Starring: Mona Freeman, Jessie Royce Landis, Shepperd Strudwick.
Written by: Eric Peters, based on the novel by Charlotte Armstrong.
Directed by: Paul Henreid
8 year-old Tessa Kilburn (Terry Burnham) is found with a gun in her hand standing over the dead body of her next door neighbor; her father's girlfriend Sylvia (Freeman) the only witness to what happened. It's up to Lt. Gordon (Judson Pratt) to figure out if this was an accident, if Tessa truly is a cold-blooded killer, or if there's something else going on in the Kilburn house.
JS: Honestly, these have got to get better from this point. If you haven't figured out who's responsible for the murder by the time of the first commercial break, perhaps you better come back when we start a Murder-She-Wrote-A-Day blog.
PE: Could we start that blog now? An incessant bore from frame one right through to its wrap-up. It’s really hard to believe that a new series could survive the airing of such rubbish. There literally is not one thing I can say in its defense so I’ll point out some episodic giggles:
- There was obviously a 2-for-1 sale on “bedridden old biddies” at the Universal lot in late 1960 as Mrs. Kilburn and Mrs. Walworth (from Worse Than Murder) prove. I do believe they’re staying in the same house and bedroom as well.
- It has always annoyed me when a narrator pops up to describe exactly what we see going on in a scene and speaks the words for the other characters! Reminds me of read-along in Kindergarten.
- Jon Lormer (as Dr. Emil Berland) amazingly channels Keith Richards a full forty years before Johnny Depp did it in Pirates of the Carribean!
- Tessa allegedly threatens to kill Sylvia…with a butter knife! (In all fairness, I might have believed it were a steak knife had Lt. Gordon not spent the entire next scene rolling it between his fingers. -JS) (...and then putting it in his coat pocket! -PE)
- All the suspense is wrapped up with a nice big bow when the cast all get together in one room for the worst exposition since Lon Chaney stumbled through the halls of the Inner Sanctum.
PE: Could this be the nadir of Thriller? With 63 episodes left, we’ll just have to wait and see.
JS: I hope we won't have to go back and reset our rating scale after this episode. This should represent absolute zero.