Saturday, February 11, 2017

Charlie’s Angels 2:5 “Circus of Terror”

Airdate: 10/19/77

The Barzak Circus is in trouble! A hapless trapeze artist rendered earthbound by a wire-piercing bullet is only the latest in a series of dastardly acts, and so David Barzak, son of the circus owner, enlists the Angels to get to the bottom of the big top. Sabrina, who immediately takes a liking to David, and vice-versa, takes the cover of a mime clown (under the tutelage of a sinister fencer named Anton Tarloff), Kelly pretends to be a motorcycle stuntwoman and Kris attempts to be a showgirl, but the elder Barzak sees her better in the role of knife-thrower Helmut’s assistant. 

Predictably, accidents will happen: Kelly wipes out when her ramp collapses, Sabrina finds a pretty ornery snake in her bed, and someone tries to burn down Kris and Kelly’s tent. Clearly someone’s trying to put the Barzak circus out of business, and, after the Angels are endangered by the thugs one more time, it’s clear who their employer is: Tarloff, whose niece had been killed in their own circus, leading him to conclude, erroneously, that rival Barzak was behind it.

Not bad, early-season outing makes the most of its
fun setting, with a mystery that rides the balance of challenging but not too difficult to follow or guess the outcome of. A great supporting cast of weirdoes helps, too, including the king of weirdoes – character actor Chares Tyner (you’ve seen him) as Tarloff. 

Also don’t miss little person Patty Maloney, best known to fans of this blog as the corporeal
Twikki, as sideshow star and would-be love-interest for Bosley, and Marvin Kaplan as Zobar, a disembodied head. Kaplan of course is best remembered as Henry, the telephone lineman on Alice; a practical live-in patron, he’s probably that show’s version of Norm from Cheers!

On this episode, we learn from a brief line that Bosley is “not recently” married. Like Sabrina, he is apparently divorced, although the show makes little mention of either situation.

Look fast to see Helmut pour himself a snort of Jägermeister, years before it ever became popular here in America!

No debriefing scene in Charlie’s office; instead the epilogue is the Angels dining with the circus members.

Fun romp in a fresh setting, and we finally get to see Kris’ knife-throwing opeining credit shot in context.

Client: David Barzak

Plot difficulty level: 6  (Bosley’s midshow briefing is as thick as it gets)

                              Rating:  ***

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