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CLIFFHANGERS!
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This is the home page of Pop Apostle's exploration of the Cliffhangers! TV series. This will be done in an episode-by-episode basis (rather than chapter-by-chapter) of all 3 serials, Stop Susan Williams, The Secret Empire, and The Curse of Dracula.

Cliffhangers! premiered on NBC in February 1979 and ended a few months later, airing only 10 of 11 episodes, leaving the Stop Susan Williams and The Secret Empire serials incomplete. The 11th episode was shown in international markets, providing the concluding chapter of Stop Susan Williams and the final 2 chapters of The Secret Empire. I will provide studies of all 10 U.S.
episodes and the 11th international episode. There is a nice roundup of the series and all three serials at TVobscurities.com.

Stop Susan Williams was inspired by the 1933 serial The Perils of Pauline.

The Secret Empire
was inspired by the 1935 serial The Phantom Empire.

The opening theme of each episode began with the following voiceover narration, delivered in the style of old movie trailers and appearing with appropriately illustrative images from the both the series and old-time movie serials:

Three of your favorite serials! Three brand new chapters! Cliffhangers!

The chase! The Lure of the exotic! The shock of the unexpected! The breathlessness of suspense! The amazing escapes!

Cliffhangers! Three new chapters filled with...Menace! Surprises! Romance! Death-defying action! Astonishing adventures into the unknown!

And just when all looks hopeless against impossible odds...the thrill of the rescue!

Cliffhangers!

Bringing you tonight...chapter (#) of Stop Susan Williams! Chapter (#) of The Secret Empire! And chapter (#) of The Curse of Dracula!

All three tonight on...Cliffhangers!

The title of each chapter of the three serials often (though not always) provided a hint as to what sort of cliffhanger the character(s) would face at the end of that week's chapter.

Cliffhangers!
was created by Kenneth Johnson and music was by his frequent collaborator, Joe Harnell. Fans of Johnson's original V mini-series may notice the similarity between Harnell's V theme and the Cliffhangers! theme. Listen:

Cliffhangers! theme
V theme

EPISODE # FEATURING
Episode 1 Stop Susan Williams
Chapter II
"THE SILENT ENEMY"
The Secret Empire
Chapter III
"PLUNGE INTO MYSTERY"
The Curse of Dracula
Chapter VI
"LIFEBLOOD"
   
Episode 2 Stop Susan Williams
Chapter Three
"JUNGLE DEATH TRAP"
The Secret Empire
Chapter 4
"PRISONER OF THE EMPIRE"
The Curse of Dracula
Chapter VII
"BLOOD STREAM"
   
Episode 3 The Curse of Dracula
Chapter VIII
"DEMONS OF THE DARK"
The Secret Empire
Chapter 5
"THE MIND TWISTERS"
Stop Susan Williams
Chapter Four
"THUNDERING DOOM"
   
Episode 4 The Curse of Dracula
Chapter IX
"DEPOSITORY OF DEATH"
The Secret Empire
Chapter 6
"SEEDS OF REVOLT"
Stop Susan Williams
Chapter Five
"DEADLY DESCENT"
   
Episode 5 The Curse of Dracula
Chapter X
"SEPULCHRE OF THE UNDEAD"
The Secret Empire
Chapter 7
"ATTACK OF THE PHANTOM RIDERS"
Stop Susan Williams
Chapter Six
"WATERY GRAVE"
   
Episode 6 The Curse of Dracula
Chapter XI
"THRESHOLD OF ETERNITY"
The Secret Empire
Chapter 8
"SIZZLING THREAT"
Stop Susan Williams
Chapter Seven
"CAULDRON OF FIRE"
   
Episode 7 The Curse of Dracula
Chapter XII
"WHERE ANGELS FEAR TO TREAD"
The Secret Empire
Chapter 9
"MANDIBLES OF DEATH"
Stop Susan Williams
Chapter Eight
"RIVER OF BLOOD"
   
Episode 8 The Curse of Dracula
Chapter XIII
"SEALED IN BLOOD"
The Secret Empire
Chapter 10
"THE LAST GASP"
Stop Susan Williams
Chapter Nine
"WHEELS OF DESTRUCTION"
   
Episode 9 The Curse of Dracula
Chapter XIV
"THIRST FOR DEATH"
The Secret Empire
Chapter 11
"RETURN TO CHIMERA"
Stop Susan Williams
Chapter Ten
"TERROR FROM THE SKY"
   
Episode 10 The Curse of Dracula
Chapter XV
"PLEAS OF THE DAMNED"
The Secret Empire
Chapter 12
"POWERHOUSE"
Stop Susan Williams
Chapter Eleven
"THE VILLAIN REVEALED"
   
Episode 11 The Secret Empire
Chapter 13
"PARTISANS UNCHAINED"
Stop Susan Williams
Chapter Twelve
"CRYPT OF DISASTER"
The Secret Empire
Chapter 14
"ESCAPE TO THE STARS"