October 12, 2018

Around the dial

This week at The Twilight Zone Vortex, Jordan reviews one of the more problematic episodes, "He's Alive," a story that should have been more intriguing than it was, with Dennis Hopper as a neo-Nazi being tutored by the not-so-great man himself. Like most episodes, it has its strong points and weak ones, but in this case the sum was less than what it could have been.

At Thrilling Days of Yesteryear, Ivan is spurred to look at the new DVD release of the 1957 series Blondie, based (of course) on the eternal comic strip of the same name. Though it only ran for 26 episodes, it features guest appearances by many of the recognizable names from classic TV and radio, as well as Arthur Lake, reprising his movie role as Dagwood.

John is back at Cult TV Blog with his summary of "Meet My Son, Harry," a 1963 episode of the ITC series The Sentimental Agent. It's a spin-off from the earlier series Man of the World, and according to John, if you like the ITC oeuvre, you're likely to appreciate The Sentimental Agent despite its flaws—one of which being, in this episode, the virtual absence of the lead character.

If you're confused, as I've been, as to how Trapper John can be played by Wayne Rogers in the TV version of M*A*S*H and Pernell Roberts (the man who once vowed never to work on television again) in the series Trapper John, M.D., then Toby's take on it at Inner Toob will be right up your alley. I particularly like how he resolved the discrepancy at the end of the article!

At Bob Crane: Life & Legacy, my good friend Carol talks about her podcast appearance with Mark Redfield, and relates a thoroughly engaging story about her relationship with Arlene Martel, the actress who appeared frequently on Hogan's Heroes, most memorably as the underground agent Tiger.

Remember Toma, the 1973-74 maverick-detective series starring Tony Musante? Television Obscurities does, and takes a look back as the show turns 45. Musante tired of series work and asked out after that one season; the producers replaced him with Robert Blake and, after briefly considering retaining the title, gave the show a new moniker: Baretta.

This week at bare-bones e-zine, Jack's Hitchcock Project continues its look at Bernard C. Schoenfeld with the second-season episode "Vicious Circle," an adaptation by Schoenfeld of the short story by Evan Hunter, with Dick York (!) good as a mob enforcer. Particularly interesting is Jack's take on how the drama could be interpreted by a contemporary viewer.

A Shroud of Thoughts remembers one of my favorite series, the gritty New York police drama Naked City, on the occasion of its 60th birthday. A trailblazing program in many ways, the show exists in two distinct versions; the original, a half-hour drama that took its name from the movie which spawned it, The Naked City, and after a hiatus, the hour-long series we know and love today. TV  


  1. Thanks, Mitchell! "He's Alive" is kind of a mess but it sure remains fascinating and it shows how far television had come from the days when Serling's scripts about racism and injustice were being neutered on the dramatic anthology series to such blatant condemnations of hate and bigotry. Great performance from Hopper, too.


Thanks for writing! Drive safely!