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Sophia and the Pilgrim


A strange mystic charms young women into following him on his trip. His mysterious influence makes them forget who they are, chant indecipherable doctrine, get depressed and die. A gentleman decides to interfere as his friend's daughter gets under the mystic's spell too.



Air Dates

  • First Run - January 19, 1978
  • Repeat - June 15, 1978





49     21

4 Responses to Episode 0767

Not an American thanksgiving tale, this somewhat downbeat episode is based on a tale by the Russian writer Ivan Dragonis, according to E.G. Sometimes the RMT versions of Russian tales could be a bit slow-developing...this one is somewhat, but is still interesting and with an RMT star-packed cast. Gordon Heath (who I believe was a man "of color"...his gravelly voice was somewhat refreshing, if non-accented) is a Russian census taker who arrives at a remote village and finds a friend of his from university days living as a wealthy man with a large family. The friend introduces the census taker (apparently that was a government position that had a higher prestige than it does today in the U.S.) to his daughter Sophia, a strong-willed, quiet, independent girl. On a lark, the census taker decides to visit a local religious man who is rumored to be able to talk to "the dead". To his surprise, Sophia wants to go as well. They arrange to meet him at a location in the night...strangely, he just appears, staring right at them, and they're unable to move. Sophia is impressed by him...the census taker is scared, as the religious man brings a vision (or something) of a university professor the census taker knew was long dead. Later, Sophia and the census taker dance at a formal ball at the request of her father. She can't stop talking about the experience they had. A day or so still later, Sophia's father confronts the census taker, begging him to marry his daughter. He, too, is aware of Sophia's attraction to this strange figure. He's also aware that the daughters of some other villagers also became enamored with this man (more in a spiritual sense than a romantic one, apparently) and then just disappeared... (This is the RMT "stay away from cults" message episode...not a bad message at that.)

Joemel M.C.

I rate this episode ★★★★☆ for GOOD. I admire G. Frederick Lewis’ on how his stories are structured. This Drama-Mystery, adapted from Ivan Turgenev’s story, had a good plot, but it was going at a slow pace. Several Russian novels are like that where they have many characters introduced, but not many of them are moving forward to change plot points. And the 3rd Act was heart-rending. CBSRMT fans need to find Ivan Turgenev’s story and see how deep this story goes. A lot of melancholy music tunes were played and music tracks from THE TWILIGHT ZONE were a nice touch. Sound Effects of the howling wind, doors, dog barking, patrons murmuring, horses and carriages, bells, orchestra music, train whistle, thunder, and rainstorm were beneficial. In our Host’s Prologue, E.G. Marshall’s topic was on Generation gaps and how puzzled parents are when kids live their own way. In ACT-1, we meet our main character: Ivan Trepolov who is a census taker that traveled to Tula, Russia to reunite with an old friend from college that has a daughter who is very important. But the Host repeats his narration right before commercial break. In ACT-2, the important girl, Sophia, is apprehensive as they go into a wooden house. In ACT-3, the girl leaves town, yet dies in the end (SPOILER ALERT). In his Epilogue, E.G. Marshall states that this story was written in 1881 and the author wrote hope, which influenced the Czars to liberate the Serfs. Don’t know where he got these Fun Facts from, but his narrations were informative, yet repeatable. But what I think stood out the most in this, was our ensemble cast: Gordon Heath (as Ivan Trepolov), Jada Rowland (as Sophia), Robert Dryden (as Boris), Bryna Raeburn (as Madame Karpovna), and Russell Horton (as Andreas and the Holy Pilgrim). Kudos to all them that performed with Russian accents. And it’s always a delight to hear Jada Rowland since she’s my favorite actress on CBSRMT. But I’d give a round of applause to Gordon Heath for playing the leading role. His performance was just as brilliant as his roles in #0950-THE DOMINANT PERSONALITY and #0921-THE GREY SLAPPER. For those that are fans of Gordon Heath, you’ll like this dramatic tale. Until next time…pleasant dreams. =0)


This is a very well done episode. It's especially interesting because it explores the all-consuming relationship between "guru" and "disciple" without becoming a stereo-typical love story between a man and a woman, as these stories usually become. That's what makes it more realistic, because guru-disciple relationships are often way beyond "boy-meets-girl." Sophia's obsession and devotion to her "guru" was actually authentically portrayed and well-acted. It was also very sad to see this young girl, who had so much going for her, to be totally sucked away by this kind of relationship. It is a perfect example and carries a warning to avoid falling into the "guru" trap. I rate this as a very good episode for realism and authenticity.


Just a follow up to my last comment above. But you've got to wonder if this old "guru" figure preys on young women for sexual favors, as it is so common with elderly "gurus" and young women. It isn't at all uncommon for sleazy "guru" types to con young women into believing that sex with them will lead them to some form of "enlightenment" and a young, innocent girl like Sophia would be naive enough to fall for it. (I think this was one thing the older man looking out for her was concerned about, even though he doesn't come right out and say it. This story was written in the conservative 1800s, where things were implied in stories, rather than always stated outright.) They don't make it clear in the story just exactly what their relationship is, but clearly, she starts out being enchanted with him, and later on acts totally miserable, as she pines away. It seems that, at the very least, he might be some kind of psychic vampire who sucks away the energy of these young girls who follow him, and apparently they don't end up so good.


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