Hillyard (Dr. Reeves), David Simeon (Alastair Fergus), James Snell (Harry), Robin Wentworth (Professor Horner), Rollo Gamble (Winstanley), Don McKillop (Bert), John Croft (Tom Girton), Christopher Wray (Groom), Jon Joyce (Garvin), Gerald Taylor (Baker’s man), Stanley Mason (Bok), Alec Linstead (Osgood), John Owens (Thorpe), Stephen Thorne (Azal), Matthew Corbett (Jones), Robin Squire (TV cameraman), Patrick Milner (Corporal)

Broadcast from May 22 through June 19, 1971

LogBook entry & review by Earl Green Read More

Escape From The Planet Of The Apes

Planet Of The ApesWith the danger of an imminent war looming ahead, Cornelius, Dr. Zira and Dr. Milo make their way back to Taylor’s spacecraft and coax it into orbit – just in time to witness the destruction of Earth by the mutants’ holy bomb. This also causes their ship to spiral out of control back through time, reversing the time anomaly that brought Taylor and Brent’s ships to the ape-dominated Earth of the 3900s. The three surviving apes splash down on Earth in 1973. At first reluctant to divulge their identities, their origins or indeed their true intelligence, their trip is not without peril: Dr. Milo is killed when he upsets a caged gorilla, and the humans are initially extremely suspicious.

A Presidential commission is appointed to study Cornelius and Zira, and they quickly become public celebrities as well, but the discovery that Zira is pregnant curtails their public appearances. So too does the overzealous curiosity of Otto Hasslein, a government scientist who, after hearing Zira and Cornelius talk about the future that awaits Earth, thinks that terminating Zira’s pregnancy, sterilizing both apes and perhaps even killing them would be best for the future of humanity. This doesn’t sit well with Dr. Lewis Dixon, an animal behavior expert who has been the apes’ main point of contact, who argues passionately that Zira and Cornelius – and their offspring – should live on, regardless of what it portends for man’s future. It’s only when Hasslein secures an order to abort the offspring that Cornelius finally decides to defend his mate more aggressively. Dixon hides the two apes away at a zoo, where Zira has her child in relative peace, but Hasslein isn’t far behind. Knowing that they can’t stay on the run forever and raise their child, Cornelius and Zira must trust their son’s future to at least one of the humans…

Order the DVDsscreenplay by Paul Dehn
directed by Don Taylor
music by Jerry Goldsmith

Cast: Roddy McDowall (Cornelius), Kim Hunter (Zira), Bradford Dillman (Dr. Lewis Dixon), Natalie Trundy (Dr. Stephanie Branton), Eric Braeden (Dr. Otto Hasslein), William Windom (The President), Sal Mineo (Milo), Albert Salmi (E-1), Jason Evers (E-2), John Randolph (Chairman), Harry Lauter (General Winthrop), M. Emmet Walsh (Aide), Roy E. Glenn Sr. (Lawyer), Peter Forster (Cardinal), Norman Burton (Army Officer), William Woodson (Naval Officer), Tom Lowell (Orderly), Gene Whittington (Marine Captain), Donald Elson (Curator), Bill Bonds (TV Newscaster), Army Archerd (Referee), James Bacon (General Faulkner), Ricardo Montalban (Armando)

Original title: Secret Of The Planet Of The Apes

Notes: Though it may cleverly pick up the story with the only characters who can possibly have survived the carnage at the end of Beneath The Planet Of The Apes, Escape is actually more of an attempt to “reboot” the Apes movies in a cheaper modern-day setting: not only are contemporary locations cost-effective, but reducing the ape population to only three also eliminates the elaborate makeup needed for the first two films’ hordes of background apes. Though it’s made very clear that Zira, Cornelius and Milo escaped future Earth in Taylor‘s spacecraft, it might have made more sense for them to have used Brent‘s vehicle, which had the benefit of being both relatively intact and not submerged beneath the sea.

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Seven Serpents, Sulphur And Salt – Episode 1

Ace Of WandsMr. Christopher, an acquaintance of Mr. Sweet’s, rushes into Sweet’s bookstore while Lulli is watching the shop. He asks Lulli where Sweet can be reached, and then wants to call him, hiding a piece of paper in one of the books in the shop while Lulli looks for the phone number. But before much of a conversation can take place, a man named Luko appears out of thin air, killing Mr. Christopher and then looking for something until Lulli walks in. Luko vanishes again just as the door opens, leaving Lulli to find Mr. Christopher’s cobweb-covered corpse. Tarot, Sam and Mr. Sweet converge on the store, and Mr. Christopher’s walking stick, imbued with some kind of magical power, directs them to the paper – a scrap of 14th century paper with a drawing of a serpent. Mr. Sweet consults with the verger at a nearby church about the possible meaning and importance of the paper, only to be met with a horrified response. Tarot and Sam, expecting the killer to return to the bookstore in search of the paper, lay a trap, but this time Luko appears with his employer, the sinister Mr. Stabs, who seems to have considerable magical powers of his own – enough to stop Tarot in his tracks. Mr. Sweet and the church verger return with bad news: an exorcism, complete with chalk circles on the floor, will have to be performed on all who have touched the paper. During this ritual, the hand-drawn serpent becomes a real snake – and a terrified Lulli steps out of the protection of her circle.

written by Trevor Preston
directed by Pamela Lonsdale
music by Andrew Bown

Ace Of WandsCast: Michael Mackenzie (Tarot), Judy Loe (Lulli), Tony Selby (Sam), Donald Layne-Smith (Mr. Sweet), Russell Hunter (Mr. Stabs), Ian Trigger (Luko), Harriet Harper (Polandi), Llewellyn Rees (Mr. Christopher), Jack Woolgar (Charlie Postle)

Notes: This is the premiere of Ace Of Wands’ second season, but along with the rest of the second season, is missing due to ITV’s policy of erasing and reusing then-expensive videotape in the 1970s. This synopsis is based on the original scripts (included as bonus features on Network DVD’s box set release of the surviving third season) as well as very low-quality audio recordings of the episode in question.

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Reflections In The Water

UFOThe sinking of a commercial boat, followed quickly by the death of an underwater cameraman, gets SHADO’s attention focused on the Atlantic Ocean. Reports of objects resembling metallic flying fish tie both incidents together, and Straker orders Skydiver to investigate the region near a volcanic island where the boat was attacked. Skydiver’s sensors find an underwater power cable connected to a large artificial dome structure. When Straker and Foster investigate that dome in person, they see one of their own inside – a possible traitor within SHADO’s midst. They return to SHADO HQ, only to find the presumed traitor there too, but when questioned, he remembers nothing about the underwater dome. Straker and Foster return to the dome, this time to go inside and investigate…and what they find is their entire crew, and the SHADO control center, duplicated in every detail by the aliens…and ready to take over the real SHADO HQ.

Download this episode via Amazonwritten by David Tomblin
directed by David Tomblin
music by Barry Gray

UFOCast: Edward Bishop (Cmdr. Straker), Michael Billington (Col. Foster), James Cosmo (Lt. Anderson), Gordon Sterne (Helmsman), Conrad Phillips (Skipper), Fredric Abbott (1st Seaman), Richard Caldicot (Film Producer), Mark Griffith (Underwater Cameraman), Keith Bell (Film Director), Gerald Cross (Insurance Man), David Warbeck (Skydiver Captain), Anouska Hempel (Skydiver Operative), Wanda Ventham (Col. Virginia Lake), Barry Stokes (Skydiver Navigator), Ayshea (SHADO Operative), Vladek Sheybal (Dr. Jackson), Dolores Mantez (Moonbase Commander), Steven Berkoff (Astronaut)

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Seven Serpents, Sulphur And Salt – Episode 2

Ace Of WandsWhen Lulli makes a hasty – and premature – exit from the exorcism ritual, the snake vanishes, and Lulli begins claiming that she is Kildaa, the bird spirit – and subtly announces her plans to go to the roof of the building in which Tarot lives so she can fly away. Tarot manages to break the spell and bring Lulli back, but the piece of paper with the serpent drawn on it has vanished. Mr. Postle, the church verger who was performing the exorcism, believes that the paper may have been 1/7 of a map to the location of a legendary secret: the ability to turn base metals into gold. Mr. Sweet and Mr. Postle also find evidence of a magician who was previously seeking that secret, named Estabis – over 200 years ago. Tarot and Sam follow a clue to find Mr. Stabs’ base of operations, where they overcome Stabs’ lackey, Luko, and photograph the other map segments in Stabs’ possession. But Stabs himself, in the guise of a reporter seeking an interview with Tarot, gains entry to Tarot’s apartment, which is occupied only by Lulli and Ozymandias the owl when he drops by. He casts a spell on Lulli to force her to give him the photograph of the missing segment of the map…and to force her to poison Tarot’s next cup of coffee…

written by Trevor Preston
directed by Pamela Lonsdale
music by Andrew Bown

Ace Of WandsCast: Michael Mackenzie (Tarot), Judy Loe (Lulli), Tony Selby (Sam), Donald Layne-Smith (Mr. Sweet), Russell Hunter (Mr. Stabs), Ian Trigger (Luko), Harriet Harper (Polandi), Jack Woolgar (Charlie Postle)

Notes: Along with the rest of the first and second seasons of the series, this episode of Ace Of Wands is missing due to ITV’s policy of erasing and reusing then-expensive videotape in the 1970s. This synopsis is based on the original scripts (included as bonus features on Network DVD’s box set release of the surviving third season) as well as very low-quality audio recordings of the episode in question.

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Seven Serpents, Sulphur And Salt – Episode 3

Ace Of WandsA suspicious Sam prevents Tarot from drinking the poisoned coffee, and again, Tarot is able to break the spell over Lulli, bringing her out from under Mr. Stabs’ control. But when she reveals that Stabs has the photo of the missing segment of the map, it’s clear that this race for an ancient secret is in a dead heat: everyone now has the complete map, it’s just a matter of who can decipher it and reach it first. The map leads to a dangerous abandoned well in a graveyard near the ruins of a castle, and Sam decides it’s safest for him to scale his way down the well to find part of the symbol that will unlock the secret. The other part of the symbol is under a large, marked stone, guarded by a particularly poisonous snake, though Tarot is able to retrieve it without disturbing the snake. But it’s only now that his nemeses have done the hard work that Mr. Stabs shows up to claim victory…and in that moments, it looks as though Tarot might switch sides.

written by Trevor Preston
directed by Pamela Lonsdale
music by Andrew Bown

Ace Of WandsCast: Michael Mackenzie (Tarot), Judy Loe (Lulli), Tony Selby (Sam), Donald Layne-Smith (Mr. Sweet), Russell Hunter (Mr. Stabs), Ian Trigger (Luko), Jonathan Cecil (Mr. Thwaites)

Notes: Along with the rest of the first and second seasons of the series, this episode of Ace Of Wands is missing due to ITV’s policy of erasing and reusing then-expensive videotape in the 1970s. This synopsis is based on the original scripts (included as bonus features on Network DVD’s box set release of the surviving third season) as well as very low-quality audio recordings of the episode in question.

LogBook entry by Earl Green

The Boy Who Predicted Earthquakes and other stories

Night GalleryThe Boy Who Predicted Earthquakes: TV executive Wellman is annoyed when one of his producers auditions a ten-year-old boy who supposedly has a spotless track record of predicting the future. When the child’s predictions start to come true, however, Wellman changes his mind, signing the boy (and his grandfather, who accompanies him) to a contract. One of his predictions is a big one – war and hunger will come to an end – but maybe that’s because people will also come to an end.

teleplay by Rod Serling
based upon the short story by Margaret St. Clair
directed by John Badham
music by Oliver Nelson / series theme by Gil Melle

Night GalleryCast:
Michael Constantine (Mr. Wellman), Clint Howard (Herbie), Bernie Kopell (Reed), Ellen Weston (Dr. Peterson), William Hansen (Godwin), Gene Tyburn (Floor Director), Rance Howard (Cameraman), Rosary Nix (Secretary), John Donald (Grip)

Miss Lovecraft Sent Me: A babysitter arrives for her first night of looking after her new charge in a castle-like mansion. She’s put off by the eccentricity of the child’s father, who apparently works nights. Now she wonders if she should stick around long enough to meet his child…

teleplay by Jack Laird
directed by Gene Kearney
music by Oliver Nelson

Cast: Joseph Campanella (Father), Sue Lyon (Betsy)

The Hand Of Borgus Weems: A man believes that one of his hands is under the control of some malevolent force, and is trying to commit murder. He demands that his doctor amputate the offending hand immediately…but his doctor’s hands may not be any more reliable than his own.

Night Galleryteleplay by Alvin Sapinsley
based upon the short story by George LAngelaan
directed by John Meredyth Lucas
music by Oliver Nelson

Cast: George Maharis (Peter Lacland), Ray Milland (Dr. Archibald Ravadon), Joan Huntington (Susan Douglas), Patricia Donahue (Dr. Innokenti), Peter Mamakos (Nico Kazanzakis), Robert Hoy (Everett Winterreich), William Mims (Brock Ramsey)

Phantom Of What Opera?: We all know the old story – the apparently dashing Phantom of the Opera is horribly disfigured beneath his mask. But what happens if the object of his affection and obsession isn’t much better off in the looks department?

Night Gallerywritten by Gene Kearney
directed by Gene Kearney
music by Oliver Nelson

Cast: Leslie Nielsen (Phantom), Mary Ann Beck (Beautiful Prisoner)

Notes: The cameraman in The Boy Who Predicted Earthquakes is called “Rance” on screen – the real name of the actor playing him, Rance Howard, whose sons happen to be Clint and Ron Howard. Rance Howard would make a handful of appearances in the ’90s space opera Babylon 5 as the father of Captain John Sheridan.

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Earth II

Earth IIAn Apollo spacecraft is launched – despite the attempted interference of a saboteur – with three astronauts and the initial modules of a massive new space station aboard. President Durant of the United States asks American citizens to vote on the founding of a new “nation in space” using this space station as its capitol, and the vote is overwhelmingly in favor of creating a new spacefaring country: Earth II. The station grows in both size and population, setting out to be a completely democratic society in which any citizen can bring an issue up for a vote. But the first real test of Earth II’s leadership arrives in the form of a Chinese orbital nuclear warhead. A team of astronauts from the station sets out to destroy it, but instead the warhead is left intact without the ability to receive commands from Earth. The ramifications of this event reveals a hawkish faction aboard Earth II, insisting that the weapon be kept for the station’s protection. An opposing faction wants the weapon destroyed completely, fearing it represents too much power for anyone to use ethically. And one person, ignoring the democratic process, takes it upon herself to take the action she fears no one else will take, with disastrous consequences.

Order the DVDwritten by William Read Woodfield & Allan Balter
directed by Tom Gries
music by Lalo Schifrin

Cast: Gary Lockwood (David Seville), Scott Hylands (Jim Capa), Hari Rhodes (Loren Huxley), Tony Franciosa Earth II(Frank Karger), Mariette Hartley (Lisa Karger), Gary Merrill (Walter Dietrich), Inga Swenson (Ilyana Kovalefskii), Edward Bell (Anton Kovalefskii), Lew Ayres (President Charles Carter Durant), Brian Dewey (Matt Karger), Diana Webster (Hannah Young), Bart Burns (Stiner), John Carter (Hazlitt), Herbert Nelson (Chairman), Serge Tschernisch (Russian), Vince Cannon (Technician), David Sachs (Surgeon), Bob Hoy (West)

LogBook entry and review by Earl Green Read More

Godzilla’s Revenge

GodzillaPoor little Ichiro. He’s bullied nearly everyday on the way home from school. Not only that, his parents work long hours and are seldom at home. He is often watched over by Toy Consultant Shinpei Inami, who lives in an apartment nearby. Meanwhile, bandits have gotten away with more than 50 million yen in a bank heist.

Ichiro fantasizes about visiting Monster Island. Once there, he watches Godzilla defeat several Kamacura and the Giant Condor. He also spots several other giant creatures. Ichiro makes friends with Minilla, Godzilla’s son, who is also being bullied by the monster known as Gabara. Inami wakes Ichiro from his dream.

Ichiro is playing outside when he is spotted by his own bully, also named Gabara. He runs off to an abandoned warehouse. He finds a driver’s license and carries it off. Little does he realize, the bandits are hiding out there, and the driver’s license belongs to one of them!

Once at home, Ichiro again visits Monster Island. Searching for Minilla, he instead finds the giant Gabara and runs away. He finds Minilla hiding from Godzilla, who wants to teach Minilla to fight his own battles. But he agrees to introduce Ichiro to his father. Godzilla is engaged in a battle with Ebirah. The giant lobster is defeated in short order. He then battles the giant spider, which is beaten back with Godzilla’s nuclear breath. Gabara walks onto the scene. Minilla grows to some fifty feet and blows smoke rings at Gabara, which only irritates the bully. Gabara beats up Minilla, who shrinks himself again and runs off. Several fighter jets launch missiles at Godzilla, but the enraged beast crushes and destroys most of the jets. He calls out to Minilla to teach the youngster some monster fighting skills. Godzilla shows how to use nuclear fire, but Minilla can only blow smoke rings. Godzilla stomps on his son’s tail, who then blows fire at some brush.

Ichrio is awakened when the bank robbers snatch him and take him back to the warehouse. One of the robbers goes to steal a car, while the other stays behind and watches over Ichiro. The boy covers a hole in the floor with newspaper. He then closes his eyes and returns to Monster Island.

Minilla is again fighting Gabara, who is getting the upper hand. Ichiro encourages his friend, who then blasts his new nuclear breath onto Gabara’s face. Enraged, Gabara lunges forward, but Minilla moves away and the bully konks his head on the wall of a cliff. Minilla runs to Godzilla, but the King of the Monsters refuses to fight his son’s battle. Minilla re-enters the fray and is being beaten down. Godzilla uses his nuclear breath and forces Gabara to retreat. Ichiro and Minilla discuss how to defeat the bully. When Gabara steps on a fallen tree, Minilla jumps on the other end, causing the bully to fly off, head over heels. As Godzilla passes the fallen creature, Gabara bites his leg The two giant monsters wrestle and Godzilla throws him over his shoulder. The bully finally leaves.

The robbers tie Ichiro, planning to use him as a hostage to get away, but the car won’t start. Ichiro remembers what Minilla told him: “Godzilla says we have to fight our own battles and not be cowards.” He slips his bonds and makes his break from the car, running off to the warehouse, with the bandits in hot pursuit. He leads them to the third floor. Meanwhile, Inami spots his stolen car at the warehouse with a money bag inside. He dashes off to call the cops. One of the bandits falls through the hole in the floor that was covered with newspaper, and breaks his leg. The second robber spots Ichrio and gives chase. Ichiro fantasizes the robber is the monster Gabara, and uses a fire extinguisher to vanquish him. The police have now arrived and take the bad guys into custody.

At breakfast the following morning, Ichiro’s mother promises to spend more time with the boy. On the way to school he is confronted by his own bully, Gabara. This time, however, instead of running, he fights and knocks the kid to the ground. Now equals, Ichiro, Gabara and their friends walk to school.

written by Shinichi Sekizawa
directed by Ishiro Hondo
music by Kunico Miyauchi

Human Cast: Tomonori Yazaki (Ichiro Miki), Eisei Amamoto (Shinpei Inami), Sachio Sakai (Bank Robber), Kazuo Suzuki (Bank Robber)

Monster Cast: Godzilla, Minilla, Kamakura, Gabara, Gorosaurus, Manda, Anguilas, Giant Condor, Ebirah

Notes: This movie was originally titled Godzilla- Minilla- Gabara- All Monsters Attack in Japan. Much of the monster footage seen in this movie was culled from previous Godzilla movies.

LogBook entry by Robert Parson

The Different Ones / Tell David… / Logoda’s Heads

Night GalleryThe Different Ones: 17-year-old Victor Koch is kept hidden away in isolation by his father, Paul, due to a physical deformity, but does not take kindly to that isolation, whether his father means well or not. Paul contacts a government agency dealing with cases like Victor’s, and is offered three options: taking no action, euthanizing Victor, or sending Victor to another planet as part of an exchange program that would welcome him with open arms. Paul opts for the most merciful of these options, sending Victor to the planet Boreon. But who will Boreon send as an exchange student to Earth?

Night Gallerywritten by Rod Serling
directed by John Meredyth Lucas
music by Oliver Nelson / series theme by Gil Melle

Cast: Dana Andrews (Paul Koch), Monica Lewis (Official), Jon Korkes (Victor Koch), Dennis Rucker (Man), Peggy Webber (Woman), Mary Gregory (2nd Woman)

Tell David…: Ann, lost while driving home in a thunderstorm, decides to momentarily take shelter at a house she spots along the way. The couple who live there, David and Pat, have an array of futuristic gadgets and seem to live an idyllic life; when Ann finally gets home, she is reminded that her life is anything but ideal, but David and Pat have invited her to visit again soon. When Ann does visit again, and mentions that David is her own son’s name, coincidences and details of conversations begin convincing Ann that she’s glimpsing her son’s future – a future which David says his mother did not live to see.

Night Galleryteleplay by Gerald Sanford
from the short story by Penelope Wallace
directed by Jeff Corey
music by Oliver Nelson

Cast: Sandra Dee (Ann Bolt), Jared Martin (Tony Bolt / David Blessington), Jenny Sullivan (Pat Blessington), Jan Shutan (Jane Blessington), Francoise Ruggieri (Yvonne), Anne Randall (Julie), Chris Patrick (David Bolt)

Logoda’s Heads: Major Crosby leads an expedition into Africa, searching for the missing brother of Henley, a younger member of the expedition. The few leads they have bring them to a village whose witch doctor, Logoda, is said to have magic thanks to the decapitated heads of his enemies. In trying not to cross Logoda, Crosby and his team ignore more immediate threats.

Night Galleryteleplay by Robert Bloch
from the short story by August Derleth
directed by Jeannot Szwarc
music by Oliver Nelson

Cast: Patrick Macnee (Major Crosby), Brock Peters (Logoda), Denise Nicholas (Kyro), Tim Matheson (Henley), Albert Popwell (Sgt. Imo), Zara Cully (Emba), Roger E. Mosley (Second Askari)

LogBook entry by Earl Green