"The Right Kind of Medicine" is an exciting episode that is based on Henry Slesar's oddly-titled short story, "Never Cool A Cop." The story, which was first published in the November 1958 issue of Off Beat Detective Stories, opens as Charlie disobeys advice from his late older brother Turk, who had cautioned him to "never kill a cop." While being chased by an officer of the law after a robbery, Charlie is shot in the leg and shoots the policeman in the face. He makes it to the office of Doc Sanchez, who fixes Charlie's leg and gives him a prescription for pain medication. Charlies takes a cab to an all-night drugstore, which has "ten thousand dusty bottles on the shelves." As he waits for the old druggist to fill the prescription, Charlie worries that the man will hear a radio report about the robbery. The old pharmacist seems "bewildered by the profusion of powders and pills available to him."
Charlie hurriedly pays the clerk and struggles painfully back to his rooming house. On the radio, he hears that the cop he shot is dead. He packs a bag with his $2000 in stolen loot and leaves "the seedy room"; on the staircase, he sees the drugstore clerk ascending toward him and assumes that the man identified him from the radio broadcast and is coming after him. Charlie shoots and kills the clerk, then runs down the stairs and out into the street, pocketing the medicine bottle.
Later, the police bring old man Fletcher, the pharmacist, to identify Vernon, the dead clerk. Fletcher blames himself for sending Vernon, admitting that he made a mistake and gave Charlie a bottle of "terrible poison. If he takes the capsule, he'll die." The cops exchange looks and act as if they haven't heard a word, telling Fletcher "Don't worry about it."
The story ends with a good, ironic twist, as the police close ranks and quietly agree among themselves not to pursue Charlie but rather to let him ingest the poison and die on his own. None of this is said, it is simply implied.
|Robert Redford as Charlie|
This episode aired on NBC on Tuesday, December 19, 1961, and starred Robert Redford, who gives an outstanding performance as Charlie. Director Alan Crosland, Jr., takes Slesar's script and turns it into an exciting, suspenseful half-hour of television. As the show opens, a crowd gathers on the sidewalk around the dead body of a policeman, who has been shot through the heart. A witness to the shooting comes forth, played by Bernard Kates, a Jeff Goldblum lookalike. The police agree that they want to find the man who killed one of their brethren.
|Gage Clarke as Doc Vogel|
|Oh, for a zoom in on those paperbacks!|
|Bernard Kates as the witness|
|Looking out of Charlie's room into the hall|
|Russell Collins as Fletcher, the druggist|
Gage Clarke (1900-1964) plays Doc Vogel, in one of his four appearances on the series, and Bert Remsen (1900-1964), a very familiar face, plays a cop, as he did in "Annabel" and "The Throwback."
|Bert Remsen as a cop|
Grams, Martin, and Patrik Wikstrom. The Alfred Hitchcock Presents Companion. Churchville, MD: OTR Pub., 2001. Print.
|Vernon, just before he is shot by Charlie|