37[probe_control] Let Us Prey
- Nov 3, 1999By an overwhelming lack of demand, I present again my review of the episode
Let Us Prey...mainly cause Connie brought it up. I will at some point do
other reviews...and I encourage everyone else to write anything pro or con
they think of.
Repeating myself, but the last time I saw an hour episode of Search was
NBC's last telecast in August, 1973. Next time I got to see it was when
Let Us Prey arrived in the mail late last year...25 years later.
I was worried that my memories of the show were far better than the show
itself after watching LUP. I had been able to catch some late night
airings of the pilot over the years, so I knew that was good, but I was
wondering what was going on with LUP.
As the folks on the Space: 1999 mailing list have learned to their
annoyment when we did an episode by episode analysis, I write down nits
when watching, and list them. Sometimes I make full paragraphs, sometimes
just angry or funny observations, or whatever.
Here goes: Let Us Prey
I know from the individual film frames I have that they (sometimes?) used
more then one camera when shooting the Probe Control scenes. I have
wondered why they did this...it is expensive because you have to have
multiple equipment setups (rental charges) and multiple crews (salaries,
catering expenses etc.) I've wondered if they did it because they wanted
to: 1. Make sure the Probe scenes only took one day of shooting (or half
a day etc.) 2. They wanted a connected feel between the shots. 3. Who
This might be part of the reason I wrote "odd camera angles" for the Probe
scenes in the beginning when they are briefing Bianco. They look very
strange to me, but I understand them a little bit knowing there was more
then one camera at work.
Actually I think this episode is full of strange angles, and when I say
strange I mean out of the ordinary angles that don't work, or just strike
me as different, rather then different AND effective. Another example is
that use of the overhead shot looking down in the compound when Bianco is
learning fully the predicament he is in.
Anjennette throws the glass, Richter ducks, and as he is completely bent
over with the rifle pointing at the ground, Bianco is standing right over
him (does he touch him?) and instead of hitting him and taking the gun from
him, Bianco runs out. This just looks dumb. Either Franciosa added that
part about stopping at the guy, or the director did, but it is stupid. It
might have made more sense if Bianco had run straight out. Also, Richter
should not have gone as far over as he did (which he either did because
Diana Hyland is a very good or very bad thrower, or because the director
wanted a very obvious window of escape for Bianco.)
By the way, why is Bianco prowling around at night in a bright white suit?
Yes he looked good in it, but it stretches credibility a bit, and again I
suspect it was a poor judgement made by who knows who on the production
because whatever he wore that night he would be wearing for the rest of the
episode. Wearing that bright white suit while breaking in to a house at
night he might as well have worn a light up tie as well.
This episode takes place over a couple of days at least, and yet there is
no passage of time within Control. What's worse, they use the same closeup
angle of Cameron through much of the episode contributes to the lack of
time passing. They needed different angles to help establish time
movement, (and some beard growth or something on Cameron) and different
angles just to make the episode look better. Because Cameron had so little
to do in this episode, I think they just wanted to get those shots out of
the way, so they shot from one angle. Also, Burgess Meredith had so little
to add to these scenes (because there was little to them) that he ends up
doing the same thing in every scene: Looks urgent, says "Yes Bianco" and
readjusts his microphone.
I thought the characters were very one dimensional stock characters: The
crazy, maniacal rich guy, the emotionless henchman, the flighty floozie who
realizes the error of her ways and helps the hero. I can't decide if Diana
Hyland was good casting or not. I've warmed to her as I've rewatched the
episode, but on my first late 90's viewing, I thought she was miscast.
I'm split on this one: either Bianco should have kept the rifle he takes
away from Richter, or he was right to throw it into the stream.
Look at the script I sent out. I've seen this in many tv scripts, not just
Search ones, where the commercial breaks in the finished episode come at
different times then as indicated in the script. This is true of LUP.
To use an Irwin Allen term, this is a run and jump episode. Lots of
running, chasing, being chased, explosions, etc. Very little use or need
of Probe and it's resources, and a regular plot device (overused) of
cutting the agent off from Control. They also have some equipment logic
gaffs: If they are receiving telemetry from Bianco's earjack, showing that
it is working, then that is a signal they can trace. Also, his earjack
transmits as well as receives? If it does transmit telemetry, then that
cancels my next nit that Danzig can set his earjack to transmit as well as
receive? And what is picking up the sound in his earjack to transmit? And
Why doesn't Bianco transmit on his dental implant as much as possible?
Control should be able to triangulate in on that signal.
If we are looking at the episode from Ter, then we are also seeing the
commercials from back then...which is a whole other discussion in itself.
Okay friends, write to the list and tell me I'm wrong about everything.
After all, that's why they have PCs at work, isn't it?
My permanent address is actingman@...
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