The Psychiatrist - Season 1

NBC (ended 1971)


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Episode Guide


  • Par for the Course
    Par for the Course
    Episode 7
    Steven Speilberg directed this brilliant hour of television. Clu Gulager (in his best performance) plays a professional golfer who is an old friend of Dr. Whitman. Gulager is dying of cancer. Dr. Whitman tries to help Gulager deal with his emotions in the last days of his life. Joan Darling is Gulager's scared wife who feels she isn't pretty enough for him. There is no big life affirming ending but the drama is quietly devastating. Spielberg says on the new "Duel" dvd that up to this point he had been frustrated in his directing efforts at Universal. Producer Jerrold Freedman asked him to do two episodes of "The Psychiatrist" with no restrictions. Freedman told Spielberg to make avant guard art films if you want. Spielberg rewarded Freedman's faith with two superb television episodes that were almost in fact avant guard art films. All these years later, it still seem cruelly unfair that Spielberg was not nominated for an Emmy for "Par for the Course".moreless
  • Ex-Sgt. Randell File, U.S.A.
    Twenty-four year old John Rubinstein guest stars as a troubled Vietnam war veteran, a former army sergeant, in a group therapy session led by Dr. Whitman. Flashbacks give hints as to the causes of Randell File's emotional problems. The episode was directed by Jeff Corey. Corey was a black listed actor who became an acting teacher. Among Corey's acting students during the 1950's were James Dean, Anthony Perkins, and Jack Nicholson. Corey was also a decorated combat photographer during WW ll. Corey had played a psychiatrist in "Home of the Brave", perhaps his best performance. This was the first television show Jeff Corey directed, and he gets excellent performances out of the entire cast. The episode ends in a group hug that includes Dr. Whitman.moreless
  • The Longer Trail
    The Longer Trail
    Episode 5
    Reni Santoni guest stars as an American Indian suffering from impotence. Jill Haworth is his lovely wife. Jay Silverheels (Tonto) plays an Indian medicine man. Dr. Whitman tries to overcome tribal prejudices to get the medicine man to help Santoni. The resulting healing ceremony proves as harrowing to Dr. Whitman as it is to Santoni and Haworth. Episode director Douglas Day Stewart would later write "An Officer and a Gentleman" and "The Boy in the Plastic Bubble". Episode writer Charles Israel had written "The Mark" which was made into a movie in 1961. In "The Mark", a down to earth psychiatrist ( Rod Steiger) tries to help a sexually troubled man (Stuart Whitman in an Oscar nominated performance) reenter society after a stay in prison. Series creators Richard Levinson and William Link may have taken the last name of their hero psychiatrist Dr. James Whitman from one of the stars of "The Mark".moreless
  • Such Civil War in My Love and Hate
    Brenda Vaccaro guest stars as a troubled women seeking Dr. Whitman's help. Jeff Corey and Paul Carr co-star. Director Daryl Duke won the 1970-71 directing Emmy for "The Day the Lion Died" episode of "The Senator", starring Hal Holbrook and Will Geer.
  • The Private World of Martin Dalton
    Steven Spielberg brilliantly directs this episode about troubled 12-year old Martin Dalton (Stephen Hudis) who Dr. Whitman tries to help. Jim Hutton plays Martin's emotionaly remote pilot father and Kate Woodville is Martin's mother. Martin's parents seem to be on the verge of divorce. Martin is retreating from reality into a Salvidor Daliesque fantasy world. Spielberg was 24 years old when he directed this episode. Spielberg uses shots of comic book images to show what is going on in Martin's mind. There is also a stylish scene showing Dr. Whitman driving his Porshe that was shot by Spielberg operating the camera from low in the passenger seat. (Spielberg was fined $400 for not having a union member operate the camera.)moreless
  • In Death's Other Kingdom
    A bearded Pete Duel returns as Casey Poe, the character he played in the pilot movie. Casey Poe is dealing with drug dependency. Dr. Whitman gets Casey placed in a methadone maintenance program through special permission of his parole board. Written and directed by producer Jerrold Freedman. Freedman received an Emmy nomination for this script.moreless
  • God Bless The Children
    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