November 23, 2018

Around the dial

It's a good crop of links on tap this week— not a turkey among them.

Comfort TV gets us off to a good start, as David reviews the most unconvincing Indians of classic television. They're also some of the funniest portrayals; ah, I'm glad that at least part of my life was spent in a "gleefully unenlightened era."

I've noted in the past the relative merits of the hour-long Twilight Zone episodes, and this week The Twilight Zone Vortex looks at one of that format's best episodes, "Death Ship," with an outstanding cast including Jack Klugman, Ross Martin, and Fredrick Beir. Jordan mentions how this episode echoes Ray Bradbury's famous story "Mars Is Heaven!", which I've heard on the radio, but I'd never considered the similarities before.

If you're in the mood for some Christmas television (and who isn't, at this time of year?), Christmas TV History is the place to be, as Joanna tells us what various broadcast and cable stations have in mind for the season; she also provides links to their full schedules.

At Classic Film and TV Café, Rick uses the first season of Route 66 to examine the output of one of classic television's greatest writers, Sterling Silliphant. I've written about him quite a bit too, and while I think he can be a bit strident from time to time, he's also the author of some of the most literate work on television.

In "Mad Men" Meets "Today," Jodie at Garroway at Large gives us a unique backstage look at the selling aspect of the show. In particular, we get to see how Dave Garroway was, in the words of his colleague Jack Lescoulie, one of the two best commercial spokesmen on television.

I really don't know how I feel about colorizing old TV episodes. Colorizing The Twilight Zone, for example, would be an abomination. Other series are in black-and-white simply because that's the way it was back then. Television Obscurities gives us the schedule for the latest I Love Lucy and Dick Van Dyke colorizations, both appearing on CBS.

Martin Grams has a rundown on this year's Williamsburg Nostalgia Fest, which sounds like it was a lot of fun. Bernie Kopell and Robert Fuller were there (they were a lot of fun at MANC a couple of years ago), as well as some tremendous vendors. I wonder if they'd be interested in an author of a classic TV book?

Here's hoping you all had a terrific Thanksgiving. Let the holidays commence! TV  


  1. Those shows (Van Dyke, Ball) were filmed in front of a live studio audience. It seems the idea is to imagine how those shows were done, based on network publicity shoots for the episodes in color photography, from the perspective of the live studio audience as they saw it live in person, as certain technology was too new for cameras in the 1950's. Using technology that started in the 1980's and enhanced by modern day software, they are attempting to imagine the show as it was seen by the studio audience who had tickets to the episode tapings.

    Whoever is left from the live studio audience is at least 75 years old today. Are they attempting to see the episodes from the eyes of the eyeballs of that audience for a newer generation to see it from the live audience's perspective and not the eyes of the black and white cameras?

  2. Thanks, Mitchell! Hope you had a happy Thanksgiving.


Thanks for writing! Drive safely!