October 28, 2016

Around the dial

It's a kind of theme week here at Around the Dial, with many of this week's pieces concentrating on the upcoming Halloween spooktacular. Let's take a closer look at them.

Science fiction movies are very popular in the old TV Guides - many of them look as though they should have the little silhouettes at the bottom of the screen. It's therefore appropriate (as well as fun) to check out this article at The Last Drive-In on science fiction movies of 1953.

Time for another Hitchcock update at bare-bones e-zine, and as was the case previously, it focuses on the frequently-cast-as-a-British-detective John Williams, this time in the second season story "I Killed the Count," the only multi-part Hitchcock story, and a fun one as well.

Also in the mystery vein, The Twilight Zone Vortex continues its Halloween countdown with another in a series of horror-themed episodes. This time, Cliff Robertson stars in the tale of a ventriloquist gone bad, "The Dummy."

I would never have associated Tales of the Crypt with Christmas, which is why Joanna Wilson writes Christmas books and I don't. This week at Christmas TV History, she takes us back to, let us say, an unconventional type of Christmas episode from 1998.

Let's stay with the horror theme for a moment, as Classic Film and TV Cafe looks at the 1970 telemovie "How Awful About Allan," with Anthony Perkins and Julie Harris - as Rick says, a very strong cast for an ABC Movie of the Week.

And Made For TV Movies continues the trend, with - natch - another made-for-TV movie. This one, from 1979, is "Mind Over Murder" with Deborah Raffin and Bruce Davison, and Amanda, who should know, classifies it as "closer to the greats" as far as horror telemovies goes.

Now for something completely different, let's shift over to British television, and of course that means we start with Cult TV Blog, and 1965's Undermind. I'm not saying we're done with the horror subtext, though, because we're talking about an alien force using technology to undermine society! And British TV Detectives follows up with the ongoing series Silent Witness, a series with potential that ultimately disappoints,

The Broadcasting Archives at the University of Maryland links to a Vox story on a topic we touched on a while back, the introduction of color-coded maps on election coverage, and how the Republicans and Democrats became labeled with the counter-intuitive colors red and blue.

David at Comfort TV has another of his thought-provoking yet nostalgic articles, this time taking a look at how foreign cultures were portrayed in various classic television series. He makes an excellent point about how watching these shows, you're reminded of how the world seemed somehow bigger back then, before the information highway brought us all closer together (and drove us farther apart int he process).

That should keep you until tomorrow, when I'll be back with one of our favorite ghoulish couples, on the cover of TV Guide. TV  

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