I mentioned this episode in passing during the Mummy overview, and then I was like: “Hey me, you should recap that thing. Get back on the horse and so forth.”
Also, as I write this, my internet connection is once again down (I’m pretty sure that every single tree that could fall on a service line has fallen on a service line this year, and there was an actual blizzard last week, and I’m just furious about it), so if there are mistakes, I’m very sorry, I live in the woods and a bear stole my Google.
Thriller is a horror anthology series that’s seen something of a revival in recent years, and rightly so. It’s damn good television. Hosted by an elderly Boris Karloff, it was actually Karloff’s second attempt at getting a show like this off the ground. He did half a season of a “true paranormal” series called The Veil in 1958. Because of production troubles, The Veil was never picked up by a network. It’s not bad, but it’s not Thriller. Even the terrible episodes of Thriller are worth watching.
Today’s story is about notorious magician Cagliostro, played by Henry Daniell, a classic guy-who-was-in-everything of the 30’s and 40’s. He’ll be joined by a guy-who-was-in-everything of the 60’s, 70’s, and 80’s, Lloyd Bochner, along with Mrs. Cunningham herself, Marion Ross, and Patricia Michon.
We begin in Paris, 1910, where a lovely young couple in evening clothes are toasting one another with champagne. The girl is a glittering, smiling blonde who makes you think she’s used to getting diamond bracelets as presents, but there’s no use being angry at her for it. Her date is… off somehow. His face is open and young, and he’s got the look of the earnest sidekick in a teen beach comedy, but his manner is slick, hungry, and crackling at the edges with something sinister. He tries to impress her with magic tricks, first producing a silver coin to her great delight, and then wowing her with a small bouquet of live flowers he seemingly plucks from thin air.