Night Gallery season 2 episode 10: The Dark Boy/Keep in Touch – We’ll Think of Something

I prefer the episodes of Night Gallery with fewer stories, as it allows each tale time to stretch out and capture you. Sadly, this episode only has host Rod Serling appear as the host; the first segment “The Dark Boy” is directed by John Astin and written by Harland Welles from an August Derleth story and “Keep in Touch — We’ll Think of Something” is directed and written by Gene R. Kearney.

“The Dark Boy” has a widowed schoolteacher named Judith Timm (Elizabeth Hartman) coming to a small town in Montana to take over the one room schoolhouse. She rents a room from sisters Abigail (Gale Sondergaard, the original Wicked Witch of the West from The Wizard of Oz who was replaced because the makeup team could not make her into a suitably ugly witch; she’s also in The Spider Woman Strikes Back) and Lettie Moore (Hope Summers, Mrs. Gilmore from Rosemary’s Baby).

Judith claims she has seventeen students, but one can’t be found in the list of her pupils. It’s the same issue the last teacher dealt with, a dark haired boy of mystery. It turns out that it’s Joel Robb, a child who died two years before who has been haunting the entire neighborhood and everyone in it. She begins to get to know the boy’s father and understand the grief that the man has been living.

“The Dark Boy” is a strong episode and Astin shows some skill as a director.

“Keep In Touch — We’ll Think of Something” is all about a piano player named (Alex Cord) and his obsession with a woman named Claire Foster (Joanna Pettet; she was married to Cord at the time). He dreams of her every night, while her husband dreams of a man with a scarred hand trying to murder him. Strangely, when he finds her — using the police to track her down, claiming that she stole his car — she isn’t nervous about this strange man. She also knows they are destined to be together.

It’s a decent story but struggles following the first story in this episode. Still, two serious stories in one Night Gallery? That’s how it should be.

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