Night Gallery (1969–1973)
11 user 1 critic

The Diary/A Matter of Semantics/Big Surprise/Professor Peabody's Last Lecture 

A strange diary shows gossip columnist her sad future. / 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 Lovecraftian gods.


, (as Gene Kearney) | 3 more credits »

On Disc

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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")
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")
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")
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)  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Holly Schaeffer was born in 1941. See more »

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User Reviews

A Mixed Bag
9 June 2014 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

As a high school kid, I fell in love with Patty Duke. She had that show where she played an American school girl and her identical cousin. She sort of sparkled. In "The Diary" she is an unadulterated virago who set out to hurt people with her scathing, gossipy diatribes. She seems to have no remorse. When an aging actress has alcohol problems, she goes after her with a vengeance. The woman is defenseless, appearing at a party and handing Duke a Diary she has purchased at a great price. Soon thereafter, she commits suicide. Duke shows no remorse, harboring back to a difficult childhood as justification, challenging her shrink when he attempts to help her. It is the Diary that is at the center of all this, or is it?

"A Matter of Semantics" is another one of those Dracula throwaway things that were frequently inserted. Basically a lame joke.

"Big Surprise" features "John Carradine" who played Dracula more than any other performer. He lives in an old house and the kids are petrified of him. He gets one of them to approach and tells him the location of some sort of surprise. He and his buddies dig four feet down until two of them have had enough. We are led on by what the big surprise will be. I have to say, for me, it was a disappointment.

"Mr. Peabody" Last Lecture" (no, not that Mr Peabody) has Carl Reiner playing a very boring professor who is teaching his charges about the ridiculousness of some things that are thought to be religions. He tells lame jokes and allows nothing to deter him. He invokes the Cthulhu mythos and all its characters and speaks disdainfully of it as a storm rages outside the building. His students have interesting names: Lovecraft, Derleth, and Bloch among others. He also reads from the "Necronomicon" of Abdul Alhazred. These are, for the uninitiated, all part of the H. P. Lovecraft world. The conclusion is predictable but fun. By the way, if you've not read any Lovecraft, this is an invitation.

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