Night Gallery

Season 1 Episode 7

The Little Black Bag

Aired Unknown Dec 23, 1970 on NBC
out of 10
User Rating
43 votes

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Episode Summary

The Little Black Bag
Miraculous healing--and abrupt tragedy--result when a 21st century medical bag falls into the hands of a discredited 20th century doctor.

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  • A disgraced doctor comes into possession of a medical bag from the future.

    This was one of a rather large number of "Night Gallery" episodes which seemed not to belong in a horror anthology show at all, but, quite simply, in Rod Serling's other series, "The Twilight Zone" - one suspects that it was, indeed, a "Twilight Zone" script that the makers of that interference-fraught series never quite got around to making. It is well known that Serling was an extremely prolific writer and he very likely kept all unused ideas on file. This even has Burgess Meredith, perhaps the most frequently-employed TZ actors, in the lead. There's really nothing macabre in it, and it's surely to be classed as science fiction, not horror. It even has a hint of Frank Capra sentimentality about it.moreless
  • A gift from the future...

    The Little Black Bag tells the story of a once-prominent surgeon (Burgess Meredith) who is now a homless guy on the streets because of a tragic medical accident that got him discredited as a doctor years ago stumbles upon a medical bag from the year 2098 in an alley & proceeds to use the tools & drugs inside to perform astounding medical miracles, but a fellow transient (Chill Wills) has a more base need for the medical bag, fame & fortune.

    This was 1 of the better episodes of Night Gallery that has an gruesome twist ending that teaches us a lesson on how people can take a gift & twist it to their own nefarious ends.moreless

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (1)

    • Failing a calendar change in the next 90 years, September 17th, 2098 - the date shown at the beginning of the episode - does not fall on a Thursday (as the prop calendar indicates), but a Wednesday.

  • QUOTES (2)

    • Host: For your approval a painting that has to do with time. Not the brief moments left to our culprits in the previous story. Their years of imprisonment were minute little fragments compared to the time we talk of in this picture. We talk centuries now and what happens when men of one century send back items quite unbidden to men of another. We call this painting, The Little Black Bag.

    • Dr. William Fall: Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, before I begin this demonstration I'd like to pose to you an academic question. If I were to take this scalpel, this knife, imbed it in my throat, and then cut to a depth of, perhaps, three centimeters, now what, in your professional estimation, would be my chances of surviving?

  • NOTES (2)