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 Review of The Night of the Sedgewick Curse
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couldron
SS novice field agent

1444 Posts

Posted - 11/28/2006 :  21:48:01  Show Profile

Right off the top I am going to tell you I didn’t like this episode BUT… I have changed my mind. Nothing is what it appears to be in this episode as Jim and Artie learn. The room is not ordinary and has a surprise for Artie. Of course, Artie is not what he seems to be. The lovely Lavinia is portrayed as a sweet, sympathetic, kind woman caught in some horror and Jessica is presented as a dark, hard woman who has secrets but things are not what they seem. A grandfather has his own surprise and of course, Lavinia gets the biggest surprise for things not being what they seem via an injection that is not as it seems.
I don’t know if Robert Conrad actually jumped on that horse but it was a good trick and the raring up of that hose was a nice touch planned or unplanned.
The Sedgewick House is one of decay as Lavinia says. It is the creepiest set not even Man-Eating House was this dark. I can’t figure out why this is so. The one draw back is the ending. I guess because of the edict against violence they couldn’t have a fight. Come on now there had to be a better way than the bad guy just telling his cronies to give up.


Ecstasy La Joie
SS novice field agent

USA
1799 Posts

Posted - 11/30/2006 :  06:00:07  Show Profile
I don't have too much to say about this episode, yet. It's not one I currently have available to me and it's been ages since I saw it. However, I will say that there are two moments that stand out for me. The horse incident and JW telling Lavinia that he's taking her home (so masterful), and at dinner when he tells her that listening's and old specialty of his . I don't think I will turn out to be much of a critic of any of the episodes. I love them all! In looking back to what stands out in each epi for me, the things I remember most are the romantic moments. What an incredible surprise!! I never looked at it the way couldron has, and it's a great angle. It's one of the reasons I'm glad to be a part of this forum. I guess I'm just a sentimental softie
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MaudeB
SS novice field agent

582 Posts

Posted - 11/30/2006 :  06:53:48  Show Profile

I'm with you, Ecstacy. I rarely get involved with the reviews because I love each and every episode (except the Artie-less ones.)

Still, I like to see how others see them. WWW was my favorite show as a kid (and forever). I even wrote RM a letter with my deep teenage intellectual thoughts on the show. Whoever read that one must still be laughing! But I did get a nice autographed picture back. Hunk-a-lishes!
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Dieter Epping
SS senior field agent

USA
6517 Posts

Posted - 12/01/2006 :  11:31:08  Show Profile
Great spooky stormy episode!! One of my favorites when I saw it in reruns every day as I grew up. I always loved the haunting gloomy episodes and the creepy music was perfect to go with it.
stars for me!!!
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ccb
SS Quizmaster Emeritus

3908 Posts

Posted - 12/01/2006 :  18:14:26  Show Profile
I'm with Dieter on this one. "The Sedgewick Curse" is not great West, but I consider it very good. I confess my bias: even as a kid, I was a s*cker for the series' Gothic episodes.

As the series wore on, one of its problems was coming up with fresh ideas, new variations on The Crazy Guy Out to Conquer the World. This episode gives us several crazy guys. None may be bent on world–domination, but the way Paul Playdon's script draws Our Boys into the proceedings—the disappearance of a figure important to the U. S. Goverment—is plausible. And a mysterious—even instantaneous—disappearance it is: the teaser is a genuine tease.

The first fifteen minutes lead us to think we have on our hands another dull western. Then West shows up at Sedgewick Place, and we happily veer away into Spookyland: the old dark house, lightning and thunder, moans and groans, the promise of witchcraft, Rebecca's morose Mrs. Danvers (here, Jessica), weird grandpappies in the attic, etc. How I love these creaky old genre clichés.

RM has some nice character turns. If they couldn't sign Vincent Price, then Jay Robinson is a slimy runner–up. The Act III fight (with West's surprise leap from the bed's canopy) is well choreographed. And, as he did with "The Firebrand" in Season Three, Richard Shores gives us the definitive music score for Season Four.

What's not to like? Well, it should have starred Vincent Price! Sharon Acker is a lovely and competent actress, but for most of the episode she pitches her character at such a relentless level of hysteria that it grates on one's nerves. It's a bit of a letdown that the real Sedgewick curse is not the satanist mumb-jumbo but, instead, a pair of worn–out genes. Artie's ventriloquism is a cute idea, even though its payoff in Act IV is contrived, even by West's standards. (Nobody can literally throw his voice behind a thick, bolted door.) Mainly, however, there's no real passion in the show: no indication that anyone's really moved to do anything beyond carry a plot forward. That for me—unless the proceedings are genuinely wild and flawlessly executed—is what lifts the series' finest hours to greatness.

Nevertheless: if not great, then still very good, especially for Season Four. Pretty soon, things start heading south precipitously.
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Herr Ostropolyer
SS 1st assignment - desk job

USA
209 Posts

Posted - 12/02/2006 :  08:48:02  Show Profile
Hey All!

Great Reviews as always! I'm sorry I'm late, been finishing a term paper for my Senior Seminar in History. So, the concenus is that TNOT Sedgewick Curse is an ok episode, and I would have to agree to a point. Sedgwick Curse, however is a guilty pleasure of mine.

I feel that the script was in no doubt slammed by the censors. I, like ccb would have loved the plot if it actually involved the satanist curse, however I don't think the TV decency code would have allowed satinism in any form be broadcast in the prime time hours of 1968 (After all, this was from the same group that wanted to get rid of the Mr. Spock charcter from the original Star Trek piolet because of his satanic ears.), thus we get the Dorian Grey like plot. I also feel that perhaps this censorship muddled the script itself. I always wondered how Lavinia remained so young in the first place, because of the family's rapid aging disorder. And, didn't the "grandfather" end up being her slightly older brother? I feel that the satinism may have in fact kept Lavinia young, but was removed from the script, thus causing this confusion.

Also, I am amazed at what the show got away with minus the violence edict as well as the "censorship on satinism". West recieves a clue that is written in the victim's own blood, and Artie is placed in one of the greatest death traps of the series. I was on the edge of my seat as Sauna's temperature was rising and all of Artie's means of escape were futile.

Kudos to RC and RM. I really feel bad for RC because the fight scenes were his forte and the non- violence edict will truly harm not only the show, but RC's contribution to the program. Also, Jay Robinson is wonderful as Dr. Maitland, however I have to agree with the others in that Vincent Price would have been the wisest choice. I'm truly surprised that he never appeared on our show because he was in a lot of the mainstays of 60's tv: "The Man From U.N.C.L.E.", "Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea", "Batman", and "Get Smart" just to name a few.

Was it excellent West? No. Was it poor West? No, the highlights and the Gothic atmosphere prove that. Was it a rehash of TNOT Man Eating House? Oh, yes. However, TNOT Sedgwick Curse was a missed opportunity that was still entertaining and engaging! And, that is saying alot for a Season 4 episode.

3 and 1/2 out of pentagrams, opps, I mean stars!

Herr Ostropolyer

"Good night Artie.", "Good night Chet."-Artie always ahead of his time (future news anchor?) talking to his ventriloquest's dummy in TNOT Sedgwick Curse.
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