Night Gallery – Deliveries in the Rear (S2E19)

ngdeliveries06On a very foggy night, we see a horse-drawn wagon go to the medical college with a delivery, where they take it in the rear.

Inside, Dr. Fletcher is teaching a surgical class using a cadaver.   He spots his student Mr. Tuttle getting a little pale looking at the cadaver.  Fletcher points out that the cadaver has been cut open and sewn back together many times here to save lives.  This additional information does nothing to settle Tuttle, who faints.  This reaction to routine surgical procedures is where urologists come from.

He gets a message that there is a new delivery in the titular rear.  He can tell that the body has been dead three weeks and not passed through a mortician’s hands.  He tells the men to go back and bury it where they found it.  The next corpse is much fresher — just a couple of hours dead.  He is not so uppity about the provenance on this piece of meat, so he gives them $50.

At his fiance Barbara’s house, her father questions where Fletcher is getting his cadavers.  Fletcher responds with a Clintonian dodge that he needs these bodies to teach young surgeons who will save many lives in their career.  He draws a pretty fine line between the grave-robbers and actually robbing the graves himself.  Besides, he claims, the bodies are always bums.  Fletcher says he puts them to work and give them a purpose.  They are a net benefit to society for the first time in their . . . er, life.

Going into the college the next day, he is accosted by an old woman who says he has her husband Charlie in there.  His day gets no  better when he sees the headmaster Dr. Shockman.  He asks for some assurance that Fletcher is not using grave-robbers.

Fletcher dodges the question, saying that he doesn’t ask questions.  The old lady talked to Shockman also, and the headmaster says the police will be called if Charlie’s body is found in the college.

ngdeliveries12Fletcher places a special order for a dead female from his procurers to be sure Shockman can find no male cadavers on the premises.  It is too cold to dig,so his thugs kill a woman to fill the order.  Hmmmm, special order, short notice, must be female, cold weather . . . $100 for this one; which Fletch forks over.

He lectures the class that the questioning of where the cadavers come from is misplaced.  No individual life is of consequence if it contributes to the saving of many lives.

He changes his tune; more of a scream than a tune, really, as he uncloaks today’s specimen and it is his fiance.

ngdeliveries15A nice piece, well cast and directed.  I just felt like there was something missing to link his fiance to the grave-robbers.  Maybe if she had just mentioned talking a walk in a dangerous part of town when Fletcher was visiting.  As it is, we are left to wonder, did these thugs just break into her house and snatch her?  And why her specifically?



  • Twilight Zone Legacy:  Marjorie Bennett (3), Peter Brocco (2,) Ian Wolfe (1), Walter Burke (1).

One thought on “Night Gallery – Deliveries in the Rear (S2E19)

  1. I am verey interested to obtain the series of Night Gallery because I liked them very much.
    My best regards

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