Senior HTF Member
- Oct 31, 2010
- Real Name
- John Hopper
The chapters menu from “The Youth Killer”.
As in “Legacy of Terror”, find again Kolchak’s working idiosyncrasy: taking a random picture by accident in the scene of the crime or in front of the foe like an innocent bystander to avoid censorship: see the Max Match meeting with Helen Surtees.
As in “The Zombie”, Kolchak betrays himself and displays his clumsiness with the bad use of his tape recorder during a crucial event and, here, at a secret ceremony at Max Match that Kolchak defines as “the midnight interview”.
The episode has a lot going for it even if I don't quite understand how Helen's ritual wears off so fast early on and then seems to take hold longer near the end of the episode. Does she need a certain number of victims for the youthfulness to last? I haven't seen the episode in a few months, so I forget the basics of her powers in her deal with Hecate.
What I do remember is that Gordy's desire for a color TV for the morgue is hilarious, and this is the last episode to feature all of the core cast, so it has a special place in my pantheon.
Some shows just burn out so quickly. The really short series, the one season wonders, can turn into a mere shadow of their original selves so fast that it feels like a decade passed creatively. The Time Tunnel and V were two series that, in the end, were almost parodies of their original concepts. V in particular was running on empty in those last weeks. No money, most of the cast killed off and some of the laziest writing I've seen in a major network series.Good analysis, Mr. Hopper, of what a pastiche of previous tropes this episode is. Consider it took Star Trek three seasons (or at least into season 2 to do that), and it took only 19 episodes for Kolchak to get to this point.
Agreed. Occasionally shows might have one 2-parter during the season. I can recall a couple Rockford Files, 1 Star Trek and a Battlestar Galactica that were 2-parters.A better plan might have been two or three episode arcs thus not blowing through their entire catalog of ghouls in a single season. But at the time, that kind of serialized storytelling was not the norm. It was case-of-the-week whether it be a doctor, lawyer, police, education, or journalism show.
Still, I won't deny that the presence of Cathy Lee Crosby in a Greek goddess outfit makes this a lot more, err, palatable to me than the previous 'human sacrifice' ep. And I think CLC's performance is solid, too and believable. I was under the impression she is supposed to be the 'real' Helen of Troy, which is odd, because, of course, she was a legend, but still a mortal. I guess the writing didn't make that plot point clear to me.
It's too bad they didn't scrap this concept and just go with the 'siren' mythology, which is kind of what they're dancing on the edge of anyway. But obviously they didn't have the budget to simulate boats being wrecked on the shores of Lake Michigan!
Well-said (I think I've got this quote thing figured out now).The writers had the Greek mythology wrong or messy. Oddly enough, the script was penned by story editor Rudolph Borchert and polished by story consultant David Chase (uncredited). The episode feels rushed and cheap as the last three episodes.
The series renewed itself from episode 6 by introducing new folklores and the Greek mythology could have been interesting but since it was an end of the line episode, it went wasted and poorly treated.
Well-said (I think I've got this quote thing figured out now).
I feel like they also were trying to make a statement about the folly of the modern quest for youth as opposed to aging gracefully but it likely got lost somewhere in the rewrites. And as you alluded to, they needed to spend more time with Kaz because they messed up the mythology.
The Time Tunnel sometimes worked really well, other times not. The leads were, sadly, dull cardboard cutouts, but when they were given something to do, they were great. This didn't happen often. But even as late as "The Death Merchant" (the Gettysburg episode), the show could still bring in a solid win.Two really good points here by ScottRE (I was attempting to quote and messed up).
'Some shows just burn out so quickly. The really short series, the one season wonders, can turn into a mere shadow of their original selves so fast that it feels like a decade passed creatively. The Time Tunnel and V were two series that, in the end, were almost parodies of their original concepts.'
Time Tunnel really was kind of retro-fitted, so to speak, because it was done to take advantage, it seems to me, of a lot of the films in Fox's vaults. Thus is got repetitious, plus you're writing the scripts around the old footage to some extent.
Kolchak was kind of a Dead End series, mostly because it's impossible to sustain the concept when you don't leave Chicago. If they had him traveling the country, it may have really been a winner for the network.
Yes, being locked in Chitown is a big issue, and I think there's another problem and McGavin might not have been happy with the potential solution. Sometimes I would have liked to have seen, especially, say, in the Skerritt and Crosby episodes with a semi-human baddie, what makes the villain tick besides avarice or vanity? That's commonplace today, giving the villain a backstory, but not so much back then. But that's time away from Kolchak.
Yeah, I've never read the Mark Dawidziak book(s), but apparently McGavin and Cy Chermak were at odds, per Dawidziak. It was a troubled production.Sadly, according to McGavin, "it may be fun to WATCH but it wasn't fun to MAKE." Still he was a solid enough actor to put everything into it even though he hated the experience.
Notice the best use of composer Jerry Fielding’s fast-paced cue culled from “The Trevi Collection” (the final fight against witch Madelaine Perkins cue) at the start of Act 1 when Kolchak drives a golf cart in the endless corridor lit by gloomy blue neons to run away from the lizard and that cue is a rework from a Scorpio cue entitled “Into the Underground”.
The best part goes to actor Albert Paulsen as betrayed and paranoid geologist Dr. James Verhyden who almost blows the cover of Kolchak.
MA Inc. vice president Jack Flaherty: “Don’t you think you’re just being a little oversensitive?”
Dr. James Verhyden: “Paranoid?”
MA Inc. vice president Jack Flaherty: “I said oversensitive.”
Dr. James Verhyden: “Paranoid, is that what you’re trying to say? There are no paranoids in the Soviet Union. Do you know why? Because everybody there is being watched and plotted against. Only the insane man feels secure. And it’s the same thing here… Mysterious occurrences. Strange people who aren’t what they appear to be. For example, just who are you [looking at Kolchak]?”
MA Inc. vice president Jack Flaherty: “Dr. Verhyden, please. This is a potential new client.”
Dr. James Verhyden: “And I am Mickey Mantle.”