Sunday, July 19, 2009

Season 1, Episode 1 The Pilot

Episode Guide

Dr. Michael Rossi arrives in Peyton Place from New York City and is met at the train station by Rodney Harrington and his girlfriend, Betty Anderson. He has been summoned to town by Rodney’s father Leslie, manager of the Peyton Mill. Leslie’s sister, Laura Brooks, is a recent widow, and Leslie has asked Rossi to take over her late husband’s medical practice. Rodney drops him off at the Colonial Post Inn and he and Betty proceed toward the mill.

Allison MacKenzie, returns home from the library with Rodney’s brother, Norman. Friends from childhood, she is oblivious to Norman’s true feelings toward her and does not invite him in. Her mother, Constance, is waiting in the living room. Constance wouldn’t mind if her daughter would go out with Norman. Allison makes it clear that she is holding out for Prince Charming. She tells Constance she should get rid of the picture of her father on the mantelpiece. After all, he died before she was born (almost 18 years ago). Her mother shouldn’t still be living alone. Constance reminds her that she does not live alone, but a fleeting look of concern about this discussion passes over her face.

Allison has forgotten to drop her teen topic column off at the newspaper. She must head back to the town square to see the editor of the Clarion, Matthew Swain. Matthew is her mother’s cousin and has been a constant in her life for as far back as she can remember. To Allison, he has always been “Uncle Matt”, the one person she can turn to for advice. Trying to divert her from her worries about Constance, Matt tells her that the almost full moon is meant for courting. She replies that she is going to make a wish on it tonight. But is the wish for a Prince Charming for her or for her mother?

Upon reaching the Peyton Mill, Rodney leaves Betty in the car and hurries to his father’s office. He is there to reassure him that he picked up Dr. Rossi as planned. Leslie is working late dictating notes to his secretary, Julie Anderson. Julie is Betty’s mother. He is going to New York in a few weeks and invites her to come along, but she refuses. It concerns her that Betty and Rodney are going out together. They may get married. Leslie does not want his son to settle down until he has finished college. Julie confronts Leslie. She is sure that he does not think her daughter good enough to marry Rodney. All Betty can be is a secretary like her mother. Leslie denies this and says their relationship is not casual. He passionately kisses Julie just as Rodney walks through the door.

Shocked by what he has seen, Rodney cancels his plans for an evening with Betty at the Pond (the local Lover’s Lane) and takes her home. Confused by Rod’s sudden change in behavior, Betty tries to question him but it ends in a fight.

Rod drives his convertible recklessly through the Town Square and almost mows down Allison. He takes her the short distance home, slamming his brakes and rocking the car as she is ready to get out. He apologizes. After an awkward discussion about her lack of experience, he asks her out on a date. Constance peers through the window and sees Allison and Rod kissing before they say good-bye. She makes it clear that she does not approve of Rod or where their actions might lead them.

Dr. Rossi is taking in the night air in the park across the square from the Clarion. Matthew introduces himself and gives him a few words of advice on small towns. He tells him one day he will wake up and realize he knows each and every person and each will have a definite opinion about him. Some will love him, some will hate him, but none will be indifferent. The big city doctor is hoping that is true.

Preview from the continuing story of Peyton Place:

  • Rodney asks Leslie why he had to pick on the mother of the girl he was going around with.
  • Betty tells Julie that Rodney broke off with her and asks her mother what Leslie told Rodney.
  • Allison and Constance talk about her kissing Rodney.

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