Sweet, Sweet Rachel (1971)

Originally airing on October 2, 1971 on ABC, this movie is a hidden pilot for the series The Sixth Sense. The role of Dr. Lucas Darrow would be replaced by the younger, handsomer Gary Collins and then, in syndication, that series would be spliced into Night Gallery, infuriating a young Sam who only wanted to see Rod Serling stories.

Here, Darrow is played by Alex Dreier, who is in The Boston Strangler and was well-known for his voice. He’s backed up by a blind man whose ESP voice connected him to the other world, as he’s left his surgical life behind to investigate the unknown.

Rachel Stanton (Stefanie Powers) comes home just in time to watch her husband crash through a window like Oliver Reed in Burnt Offerings. He soon recieves a phone call that has a woman’s voice that matches the ESP cards on the table in front of him. What an awesome open!

On a slight TV budget and with the morals of the time, this is as close as a made for TV movie is going to feel to a giallo. That’s a good thing. This has so many red herrings and people who could have killed Stanton’s husband. It could be Rachel. It could be cousin Nora (Brenda Scott, Simon King of the Witches), who claims that he loved her and wanted out of the marriage. Is it psychic Aunt Lillian (Louise Latham, Marnie). Or is it Uncle Arthur (Pay Hingle, who would one day be Commissioner Gordon)?

71 minutes worth of seventies occult psychobabble. You should be so lucky to watch this. Actually, you can do that on YouTube:

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.