March 31, 2023

Around the dial

It's 1964, the start of the third season of The Saint, and at Silver Scenes, it's a look at that episode, "The Miracle Tea Party," a delightful episode that serves as an entry in that "Favorite TV Show Episode" blogathon I was talking about on Wednesday. Be sure to check them out; maybe I'll have another chance next year!

Here's another entry from that blogathon—at Once Upon a Screen, Aurora takes us back to a Columbo episode that, I think, ranks near the top in everyone's list of favorites: "Any Old Port in a Storm," with a terrific performance by the always-outstanding Donald Pleasence as the murderous winery owner, and Gary Conway as his deceased brother. I always enjoy this one.

And since Terence at A Shroud of Thoughts is hosting the blogathon, I'd be remiss if I didn't highlight his contribution as well. It's "Home," a 1996 episode of The X-Files, that is truly disturbing, not least because the story occurs not in the big city, but in a small town (the sheriff is even named Andy Taylor, though not that one), and it brings the horror—home.

John's latest entry in his 1980s TV series retrospective at Cult TV Blog is the excellent series Mapp and Lucia, based on the equally respected novels by E.F. Benson. and the episode "Lobster Pots." There have been two versions of the series, so if you want see what John's raving about, be sure to look for the 1985 version.

At Comfort TV, David brings his trip through 1971 television to a close with a look at Saturday night, and again I have to stress how Saturday used to be a killer night for television: All in the Family, Funny Face, The New Dick Van Dyke Show, Mary Tyler Moore, and Mission: Impossible were CBS's dominant lineup, but there were some others to check out, including The Persuaders (sorry, David).

We're coming up on Holy Week, which means it's a good time to review a series called Greatest Heroes of the Bible (a series that could never be aired on broadcast television today), and at Drunk TV, Paul looks at volume two of this 1978-79 series, with a collection of episodes dealing with "God's Chosen Ones." I only hope I'll get to be one.

The Broadcast Archives has a brief pictoral look back at Carol Burnett back in the late 1950s or early 1960s, and aside from the pictures, it's a good reminder that next month she turns 90, and if that makes you feel old, then just  go back and watch more of her shows, forget about your problems, and have some fun.

Some more promising news from Television Obscurities, where Robert reports that ClassicFlix, which has brought back several rare series via DVD, has another one in store come June: 21 Beacon Street, a detective drama with Dennis Morgan. I confess that I don't know anything about it other than recognizing the titles from TV Guide, so it could be interesting.

Cult TV Lounge revisits the 1976 limited anthology series Beasts, which draws its credibility from its cxreator, Nigel Kneale, who is responsible for the legendary British sci-fi series of the 1950s, Quatermass. Sounds like it's well worth watching—and by the way, Kneale is responsible also for a British TV movie that you'll be reading about in a future "Descent into Hell" essay.

At Shadow & Substance, Paul visits an unlikely suburb of TZ; "The Hound of Heaven," a short dramatic sketch written by Earl Hamner Jr. for The Kate Smith Hour in 1953 (I didn't even know that show had dramatic sketches.) and has a cast including John Carradine and a very young James Dean. The story would become the bases for the third season TZ episode "The Hunt." TV  

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