Then Came Bronson: Season 1, Episode 23

The Forest Primeval (4 Mar. 1970)

TV Episode  -   -  Adventure | Drama
9.0
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Jim goes into a national park to get away from the noise of society and commune with Nature, not realizing that he's accidentally taken a wrong road as a major storm approaches.

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Title: The Forest Primeval (04 Mar 1970)

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Gary Clarke ...
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Jim goes into a national park to get away from the noise of society and commune with Nature, not realizing that he's accidentally taken a wrong road as a major storm approaches.

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Adventure | Drama

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4 March 1970 (USA)  »

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1.33 : 1
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A different approach to life, now sadly vanished
5 August 2014 | by (Ocean, NJ) – See all my reviews

This has always been a favorite episode of mine for its simplicity & contemplative quality. Bronson has a friendly conversation with a gas station attendant in the rain, who advises him to get away into the hills & forest to find a little tranquility & clearness of mind. Bronson does so, but accidentally finds himself lost in the forest as a storm approaches.

That's the basic plot. What I love about it is that nothing much happens -- not in the way it would today, where constant action & intensity is the driving factor in storytelling. From the initial conversation, where two strangers met & immediately click, talking on more than a superficial level, we know this is going to be something different.

And once Bronson is in the wilderness, it gets even better. There are plenty of long, quiet shots that enable the viewer to feel Nature as it gradually enfolds Bronson. Even in a moment of despair, when he clearly fears he may not make it out alive, he's transfixed by a deer appearing before him. The only lines of dialog in these scenes are voice-overs, lines of poetry, as Bronson takes in the beauty & mystery of the forest & its life.

I won't give away the resolution. Suffice it to say that Bronson has an experience, rather than an adventure -- and to the viewer, it's also an invitation to pause, immerse yourself in the natural world, and reflect for awhile on things that matter more than the trivia of everyday life. Just a beautiful episode, something that couldn't possibly appear on TV today.


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