Night Gallery

Season 3 Episode 11

The Ring with the Red Velvet Ropes

Aired Unknown Jan 07, 1973 on NBC

Episode Recap

After defeating Big Dan Anger for the heavyweight boxing championship, boxer Jim Figg retreats to his locker room. While his manager, Max, holds off the reports and takes call, Big Dan appears in the locker room and tells Jim that he's no champion. Max comes over to say that the hospital called and Big Dan is at the hospital. He figures that Jim is hallucinating and tells him to take a shower before they go to see the doctor.

Jim finishes his shower and emerges, only to discover that a butler, Hayes, is waiting for him. The locker room is now a richly-appointed bedroom. Jim demands answers and Hayes informs him that his hosts, Roderick and Sandra Blanco, will answer all his questions. The boxer tries to find a phone and turns his back, and Hayes disappears. The only door out is locked, and Jim hears a pounding noise from outside, and realizes it's a punching bag. He goes to the window and realizes the house is on a cliff overlooking an ocean.

Jim goes to the dining room and finds Sandra waiting for him. The boxer warns her that kidnapping is a serious charge, but she isn't impressed and serves him coffee. Sandra informs him that she saw the fight and compliments him on his body, and says that they watched the game at their home. Jim notes that the game wasn't televised, but Sandra avoids the question. She says that Jim is different from the other champions, and says that Roderick thinks that Jim is the best fighter they've had in ten years. Jim observes that she doesn't look old enough to have been married ten years, and asks why he's there. She says that Roderick will explain, but Jim tries to leave. He picks up the phone and the pounding noise stops, and Sandra warns that Roderick is coming.

Roderick, an athletic man in peak physical condition, comes in and introduces himself, commenting that there was a Jim Figg who fought in bare-knuckle matches in the 18th century. He tells Sandra to leave and then explains that the experts are saying that Jim will hold the championship crown for years. Roderick says that Jim will hold the crown, but not the championship, and Big Dan pretended he was the champion for four years. When Jim questions him, Roderick explains that he beat Big Dan four years ago, and he plans to beat Jim as well. He admits that he's fought many champions in the past, and warns that Jim won't leave until he chooses to fight Roderick. Jim's host takes him outdoors to a statue within a ring of fire, and invites Jim to join him. The statue contains a book which shows that Big Dan signed a document stipulating the outcome of their encounter. Roderick closes the book before Jim can look at the other names, and admits that Big Dan wasn't his first fighter. He offers Jim everything that he needs to prepare for the fight in a few days and says that winner takes all. When Jim asks what "all" is, Roderick simply walks away.

Later, Sondra comes to Jim's room and says that she believes Jim can beat Roderick, and Roderick believes that he could lose as well. She suggests that Jim let her husband win, but Jim insists that he's never thrown a match in his life. Sandra warns the boxer that the stakes are different this time, and the other lost and left without telling anyone because they would have to admit defeat.

Later, Jim shoots pool in the library while Sandra watches and Roderick continues to practice. She asks if he's going to lose, but Jim doesn't answer.

The day of the match arrives and the two boxers enter a ring with Sandra and the household staff there to serve as audience. The two fighters begin and appear evenly matched at first, but after five rounds Roderick knocks Jim down. The newcomer gets to his feet and takes down Roderick, and the referee counts him out. Jim asks why none of them stopped the fight when it was clear Roderick was beaten, and Sandra and the others simply stare. The referee announces that Roderick is dead, and everyone rises to honor Jim, the new champion. Jim goes to his opponent and discovers that he has aged hundreds of years in a matter of seconds. Hayes informs Jim that Roderick beat the previous champion in 1861 and has held the title ever since.

Jim steps out of the ring and Sandra reminds him that winner take all. He asks for how long, and she tells him it will be for as long as he wins.