Philadelphia Daily News:
"It is contemporary film noir squeezed and stretched for the mini-series
format, but with only the barest amount of excess flab. For this, you can
credit Wambaugh, whose screenplay retains the book's compelling energy
while leaving out its breathless excesses... It is well served by Glenn
Jordan's taut direction. Together Jordan and Wambaugh have fashioned a
movie that unravels before you in deep, dark waves."
"CBS' Brilliant Echoes in the Darkness"
"It is probably the best film of this kind ever made for television.
One reason is that though the crimes involved are indeed horrendous, the
story is told more in sorrow than in anger, and with a distinct literary
flair... Bill Bradfield, a teacher and would-be poet, played by Peter Coyote,
is a megalomaniac and a dilettante who surrounds himself with friends who
are his virtual subjects. He's like the most dreaded sort of Hollywood
star, in a way, and Coyote's portrayal is meticulous to a fault, or to
all his faults tied up in this one manipulative sociopath, as he is later
"Echoes in the Darkness is in the tradition of
Fatal Vision, and it is equally riveting... Wambaugh wrote the script
himself, and that script is as interesting from the standpoint of what
it dos not say as what it does. Considering the countless opportunities
for exploitation of the more sensational aspects, Wambaugh's restraint
here is both admirable and unusual... The cast of this drama is especially
good... Bradfield, played here by Peter Coyote, is a teacher, a smarmy
womanizer and an oily manipulator."
"Echoes in the Darkness is a perversely fascinating study
of murder and manipulation... The twisting and twisted story revolves around
William Bradfield (Peter Coyote), a charming, incredibly manipulative teacher
of English and the classics who, as one character says, 'feeds on adoration.'
A would-be poet who idolizes Ezra Pound, he envies him for having lived
alone in a locked room in an asylum. He has assembled a collection of gullible,
vulnerable disciples... Most of the force of the series hinges on the persuasive
powers of Bradfield - a monster of exploitation - and Coyote does a commendable
Akron Beacon Journal:
"Echoes in the Darkness may well be the finest drama
presented this season on network television. The acting and directing are
just that riveting...There is no one star. There are nine marvelous performers
playing the central figures in this drama about sinister alliances and
persistent law officers."
San Jose Mercury News:
"It's a deliberately paced true crime story that spends as much time
probing the psychological makeup of the suspects as it does on the tracking
down of the evidence against them. Loggia will make your blood run cold
as Smith. His 'evil eye' is something to see."
"Producer-director Glenn Jordan, whose last TV credit was the phenomenal
Promise, and Joseph Wambaugh, who wrote this teleplay adaptation
of his own book, have teamed up to create a sensational crime drama that
defiantly refuses to be exploitive or misleading... This is classy treatment,
and the performances are wonderful... the drama is full of strong work
by gifted actors, including Loggia, Peter Coyote, Gary Cole and Cindy Pickett.
This is easily one of the best mini-series ever shown on CBS."
In the words of the director:
"I chose Coyote to play Bradfield because I'd seen his work and I
thought of him as someone who is extremely charismatic. This is a man (Bradfield)
who had a whole satellite system of acolytes. And they weren't stupid people...
Before we did every scene, I always reread the book about that scene to
remind myself of the details. I made sure the designers read the relevant
parts, too... I don't believe we've distorted the story in any way. I think
of it as a little bit like a Greek drama, where much of the most interesting
action takes place off stage."
"Bradfield surrounded himself with people who needed something, people
who could be easily manipulated. A sociopath is not a person without likable
qualities. One of the cautionary aspects of this tale is that we all think
we can judge each other's character, and that's not always true."
Did you know?
After finishing the film, Loggia commented, "It's
like getting a monkey off my back.. I'm glad it's over. Normally, when
you play a heavy in a film, you're not as bound to reality as you are here.
This was different. In many ways."
Both the director and Stockard
Channing received Emmy nominations and the mini-series earned a
Golden Globe nomination.
The real prosecutor of the case, deputy attorney
general Rick Guida said, "It was fascinating. Scary. I actually sat
there and believed I was watching Smith up there. Bob had everything down;
the eyes, the physical decay. He was Jay Smith."
It was filmed in Toronto instead of Pennsylvania
(Main Line area).
It required 57 days and cost more than $5 million. Jordan was satisfied
that his Toronto locations looked enough like the Main Line.
In the TV version Bill Bradfield is juggling
three women, instead of four that he had in real life.
Author Joseph Wambaugh said, "It takes five
hours for the chain of evidence to unfold. Echoes in the Darkness could
never be a two-hour movie. Some of my books lend themselves to movies like
The Onion Field. This is definitely a miniseries - though it should have
been six hours. I wrote it as six, but CBS made me cut it to five."
Executive producer Jack
Grossbart. "We wanted the best actor for each
role. In Peter's case, aside from physically being right, he had the
charm to pull it off. I knew he could play this character."
Loggia and Coyote also starred together in the
film, Jagged Edge.
Cindy Pickett and Coyote also
starred together in Crooked Hearts and Breach of Contract.
Video available under
used video sales at Amazon.com and auctions such as EBAY
Coyote Web Site ]