August 4, 2023

Around the dial

Once again we begin the week with a shameless bit of self-promotion: my latest appearance on the Dan Schneider Video Interview. This week, Dan and I discuss television in the 1950s, in all its various ramifications. It's a far-ranging conversation that covers a lot of area, so take some time and give it a watch.

We're into August now, in case you hadn't noticed, which means that the Christmas in July festival at Christmas TV History has wrapped up for another year. This year's theme revolved around adaptations of A Christmas Carol, literal and figurative, and Joanna thoughtfully provides this recap where you can catch your favorites from last month.

At Cult TV Blog, John continues his look at The X-Files and its portrayal of the American Dream, this week concentrating on the episode "Fresh Bones," the military-industrial complex, immigration, slavery, and how they come together. Good stuff, as always.

David continues his odyssey through 1970s TV at Comfort TV, and his week he arrives at Thursday, 1972. That fall marked the beginning of my time in the World's Worst Town™ so I didn't see a lot of them, but it's an eventful year; while NBC still has a killer lineup, it's the year CBS introduces The Waltons.

Is The Avengers a better show with Mrs. Gale or Mrs. Peel? Interesting question; I'd guess that in the United States, where the Diana Rigg episodes were the first ones shown, the answer would be the latter, but at The View from the Junkyard, Roger uses that question as the jumping-off point for a look at the episode "What the Butler Saw." What do you think?

This week Butch Patrick turns 70. (In other news, I'm being reminded again that I'm old, and getting older.) We know him from The Munsters, of course, but there's more to his career than that, and we're reminded of that in this brief summary at Travalanche.

I'm not sure you could take a trip around the dial in the 1960s and 1970s without coming across Susan Oliver somewhere; she was always appearing as a guest star on the most popular programs of the day, and Those Were the Days takes a spin around her credits. 

One of the things you seldom see anymore is the appendage "The New" to a show's title. I suppose it's mostly because most shows aren't named after their stars anymore, but off the top of my head I can think of second shows by Bob Cummings, Dick Van Dyke, Andy Griffith, Phil Silvers, and, as Television's New Frontier: the 1960s reminds us, Loretta Young. Read about her episodes from 1962.

Paul Reubens, aka Pee-Wee Herman, died this week of cancer, aged 70, and social media has been flooded with tributes from friends, colleagues, and fans alike. At A Shroud of Thoughts, Terence takes a look back at the life and career of the beloved comedian.

When my fandom of classic Doctor Who began in the 1980s, I began frequenting sci-fi bookstores in earnest, and one of my most pleasing discoveries was a series of novels based on The Prisioner, a show I'd discovered a decade earlier. Martin Grams ran across them recently, and he writes about it here.

I remember The Man from Atlantis, Patrick Duffy's sci-fi series before he became a Ewing and became famous, because it was a forced watch on the one channel in the World's Worst Town™. However, Cult TV Lounge doesn't have that same baggage to deal with, so you can get a fair assessment of the TV-movie that started it all. TV  

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