October 20, 2023

Around the dial

At bare•bones e-zine, Jack's Hitchcock Project gets the week off to a good start with the first of two Lukas Heller teleplays, "The Tender Poisoner," an eighth-season episode with Dan Dailey, Howard Duff, and Jan Sterling. Compared to the novel upon which it's based, this story comes off as—well, you'll have to find out for yourself.

John continues his Cult TV Blog sojourn in the 1970s with the British kids' show Play Away, which ran from 1971 to 1984 and is so good that John dragged himself out of a sick bed to write about it. Now that's dedication to the reader! It's the chance to look back at another time and a charming show.

Speaking of sojourns, David has been doing a 1970s journey of his own at Comfort TV, looking at at least one episode of every available prime-time show that appeared during the decade. This week, it's Sunday and Monday nights, 1973, with some familiar shows—Mannix, Barnaby Jones, The FBI, The Rookies, Gunsmoke—and some noble failures, which I'll let you find on your own.

At Drunk TV, Paul takes us back to a TV staple, without which no childhood would be complete: The Three Stooges. In Volume Four of the complete set of shorts, which covers the years 1943-45, you catch the Stooges (including Curly) at their peak, a time of primal, surreal physical comedy. I've got this volume, and I endorse this message. 

Martin Grams takes us to the funny pages for a strip that's anything but funny: an adaptation of the radio drama The Adventures of Sam Spade, made for advertisements for the show's sponsor, Wildroot, featuring an artist's conception of the Spade of Howard Duff and the Effie of Lurene Tuttle. Check out the first fourteen strips, covering 1947-50. Good fun!

It seems as if, every time I turn around, another figure from our television past has passed on, and this week Terence looks back at three of them at A Shroud of Thoughts: Piper Laurie, who performed in so many terrific movies and TV shows; Lara Parker, unforgettable as Angelique on Dark Shadows; and Suzanne Somers, best remembered for Three's Company, but with a career that covered much more than that.

Travalanche also covers the deaths of those three leading ladies in a single post; in addition, we have a look at the career of George Nader, an actor with whom I'm well-familiar due to his appearances in multiple movies shown on Mystery Science Theater 3000, which may be more of a commentary on these movies than anything else I could say. 

Finally, we'll visit The Avengers at The View from the Junkyard, with Roger and Mike comparing notes on the episode "The Living Dead," a spooky Steed/Mrs. Peel adventure that's more than appropriate for the season. Let's see how our heroes fare. TV  


  1. Love the Stooge review on Drunk TV. I have all the volumes on DVD, even the Joe Besser shorts. You never outgrow the Stooges.


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