By Anthony Terpiloff

“A work of surpassing intelligence and audience appeal that would do honor to any theatrical medium.

POET GAME is a play not to be missed. As a dramatic work, it is on a level superior to anything seen on commercial television this season. In fact, nothing nearly as good in video drama has been seen since THE ANDERSONVILLE TRIAL, produced by the same Hollywood Television Theatre.

Done in conjunction with the BBC, POET GAME is a beautiful play, constructed without a false note, and blessed with the backbone of a writer’s passion, conviction and furious talent.

Complementing the script are two bravura performances in the leading roles—by Anthony Hopkins as the poet, and Billie Whitelaw as his wife. And the marvel of their performances is in their realization of the fact that even though these two people are on the verge of tearing each other to pieces, there is absolutely no other place they belong except with one another.

Television’s drama awards this season will surely, one hopes, find no achievement more worthy of honoring than Mr. Terpiloff’s writing, the acting of Mr. Hopkins and Miss Whitelaw, and the directing of Silvio Narizzano (GEORGY GIRL). In addition, Tuesday night, there are excellent supporting performances in POET GAME by Susan Clark as Hopkins’ American mistress, Cyril Cusack as his father and Paul Hennen as his son.

If viewers of POET GAME remember nothing else this season from video, they will remember, and cherish, the exquisite scene in which the boy, unhappy and yet somehow quietly understanding and adoring his father, listens as Mr. Hopkins tells him of his youthful dreams, and what has happened to them. In effect, the father is asking the son not to leave home for a while longer, and there is such enormous dignity, wisdom and honesty in his pleading for the boy to stay that one cannot fail to be moved utterly.”

Rick DuBrow, UPI