August 13, 2021

Around the dial

For my money, Friday has always been the best day of the week. I'll grant you that the best 24 consecutive hours are those from midnight Friday to midnight Saturday, but there's a satisfaction in reaching the end of the work week, and surrendering myself to a fine night of TV viewing. But there's another reason for enjoying Fridays, and that's our trip around the classic TV dial, and some most excellent blogs.

Let's start at bare•bones e-zine, where Jack wraps up his review of the William Link and Richard Levinson Hitchcock scripts with the ninth-season "Nothing Ever Happens in Linvale," with Fess Parker, Gary Merrill and Phyllis Thaxter. I think it would have been kind of fun if it had starred Joanna Linville, but I wasn't there for the casting.

I'm no longer at a point where I need to feel any older than I am, but David's latest at Comfort TV has succeeded in reminding me anyway: Marcia Brady is 65. Or at least Maureen McCormick is, and so a happy birthday to someone who, from all accounts, is as nice a person as she appeared to be on TV.

At Cult TV, John worries that he's straying too far from the subject, which happens to be the Doctor Who episode "Fury From the Deep," starring Patrick Troughton, but in actuality it's a very interesting discussion on the topic of reconstructed Doctor Who videos. You might think this is a little too "inside baseball" unless you've collected telesnaps and grey market videos, but I loved it.

You've all heard the jokes about reading Playboy for the stories, but back in the day the magazine, like so many of the era, had an excellent reputation for publishing short fiction from some of the best (or soon-to-be best) writers around. At The Twilight Zone Vortex, Jordan looks at the magazine's contributions by TZ writers, including Ray Bradbury and Charles Beaumont. 

Staying in the genre, Shadow & Substance has a writeup of Rod Serling's Night Gallery story "The House," a nasty little story starring Joanna Pettet and directed by John Astin. Night Gallery was, I thought, always a bit uneven in quality (even without the Sixth Sense episodes thrown in), but this is certainly in the upper percentile.

At Inner Toob, it's a look at the various crossover stars and historical figures from the WB western series Bronco that link the show to other WB series. (You can choose to believe me or not when I say that we were just talking about Bronco at dinner last night, for no particular reason. The clincher that caused me to add this piece is the 1960 Maverick episode "Hadley's Hunters," and trust me: you don't want to run into them.

It seems that every time I head over to A Shroud of Thoughts, Terence is penning another obituaries of a star who has passed, and this week there are three: Pat Hitchcock, Markie Post, and Jane Withers. Godspeed to them all.

Television's New Frontier: The 1960s returns with a trip to 1962 and The Donna Reed Show. The year saw the end of the show's fourth season and the start of the fifth, and as Reed began to tire from the 39-episode grind, the focal point, more and more, became Paul Petersen. That's not all there is to the show, of course, with storylines and guest stars aplenty.

Now, if all this has added to your enjoyment of the best day of the week, I'm pleased to have helped out. But stay tuned for tomorrow; there's even more to come. TV  


  1. Thanks, Mitchell. I did not see about Markie Post.

    1. It was a very, very rough week. But then, bad news always seems to come in threes.


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