Random Thoughts on "Suffer My Child"
- Random Thoughts on "Suffer My Child"
by Don Harden
This SEARCH episode ran one year before the famous Patricia Hearst
kidnapping case in 1974. (Original airdate was 3-28-73.) Among other
things, it examines the "poor little rich kid" syndrome. According to TV
GUIDE, this episode involved "kidnapping with a twist: the half-million
dollar ransom is returned instead of the victim."
The villain was another older gentleman (as was Streeter in the pilot
movie), this time played by Byron Morrow, who was often a Starfleet Admiral
in "Star Trek." In an interesting plot twist, this villain was ruled out
early in the episode. Lockwood apparently inadvertantly clued him on to an
opportunity. Much of the episode revolves around Lockwood and the kidnapped
girl's father, John Rickman II, played by Mel Ferrer. Paul Mantee of
"Robinson Crusoe on Mars" plays one of the father's security guards.
One scene dates the episode somewhat. When Lockwood finds the box under
his car containing videotape, he pulls out a large reel of half-inch tape and
they play it on a bulky reel-to-reel videotape player, which would have been
available to rich people of that time. If the episode were filmed today,
Lockwood would have pulled a videocassette out of the box instead. And then
there are some references to VietNam, but these don't detract from the show.
One minor problem I have with the episode, though, is the scene in which
Lockwood gets knocked out and thrown off a boat. He was underwater and
unconscious for nearly a full minute, yet he didn't drown. Did he hold his
breath while unconscious or what?
Another nod to high tech appears in this episode. A full-size mock up
of a lunar module is seen briefly outside of the bad guy's building. This
reminds me of "Moonrock" as well as the assertion that Lockwood is supposed
to be a former astronaut. I like Dominic Frontiere's background music, much
of which was specially composed for this episode. Overall, an fairly good
episode that holds true to the premise of SEARCH. It has a nicely paced plot
with a somewhat subdued villain who is not seen much.