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Rate Episode 7: The Devil's Platform
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Total votes : 4
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Unread postPosted: Fri Nov 23, 2007 2:07 pm 
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Episode 7: The Devil's Platform

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Original Air Date: November 15, 1974
Writer: Donn Mullally
Director: Allen Baron

Guest Stars:
Tom Skerritt ..... Sen. Robert W. Palmer
Ellen Weston ..... Lorraine Palmer
Julie Gregg ...... Susan Driscoll
Stanley Adams .... Louie the Bartender
John Myhers ...... Sen. James Talbot
Jeanne Cooper .... Dr. Kliner

Chicago, Illinois: Senator Robert Palmer campaign seems to be going a little too well when his opponents begin dropping off in more than just the polls. As Kolchak investigates the murders, he discovers that the Senator is a devoutly religious man ...



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Unread postPosted: Sat Dec 22, 2007 12:20 pm 
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OK, I'm a sucker for this type of story. Put a coven together, a black mass, a contract with the Devil, and I'm all over it. Now throw in Tom Skerritt as said Satanist Worshiping politician, man we are ready for fun.

One of the aspects that I like best about this episode is that, although Sen. Robert Palmer - no not the 1980's "Addicted to Love" guy - is the main focus of the story, he has very little screen time during the first half of the episode. However, a large 5 toed mastiff seems to be where-ever the Senator should be. However, rather than give away the plot, rest assured, the Dog plays an important part of the story setup.

This episode has some familiar - albeit brief - appearances from some noted TOS-Twilight Zone Alum: Jeanne Cooper & Stanley Adams, and from the 1980's TZ: John Myhers.

Things that make this episode work: Again, the actual blending of Satanic Folk-lore and mythology - which was very much en-vogue in the 70's - into the story. Realistic ceremonies, visuals, and reactions were well played. The low-key and often under emphasized role Tom Skerritt lends to the role.

Things that didn't work: The clumsy and seemingly quick dispatch of the good Senator. Just far too abrupt and cliche. I know they had to end the story the way they did, but for a clever man, he wasn't very clever at the crucial moment.

All in all, a fun episode that keeps you thinking at Kolchak's pace, yet allows you to get ahead of Carl without the episode giving you the "Dumbed Down" feeling.

7!


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Unread postPosted: Sun May 31, 2009 7:07 am 
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The story is almost secondary in this episode as Kolchak pursues a Satan-worshipping politician.

Boss Tony has to be the dimmest bulb on the planet as those associated with the politician are dropping like flies. Kolchak does nothing but present Tony with tons of evidence of wrong doing but Tony continually pooh-poohs him. I understand that the friction between these two is a big part of the series but geez! As Kolchak says to Tony "2+2=4". Apparently, Tony doesn't think so.

The best thing about "The Devil's Platform" is the banter in the INS office. I think the older lady at INS is named Emily. She brings gifts for everyone back from her vacation and the interaction between them all is very entertaining.

My Rating: 7 - Very Good

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Unread postPosted: Thu Jun 04, 2009 8:12 am 
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whitsbrain wrote:
The best thing about "The Devil's Platform" is the banter in the INS office. I think the older lady at INS is named Emily. She brings gifts for everyone back from her vacation and the interaction between them all is very entertaining.


Agreed.

Some of the best scenes - in any episode - occurr in the INS office. Ron Updyke is often times the foil of Kolchak's humor. Miss Emily is the endearing older columnist who handles everything from the Love Lorn section to the crossword puzzles. But - you gotta love the Kolchak and editor Tony Vincenzo confrontations. These 2 have a long history together - as is made evident in the 2 TV movies - and I believe Oakland and McGavin were friends in real life as well. It certainly comes across on screen that way. Sometimes the dialog and motivations of each men are questionable, but, watch how the handle their lines and play off each other.


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Unread postPosted: Sun Sep 11, 2011 9:45 am 
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Here is where my opinion appears to differ with the other reviewers. Sure, I love the satanic angle. I think the idea is great. It is the execution that is lacking. And sure, the scenes at INS are always good and often brilliant. But can't the same thing be said about every episode? The office scenes in this series were consistently great.

This episode starts strongly and ends feebly. An amulet fizzling in holy water - really? I cannot tolerate weak endings. It's like investing a bundle and then being rewarded with no interest.

Oh, and a question for others: Do you believe Tom Skerritt when he says he has no memory of playing this part in the Night Stalker series? No memory of it?? His response to a question about it came across as arrogant, as if he were ashamed to be associated in any way with the series. Hopefully, I'm misreading the situation.

I associate the younger Skerritt with the movie Devil's Rain. Satanic cults and Devil worship were all the rage in the late 60s/70s. The theme almost always worked - it's a shame K:TNS couldn't do it justice.


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Unread postPosted: Sun Sep 11, 2011 10:07 am 
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Skerritt has been a busy actor, but not remembering this at all? Pffffft...I don't believe that for a second. If he's ashamed for being involved with Kolchak:TNS, he's an ass.

Great to read these comments. I love when an old thread like this gets kicked up. I was just about to do the same thing with Jonny Quest (a favorite of mine). Make sure you check out the extensive Twilight Zone and Outer Limits sections here.

And DrM's movie areas are impossible to beat.

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Unread postPosted: Sun Sep 11, 2011 11:15 pm 
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Tom ... where is the love? Too many years, too many drugs or booze, who knows? But come on? You don't remember working with Darren McGavin? Really?

I remember meeting Cloris Leachman not to long ago to have her sign a Night Gallery collage from "You Can't Get Help Like That Anymore," and she stared at it for a long time but couldn't remember anything. However, soon as I mentioned Broderick Crawford and Jeff Corey it began to come back. So, getting back to Skerritt, maybe he doesn't remember the episode but he has to remember working with Darren for chrissake.

I wonder if he remembers being in Cheech and Chong's "Up In Smoke?"

whitsbrain wrote:
And DrM's movie areas are impossible to beat.


Thanks Whit - I do try :D


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Unread postPosted: Mon Sep 12, 2011 4:45 am 
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DrMoreau wrote:
Tom ... where is the love? Too many years, too many drugs or booze, who knows? But come on? You don't remember working with Darren McGavin? Really?
I wonder if he remembers being in Cheech and Chong's "Up In Smoke?"


I wonder if he remembers "Alien"?

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Unread postPosted: Mon Sep 12, 2011 8:58 am 
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I wonder what exactly he does remember of the years and gigs between M*A*S*H and Picket Fences? :?


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