December 16, 2013

Around the dial - appendicitis edition

Now, where was I?

Oh, yes - as I was saying before I went to the hospital, or at least as I would have been saying,  we have an interesting series of links to look at this week.  But, seeing as how I've had a few extra days to think about it, I've taken advantage of the opportunity to add a few new ones.

First, an old link, from last week.  Joanne at Christmas TV History has a very interesting guest post on the only commercially available DVD of the classic Amahl and the Night Visitors.  The fact that yours truly was the author of the post should be of no consequence whatsoever.

Joanne also has a really good piece on a previously "lost" Christmas classic: The Stingiest Man in Townthe 1956 musical version of  "A Christmas Carol," starring Basil Rathbone.  You might recall that I mentioned this last year shortly after its release, and I finally ordered it last week; it should be here tomorrow or Wednesday, and since I've got some time on my hands I'm really looking forward to watching it.  I first read about Stingiest Man in Fred Guida's terrific book A Christmas Carol and Its Adaptations, and Guida's been as excited as anyone about its recovery and release.

Stayng on the Christmas Carol subject, How Sweet it Was has a look at yet another version, this one a half-hour rendition from 1949 that was narrated by Vincent Price.  The thought of Price as Scrooge is a great one, which this rendition doesn't really take full advantage of.  Nonetheless, when you can watch any Carol for free, it's worth it - right?

Cult TV Blog talks my language - The Prisoner, The Avengers and other great Brit series of the time that I haven't become a fan of - yet. This week's review is of one of the best of the Avengers episodes, "Dial a Deadly Number."  Now, how can you not watch an episode with a name like that?  (Of course, The Village would tell you that "6" is a deadly number indeed...)

Classic Sports TV and Media takes up a topic that only real sports nerds like me would appreciate - the longest consecutive year streaks in network sports broadcasting.  But as I read through the lists, so many great memories came back, of announcing voices such as Summerall, Enberg, Jones and McGuire.  It also serves as a reminder of how rare these great voices are, and why we ought to appreciate them while we can.

Television Obscurities reviews a book on a subject I've touched on a few times in the past - the soap opera.  I'm no bigger a fan of the soaps than he is, but if I'd had the chance I'd have snapped up this book as well - The Wonderful World of TV Soap Operas - for the cover alone if nothing else.

Finally, Classic Television Showbiz has been taking time out from great interviews with the stars of the past to post some video links, including this Desilu Playhouse episode from 1958: "The Time Element," which was the de facto pilot for Rod Serling's The Twilight Zone.  Read about this before, but hadn't seen it, until now.

That's it for this week - or is that last week, since that's when this started?  I don't know; I'm confused enough as it is with the pain medication!  But I'll be back tomorrow with a fun, pre-written piece that looks at last Saturday's TV Guide through the eyes of its original owner...

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