The Psychiatrist

Season 1 Episode 1

God Bless The Children

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Aired Wednesday 10:00 PM Dec 14, 1970 on NBC
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God Bless The Children
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This was the two-hour pilot movie for "The Psychiatrist". Young psychiatrist James Whitman (Roy Thinness) tries to help the teenagers of a small community deal with the ramifications of their drug use through group therapy sessions. Dr. Whitman brings in Casey Poe (Pete Duel) to help bridge the age gap between him and the kids. Poe is a junkie who has been paroled from prison into Whitman's care. Thinnes' mentor Dr. Bernard Altman (Luther Adler) seems to put much of the problem on the parents shoulders: "I wasted six hours today, trying to talk to people who are barely aware the automobile has been invented. To hear them talk, Woodstock, Timothy Leary and the Black Panther party are all figmants of Life magazine's imagination. I don't know what kind of problem their kids have, but the parents sure have one". TV critic Cecil Smith in the L.A. Times said that there is much here that "is not only effective, but disturbing, often frightening" and that "few movies made for the small screen have had the raw intensity and compelling power of "God Bless the Children". The movie was filmed against the beauty of the Monterey Peninsula and the Big Sur. Two of the talented young actors in this movie would die from self-inflicted gun shot wounds: Pete Duel ("Alias Smith and Jones") in 1971 at age 30 and Barry Brown ("Bad Company") in 1978 at age 28.moreless

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