September 4, 2020

Around the dial

My friend David at Comfort TV is someone whose opinion I trust, so when he asks the immortal question "purchase or pass" about the 1970 Fugitive-lite series The Immortal, starring Christopher George. What's the verdict? Well, you'll have to head over thereto find out.

Growing up, I developed an affection for Kukla, Fran and Ollie, the whimsical puppet show masterminded by Burr Tillstrom, with the lovely Fran Allison as human companion to the Kuklapolitan Players. At Garroway at Large, Jodie reminds us that Dave Garroway often stopped by as a guest, and now you can catch those vintage episodes at YouTube!

Sharpe's World is one of those British series—well, a series of movies, but you know what I mean—that exported to America very, very well, and at Classic Film & TV Café, Rick gives us an introduction to the series, which starred Sean Bean and Daragh O'Malley.

Speaking of TV from across the pond, John at Cult TV Blog takes us to the world of Queenie's Castle, the early '70s sitcom starring the "blonde bombsite" Diana Dors, who was once married to Richard Dawson. It's yet another example of how a television show serves as an inadvertent documentary of the time in which it's made.

At the Broadcasting Archives at the University of Maryland, a really cool look at some stills from the live broadcast of Twelve Angry Men with Bob Cummings, which I compare favorably to the later, better-known movie version starring Henry Fonda.

The delightfully offbeat Inner Toob takes us on a tour of television shows that in one way or another incorporate Gunsmoke as part of the storyline. Example: an episode of Car 54, Where Are You? in which "Wearing a cowboy hat, while working undercover, Muldoon is mistaken for Marshal Dillon."

Television Obscurities, which I enjoy a lot (but you'd know that if you subscribed to my Twitter feed) has an interesting article about Andy Griffith's failed post-Mayberry series Headmaster, which quickly failed and was replaced by The New Andy Griffith Show, which quickly failed and was replaced by Headmaster. . .

At Shadow & Substance, Paul tells how the first Twilight Zone episode he ever saw hooked him for life. Now there's a discussion we should have sometime: what episode of a TV series made you realize you were hooked on the show? Could be a topic for next week?

Finally, I've mentioned several times that I've never seen an episode of Mad Men, which often surprises people. "You're so interested in that era," they say, "I'd have thought you'd be into it." Well, I'm not, and this article from The New Criterion kind of tells why, in this flashback to a critique of the History Channel documentary series The Fifties. I continue to say that the best way to learn about a particular time is not to watch a series about it, but to watch one made in that era. Judging by this article, I'd say that you'll learn more about the '50s and '60s by watching Route 66 and The Fugitive than by watching History. But that's just me, your mileage may vary. Although you should make good time if you take Route 66, unless you keep stopping to help damsels in distress. TV  

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