The would-be producer of the movie adaptation of Jessica's latest book dies.


(as Anthony Shaw)


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Episode cast overview:
Daniel Bardol ...
Jackie Gayle ...
Willy Montego
Oliver Thissle
Lt. Hanrahan
Monica Chase
Darryl Heyward
Caroline Pryce (as Lar Park Lincoln)
Leonora Holt
Ben Miller
Christina Rich ...


Universal Studio bosses invite Jessica to plan a movie adaptation of her recent novel Messengers at Midnight, to be adapted for the screen by John Cavershaw. Producer Darryl Heyward accepts her objections to mutilating a true story, dumps John, actress mistress Monica Chase and most of the production team. Then he's clobbered to death in the Hitchcock Psycho house, where Jessica noticed someone hiding earlier after Willy Montego showed her around speculating general belief can make something evil. Jessica works out potentially motivating Hollywood interests. She finds weird fan Oliver Thissle, who claims he hid on the murder night in the Bates house and snoops there to set a trap. Written by KGF Vissers

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Crime | Drama | Mystery





Release Date:

19 January 1992 (USA)  »

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


The novel of Jessica's being made into a movie is called "Messengers of Midnight." Jessica says that it's based on a true story, a car going over a cliff is mentioned, and a particular character is named as the killer. All of this means that the "true story" Jessica wrote into the novel was her investigation in the episode "Murder, She Wrote" (1984) {The Committee (#8.9)}, another episode written by J. Michael Straczynski. See more »


Unless filming were currently going on, there would be no reason for a standing set like the Bates house and motel to have running water or to be stocked inside with furniture and props. See more »


References Winchester '73 (1950) See more »

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User Reviews

"Psycho" revisited
31 October 2009 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This episode marks one of the last appearance by, and final television role for, Jackie Gayle, who endured a long career as a night club comic, and who began to perform in film and on television in 1969. Henry Gibson has also since passed.

When Universal Studios, in Hollywood, California, sets to adapt the non-fiction novel "Messengers of Midnight" to the screen, they welcome its author, Jessica "J.B." Fletcher (Angela Lansbury) to tour the facility.

Jessica meets Production Head Ben Miller (Stuart Whitman) on the lot before Secretary Caroline Pryce (Lar Park-Lincoln) ushers her to a meeting with self-serving Producer Darryl Heyward (Ron Leibman), his Agent Willy Montego (Jackie Gayle), and Screenwriter John Cavershaw (Daniel Bardol), who plans to embellish the script with automobile chases and fact changes, to Jessica's objections, until she convinces him otherwise.

Actress Leonora Holt (Paula Prentiss) is cast to play the role patterned after J.B. Fletcher and, therefore, requests plenty of time with Jessica to capture her character and mannerisms, sprinkling a few clichés along the way, to Jessica's surprise. Leonora demands of Darryl that he not hire the unseen actor Kevin Mason to co-star opposite her, but Darryl goes behind her back after promising to respect Leonora's wishes.

Monica Chase (Michelle Johnson), a woman whom Darryl has been seeing during his unexplained absences from the studio, has been given favors for her husband's benefit in exchange for seeing Darryl, but now that Darryl dumps her, Monica seeks revenge.

Oliver Thissle (Henry Gibson) sneaks onto the Universal Studios lot via a plant nursery truck, and into the Bates Hotel (the setting of the 1960 Hitchcock Thriller "Psycho") building atop a hill on Lot 7, before Ben Miller gives Jessica a tour of its exterior premises. He later sneaks into Leonora's office, drawing a prop pistol.

But after Darryl returns from ditching Monica, he returns to the Studios to fire Willy Montego, in the commissary, and to usurp Ben Miller's position as Head of Productions, on a sound stage.

When Jessica returns to enter the Bates Hotel, to discover a body in a pool of blood, Lieutenant Hanrahan (Ron Glass) is summoned to investigate this "Incident in Lot 7."

The cast is rounded out by Police Woman (Christina Rich) and T.V. Anchorman (Larry Carroll), who also broadcasts by the name "Larry" as he reports the murder in Tinseltown, customary to his acting forte.

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