Angels on Campus


SUMMARY

It's nighttime at Whitley College and Professor Fairgate is busy teaching a group of over-the-hill college "kids" English. After class, lovebirds Jen and Richard argue about going away on a trip together; she doesn't want to go because it's rush week, and he's jealous of her crush on the professor. Jen is then stalked through the dark, suddenly-abandoned campus grounds, chloroformed and kidnapped.

As it turns out, Whitley College is Tiffany's old alma mater, and what's worse is that Jen is only the latest in a string of disappearing co-eds who all happen to be members of Kappa Omega Psi sorority...Tiff's former house! Charlie randomly theorizes that the missing girls must be part of a white slavery ring operating out of the university and instructs Kris to audit Dr. Fairgate's class. Tiffany will be staying at the cursed Kappa Omega Psi sorority house and Kelly will "work the case from the outside” (do nothing).

Tiff reunites with her beloved housemother Ms. Kay - who jettisoned in from the 80s - and gathers a bit of preliminary information on the missing girls. It seems the only tie is that both girls had crushes on Professor Fairgate. The Kappa sisters' fawning over former house president Tiffany is interrupted when the lights are suddenly cut off and fire crackers are all a'rattle in the street outside, courtesy of rival sorority Pi Nu. Only Tiffany is wise enough to go outside and turn the power back on while the others cower in terror. Somebody recognizes one of the pranksters as Steve, brother to sorority pledge  Nikki.

The next day Nikki storms onto the football field to inform her brother that his little stunt cost her her Kappa membership. Meanwhile, the two kidnapped girls are shown drugged and unconscious, being held by two henchmen and FAIRGATE! He informs the others that "the sheikh has upped his order," meaning a third girl will have to be kidnapped. (Guess who?)

Bosley goes undercover at the Whitley library as Zach Preston, a former student. He meets oversexed librarian Wilhelmina Campbell (but he can call her Willy), explaining that he's an author researching for a western novel. There he secrets information to nearby bookworm Tiffany - it seems that some more coeds also vanished from another university where Professor Fairgate lectured.

Jen's shaggy boyfriend, Richard, is cleared of suspicion after a chat with Tiffany, and he informs her of Fairgate's way with the lady students. Tiffany targets the Professor next, and he tries to make a date with her even after she asks a series of suspicious, probing questions concerning his tendency to teach at colleges where girls disappear. The cad also grants permission for "exceptional audit" Kris to sit in on one of his classes (which we'll never see, hear about, or learn from).

The Kappas to teach the Pi Nu's a lesson by beating them in a volleyball game. While celebrating, Tiffany is accosted by overconfident jock Steve, who brazenly squeezes her around the middle and tells her she's old. She promptly flips and drops him on the volleyball field amid a crowd of laughing onlookers.

Tiffany: "I like men, not boys."

Left alone in the locker room, the lights again are cut, and Tiffany is stalked and shot at with a dart gun by one of Dr. Fairgate's henchmen and - drumroll - MS. KAY!

Kelly remembers she's in this episode and finally reappears with Bosley on the football field, posing as football scouts (by holding a stopwatch), to cross-examine and insult Steve. They tell him that although he's a good player, his bad attitude will hurt his chances of being drafted. While that interview goes nowhere, it's Kris' turn to give Fairgate the old college try, and has no trouble inviting herself to his place for a drink.

On their way off campus, Fairgate chastises Ms. Kay for failing to snatch Tiffany, but promises that they will be "together again" once the job is over. Ms. Kay knows he's full of it, but is in too deep not to go along with his plan.

Kris arrives at the Professor's pad for a sexy tryst of wine and smalltalk. Just as he's about to make a move, they're interrupted by one of the Professor's henchmen, who's come to inform him that Tiffany Welles is not a reporter like she had claimed. This really doesn't matter, because they're still going to kidnap her anyway.

Alone on a nature walk in the Kappa gardens, Tiffany is stalked by suspicious-looking male footsteps - turns out it's only Steve, who's combed his hair and come to apologize for being a jerk. False alarm... followed immediately by a true alarm! Tiff is chloroformed by an actual bad guy, needlessly chaperoned by Ms. Kay lurking in the bushes.

When Tiffany fails to show for a meeting, Bosley and Kelly head for the sorority house to stand around and listen to the Kappa sisters fret. Kris calls to inform them that she's tailing Fairgate toward the hostage zone.

A groggy Tiffany wakes up tied to a chair, and is shocked to find her esteemed Ms. Kay involved. After giving her a piece of her mind, Tiff frees herself and jumps her ex-house mother, using her as a projectile to bowl over a henchman. When Fairgate and Henchman #2 arrive and turn the tables on Tiffany, she manages to re-re-turn the tables on them by throwing a telephone and kicking the Professor in the face. The others arrive and pose smugly with their revolvers as if they'd been any help at all.

BACKGROUND CHECK

Angels On Campus Episode #78 Season 4, Episode 10 Airdate: Nov 28, 1979 Writer: Michael Michaelian Director: Don Chaffey Guest stars: Gary Collins

WHAT'D YOU THINK?

Rate this episode:

CURIOSITIES

• Ms. Kay says about the missing girls, "We're just praying that there's a logical explanation." Um, how sympathetic? Finding out that they're kidnapped or murdered is just as logical an explanation as finding out that they're on vacation.

• In what seems like a weekly occurrence in Season 4, an Angel risks blowing everyone's covers for the sake of a stupid joke - Tiffany can't help but turn to make little faces and comments at Bosley's interaction with the librarian.

• When the lights go out during the Kappa house meeting, the fully grown adult sorority sisters all violently overreact. The same girls overreact again when they win the volleyball game against Pi Nu, acting as if they had never played a game of competition in their long, long lives.

• Were the Pi Nu pranksters aiming to keep their identity secret at all? If so, that girl in the getaway car bellowing "NICE GOING, STEVE," while they're still parked right there, is an idiot. Why does Steve believe that setting off firecrackers on their rivals' porch would result in them respecting the Pi Nu's more? Oh well, only one sorority can be known for its intellect.

• Lori, when describing the rivalry between the Kappas and Pi Nu, says “the beauties, meaning us, vs. the beasts, meaning them.” Wow, pretty bitchy comment coming from a sorority who considers the humble and shy Tiffany a role model, she would have never said something like that. In fact, when Lori later makes the whole sorority chant "Beat the beasts!" notice Tiffany is not participating.

• A boom shadow is visible on the wall when Bosley's asking the librarian out for a drink.

• If Tiffany's goal is to STOP the Kappa vs. Pi Nu feud, why is her plan to beat them at volleyball? Isn't one-upping them only asking for further retaliation?

• Who's making those weird dolphin noises in excitement at winning the volleyball game?

• Tiffany changes her clothes and does her hair in the locker room faster than a spinning Diana Prince turns into Wonder Woman. And apparently she left her clothes in that dressing stall during the volleyball game, because she went in there with only a towel. Guess the Kappas are a very trustworthy lot.

• Employing henchmen means not having to do your own dirty work. Why does Ms. Kay accompany them to all the kidnap attempts?

• For all his Casanova reputation, Professor Fairgate has a pretty sorry bachelor pad. Guess something about that sparse, rickety-looking bookcase really puts girls in the mood.

• Gary Collins begins the episode being called Dr. Fairgate and ends it being called Professor Fairgate. No diploma or graduate school is seen or mentioned, so for all we know he could be called GED Fairgate.

• If all they needed was a third girl, any girl, why did the bad guys have to try to kidnap Tiffany, who they know is exceptionally smart and resourceful?  Why not nab any other of the Kappa sisters who are all dumb as rocks?

BAD GUYS BEAT DOWN

GROSS KISSES NARROWLY AVOIDED

SHOTS FIRED AT TIFFANY

SHOTS FIRED BY ANGELS

DAYS TO SOLVE CASE (?)

ANGELS CHLOROFORMED

TURTLENECKS

CHARACTER DEATHS

ACTION

charlies-angels-tiffany-kickNot a lot going on this episode until the last ten minutes, but, what action there is is all given to Tiffany and it's perhaps the series' most downright legendary ass-kicking. Tiff proves she is more than capable of taking care of herself, be it flipping caddish athletes, escaping snipers with dart guns, snatching shady house mothers from behind or kicking gun-wielding hitmen in the face. As with nearly every solo hour, the other Angels show up just as she's done beating up the bad guys by herself.

Angels on Campus is easily Tiffany's shining action moment - in fact, her five separate beatdowns mark the highest such achievement of any Angel in a single episode.

More Tiffany fight stats

FASHION

Tiffany ditches her typical poof for a much more flattering and less frizzy 'do, thus confirming our belief that Tiffany's usefulness is directly linked to the frizziness of her hair. If Tiff's hair is flat and long, she will be as strong and effective as any Angel, but if her hair is poofy and frizzy she will fade into the background offering exposition lines to the others.

As expected, her wardrobe is stylish and classy throughout, and she even managed to look sorta chic in her t-shirt-and-jeans volleyball ensemble. Tiff brings sexy back in her terry cloth towel, lookin' finer here than in any bathing suit. Everyone else is in their Season 4 dowdy schoolmarm phase with the sole exception of the initial office scene.

Wardrobe Repeats Kris is channeling Sabrina by wearing her purple turtleneck from Angels on Skates again.

Angels on Campus

Angels on Skates

COVER, SCHMOVER

Bosley's under cover (from whom? - nobody knows who he is) as a charming and ambiguously western '51 alum, author and former insurance salesman. Lacking the accent, this isn't quite Bosley's standard Loud Texan cover personality, such as seen in The Vegas Connection, even though he's similarly costumed. What's interesting to note is, this makes Bosley's age at this time 50 years old - the same as David Doyle.

HERE'S TO BEAUTIFUL WOMEN

Strange the way Charlie, before they even begin to investigate, seems to already know that they're dealing with white slavery and introduces the case as such, even to the point of batting away Kris and Kelly's skepticism. Girls get kidnapped daily in the Angelverse - always beautiful ones, and usually in pairs, so that the Angels can take over their jobs - so why is he adamant that it's white slavery this time? Almost sounds like he knows ... too much. That piece of the puzzle could have been something the Angels figured out for themselves; heaven knows Kelly and Kris could have used something to do.

Listen to the way Bosley informs Tiffany that two beautiful girls were kidnapped from that other college campus. Do police reports specify that? ("Special Bulletin: Two ugly girls have been reported missing today.")

DIALOGUE, EH?

Even though she gets all the attention here, Tiff still doesn't get much more content than usual. Half of her lines are empty rhetorical blips that do absolutely nothing to further the conversation. "Do you really." "I'll bet." "You do, do you?" "Ah!" "(Repeat last line), eh?" Shelley Hack read all these lines with a heavy dose of sass, because if you don't, it's absolutely nothing. She only really had a few lines worth speaking in the whole hour - the rest was either pleasantries made tolerable by Shelley's natural refinement, or this weird filler-sass. Couldn't they give her some more real things to say in her starring episode, please?

SCREEN TIME ANALYSIS

With roughly 5x the other Angels' screen time, this is Tiffany's, as well as the entire series', soloest episode (that is, most unbalanced in terms of screen time per Angel).

Kris and Kelly seem to be working different cases in separate episodes. Not only is this an extreme solo for Tiffany, but these two are working solo from each other! Bosley is the only go-between; no two Angels appear together at all between the intro and the wrap-up. Furthermore, with 5 and 7 minutes respectively, Kelly and Kris each set records here for their least amount of screen time in any episode. (Consult our article on screen time to see how this measures up.)

  • KELLY
  • KRIS
  • TIFFANY
  • BOSLEY
  • HOW MUCH OF THE EPISODE HAS AT LEAST ONE ANGEL/BOSLEY IN IT 79%

JUST TAKE OUR WORD FOR IT

This episode really tells you a lot of things instead of making any effort to show you. Various characters keep talking about how bright and resourceful Tiffany is - and with sophisticated Shelley Hack at the helm, you're not inclined to question it - but what does she really do here that's smarter than anyone else? Not scream when the lights go out? Then all the Kappa sisters keep swooning over Tiff and her landmark presidency, yet we're never given any idea why. No one says a single specific word about anything she did as president. What could she have done that was so legendary that all these girls, years later, are treating her like a celebrity? Darned if we'll ever know.

Everybody keeps saying how Professor Fairgate is captivating and handsome, but is he? Sure, Gary Collins would probably be the best-looking professor at your school, but it's a bit much the way he has this whole campus bedeviled. We never saw him exhibit any particularly charming behavior. Nope, just keep repeating character traits and hope nobody notices they're not reflected at all in the writing!

THE RODNEY DANGERFIELD OF ANGELS

Tiffany, who usually gets the least amount of attention and action, is in almost every scene, wins every fight she is in, and pretty much takes down the bad guys single-handedly. If this had been shown right after her debut instead of at the stale halfway point of the season, Tiffany may had survived to fight crime again in Season 5. Shelley Hack was robbed!

Even in an episode where she is front and center, Tiffany still gets comments directed at her that would never befall the other Angels past or present. House sister Lori indicates that the Kappas used to be known for beautiful girls until “Tiffany got us going in a different direction,” and Tiffany is sitting right there like “Um...thank you?”  Later she gets called too old-looking to be in a sorority, which sounded ridiculous coming from a middle-aged looking "college boy". Bosley and Kelly can't muster much concern in their voices once they realize she's been kidnapped, and no one bothers to ask if she's okay after the takedown.

In the wrap-up Kelly even jokes, "I think Tiffany would've looked great behind a harem veil!" In other words, she'd look good with most of her face covered up. Rude. But worse - to recap, this episode was about girls getting drugged and kidnapped into human trafficking/sexual slavery. It's meant to be a light-hearted joke, but is actually grossly insensitive. Kelly seems to be equating Tiff's narrowly avoided life of forced prostitution to that time she wore a cute belly-dancing costume in Angels on Ice. No respect.

To top it off, if you're watching from the Sony DVD set, somebody has searched through this episode which is 99.9999% about Tiffany and selected one of Kris' scant few frames of film as its selection menu thumbnail. Sigh.

THIS COLLEGE MUST BE REALLY HARD

Half the “students” at Tiffany's former school appear to be in their mid-30's to early 40's. You must need hella credits to graduate. This seals the case on Tiff being the smart Angel after all. The mustachioed boyfriend says he's been in college since the 60's? This was filmed on the cusp of 1980. He literally has to be 40ish. Despite their AARP memberships, these college kids sure are immature, including in such 7th grade fare as fire crackers, toilet papering, and grudge match volleyball games.

VACANT STARE

Ok, it's not so much a stare but more of an attitude. Even in her few minutes of involvement, Kelly seems mentally checked out. Listen to how she says “I don't like the sound of that,” upon hearing Tiffany is missing, and you decide if she really gives a crap. Bosley seems similarly unconcerned with Ms Welles' fate - listen to how he says "I hope nothing,” when one of the sorority sisters asked what has happened to Tiff.

DRUGS DESTROY DREAMS

Charlie says that Jennifer is the second girl to disappear in two weeks. So those girls are being kept on those twin motel beds for somewhere around 1 and 3 weeks, respectively. Their hair and makeup looks as fresh as the day they were kidnapped. Were they kept drugged and asleep the whole time? If so, shouldn't they have died of dehydration/malnourishment? What happens when they have to go to the bathroom?

Did they only half-ass drug Tiffany? Otherwise, how'd she wake up and break free? If she was drugged, why were her hands also tied? Was she relegated to the chair because the beds were already occupied? The other girls weren't restrained at all. Did they tie her down because they thought she was too smart for the drugs to work? Good thing they did a horrible job and used that huge nautical-sized rope. Seriously, was there even a knot? It just sorta fell off when she moved her hands.

REPEAT OFFENDERS

Gary Collins (Professor Fairgate) played Victor Buckley in last season's Mother Angel.

Paul Cavonis (Otis, the henchman) also appeared in Little Angels of the Night, Counterfeit Angels, and Angel on the Line.

Michael Michaelian also wrote Angels on Skates.

Don Chaffey also directed Mother Angel, Angels on Skis, Angels on the Street, Angels on Skates, Harrigan's Angel, Nips and Tucks, Island Angels, He Married An Angel, and Mr. Galaxy.

OUR TAKE

Greg's Rating:   The old white slavery ring kidnapping co-ed's works here about as well as it would work anywhere else. Even for a 70's detective show you really have to suspend your belief in order to accept the fact that Fairgate would be able to operate his underground slave trade operation right under the noses of authorities and campus personable alike, especially considering he has a reputation for dating his female students. Tiffany being front and center and Shelley Hack handling the starring role with such grace and skill helped distract from the fact that the plot was so thin. Tiffany's best episode by far and a season 4 standout.

Anna's Rating:  Ah, Tiffany's right at home in her ivy-covered halls of academia. This episode definitely betters her character, as she scores a huge portion of her total lifetime points here. Not much thanks to the script - it's just a chance for Shelley to shine using nothing more than her inherent poise and likeability. It's a real shame they didn't give her this much attention as a debut. I feel bad to give this a low rating since it's her big moment, but I personally find the episode as a whole pretty boring. I'm all about the Angel interaction, and this has zilch, not to mention the others are hardly in it/sleepwalking.  In all the times I've watched this episode, I've never failed to laugh at Kelly bursting in with her gun after Tiffany has already owned the bad guys herself.

For a long time I thought all the sheikh and harem talk was just cutesy banter, but upon closer inspection, I guess there is an actual, literal sheikh behind all this. Maybe I need to brush up on my white slavery stats, but wouldn't it be a lot easier for the sheikh to kidnap from his own country than to have people trafficked across the globe? This seems like a lot of trouble and expense just for a few random harem girls. This show is always looking for an excuse to break out their cartoon stereotype Arab characters - why weren't there any here?

Holly's Rating: 4 stars The crux of this episode seems to be that every female at the university is falling over Dr. Fairgate. But why?? I'd love some fan votes on whether Doctor/Professor/Mister Fairgate does anything for anyone. Anyone. Next, it's sad to note that in the old days, they used to reserve the all-the-way-from-the-car-to-the-door camera shots for long gazes at Jill or Kelly's backsides. This empty episode allows a full :30 seconds for a long shot of Bosley driving, parking, exiting his car and walking to the school.

Another favorite moment: Tiff's shower scene. Watch the two girls she's chatting with leave the scene - one seems to get stuck on a door and the other one has to give her a pull to exit the scene. I had this walking robot thing as a kid that did that all the time. You'd let it go and later find it endlessly marching with its face lodged in your bedroom wall, batteries  draining.