Night Gallery

Season 3 Episode 1

The Return of the Sorcerer

Aired Unknown Sep 24, 1972 on NBC

Episode Fan Reviews (2)

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out of 10
54 votes
  • The Price is right!

    I really like this episode of Night Gallery. It's very surreal. Vincent Price plays John Carnby, a paranoid, ageing ceremonial magician who hires Noel Evans (played by Bill Bixby) to complete the translation of an Arabic grimoire after previous translators resigned when they came across its most fiendish passage-about being flayed over burning coals and slowly dismembered! Hehehe!

    So poor Noel is caught between his duty to his employer (after Carnby pulls a gun on him to force him to finish the translation), the seductive allure of Fern (Carnby's assistant sorceress played by Trisha Sterling) who keeps him from bolting stage left, and his fear when he reads what the Arabic writing says will happen to him if he translates the book. Ooh, dilemma!

    Yet he remains to the grisly end. Fern is spooky, devoid of emotion and possessing sensual charms that Noel seems powerless to resist, but she also seems to be harbouring a secret. "The Return of the Sorcerer" is a must-see for fans of horror icon Vincent Price, who goes full-bore into the part of a frightened sorcerer who believes he hears "bits and pieces" of his murdered twin brother scurrying about just out of sight (Fern says they are just rats).

    What I also love most is Price's occult-decorated abode. Its red and black dcor, white dinning room, and a black mass sanctuary of worship is pure eye candy. Fern, with her pet toad, is just bizarre, and the black goat Carnby claims is his father eating at their dinner table, is a total hoot!
  • A story about a sorcerer is really more about the ramblings of a crazy man.

    A disappointing episode that fails to deliver any thrills or surprises.

    The story had potential but the delivery was terrible. Bill Bixby plays a translator sent into decipher a famous textbook for a man, John Carnby, who seems to be a sorcerer in disguise.

    Despite that, however, this episode features almost no effects, except for a couple of hands walking on the floor (that are crudely done). This episode seems to resemble more a story about a madman losing touch with reality (something Price did with regularity in his movies). Unfortunately, the story isn't done very well and seems to be done more for laughs.

    Like for example one scene that has Carnby talking to a goat and calling it his father is absolutely ridiculous. Then the twist with Noel having an affair with the man's
    mistress is also predictable.

    The ending itself is really silly. When it seems that Noel has figured out the matter of whether the man is a sorcerer or not, he declines to pursue the matter more.

    This episode is just below average. It's kinda sad considering they had two great stars here. There's just not a real scary payoff here.