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 Review The Night of Bleak Island
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couldron
SS novice field agent

1438 Posts

Posted - 03/13/2007 :  19:44:54  Show Profile

I am going to get two things out of the way.
1. This feels like a remake of last week and of course that was a remake of a couple of other episodes already discussed.
2. This episode like Big Blast, Deadly Blossom, and Dive do homage to Classic movies specifically Sherlock Homes.

This is one of the few episodes that has bad weather. Rain is shown through the boat towards the island but when the passengers on the boat are shown there is no rain. They should have been soaked but they are not. I have never understood why they had to knock off Jonathan, the boatman, at least they had someone notice even if it was only the comment from the partner “that you have changed”. Why didn’t Jim catch on? I loved reading Sherlock Homes. Sir Nigel Scott fits my image of Watson not of Homes. I guess the writers are answering the question what would Homes do without his nemesis Moriarty or in this case Calendar. It is a change to have Jim’s partner be the villain. It is also nice to see some gadgets back but why did Jim have those claws? Something we only see in this episode. O.K. it is not unusual that we only see something once or that Jim has just what the needs but in other episodes it was usually introduced before it was used. Beverly Garland is an actress that I like and she has a better role here than the previous Cutthroats. The reason for the butler being killed and the attempt on Alicia’s life was week. Which brings me to another question. Why did the butler want to talk to West? The tag of course is of interest because it is the name of Robert Conrad’s daughter. The picture is of interest because ccd used it in a quiz. The rest of the goings on such as the lovers is entertaining but I wish the diamond hadn’t been so quickly found.

1/2


Mary

Herr Ostropolyer
SS 1st assignment - desk job

USA
209 Posts

Posted - 03/14/2007 :  14:01:50  Show Profile
Hey couldron,

Great review as always! I liked TNO Bleak Island a lot more than last week's TNOT Sabatini Death. Out of all the Jim "solo" episodes with very little Artie (like TNOT Cossacks), no Artie, and/or no guest agent Bleak Island is a fine outting.

Island does indeed do a great homage to the Holmes classic "The Hound of the Baskervilles" with a very gothic atmosphere of stormy weather, a mysterious manison, strange deaths, a hound from hell, cloaked figures in every corner, a murderer on the lose, everyone is a suspect, and a visit from one of West's mentors makes a very entertaining hour for the dreary 4th season.

I can easily forgive its rehashing of TNOT Tottering Tontine because out of the two episodes (both were very good) I saw Bleak Island first and it was much darker and a little more serious than Tontine.

I must also admit that the twist ending was a huge surprise for me. I remember when I first viewed this episode on TNT back in "97". The show came on at 3pm and I had work at 4, so I put a blank tape in and recorded the last 15 minutes of the show, I was that engaged and enthralled in the story. So, technically TNO Bleak Island was the first episode that I saw as well as taped, but it wasn't until "99" when that dreaded movie came out that I could watch/tape every episode of this fantastic televison series. So, I can't really knock TNO Bleak Island because it was the episode that won me over not only to the series, but to actually being a poster here on this excellent forum.

However, I will agree with you that the killing of the butler and the boatman were pointless, but I feel that it added misdirection to the proceedings. Many other tv shows have had the "Ten little Indians" theme where in a house or submarine (The Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea season two episode "Death Ship") a group of people are being killed off one by one, however the murderer always ended up being someone who was already "dead/killed", thus I never figured out the twist.

All the actors from RC to Beverly Garland as well as John Williams were excellent. Oh, one last thought: Jim had the climbing claws back in season three's TNOT Falcon, in which they suddenly appeared too with no introduction as well. Jim must have a better utility belt than Batman himself! Also, I loved the homage to Artie with his photograph from their very first adventure!

TNO Bleak Island gets 3 and 1/2 out of 5 possible stars!

Herr Ostropolyer

"The method of killing here is definetly the modus operandi of Dr. Calender!" -Sir Nigel Scott in TNO Bleak Island


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Dieter Epping
SS senior field agent

USA
6502 Posts

Posted - 03/14/2007 :  18:33:42  Show Profile
Im more on the Herr's side on this review because as I've said before, I love these gloomy, suspenseful spooky episodes like Man-Eating House, Tottering Tontine, Undead, Sedgewick Curse, Sabatini Death and Bleak Island if not more. Even Thousand Eyes if you want to go back that far with stormy episodes. Definitely one of my 2 favorites without Artie!
1/2
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kitana
SS novice field agent

1578 Posts

Posted - 03/16/2007 :  15:58:17  Show Profile
We saw thw climbing claws in TNoT Falcon, he used them to get out of the cavern where Artie in disguise was bidding on the gun powder for the cannon. I didn't like Bleak Island all that well not one of my Favs.

Artie, "Come one step closer and I'll misspell your name!"
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Dieter Epping
SS senior field agent

USA
6502 Posts

Posted - 03/16/2007 :  18:15:33  Show Profile
I know there are mixed feelings for this ep without Artie. I still like the spookyness of it and know it would maybe have been better with him in it. Though I know by this time of the series they majorly cut the budget to make most of the 4th season pretty cheesy. Not to mention less violent (Jim & Artie couldn't even have a gunbelt with guns anymore). I will always be curious how a 5th season might have been like with all the restrictions they got during the 4th. They were getting ready for season 5 till the surprize cancellation for the lamest reason. Just be happy for what we got!
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kitana
SS novice field agent

1578 Posts

Posted - 03/16/2007 :  18:33:16  Show Profile
Oh I am definatly happy with the four seasons. I know a friend who is a big fan of a show that ran only one season. At least we had the oppurtunity to see one of the best teams in TV history...

I am not big on spooky even cheezy spooky.... but I did enjoy the twist in the end.

Artie, "Come one step closer and I'll misspell your name!"
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Dieter Epping
SS senior field agent

USA
6502 Posts

Posted - 03/16/2007 :  18:46:10  Show Profile
I agree Kitana. We got 104 episodes and that is a great run that will entertain us forever. Plus the 2 movies but I don't really count those. Glad they got back together though. They were planning a 3rd movie but when Ross passed away, Robert refused to even think about it. Shows how much he respected Ross Martin. Definitely a great guy. Couldn't have done a WWW movie with say Jeremy Pike or another guest like in the 4th season.
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kitana
SS novice field agent

1578 Posts

Posted - 03/16/2007 :  19:05:39  Show Profile
Yes I have always like Robert, he seems really down to earth as did Ross. You are right it would have not been the same without Ross.
That is a duo the likes of which will not be seen again in my lifetime

Artie, "Come one step closer and I'll misspell your name!"
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Dieter Epping
SS senior field agent

USA
6502 Posts

Posted - 03/16/2007 :  19:39:25  Show Profile
The best of the best!! I agree!
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Wildfan
SS novice field agent

USA
1617 Posts

Posted - 03/17/2007 :  08:45:37  Show Profile
I think that all or most episodes of WWW have an element of mystery about them. I believe that is a big part of it's appeal. Like Herr and Dieter,I'm partial to the spooky, who-done-it, nothing is quite what it seems to be,type of eps. TNOT Bleak is one of my faves, along with other ones mentioned by Dieter. The combination of mystery, gadgets, action, the comraderie of Jim and Artie, and beautiful girls is unbeatable!
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Wildfan
SS novice field agent

USA
1617 Posts

Posted - 03/17/2007 :  08:52:22  Show Profile
BTW,dosen't TNOT Diva fall into the gothic category too? It's been a while since I've seen it, but that's the way I remember it.
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SordoTheBandit
SS 1st assignment - desk job

478 Posts

Posted - 03/17/2007 :  10:41:15  Show Profile
One of the best for the 4th season. Great suspense, great action, great music. Loved the scene inside the cottage with the hooded thugs. The music by Richard Shores was excellent. When Beverly Garland would appear, I found myself looking for Doty and Fred MacMurray. I still can't help but wonder where RC's barber was during the 4th season.

I'm in a good mood and I had fun....

5 STARS
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kitana
SS novice field agent

1578 Posts

Posted - 03/17/2007 :  11:12:46  Show Profile
Mystery is one thing, spooky a whole other:)

Artie, "Come one step closer and I'll misspell your name!"
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Wildfan
SS novice field agent

USA
1617 Posts

Posted - 03/17/2007 :  12:45:19  Show Profile
For kitana; Yes, but they often go together.
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Dieter Epping
SS senior field agent

USA
6502 Posts

Posted - 03/17/2007 :  14:47:38  Show Profile
Hey Wildfan--Glad you agree. I think the same way. There was no other show like this one that was a western with bad guys one week but a ghostly/spooky/stormy one the next. Or monsters like Kraken (sea monster), Watery Death (sea dragon), Simian Terror (gorilla), wolves and THE HOUND in Bleak Island. This show came up with every type of challenge for the agents you could think of. Not the same thing every week. Thats why it stands out as the most different entertaining action show of all time to me!
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Dieter Epping
SS senior field agent

USA
6502 Posts

Posted - 03/17/2007 :  17:53:32  Show Profile
Oh---and aliens from a spaceship too (Flying Pie Plate), killer puppets, steel assassins, and earthquakes, tidal waves, volcanos, etc. Best all around show ever!!
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kitana
SS novice field agent

1578 Posts

Posted - 03/17/2007 :  20:06:25  Show Profile
I agree Dieter best all around show ever!!!! I will rewatch Bleak Island when it comes on again here and pay closer attition may have a diffrent reaction second time around..... (maybe it was the hound, the others didn't effect me the way Bleak Island did)

Artie, "Come one step closer and I'll misspell your name!"
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Wildfan
SS novice field agent

USA
1617 Posts

Posted - 03/18/2007 :  07:17:36  Show Profile
In the mid-1960s, there were two major ,popular themes running in movies and television. Westerns and Spys. And then Michael Garrison (I hope I'm crediting the right guy), had the genius to combine the two. The result is the show that we are all in agreement as the best of all time. We're fortunate to have had all the elements fall into place to make the WWW what it is.Any other combination of actors in the lead roles and it wouldn't have been the same! Even the fateful shuffling of producers and directors inadvertantly shaped and evolved the series into what we came to know and love. Arguably, some of the changes along the way were for better, some for worse, but here we are 40-plus years later, still enjoying a television show that has had a major impact on all of us.
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Wildfan
SS novice field agent

USA
1617 Posts

Posted - 03/18/2007 :  07:52:05  Show Profile
Sorry, got off-topic there, I don't currently have a copy of TNOT Bleak Island and have not seen it un many years. I do remember it, but not in enough detail to properly review it. Come on seasons 3 and 4!
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ccb
SS Quizmaster Emeritus

3799 Posts

Posted - 03/18/2007 :  14:05:44  Show Profile
I find this episode middling. It's not poor West by any means, but it could have been a lot better. Again they seem no longer to have been taking the pains they once had.

On the plus side, the producers gave us a haircut, not only on The Hound of the Baskervilles, but also on The Murder of Roger Ackroyd. Rather cleverly, too: After weeks of watching West assisted by a series of visiting sidekicks, this time twist the tale so that the sidekick is the heavy. (By now I assume that anyone reading this thread has either seen the episode or long since had its surprise spoiled for them!) And who better in the Holmes/Watson/Moriarty part (take your pick; they're all valid) than John Williams, who cultivated the role of veddy British inspector in Hitchcock classics like Dial M for Murder and To Catch a Thief. The episode also gives us the best storm–lashed Night since the Tottering Tontine and a good soundtrack: basically, Richard Shores's "Sedgewick Curse" laced—for the last time (sniff!)—with a little more of Bob Drasnin's "Man–Eating House."

I pause to ask a few irrelevant questions:
  • Is that boat in the teaser, roiled on the waves, the same footage of the Minnow from Gilligan's Island's main title?

  • How could a director as talented as Marvin Chomsky light the Moon Diamond so wonderfully in Act II, then nod off, in Act III, with West's utterly undramatic elevation to Bleak's treasure–room window and the ridiculously repeated footage of Scott, West, and their footsteps in the secret corridor? Answers: (1) That's Jimmy George they hung on the Peter–Pan wires, so they pulled the camera back to the next county. (2) They refused to build more secret corridor for the actors to walk through. In both cases: typical fourth–season hurry–up, get-it-in-the-can cheapness.

  • Notice how delicately they suggest that Helen Merritt was the late Mr. Bleak's mistress? I wish they had really made something of this, and of the tension between her and Bleak's sister, censors be dammed.

Where was I? Oh, yes.

On the debit side: Classic mysteries get a haircut in this episode, but Bob Conrad still hasn't. The once impeccably groomed Mr. West now looks like a Ventura beach-bum, and I for one don't like it. Equally sloppy is the script. Others have noticed this. Jonathan gets offed within 60 seconds, without explanation. (Actually, there may be an explanation: someone needs to make the boat vanish [Act III], but the producers were too lazy to tie this together.) But why have the Brönte–esque couple of young lovers attacked by a daggerman? What have they done to threaten anyone? Unless you're going to make Beverly Garland's character into some weirdly jealous Mrs. Bates—which, come to think of it, would have made a nice if implausible plot–twist. But I digress. And again, for the third time (see "The Wolf" and "The Simian Terror") the producers and director blow it when they show us the real hound. As long as the beast is merely suggested—with the howls, beneath the bushes, those gimlet–green eyes in the dark—we're doing fine. Then show us Rover on the run and, I tell you, I can't help from laughing. This, children, is why radio drama was so often superior to that on television.

1/2 for what's up on the screen, not for the better episode we all can watch in our minds.
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