Nimoy is Baffled on DVD

Sunday, 27 June 2010 13:45

Who dares to walk the line between life and death? In 1972, Pinewood Studios was the home of this intriguing production. Star Trek icon Leonard Nimoy and British treasure Susan Hampshire starred in this eerie story of revenge and murder from beyond the grave. Baffled is an ITC pilot for a never-commissioned series, is directed by Phillip Leacock – an established film and TV regular, with credits that include Gunsmoke and The Wild Wild West.  As it was executive-produced by Norman Felton as an Arena Production for ITC, it means it had the same pedigree as the earlier cult series Strange Report.

Tom Kovack is a hard-nosed devil-may-care racing driver, until a sudden supernatural vision during the Pennsylvania 500 Mile Special race causes him to lose control of his car as he hurtles off-track at 140 miles per hour. Michele Brent is the woman who convinces Tom that his apparitions are significant. When she leads him to the manor house of his vision, he meets glamorous film star Andrea Glenn and her daughter, Jennifer, whose screaming image was the last thing he saw before his near-fatal crash.

Leonard Nimoy in TV pilot BaffledDespite Tom’s initial doubts, he is inextricably drawn into their lives, as together they combat a force that they cannot see, but can sense only too well. An ominous, vengeful presence engulfs the manor house. Its only aim is death, and its intended victim is Andrea - with little Jennifer is its weapon. Tom must now find the means to tap his powers. It is their only hope...

A Spock-like raised eyebrow happens now and again, but this is a more relaxed and playful Nimoy character than we know from Star Trek and Mission: Impossible. There’s very much the same vibe here as The Persuaders!, with Nimoy and Hampshire establishing the same chalk-and-cheese pairing as present with Curtis and Moore, but an underlying sexual tension between the two that would be the hallmark of Moonlighting in years to come.

ITC stalwarts Shane Rimmer and Al Mancini put in supporting performances. Vera Miles gets ‘Special Guest Star’ billing having made her name from such movies as “Psycho” and “The Searchers”.

Like most pilots who opt for opening credits, with groovy music from Richard Hill, all-action sequences and the obligatory freeze-frames with actor names coming up.  Writer Theodore Apstein has a host of TV credits, including The Time Tunnel, Ben Casey, The Virginian and Kung Fu.

Baffled was something of a missed opportunity. You can sense the ‘Lord Lew Grade logic’ of big American male star linked with charming British female star to create a Trans-Atlantic Special Features include an image gallery - including a number of behind-the-scenes stills – and a pair of PDFs of ITC promotional material for the movie.

With a running time of 86 minutes approx, and a ‘PG’ certificate, Baffled is a Network DVD Web Exclusive release with a RRP of £12.99 - or less from the Network Website.

 

 

Baffled – Cast List

Leonard Nimoy as Tom Kovack

Susan Hampshire as Michele Brent

Rachel Roberts as Mrs Farraday

Vera Miles as Andrea Glenn

Jewel Blanch as Jennifer Glenn

Valerie Taylor as Louise Sanford

Ray Brooks as George Tracewell

Angharad Rees as Peggy Tracewell

Christopher Benjamin as Verelli

Mike Murray as Parrish

Ewan Roberts as Hopkins

Milton Johns as Doctor Reed

Al Mancini as TV interviewer

John Rae as Theatre Doorman

Patsy Smart as Cleaning Woman

Shane Rimmer as Track Announcer

Roland Brand as Race-track Mechanic

Bill Hutchinson as Doctor

Michael Sloan as Ambulance Man

Dan Meaden as Policeman

Frank Mann as Announcer’s PA

 

Last modified on Thursday, 10 May 2012 16:37

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