Night Gallery (1970–1973)
12 user 1 critic

Death in the Family/The Merciful/Class of '99/Witches' Feast 

Fleeing thief Doran hides in the funeral home of odd Mr Soames. / A wife uses bricks and mortar to help her ill husband. / A college professor administers a chilling oral exam with a dystopian twist. / Witches prepare a vile dish.


Rod Serling (teleplay), Miriam Allen DeFord (story) | 4 more credits »

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
E.G. Marshall ... Jared Soames (segment "Death in the Family")
Desi Arnaz Jr. ... Doran (segment "Death in the Family")
Imogene Coca ... Wife (segment "The Merciful")
King Donovan ... Husband (segment "The Merciful")
Vincent Price ... Professor (segment "Class of '99")
Brandon De Wilde ... Johnson (segment "Class of '99") (as Brandon de Wilde)
Noam Pitlik Noam Pitlik ... Driver (segment "Death in the Family")
James Sikking ... State Trooper (segment "Death in the Family") (as James B. Sikking)
John William Evans John William Evans ... 2nd Trooper (segment "Death in the Family")
William Elliott ... 3rd Trooper (segment "Death in the Family") (as Bill Elliott)
Bud Walls Bud Walls ... Grave Digger (segment "Death in the Family")
Randolph Mantooth ... Elkins (segment "Class of '99")
Frank Hotchkiss Frank Hotchkiss ... Clinton (segment "Class of '99")
Hilly Hicks ... Barnes (segment "Class of '99")
Suzanne Cohane Suzanne Cohane ... Joanne Fields (segment "Class of '99")


An injured criminal takes refuge in a funeral home, where he is greeted by a kind undertaker with a strange secret. An old woman uses bricks and mortar to end her husband's suffering. A graduating class of the future takes their final exam that reveals more than just the knowledge of the students. An employment agency official finds herself having a hard time meeting the needs of an extremely picky customer.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis





Release Date:

22 September 1971 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Universal Television See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:



Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The title on-screen is "Death in the Family" but host Rod Serling, who introduces it, calls it "A Death in the Family." See more »


When we first see Jared Soames (E.G. Marshall) at the police checkpoint, both headlights of his car are operating. In the next shot, at the same checkpoint, one bulb has gone out. See more »

Alternate Versions

When NBC reran this episode the following spring, the segment "Witches' Feast" was replaced with the previously unaired _"Night Gallery" (1970) {Satisfaction Guaranteed (#2.23)}_. See more »

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User Reviews

All in the Family
5 July 2011 | by stones78See all my reviews

Let me say right from the jump that E.G. Marshall is terrific as Mr. Soames, a funeral director who takes his job rather seriously, even to the extent of helping an escaped prisoner, played decently enough by a young Desi Arnaz Jr, who's on the run from the authorities. The funeral parlor and house are very creepy looking on both inside and out and makes for a fine setting; this show is known for the old mansions which appear in many episodes. Marshall is very convincing as the lonely director, whose work appears to be his life, although he could use some singing lessons. After being stopped by the police near his home and questioned about seeing the loose convict, they let him go back home; soon after, the escaped, injured, and very wet convict(Arnaz Jr.)breaks through a window carrying a gun and requests to be able to lay down on the sofa to rest. Soames is more than happy to have the young man stay, and you sense that he is fattening him up for the kill. It turns out that the director has a newly dead family propped up on a dinner table, and I wish they would've used dummies or something other than real people just staring into the camera. Soames and the convict neither had a family of their own, so the director wants to add to his make believe family, although against the young man's wishes. Other than this downer, this is still a solid episode of the best season of Night Gallery and has a fine atmosphere.

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