Creature From Beyond the Door

Lucan tries to discover what’s really afflicting Steve

(Air date: November 27th 1978)

Recap:

The episode opens at a circus and Lucan’s having having a great time on a merry-go-round. It’s a simple pleasure that he’d never experienced as a child, even after being brought to civilization. Dr. Hoagland meets him with another lead to find his parents, but he should proceed with caution because he gets crank callers.

Liutenant Prentiss is watching and waiting from a distance. He knew Hoagland would lead him to Lucan at some point. A man named Sawyer shows up. He warns Lucan about the police and demands Lucan go with him, but a chase ensues and Lucan’s blocked on every side. A convertible pulls up and Lucan jumps in to escape. He’s driven him to a giant mansion owned by an eccentric millionaire named Amos Colefax. He claims to be Lucan’s father, but Lucan doesn’t believe him. 

Howard Stockwood, Colefax’s asistant, wants Lucan to take blood and bone marrow tests to compare it to Colefax’s deceased wife. Lucan reluctantly agrees to the test and is allowed to talk to Hoagland, but he cannot reveal his whereabouts or Colefax’s name. As the days pass Lucan hears strange moans and shouts echo throughout the grounds, but nobody will tell him who it is or where it comes from.

Hetty Colefax, Amos’ daughter, likes Lucan and believes her father’s wrong for keeping him. Sawyer visits Dr. Hoagland and tells him that Mr. Colefax demands to have an antidote he created for Hallucinogenics. Hoagland refuses because it’s still in an experimental phase and never tested on humans. However, Lucan’s life is at stake if he doesn’t cooperate. Despite being warned, Hoagland calls Prentiss and asks for help. Prentiss is willing to find Lucan but once he does, he’s to be arrested.

Hetty feels sorry for Lucan, but she says he’s not a prisoner, rather the world is being kept out because her father is a target for all sorts of terrorists and criminals. She has lived a very sheltered life and can only go out with a bodyguard. At dinner Lucan tells Colefax that he could never get used to their way of life or even the fine French cuisine. He can’t live without freedom. Colefax argues that freedom is often counter productive.

That night Lucan sneaks around the mansion looking for an escape but he hears the moans again. He follows the sounds to a door in a long corridor. When he opens it, a berserk man in pajamas rushes out and knocks him down.

Lucan tells a worried Colefax that he can find the man easier than the guards. When the man jumps at him again, Lucan subdues him without force and keeps him calm. He holds his face. “You don’t want to hurt anyone, do you?”

Colefax reveals to Lucan that the crazed man is his only son Steven, but still doesn’t tell Lucan that he’s being held for ransom for the Hallucinogenic antidote. Hetty is still upset and demands Lucan’s freedom. Colefax tells Lucan that he doesn’t intend to do him harm. Steve abused drugs at one time and his mind was altered by LSD. Only Doctor Hoagland can help him.

Colefax gives Lucan freedom of the grounds, but he can’t leave. Meanwhile Prentiss sets up a transmitter with Hoagland so he knows the mansion’s location. Hetty tells Lucan her brother and father fought often. Steve left the protection of the mansion and later abused the drugs for a few months. Howard Stockwood found him, cleaned him up and helped repair his relationship with his dad.

Lucan senses something wrong. If Steve’s locked up, he shouldn’t still act as if he’s taking Hallucinogenic drugs. Lucan has a flashback to when a wolf protected him from touching and eating a certain plant. Certain wolves from his pack that ate the plant would act crazy. With his wolf senses in full power, Lucan visits Steve again and tests his reflexes. He realizes that Steve is under the drug influence of the same plant. 

Hetty helps Lucan escape through a secret elevator that leads out through the wine cellar. He searches the woods for the drug inducing plant. It’s not quite clear what kind of plant it is. Though it could be poppies, Salvia, or Datura. Lucan eludes Prentiss. Meanwhile Sawyer brings Hoagland to Colefax. Hoagland demands to see Lucan alive and well before administering the antidote. Colefax swallows his pride and begs him to treat Steve. Lucan finds the plant patch but Prentiss is on him with a gun. Lucan will go peacefully only if they can return to the mansion to stop Hoagland from using the antidote. Prentiss appears touched by Lucan’s determination to help this stranger, but he won’t budge. His one goal is to bring Lucan in for a trial. Howard Stockwell follows Lucan and shoots at him in the woods, but Lucan escapes both him and Prentiss. 

Lucan bursts into the room and tells everyone that Steve is slowly being poisoned through his food. Stockwell runs in and admits the truth. He was always there for Steve, not Amos. Steve ran away from his father. Stockwell did all the work in cleaning Steve up and then when Steve went back to work for his father they both turned on him. Lucan explains that the plant will wear off on its own and no antidote’s needed. Amos is grateful and tells Lucan he will try and clear his name with the authorities. He also apologizes to Dr. Hoagland and offers him a new Research grant. Prentiss is foiled again when Hetty gets Lucan off the grounds undetected. She tells him that if he doesn’t find his parents there’s always a place for him at the mansion.

My Verdict

Another solid episode, but it lulled in parts when the scene shifted from Lucan to Hoagland and Prentiss. They could’ve amped up the creep factor with the hidden man moaning and sobbing. I expected a romantic relationship to blossom between Lucan and Hetty because he was trapped in the mansion for weeks. But they were more like kindred spirits – knowing how it feels to be trapped. Lucan didn’t display much wolf action, but using flashbacks from his childhood in the wild to help him in his modern life was effective.

Quotes:

Amos Colefax arguing with Lucan about Freedom: “Free? Free to do what? Live a useless, unproductive life? Run around with bums and tramps? Talk like them, dress like them, take drugs like them!…no one is free. No one can ever be free.”

Hattie Colefax pleading with Amos: “We’ve used Lucan, tricked him, lied to him! Steve’s our problem, not Lucan’s. Please father, there has to be another way.”