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Episode Studies by Clayton Barr
Cliffhangers! Episode 3

Starting with this episode, Stop Susan Williams and The Curse of Dracula swap places in the lineup, TCOD showing first and SSW showing last.

Les Baxter joins Joe Harnell in providing the music score in this episode.

Chapter VIII
Written by Myla Lichtman
Directed by Jeffrey Hayden

Didja Notice?

When the nurse's console monitoring Kurt's room goes straightline, she announces, "Code blue. 213." "Code blue" is the hospital emergency code for a patient requiring immediate resuscitation. "213" is the room number.

In this chapter we see that Dracula's two dogs, Desdemona and Othello, guard the coffin in his home while he sleeps through the daylight hours.

Besides the normal lid, Dracula's coffin also has a wall panel that opens down so that he can easily climb in and out.

The California license plate of Dracula's car is ETERNAL.

When the motorcycle cop pulls Dracula over, he says "You ran that light back there going like a bat out of hell." That's ironic considering Dracula is usually depicted (though not in this series) as being capable of turning into a bat himself!

Dracula objects to the cop's representation of the traffic incident, saying, "That light was yellow. I know the color red when I see it." Another, this time intentionally, ironic statement in that Dracula is very familiar with the color in blood!

For good measure, the cop delivers one last, unintentionally ironic, line. Referring to Dracula's car, he says, "You know, you guys get one of these $20,000 jobs and you think you own us all...body and soul."

Mary finds a lead on another of Dracula's hidden coffins at a business called Beacon Mortuary Supplies located at 666 Sunset Road. There seem to be three word gags in this address. A beacon is often used as a warning to stay away from a dangerous location, such as a lighthouse beacon to warn ships of nearby shoals. 666 is a widely known symbol of the devil. And "Sunset" as the name of the road is probably a reference to the time that Dracula begins his day.

Dracula claims to have known, and compares Mary's qualities to: the courage of Mary, Queen of Scots; the grace of Pavlova; and the beauty of Anne Boleyn. Mary, Queen of Scots was Queen of Scotland from 1542-1567 and was briefly Queen of France through her marriage to King Francis I of France before his death; she also had aspirations to becoming Queen of England and was eventually tried and executed for her involvement in three plots to kill Queen Elizabeth I. Anna Pavlova was a world-renowned Russian classical ballerina in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Anne Boleyn was the beautiful second wife of King Henry VIII for three years until he had her beheaded when she failed to bear him a son and he became interested in another woman.

The cliffhanger ending this week: Mary is trapped inside a collapsed phone booth as Dracula's dogs, Desdemona and Othello, tear it apart from without to get at her!

Don't miss Chapter IX: DEPOSITORY OF DEATH

Memorable Dialog

good evening.wav
bat out of hell.wav
I know the color red.wav
body and soul.wav

Chapter 5
Written by Gene R. Kearney
Directed by Joseph Pevney

Didja Notice?

The vicious, green beast that attacks Donner turns out to be a pet and sort of watchdog to Maya named Taz. I wonder if he was named for the Looney Tunes character, the Tasmanian Devil (Taz for short)? The snarling sounds he makes sound similar to the cartoon character! Listen: Taz  Tasmanian Devil (Thanks to the Looney Tunes Sound Source.)

Maya refers to Taz as a subform from her people's home.

Maya claims her people came from another planet ruled by oppression. Some of them fled it and came to Earth and established the underground kingdom of Chimera. But now oppression has returned as Thorval has usurped leadership from Maya's benevolent father, Demeter, now believed dead. There are rumors that Demeter escaped to live on the surface, but they don't know how he could survive the ultraviolet rays of Earth's sun.

Maya reveals that Thorval seeks to gain enough gold to use a new form of the compliatron to enslave the surface people as well.

When asked about the rebels plans by Thorval, Donner retorts, "Didn't you hear? Robert E. Lee surrendered in '65." This is a reference to the Confederate general and commander of the Confederate Army, who unconditionally surrendered to U.S. forces at Appomattox Courthouse, VA in 1865, ending the U.S. Civil War.

The cliffhanger ending this week: Donner and Tera plummet into a deep pit with growling, hungry creatures lurking below!

Don't miss Chapter 6: SEEDS OF REVOLT
Memorable Dialog
the wrong end of a mule.wav
gold's always bent folks minds.wav
coyotes shooting pool.wav
Robert E Lee surrendered.wav
Chapter Four
Written by Thomas Szolozzi and Richard Christian Matheson
Directed by Reza S. Badiyi
Didja Notice?

For some reason, this week's chapter has a different opening music theme than previously. And the following chapter has a semi-jungle theme before it goes back to the original opening music with Chapter 6.

Co-writer Richard Christian Matheson is a horror and screenplay writer who is the son of famed fiction writer Richard Matheson.

Susan comments on having nearly been eaten by a lion who obviously had never seen Born Free. She is referring to the 1966 film (based on the book of the same name) about the true-life adventures of Joy and George Adamson, who befriend and raise three lion cubs, one of whom is returned to the wild as an adult but continues to remember and treat them as friends when they track and find her a year later.

At 38:24 in the episode, after running out of gas in the Jeep and finding the gas can in the back empty, Susan throws the can back inside the rear hatch and closes the hatch. But, then as she walks away, we see the hatch is still open!

The tune Susan is whistling at 38:51 in the episode is the "Colonel Bogey March" (1914).

At 40:28 in the episode, Anthony Korf calls Parnassus Imports and asks Mr. Samuelson about "the computer timing device" and when he gets the answer that it will arrive from Switzerland at 1700 hours, he says, "Excellent. Then we can expect its arrival well before May 15th." First, Switzerland is known for it excellent clock-making, hence the timing device's origin. Second, since May 15th is the day that will "stun the world" (as stated in Episode 1), the timing device may be an early clue as to the nature of what is planned for that day.

The cliffhanger ending this week: A herd of stampeding elephants is driven straight towards Susan!

Don't miss Chapter Five: DEADLY DESCENT

Memorable Dialog
Born Free.wav
I saw her fall in.wav
playing pinball.wav

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