JOURNEY INTO THE UNKNOWN with Ben From Doctor Who
The Last Visitor
This anthology series is a mixed bag. It sets up great atmosphere and character background and interplay and some really spookey ideas and even a few sci fi ideas (the best is the brothers who communicate telepathically, used by one who is evil). Anything can happen to the characters who won't be back next week no matter what: they may die and that sends forth some sense of dread and threat. Two of these were made into a movie with Peter Strauss and Robert Reed but this episode I wanted to watch because Michael Craze is in it.
Well, Mike is only in this ep of course and only in it for about 30 seconds, if that and he has maybe one or two lines! Patty Duke, looking younger than ever is in it, too and the location is just lovely...a seaside hotel in a coastal village possibly in Hastings...is just marvelous. This show is obsure these days despite a semi professinal fan made magazine about ten years ago doing a full episode guide and recollections. In any event, the series specializes in atmosphere, tension, excellent camera angles, and moody and well crafted music. Unfortunately it is just about 30 min too long and most anthologies would do well to follow THE TWILIGHT ZONE's page...stay short and sweet.
The main thing that happens in over 30 min is that a strange man enters Patty Duke's bedroom...she's there recovering from stress at work, sent there by her job to rest. A man with glasses appears in her room and the first suspect is Geoffrey Blaydon (DOCTOR WHO in BIG FINISH's UNBOUND series as the Doctor, one time contender for DOCTOR WHO and guest star in SPACE: 1999-ONE MOMENT OF HUMANITY and guest star in THE TOMORROW PEOPLE-INTO THE UNKNOWN) who is one of the only other guests staying at the seaside hotel. Forntunately, most is made of the scary hotel and the upstairs bedroom but when the last two guests leave, we hope Patty's character will be safe...she's not really and frnakly the talks that follow stretch on endlesslly and lots and lots of dialog before anything else happens YEARS later it seems.
Yeah, we want development of plot and character but visually this keeps things going but just. It's really time to reach for the remote fast foward when they say the same things over and over and over and over again. The ending, therefore is targetted from a mile away and "shock" ending isn't really a shock. It's a strange ep and one that I can and can't recommend. It has everything that should make it entertaining: mystery, vivid loud characters, suspects, good music and setting, good acting, and a quirkly atmosphere. BUT it also has those long stretches that just kill the story and mood after awhile and also make you bored beyond belief so that you can figure out who is the real intruder. There's little menace at the end but if you stay you might like it. Then again you might not.
As for dear Mike Craze, he plays the boyfriend of one of the serving girls at the "hotel" and he appears to be a red herring but not even. He's in it for less than 31 seconds and has little to do. You dno't even get a good look at him!