May 20, 2016

Around the dial

The wonderful character actor William Schallert died last week, and David at Comfort TV has a very nice tribute to him, reminding us of some of his best moments. If you're anywhere near my age, you couldn't turn on the television without running into him at one time or another - a true reminder of the classic age. A man to be missed, but he leaves us with many, many memories.

One of the things that made the best episodes of The Twilight Zone truly startling and unsettling was the makeup used to create some of its weird, memorable images. The Twilight Zone Vortex takes a look at three of the masters who made that magic happen.

There's nothing specific at Faded Signals, but if you haven't visited there recently take some time to peruse a fun collection of pictures and postcards of various radio and television studios and advertisements. If you're not careful you might find yourself still at it an hour or so later.

It's Friday, which means time for another round of reader questions that Ken Levine is set to answer, and there are some good ones, such as how the pictures used in opening title sequences are selected. And he's absolutely right - there aren't enough series that use them anymore. How many classic television shows can you think of where the tenor of show was set from the very beginning with the title music and graphics? Mannix, Mission: Imnpossible, Perry Mason, Star Trek - I could go on for some time, and I imagine you could as well.

Hopefully I'll get a chance to see Martin Grams at the Mid Atlantic Nostalgia Convention this fall, but in the meantime his blog is always good reading, and this week he has a very interesting piece (with some great photos!) of the untold market of antique radios. There are some television sets thrown in as well, guaranteed to bring back memories for some of us.

Television Obscurities has a piece this week on Mark Rathaus, the man who saved Movin' On, and you'll want to read it in preparation for my interview next week with Movin' On producer Barry Weitz. Mark reached out to me to see if there was any interest in Movin' On and interviewing Barry, and I'm very appreciate of his efforts in making it happen. A very nice, and dedicated, man.

It's time for another installment of Television's New Frontier: The 1960s, which this week takes a look at the 1961 season of The Donna Reed Show, one of those series to which I occasionally refer as straddling the two decades - a '50s show that nonetheless carries its identity and culture to the '60s. Always an interesting period in time. TV  

1 comment:

  1. A few posts back, David Hofstede said I could send him messages here, due to my being unable to breach a Technoslavian wall on his own site.
    I have since learned that I cannot communicate directly with the Twilight Zone Vortex, for the same reason.
    On the other hand, I have no problem getting through to Jack Seabrook's Bare Bones e-Zine, as a quick check of his Hitchcock posts have a few of my comments thereon.

    Which brings me to my comment here:
    I was checking out various entries in the Vortex, where I saw a TV Urban Legend given space, where Jack Seabrook greeted same with great glee.
    It was in the entry about "The Mirror", Peter Falk's star vehicle.
    Just to be sure, I double-checked some interviews with William Link, the surviving co-creator of Columbo.
    Herewith, a direct quote from Mr. Link:
    "Columbo does not have a first name, even though a popular Canadian board game said it was Philip! When Peter (Falk) is asked, he always retorts that Columbo's first name is Lieutenant."
    'Frank' comes from a rogue prop man at Universal, who was told to work up a police ID for Columbo for an insert shot. Where that gentleman got 'Frank' is lost to history.
    The point is that this was the '70s, long before VCRs, freeze-frames, DVDs, screen grabs, and like that there.
    OK, off-topic, but I needed to get through to David Hofstede and the Vortex guy, because they don't have the Name/URL option.
    Jack Seabrook does, but he hasn't brought this up on Bare Bones, so there's no place to put it there.
    Life is complex, ain't it?


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