“Baffled – Starring Leonard Nimoy” (1973)

The television movie “Baffled” begins with a car race taking place in Pennsylvania. Racing phenom Tom Kovack, portrayed by four time Emmy nominee Leonard Nimoy (Star Trek), has a comfortable lead, when all of a sudden it appears to him as if he’s left the race track and is driving straight toward a mansion. Furthermore, in his vision he sees a woman screaming and a young teenage girl descending down a staircase. The vision causes Kovack to become disoriented and he crashes his car. Medical personnel rush to the scene of the accident fearing the worst, but Kovack walks away with only a concussion.

Later that evening, while being interviewed on television in New York, he relays what happened to him to the interviewer (Al Mancini). Michele Brent played by three time Emmy winner Susan Hampshire (Vanity Fair) is watching the interview. Michele sells rare books, but is also an expert in ESP (Extrasensory Perception). She happens to be in New York at the time the interview is taking place. She arranges to meet Tom at his apartment.

Tom describes the place in his Vision. Michele asks him to draw what he saw. After he shows her the drawing, she lets Tom know that the house in his vision, that he has drawn, is a real place. Michele shows him a picture of a mansion known as Wyndham, which is located in Devon, England. She believes that Tom is a clairvoyant and that he should use his gift to help the people in his vision. Tom laughs off the idea, but later that evening, another vision takes hold of him; one more frightening than the previous one. Although Tom is still hesitant to believe he has any sort of powers beyond being an excellent race car driver, he arranges to meet up with Michele at Wyndham.

When Tom and Michele arrive at Wyndham they are greeted by the owner Mrs. Faraday. The part of Faraday is acted by three time BAFTA winner Rachel Roberts (The Sporting Life). In addition to Tom and Michele, other guests at Wyndham include Verelli (Christopher Benjamin), a highway engineer from Italy and newlyweds George (Ray Brooks) and Peggy (Angharad Rees) Tracewell. Additionally, actress Andrea Glenn, portrayed by Vera Miles (The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance) and her daughter Jennifer (Jewel Blanch) are staying at the mansion.

Andrea and Jennifer are at Wyndham to meet up with Andrea’s ex-husband Duncan Sandford. He has been corresponding with Andrea for the past number of months and would like to see not only her, but his daughter. As it turns out, Duncan is not at Wyndham when they arrive. He also didn’t make the arrangements for Andrea and Jennifer; that was taken care of by Duncan’s cousin Louise (Valerie Taylor). Louise informs Andrea and Jennifer that she hasn’t seen Duncan for a while and has no idea of when he will return. Further adding to the mystery is that Tom immediately realizes that Andrea and Jennifer are the two people from his vision. Jennifer begins to act strange, especially after she starts wearing a necklace with a wolf’s head as its stone, given to her during a secret meeting by someone claiming to be her father. Tom and Michele set out to solve the mystery before his nightmarish visions are turned into reality.

“Baffled” premiered on television in the UK on December 17, 1972. The movie also had a theatrical run in the UK and Italy. The movie premiered on American television on January 30, 1973. “Baffled” was directed by Emmy nominee Philip Leacock (High Tide at Noon) and written by Emmy nominee Theodore Apstein (As The World Turns). The movie which has a runtime of 90 minutes is parts Sci-Fi and thriller.

Originally “Baffled” was filmed as a pilot episode for a television series, but was not picked up by any of the networks. I am of the opinion, that in today’s world of various streaming services that produce their own series, that “Baffled,” with some tweaking for current times, would be given a chance to find an audience. I could easily see it finding a home on Netflix or produced as an Amazon original. Nimoy gives his all, per his usual, and the rest of the cast plays their parts well. The set up for what would have been a series was interesting and could have been taken in a number of different directions, so as not to become redundant.

About robbinsrealm

I was born in Smithtown, New York, and grew up, worked, and lived in various areas of Long Island before moving to Boca Raton, Florida where I now make my home. In addition to being an aspiring writer, I am also an English teacher. I have a Bachelor of Arts in English and a Master’s Degree in Education, both from Adelphi University in Garden City, New York. In my spare time you will find me engrossed in books, watching movies, socializing with friends, or just staying active.
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4 Responses to “Baffled – Starring Leonard Nimoy” (1973)

  1. A pilot episode that was released as a movie. I wonder if that ever happened before or since.

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