episode #04 - Claws

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episode #04 - Claws

Post  BoG on Sat Jun 11, 2011 6:11 pm

episode #4 of 1st season / Air Date: 2/25/76 Arrow written by Sue Milburn Arrow Directed by Phil Bondelli

This one was for the animal lovers - if you're into big cats and elephants and such, you'll like this. The focus of the story is a pet lion, Neil. He's one of the residents on a small animal preserve owned by a lady, Susan (Tippi Hedron), with some troubles - money and neighbors. One neighbor in particular, an ornery rancher (an overweight Jack Kelly, who used to star in the Maverick TV series), is out to kill the lion because he thinks it killed some of his livestock. Jaime's uncle (William Schallert) is on her side and the sheriff (Mills Watson) doesn't want to take any drastic action, but everyone except a little girl have their doubts; what else could it be..? ..certainly not.. a roaming cougar..! Susan has to take a weekend trip to New York to set up for a TV show and Jaime offers to look over things while she's gone. Uh, oh.
This episode has some awkward plotting and scenes. For one thing, everyone dismisses the idea of a cougar because of too-large paw prints, but it is indeed a cougar (see also The Six Million Dollar Man episode, Taneha). There are moments of contrivance about Neil opening doors and also the girl letting the lion out of a cage when told not to, as well as a red herring about a soybean food fed to Neil which arouses even Jaime's suspicions about the lion's innocence. The final action in a barn with Jaime and the injured lion also has a limited scope - it's tough to film a scene of a lion actually attacking a bionic woman. Some other scenes, however, such as the first one with the lion surrounded by a bunch of little kids (Jaime's class), probably could not be filmed that way these days with all the restrictions. BoG's Score: 5.5 out of 10

Bionic Trivia: Hedron is best known for her roles in Hitchcock films, The Birds (63) and Marnie (64). She began her own animal preserve in real life around this time. Kelly starred in Forbidden Planet (56).
Star Trek TOS actor alert: Schallert appeared in The Trouble With Tribbles.
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