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Episode Studies by Clayton Barr
Cliffhangers! Episode 2

Charles R. Cassey joins Joe Harnell in providing the music score in this episode.

For some reason both Stop Susan Williams and The Secret Empire cease to use roman numerals as labels for their chapters this episode, with only The Curse of Dracula retaining the roman numerals. SSW uses a spelled out number and TSE uses an Arabic numeral.

Chapter Three
Written by Andrew Schneider
Directed by Reza S. Badiyi

Didja Notice?

Picking up from the cliffhanger ending of the previous chapter, a cobra is about to strike Susan in the neck as she sits bathing in a tub. Jack shows up just in time to shoot the snake. But we see water leaking out of the tub from the bullet which went through the snake and then through the wall of the tub! Wouldn't the bullet have hit Susan too?! Thankfully, she's OK!

The ring with the blue stone again indicates the leader of the conspiracy and we see his face this time, but don't learn his name. His name is printed on a desktop nameplate in his office at 8:23 in the episode, however, it is too blurry to make out what it says. But the chapter's ending voiceover by the narrator tells us his name is Anthony Korf.

Susan leaves Marrakech, Morocco for Nairobi, Kenya in this chapter.

At 13:52 in the episode, we see that Chamberlain is wearing the same kind of ring as the leader of the conspiracy.

During his discussion with Jack, Chamberlain says, "Ours not to wonder why, ours but know the rest." Chamberlain is making a (popular) misquote of a line from Alfred, Lord Tennyson's epic poem "The Charge of the Light Brigade." The line from the poem is "Theirs not to reason why, theirs but to do and die." Ironically, when he says this, he and Jack are discussing a front company called Parnassus Imports; the name Parnassus is often a metaphor for poetry because Mount Parnassus in Greece is the mythological home of the Muses and, thus, the home of poetry (and writing and music).

During Jack and Chamberlain's discussion it's revealed that Jack is squeamish about cold-blooded murder, suggesting that our morally ambiguous mercenary does have a certain code of ethics.

The cliffhanger ending this week: Susan falls into a pit with a hungry lion!

Don't miss Chapter Four: THUNDERING DOOM

Memorable Dialog

little guy with a slingshot.wav
first rate piece of machinery.wav
allergic to cats.wav

Chapter 4

Written by Gene R. Kearney
Directed by Joseph Pevney

Didja Notice?

We learn that the people of the secret empire are not able to breathe the atmosphere on the world's surface. The Phantom Riders wear a special mask over their mouth and nose when they go above ground and Princess Tera wonders how Marshal Donner can breathe in both the above- and below-ground civilizations.

Possibly, Princess Tera's name is derived from the Latin name for Earth, Terra.

The compliatron runs on gold for fuel, which explains why the Phantom Riders have been stealing from surface world shipments.

The secret empire is known as Shimera by its residents.

The compliatron is a chair with a set of extending prongs on the headrest. When powered by gold and activated it "programs" the person in it to be extremely open to suggestion for an extended time. It's sort of a slightly less malevolent version of the conversion chamber used by the alien Visitors in Kenneth Johnson's later sci-fi series V!

When Yannuck finds Princess Tera in her room and realizes she is under the spell of the compliatron, she asks him if there is anything she can do for him. After a pregnant pause he closes the door to the room, implying he is about to take advantage of her suggestibility for a sexual liaison!

The cliffhanger ending this week: Donner is attacked by a vicious green monster!

Don't miss Chapter 5: THE MIND TWISTERS

Memorable Dialog

holy Sam Houston.wav
what brings you to Shimira.wav
this Missourah person.wav
a Philadelphia lawyer.wav
Chapter VII

Written by Renee and Harry Longstreet
Directed by Jeffery Hayden
Didja Notice?

This chapter has a lot of padding, replaying several scenes from Chapter VI (in reminiscence by Mary) to fill out its 15 minutes of running time.

In the previous chapter we learned from Mary that Dracula has 20 coffins in the U.S. that she and Kurt knew of and they had destroyed 13 of them. As Dracula pens his journal at the beginning of this chapter, we learn that he had 20 coffins placed in strategic locations around the city (San Francisco). Does this mean he may, unknown to Mary and Kurt, still have other coffins already hidden in other cities as well?

Also from Dracula's journal, we learn that the 13th destroyed coffin (from the previous chapter) was in Marin county, north of San Francisco.

Dracula calls his two dogs (possibly Rottweilers) Desdemona and Othello; these are the names of two characters who are lovers in Shakespeare's play Othello.

The cliffhanger ending this week: Under sedation in the hospital, Kurt's I.V. line is poisoned while Mary looks on helplessly!

Don't miss Chapter VIII: DEMONS OF THE DARK

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