|Index||3 reviews in total|
One of the series few real duds.
There is never a sense of urgency to this episode and much padding. They story means to build tension by cutting from a room of 6 or more people waiting for The Bride, Kellerman, who is out for a walk, to return. But it's just a slog, we keep cutting to and seeing that the Bride is in no danger at all so the 6 people thinking and talking endlessly about how she is, builds no tension at all and this goes on for what feels like half the show! None of the 6 friends and relatives are interesting either they are sort of bores really and one character seems to be set up as a possible oddball murder suspect, but he can't, for various reasons be the serial killer at large, so this is just useless too.
Kellerman does what she can with the role, which is almost nothing and she's too young for the part of a woman almost too old to get married, if we believe what the script tells us. She also has no chemistry with her leading man--who has no chemistry with anyone in the episode either, and she has some preposterous lines talking about her love of "poetry" and being "alone for the last time." Even more strangely, her cop fiancé and his cop partner, seem the least bit interested or concerned about her, even when they finally do go out to look for her. These two characters are really poorly acted and written.
So when the episode is mostly filled with people we don't like or care about being worried about something we know they shouldn't be, and then when the police take over and they don't seem at all in a hurry to save the day or deeply worried.... Why then should the audience give a damn either? You don't.
In fact, none of the actors are convincingly English and not much of it really looks like it takes place in London, which is a big proble. The direction is flat, despite some nice foggy street exteriors. David Carradine is good as a creepo--though as an Enlish creepo? And he should have a had larger role and been introduced sooner. I guess he's sort of "doing" Peter Lorre but he does it well.
The pay off to the episode is botched as well. Nice reuse of Herrmann music adds some tension in a few spots but can't overcome flat direction, performances and slow slow pace.
A few minor comic bits work best, one with real Englishman, who most will recognize and Alfred the Butler from the TV Batman series, and the very good Hitch wrap around, involving a giant suggestion box.
Unfortunately, the hour promises more than it delivers. A series of
strangulation murders of 30-ish women has occurred on the streets of
London. Investigating officer Tommy (Randell) is scheduled to marry
Sally (Kellerman) that evening. Family and friends have gathered for
the big event. Trouble is 30-ish Sally has gotten cold feet and decide
to walk about London on her wedding day. When ceremony time draws near
but she hasn't returned, guests begin to worry, especially Tommy who's
afraid she's fallen prey to the strangler.
The lead-up is pretty talky and slow, but producers have cast some eccentric characters to keep up interest. Goateed Elliot (Bessell) appears kind of a flake, while Edward (Carradine) lurks around the streets of London. Of course, the premise of a serial strangler grabs viewers right away. With a big cast of veteran actors (e.g. Gregg, Smith, Pate et al.), there's a cast of potential suspects, though why any could or should be suspects isn't evident. Anyway, the reveal for me, at least, was disappointing, lagging in the usual dose of series irony or imagination. But maybe the familiar faces will be enough.
An attempt to echo Jack the Ripper to London of the 1960's. A solid cast is wasted by a long and overdrawn script by the usually reliable Morton Fine. This episode would have worked much better in a half hour format. As it is David Carridine comes through with a creepy performance as a "person of interest" in a string of murders of young women in the historic city. Sally Kellerman before her "Hot Lips" O'Houlihan persona was created specialized in playing lovely,intelligent,but neurotic young women such as Sally Benner in this particular episode. There are some really talented character actors appearing in this story. Kent Smith, Virginia Gregg and Howard Caine all just stand around with nothing to do. Aussie actors Ron Randall and Michael Pate portray a couple of London police detectives investigating the events and trying to locate Kellerman, who happens to be Randall's reluctant fiancé.Unfortunately they both seem to be just going through the motions. Ted Bessell has a brief turn as another possible suspect and the delightful Alan Napier and Ida Lupino's cousin Richard Lupino have a comedic bit as a chemist and his dimwit son. In the end, it's Carridine and Kellerman who make this episode worth a watch.
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