Night Gallery – She’ll Be Company for You (12/24/72)

This one is painful.  Maybe it’s because it is following a run of pretty good reviews.  Or maybe it is just awful.

Henry Auden is at the funeral of his wife.  He loved her, but she had become a burden with her wheelchair and her bell that she would ring to call him.  Of course, he could have save a lot of trouble by having her bedroom on the first floor.  Truthfully, he is relieved to have her gone.  As soon as the funeral wraps up, Maggie’s best friend Barbara (Chief Brody’s wife in Jaws) tells Henry that they need to go back to his house, to Maggie’s bedroom.  This woman is a player.

Sadly, Barbara is just a nut who just wanted too see the room and see if Maggie still somehow occupied it.  Downstairs, Henry believes he hears the bell that Maggie had used to summon him.  He accuses Barbara of ringing it, but she is coy about whether she did or not — way too coy for the story.

Barbara feels bad for Henry all alone in the big house, but apparently the bedroom tease leads to nothing.  She does, however, send him her cat Jennet to keep him company.

ngshellkeep02In addition to hearing the bell ringing, Henry also hears the roars of large jungle cats just outside his home.  He even believes he sees their shadows.

The next day he hears the bell again in concert with the roaring cats.  This sets not only his head spinning, but his entire body as the director apparently had him standing on a lazy-susan.  Now there’s a behind-the-scenes photo I want to see.  Finally, he thinks he’s sees a leopard in the doorway.

That night he hears the ringing again, but he sees the bell sitting on the table.  In fact, when he examines it, there is no clapper.  OK, that proves there was no ringing, but there must have been one in there when Maggie was alive.  What happened to it? Nothing happened to it — it was just needed for a story point.

ngshellkeep04Hearing another roar, Henry looks out Maggie’s bedroom window.  The leopard has changed its spots; in fact, he changed them into stripes because he’s a tiger now.  Henry looks for a weapon in the kitchen. Initially picking up a rolling pin.

Remembering he is not a 1950’s housewife, he discards it for a carving knife about the size of a machete.  What were they have at Thanksgiving, ostrich?  Even with that lethal weapon,he’s pretty ballsy going after a tiger.

He begins hacking away at foliage, even beginning with some plants in the house.  He gets glimpses of the tiger slinking away, but never catches him before falling exhausted to the ground.  He walks back to the house, still hearing the bell.  He dutifully marches up to Maggie’s bedroom.

Barbara comes by to see Henry that day and we see Jennet his lapping up blood dripping from his mauled body.

ngshellkeep05Post-Post:

  • Or maybe it was all just a bad case of tinnitus.
  • Twilight Zone Legacy:  Leonard Nimoy was in A Quality of Mercy.
  • The director has only 3 directing credits but a ton of Director of Photography credits, including the just about the entire run of Star Trek. so, that Leonard Nimoy was really a good sport.
  • The director has admitted he was over his head in directing this episode.  The writer also accepted some blame, but he has a pretty impressive resume.

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