Breaking Point

ABC (ended 1964)
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  • Episode Guide
  • S 1 : Ep 30

    My Hands Are Clean

    Aired 4/27/64

  • S 1 : Ep 29

    I, the Dancer

    Aired 4/20/64

  • S 1 : Ep 28

    Confounding Her Astronomers

    Aired 4/6/64

  • S 1 : Ep 27

    Never Trouble Trouble, 'Til Trouble Troubles You

    Aired 3/30/64

  • S 1 : Ep 26

    Glass Flowers Never Drop Their Petals

    Aired 3/23/64

  • Cast & Crew
  • Paul Richards (I)

    Dr. McKinley "Mac" Thompson

  • Eduard Franz

    Dr. William Raymer

  • Robert Loggia

    Arnold Marin

  • Dabney Coleman

  • Kevin McCarthy

  • show Description
  • Breaking Point debuted on ABC on September 16, 1963. It was a spin-off of sorts from Ben Casey (its premiere episode was the second half of a story that began on Casey). Breaking Point was produced by George Lefferts, a writer who had served in an Army psychiatric ward during World War II.The series focused on two psychiatrists, young Dr. McKinley "Mac" Thompson (Paul Richards) and his boss, Dr. William Raymer (Eduard Franz), who practiced at an outpatient clinic located in a metropolitan hospital. Instead of the usual TV "psychopaths," their clientele consisted mainly of everyday people who'd reached a "breaking point" and needed help getting their lives back on track.Breaking Point featured teleplays by the likes of Robert Towne (who later wrote the film Chinatown) and guest actors (such as Robert Redford and Telly Savalas) who later became superstars. But, the series itself lasted only one season, and, unfortunately, it seems to be generally forgotten today.Incidentally, Breaking Point is sometimes confused with Eleventh Hour, a similar series which premiered on NBC in 1962. Although Breaking Point is sometimes described as ABC's answer to Eleventh Hour, both series were actually created at about the same time. "We're trying to deal with problems that touch the lives of all of us--we're not interested in the shock value of bizarre psychiatric solutions. We deal with people who reach the breaking point, who crack under pressures most of us endure without breaking." - Paul Richards ("Dr. McKinley Thompson")1963 TRIVIA: When Breaking Point aired in Argentina, it was titled Crisis.moreless

  • Top Contributor
  • Yesterdaze

    User Score: 894


  • Trivia & Quotes
  • Notes (9)

    • This was actually Part II of a story that began on Ben Casey (also produced by Bing Crosby's production company). Alternate title: "For This Relief, Much Thanks."

    • This episode garnered an Emmy nomination for "Best Original Writing, Drama" and a Golden Eddie nomination for "Best Edited Television Program."

    • Hunt Powers also acted under the name Jack Betts.

    • Sondra Blake (billed in this episode as "Sondra Kerr") was Robert Blake's first wife.

    • Rescheduled from November 25, 1963 (President Kennedy's funeral had aired earlier that day)

    • Nobu McCarthy was James Daly's real-life wife at the time.

    • Bettye Ackerman was a regular on Ben Casey and was married to fellow Casey cast member Sam Jaffe (Dr. Zorba).

    • Former boxers Mushy Callahan and Frankie Van were real-life referees.

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    Trivia (1)

    • In 1964, Breaking Point star Paul Richards told a TV writer that he was deeply affected by the filming of "Don't Cry Baby, Don't Cry", which featured special-needs children: "That was the week the doctor nearly cracked up. These children were so cheerful and giving. I began to feel angry at us fortunates who can experience things with all our senses and have all our limbs intact and take it for granted. During that week I couldn't leave my work behind when I went home at night."

    Allusions (7)

    • Unspoken: N/A
      Episode title comes from a quote from Thomas Traherne (1637 - 1674): "A man that studies happiness must sit alone like a sparrow upon the house-top, and like a pelican in the wilderness."

    • Dr. Thompson: "And James was a very small snail..."
      The title of this episode comes from the A. A. Milne poem, "The Four Friends." (Milne was best known as the creator of Winnie the Pooh.)

    • Title: "Whatsoever Things I Hear"
      The title is a paraphrase of a portion of the Hippocratic Oath

    • Unspoken: N/A
      Title comes from Matthew 9:43-44: "And if thy hand offends thee, cut it off, it is better for thee to enter into life maimed, than having two hands to go into Hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched."

    • Unspoken: N/A
      Title comes from Ecclesiastes 9:4: "A living dog is better than a dead lion."

    • Unspoken: N/A
      The episode title comes from the poem "Finding" by British poet Rupert Brooke (1887-1915)

    • Virginia: "Confounding her astronomers..."
      Episode title comes from a poem by Ralph Hodgson.

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  • Fan Reviews (1)
  • Confounding Her Astronomers

    By NevilleRoss, Jun 10, 2012