“This is the continuing story of Peyton Place,” declared the announcer over the image of a church steeple. If you hadnt a clue about the series, you might expect episodic morality plays on par with Davey and Goliath with the charm of Our Town. But there were few church groups that openly embraced this show about the sinful ways of small town folks back in 1965. This was no Ned Flanders daydream about people realizing the errors of their ways and turning toward the Lord. Peyton Place reminded us that people dont always change their ways. Peyton Place: Part Two gives 33 more episodes of the show that ran twice a week with no reruns.
Episode 32 starts shortly after the Christmas holidays. Its a new year and a forgotten face returns to town. Elliot Carson (Tim OConnor) gets paroled from prison after serving several years for the murder of his wife. On a snowy night he rides the bus back into Peyton Place. He swears hes innocent. Hes also the biological father of Allison MacKenzie (Mia Farrow). She doesnt know about this little fact. The townfolk are suspicious as he reestablishes his life.
Early on, Carson proves his worth when an insurance agent goes nuts when given a short warning to vacate his office. The stress causes him to flashback to his days in World War II. Hes armed and ready to take out anyone that attempts to evict him from the office. After years inside the big house, Elliot has the calm skills to disarm the insane insurance agent. Even with such a heroic moment, hes still a stigma to most of the citizens. The only way he can be accepted by his old friends is to find the real killer. He promises Constance Mackenzie (Dorothy Malone) to keep his fatherhood of Allison a secret. Will he find the real killer and clear his name? Tim OConnor shines as the outcast in his hometown. He played Dr. Huer on Buck Rogers in the 25th Century and the numerous guest spots on major shows over the decades. It’s a relief to see him stick around for longer than an episode and play such a heavy hitter.
â€¨The big continuation from the first batch of episodes is the relationship between Betty Anderson (Barbara Parkins) and Rodney Harrison (Ryan ONeal). They rushed to the altar when Betty realized she was knocked up. However she didnt tell him before the vows that shed suffered a miscarriage. Married life doesnt agree with her so she splits town for Manhattan. Rodney doesnt care that much since hes always had the hots for Allison. Betty quickly learns what it takes for a girl to survive on the streets of the Big Apple. She gets as close to being a hooker as network standards and practices allowed in 1965. Will she return to her sweet hometown? And can Rodney take her back as his wife? Or is it his time to duck out on her?
Peyton Place: Volume Two amps up the level of secrets and lies that enveloped the first 31 episodes. There are so many little scandals under the freshly fallen snow in this quaint New England town. Its almost refreshing when Betty goes to New York City since we expect such storylines in the big city.
The video is 1.33:1 full frame. The transfers vary in quality between episodes. Nothing looks too bad. The audio is Dolby Digital Mono. The levels are fine so you wont have to turn up the volume to get the latest gossip going around the town.
Preview (0:30) allows you to access the preview thats at the end of the episode.
Peyton Place: Volume Two keeps up the shock and torrid truths that hide just below the surface of this postcard pretty small New England town. Behind the quaint storefronts and homes lurk major problems and confusion. For fans of primetime shows like Dallas and Melrose Place, Peyton Place should prove to be an equally engrossing series.
Shout! Factory presents Peyton Place: Part Two. Starring: Tim O’Connor, Mia Farrow, Ryan ONeal, and Barbara Parkins. Boxset Contents: 33 episodes on 5 DVDs. Released on DVD: July 14, 2009. Available at Amazon.com