Friday, September 20, 2019

Old-School TV: Thriller- 'Yours Truly, Jack the Ripper'

I felt like I should cover more of this Show since it usually turns out to be nice and surprising.  I guess that's why they call it...
This one is based on a Story by Robert Bloch, the famous Writer of Psycho.

Fun Fact: this was later retro-fitted for a 1967 Episode of Star Trek!
When a murder happens in San Francisco, an old British Lawman comes to Town with a theory: Jack the Ripper is immortal and stays that way by killing ritualistically.

They...take it well.
The Cops try to protect an area on the night he's supposed to make a kill.  However, they can't watch everywhere- for instance, this window after they just leave.

I will say that this death does make a little bit of a Plot Hole for me, but I'll cover it later.
They take an odd direction with the case: hang around with Artists, since 'Jack' is apparently known to be one/associate with them.

Well, in hindsight, they're not wrong.
Tragically, they can't stop the killings.  The next victim has tons of pathos too- sick kid, rough life.

As an added bonus, they tease that this will be stopped/interrupted, but its not.  Cold move!
As the date of the last killing time arrives, the Investigator and the Psychologist brought in to help him step outside.  That's when the latter kills the former, revealing himself to be Jack the whole time!

Well, all the clues were there.  The End.
A quirky, but serious Episode.  The whole premise is odd.  Jack the Ripper commits ritualistic, Satanic sacrifices to stay alive.  He travels across the World like an immortal, Satanic Anthony Bourdain.  This kind of works in the context of this Story and this time since photography is not as prevalent in this period.  Imagine trying to do it in the age of Facebook/Instagram/etc- no way he's not spotted all the damn time.  The Acting is nicely done and that may also be due in part to the direction.  As you'll see below, an Actor Directed this, so that could be related.  There's maybe a couple minor Actors that don't quite nail their parts- mostly the Artists- but that's a minor issue.  The mood created by the Episode is quite nice.  It is all about murder, but never gets garish.  You never see blood or any of that kind of stuff.  At the same time, they don't sanitize the emotional consequences of the deaths either.  If you're squeamish, it's a win-win.  I will say that the twist is interesting, but has some issues for me.  When we last see 'Jack,' he's with the Brit.  It is only moments later that we see POV Jack in action, so did he just go 'I need to pee- brb' or what?  The other ones hold up fine- it's just this one.  All in all, Thriller continues to deliver and I have no reason not to go back at least a few more times now, especially if he's behind the Camera...
Another solid Episode- which should be no surprise given who is involved.  It's a bit dated, but that can also be part of its charm.

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