Night Gallery

Season 2 Episode 32

Pickman's Model

Aired Unknown Dec 01, 1971 on NBC
out of 10
User Rating
40 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

Pickman's Model
A young woman of Victorian Boston finds herself drawn to a reclusive artist obsessed with ghouls.

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  • Night Gallery takes another classic scarry tale from the master, H.P Lovecraft and does it to perfection. The story is about a woman who loves the work of a very strange artist who paints ghouls and monsters.moreless

    I am an H.P Lovecraft fan and found the episode done by Rod Serling to be a pretty good version of the story. Certainly, the actual story is scarier and better, but Night Gallery did thier best and it does work. This episode actually won an Emmy for best visual effects and when you see this episode, you will know why. I do kind of wished Night Gallery would of followed the original more, but using a woman instead of a man in thier version is fine. If you are a big H.P Lovecraft fan and expect this to follow the story to a tee, you will be disappointed....throughout, but if you watch this version as it is, it still gets the job done. When I actually read the story, Pickman's Model I pictured the monster exactly like what Night Gallery did, so they did a wonderful rendering of the monster and the scene when you actually do see the monster is priceless. Expect a big shock when it comes. Well worth viewing and even if you are an H.P Lovecraft super fan, you will still enjoy this version on its own merits.moreless
  • It's episodes like this made me fall in love with this show. Night Gallery at it's best!

    Pickmans Model is one of my all time favorite episodes of the timeless classic that is the Night Gallery. It is about a mysterious artist that paints gruesome creatures in his paintings and a girl who is like his biggest fan. But are the creatures in his paintings just a fragment of his imagination are a very real part of his life.

    This is truly one of the best episodes that there ever was and a rather frightful one also. Based on another one of H.P. Lovecraft's magnificent short stories, Pickman's Model is definitely Night Gallery at it's very best.moreless
  • Who - or what - is the model for a particularly frightening and loathsome ghoul in a painting by Pickman, the artist who so mysteriously disappeared?

    The stories of H.P. Lovecraft do not immediately lend themselves to adaptation, and this version of one of his most famous needs to add an elaborate narrative superstructure to his central idea, that the horrid ghoul was "painted from life". However, the episode makes a neat job of it, and resembles one of Roger Corman's movies from a decade earlier. Alas, the appearance of the monster is an inevitable let-down; Robert Prohaska, who donned many an outlandish suit when impersonating extra-terrestrials on "The Outer Limits", hops around waving a furry tail and making (red) eyes at the chaste heroine, and it's all very silly. The power of suggestion would have served the tale much better.moreless
Louise Sorel

Louise Sorel

Mavis Goldsmith

Guest Star

Donald Moffat

Donald Moffat

Uncle George

Guest Star

Jock Livingston

Jock Livingston

Larry Rand

Guest Star

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (1)

    • Although not mentioned in the original story, other Lovecraft sources give the date of Pickman's disappearance as 1926. The settings in the episode, however, indicate this television version takes place at a date much earlier than this (however, the aluminum paint tubes shown in the scene in Pickman's studio were invented in the early 1890s).

  • QUOTES (3)

    • Host: H.P. Lovecraft, known to the aficionados of the occult, demonology, and witchcraft as a master storyteller, is responsible for our first selection in this museum of the frequently morbid. To you connoisseurs of the black arts, you will probably recognize it. It's a painting that tells the story of a young artist who recruits his models from odd places. And the models are very odd indeed. The painter's name, incidentally, is Pickman, and the title is Pickman's Model. And where else would you see a story like this except in the Night Gallery?

    • Pickman: There is a legend that tells of an eldritch race, more foul and loathsome than the putrid slime that clings to the walls of hell - twisted creatures, half man, half beast, who move with the rustling sound of predatory rats, carrying with them the stench of the charnel house. Wretched mutations who live deep beneath the earth in dark tunnels, surfacing in the dead of night and returning before dawn to practice their unspeakable acts, and breed their filthy spawn, until the day arrives when their swollen numbers will finally emerge and ravish the earth like a noxious plague.

    • Mavis: Haven't you guessed? Don't you know how I feel about you?
      Pickman: Mavis, no. I forbid it.
      Mavis: You can't. When my heart is concerned, I am God.
      Pickman: Then I grieve for you, Miss Goldsmith, for investing that heart in such a bankrupt enterprise.

  • NOTES (2)


    • Pickman: In my mind's eye, Horatio.
      Referencing Shakespeare's play, Hamlet, Act 1, Scene 1, specifically, "As the mote is to trouble the mind's eye." The line is spoken by Horatio, to Marcellus and Bernardo, after the Ghost departs.

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