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Night Gallery (Sep 24, 1972)
"Return of the Sorcerer"

It's Liza with a Z . . . and Sterling with a T.

That's right, Tisha's last name has a T in it . . . and Night Gallery creator Rod Serling's last name doesn't. And, sadly for Rod Serling (who died in 1975 from complications from a coronary bypass operation), he and Tisha are in no way related, notwithstanding that some folks confuse him with Tisha's father, Robert "Bob" Sterling.

And, yes, those cast credits you see over there are correct. Night Gallery is one of Tisha's few screen appearances in which she's credited under the name "Patricia" Sterling.

"Return of the Sorcerer" isn't one of Rod Serling's great productions. It's certainly no Requiem for a Heavyweight, and Night Gallery is no Twilight Zone. But "Return of the Sorcerer"–based very loosely on a short story by Clark Ashton Smith–succeeds as a campy tale of dismemberment and reincarnation, with Bill Bixby ("Noel Evans") playing the naive young Arabic translator and Vincent Price ("Carnby") playing a broad parody of his own Poe-ish horror roles.

The original tale, a "serious" horror story, includes only "John Carnby" and the young translator-narrator, self-identified as "Mr. Ogden," while the Night Gallery episode adds the additional character of "Fern" . . . giving Tisha the chance to steal the show from both Vincent Price and Bill Bixby with a performance as campy for horror as Jane Fonda's "Cat Ballou" was for westerns.

And there's also the unnamed toad and "Falling Tower" played by the uncredited goat, though neither quite equals Lee Marvin's horse!

Note: After a thirty-year career, Bill Bixby died of prostate cancer in 1993. According to the Internet Movie Data Base, he was the second actor next to Michael Landon to appear in three popular television series (My Favorite Martian, The Courtship of Eddie's Father, and The Incredible Hulk) each running for three years or more.

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