Night Gallery: Season 2, Episode 8

The Diary/A Matter of Semantics/Big Surprise/Professor Peabody's Last Lecture (10 Nov. 1971)

TV Episode  -   -  Drama | Fantasy | Horror
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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 152 users  
Reviews: 10 user | 4 critic

Gossip columnist Holly receives a diary describing future events. / Dracula visits a blood bank with an odd request. / Hawkins the hermit promises a surprise to three boys if they dig for it. / Professor Peabody publicly ridicules the gods.

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Title: The Diary/A Matter of Semantics/Big Surprise/Professor Peabody's Last Lecture (10 Nov 1971)

The Diary/A Matter of Semantics/Big Surprise/Professor Peabody's Last Lecture (10 Nov 1971) on IMDb 7.4/10

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Holly Schaeffer (segment "The Diary")
Carrie Crane (segment "The Diary")
Dr. Mill (segment "The Diary")
E.J. Peaker ...
Nurse (segment "A Matter of Semantics")
Mr. Hawkins (segment "Big Surprise")
Professor Peabody (segment "Professor Peabody's Last Lecture")
Robert Yuro ...
Jeb Harlan (segment "The Diary")
James McCallion ...
George (segment "The Diary")
Nurse (segment "The Diary")
Floy Dean ...
Receptionist (segment "The Diary")
Diana Chesney ...
Maid (segment "The Diary")
Monie Ellis ...
Candy-Striper (segment "A Matter of Semantics")
Chris (segment "Big Surprise")
Marc Vahanian ...
Jason (segment "Big Surprise")


A ruthless gossip columnist becomes the recipient of a mysterious diary that automatically writes down future events before they actually occur. Count Dracula visits a blood bank. An eccentric farmer promises a big surprise to a group of boys- if they dig for it. A college professor invokes the wrath of an angry god while delivering a lecture.

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Release Date:

10 November 1971 (USA)  »

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Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


In Professor Peabody's Last Lecture, each of the students' names corresponds to a horror genre writer. Mr. Lovecraft refers to H.P. Lovecraft, the creator of the Cthulu mythos to which the professor refers, Mr. Bloch to Robert Bloch, who wrote stores set in the Cthulu mythos but is probably better known to the general public as the author of the novel "Psycho" which was made into the classic Alfred Hitchcock film of the same name and Mr. Derleth refers to August Derleth, another writer of horror tales, but who is best known for preserving the stories of H.P. Lovecraft, by creating his own publishing house known as Arkham House (named after the mythical city of Arkham, Massachusetts, also referred to in the Professor's lecture, where a number of the Mythos stories took place) which reprinted all of Lovecraft's published stories and novels as well as several collections of his letters. See more »

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User Reviews

SPIELBERG May Have Directed this Segment Without Credit !
21 January 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This was taken from Wikipedia, however, please keep in mind that, as Harlan Ellison has stated: "Wikipedia is to the Encyclopedia Britanica, what Dachau (WWII Nazi Death Camp) was to Health Spas."

(From Wikipedia) ... He (Spielberg) did another segment on Night Gallery "MAKE 'EM LAUGH" (some people claim that he also directed a short five-minute segment called "A Matter of Semantics" when the credited director (Jack Laird) had to back out for unknown reasons, but this has never been confirmed) ...

This may or may not be true. But if so, it's a compelling piece of Spielbergian trivia, and worth viewing by any true aficionado of his work.

But again, keep in mind, this is rumor and has NOT been confirmed !

2 of 10 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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