September 25, 2014

Around the dial

I've mentioned this series before, but it's worth repeating with Rick's fine write-up at Classic Film and TV Cafe regarding the British spy series Man In a Suitcase.  I've managed to catch a couple of episodes (so far) of this on YouTube, and it's very good.  Rick's right - it may well be the best of its type that you've never heard of.  I just wish the price on the DVDs would go down!

At Captain Video, Britt Reid (love that name!) gives us a different look at The Saint, via a comic strip.  The Saint is one of my favorite Brit series from the time; Roger Moore has, I think, much more of an edge to him than Patrick McNee's Steed, and maybe even more than Moore himself when he played James Bond.  I've also heard Vincent Price's version of Simon Templar on OTR - Price is always good, but only Roger Moore is The Saint.

Keeping with the British theme, Cult TV Blog continues looking at allegory in The Prisoner, this time with one of the series' strangest episodes - "Do Not Forsake Me Oh My Darling."  Despite the title, this is not the Prisoner episode that takes on the Western genre - that would be "Living In Harmony," which comes later.  I always thought this a great episode, and there's some very interesting analysis in this week's piece.

We've talked about TV themes before, particularly the dreadful covers done by Sammy Davis Jr. (starting here), but Comfort TV takes us through a list of the top 20 TV themes of the '50s.  Of course, the theme from Peter Gunn takes first place with me, but all of these themes do a great job of presenting their respective programs - nowadays with the truncated openings and closings that so many programs have, we lose sight of how important themes are in setting the stage for a program.

At Television's New Frontier: the 1960's, we get a really good look at a series I've heard of but never seen, the syndicated Western Shotgun Slade, starring Scott Brady.  On the other hand, now that I read more of the article, I think I have seen this before, at least one episode.  What I remember is the "jazz-Western theme music," which at the time I thought was both unusual and kind of neat.  So much Western music sounds the same.  Unfortunately, it was perhaps the most distinctive part of this two-season show.

Classic TV History Blog takes on The New York Times this week, as Stephen Bowie tells us "how to get away with being a terrible critic."  My own personal feeling is that this is a problem that's endemic to the Times as a whole, not just the TV section, but the things Stephen points out are appalling in and of themselves.  I don't pretend to be a journalist, even one good enough to write for the Times, but I hope I give you better quality than what they're doing.

Finally, over at The Hits Just Keep on Comin', jb has a touching piece on "the man who took an interest" and his effect on jb's radio career.  I really enjoyed reading that - to have someone like that play a part in your life like that, large or small, is very special.  And by the way, I also want to link back to jb's terrific piece from a while back on NBC Radio's Monitor, since I reviewed a book about that just the other day.

Gotta run now - see you back here on Saturday, right?

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