March 12, 2021

Around the dial

Last week, as you may recall, a dearth of new posts from the classic TV blogosphere resulted in an encore presentation of a particularly lame story about the cartoon mascot of a kids' breakfast cereal. I promised, however, to make up for it this week with plenty of interesting reading material including a couple of carryovers from last week, and I'm nothing if not a man of my word. And so, as Jackie Gleason might say, away we go!

One of those carryovers comes from The Horn Section, where Hal's F-Troop Fridays looks at "Wrongo Starr and the Lady in Black," a 1966 episode enlivened by the reappearance of Henry Gibson, funny as always as Private "Wrongo" Starr. And I hope you get the joke about Starr's name—or did you have to be there? 

It's a doubleheader from Comfort TV; last week David shared the subversive plesure of watching Christmas shows after Christmas, which is something I admire but have never been able to do myself; and this week it's an arresting look at TV's top cops. (You like what I did there?) I have to pick Amos Burke over Barney Miller, though.

At bare-bones e-zine, Jack's latest Hitchcock Project continues with "The Avon Emeralds," the sixth contribution of William Fay, featuring Roger Moore as a detective who isn't quite what he seems. The Saint and stolen jewels; who could ask for anything more?

Hugh Downs had to be one of the most versatile performers, if that's the right word for him, in television history: announcer, sidekick, newsman, game show host, narrator, talk show host, and more. It's hard to give him his due, but Jodie does it at Garroway at Large.

You're never going to have to convince me to follow the links to a classic TV Guide, so I'd advise you to do the same as the Broadcast Archives at the University of Maryland steers us to some terrific vintage TV Guide ads from Chicago and beyond.

RealWeegieMidget has been hosting this year's Joan Collins Blogathon, which I wish I could have entered (maybe next year!); while you can read the final three entries here, follow the links and take some time to peruse them all. Meanwhile, at A Shroud of Thoughts, Terence offers his own entry; it's the winsome Joan in the Star Trek classic "The City on the Edge of Forever." Quite a career, and quite an actress.

At Television's New Frontier: the 1960s, it's a review of the year 1962 for one of television's most enduring westerns, Wagon Train. The year includes the evolution of John McIntyre as successor to the late Ward Bond, the departure of longtime co-star Robert Horton, and a raft of big-name guests.

There are few simple pleasures more pleasurable than surfing through YouTube for episodes of old TV shows; I've shared more than a few of those here myself. At Television Obscurities, it's the start of a new monthly feature on YouTube finds, and I can promise you'll go down some rabbit holes with delight.

Finally, the veteran newsman Roger Mudd died this week at the age of 93. Mudd was a newsman's newsman, a journalist who brought dignity and gravitas to whatever story he covered, and a professionalism that's sorely lacking in today's news coverage. Here's a look back at his career from his longtime home at CBS; we could certainly use someone like him today. I fear, though, it's a futile wish.  TV  


  1. How prescient, Mitchell. "The City On The Edge of Forever' is being shown on Heroes & Icons tonight (8 pm Eastern) just as I started to read the article about Joan Collins and this outstanding episode of original Trek...


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