June 9, 2023

Around the dial

Acouple of maintenance items on the personal side to lead off. My latest appearance on Dan Schneider's internet show is up; this week, Dan and I discuss the original Hawaii Five-O, and you can see it here. Two mea culpas to offer; first, I momentarily spaced out on the first name of James MacArthur's adopted father; it's Charles, the famed playwright who co-wrote, among other plays, The Front Page. (His mother was actress Helen Hayes.) More important, I misspoke in the last part of our show when I spoke about Steve McGarrett's arch-nemesis, the villaneous Wo Fat; I confused a storyline from this with a storyline from the Five-0 reboot. You may or may not notice these misstatements, but even if you don't, I feel better letting you know about them beforehand, and I'm sorry for the errors. I don't want you to think I'm a poseur. A fake, maybe, but never a poseur.

In addition, I've started to update my Goodreads page for the first time in a long, long while. If you're a member, you can check out what I've been reading and what I think of them; you can also leave a review of my own books, which I hope you'll do. (I hope you do that on Amazon as well; it helps our credibility as writers.) Goodreads is a good community; if you haven't signed up for it, ,you should. And now we return to our regular programming.

At Cult TV Blog, John has been writing about TV shows related to the circus (and no, he's not talking about Parliament or the Congress), and this time it's "Clown Virus" from the comedy The Goodies, with Tim Brooke-Taylor, Graeme Garden, and Bill Oddie. As John points out, there's more to this one than meets the eye.

One of the threads running throgh "Clown Virus" has to do with Americans vs. Communists, and Communism also plays a role in this odd story linked to from the Broadcast Archives in which an archivist runs across a picture of an anti-Communist "Freedom Rider" displaying a leather scroll that's on its way to the White House. Find out what it's all about!

With Christopher Nolan's upcoming biopic on J. Robert Oppenheimer just around the cornerlooks back to the 1982 PBS miniseries Oppenheimer, starring Sam Waterson as the title character. I'm looking forward to the movie (anything adult in the theaters is to be celebrated), but this looks to be very much worth checking out as well.

Martin Grams has a tribute to John Dunning, the author and classic radio historian, who recently passed away. Dunning's book Tune In Yesterday is described as Martin as "the   most significant and influential volume written about old-time radio," and that the book is in the library of every follower of OTR. What an outstanding legacy.

A pair of obituaries for figures from television past, courtesy of Terence at A Shroud of Thoughts: singer and actor Ed Ames, a particular favorite of mine who died aged 95 and threw a mean tomahawk (just ask Johnny Carson); and Barry Newman, star of Petrocelli and veteran of many TV appearances, who died aged 92. RIP to both of them.

At Television's New Frontier: the 1960s, it's the 1962 western The Tall Man, starring Barry Sullivan as Pat Garrett, and Clu Gulager as Billy the Kid. It's not particularly original, and not particularly historically accurate (given that both characters are part of American history), but of course that's never stopped television before, has it? TV  

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