November 3, 2023

Around the dial

Let's begin this week at Cult TV Blog, where John's series on the 1970s continues with Murder Most English, a 1977 series based on the detective stories by Colin Watson. Or are they detective stories? As John says, they're really understated social comedies, and what better format to explore them than through a detective?

Sticking with British TV, at Cult TV Lounge, it's a rundown on Callan Uncovered, a collection of short stories by James Mitchell based on the acclaimed 1967-72 spy series starring Edward Woodward. The stories, dark and cynical (even more so than the series, if that's possible) ran in the Sunday Express for several years in the late 1960s and 1970s. If you're a fan of the series, this belongs on your shelf. 

Halloween was three days ago, but for those of you still in the spirit (get it?), at A Shroud of Thoughts, Terence looks at a favorite episode from Old Time Radio: "Mr. Conklin's Halloween Breakdown," from the much-loved series Our Miss Brooks, with Eve Arden, Gale Gordon, Jeff Chandler, and Richard Crenna. Sadly, it was never adapted for television.

Continuing in that vein, at Drunk TV, Paul travels back to the 1972 TV thriller Crawlspace, starring Arthur Kennedy, Teresa Wright, and Tom Happer, directed by John Newland, and with a score from Jerry Goldsmith; it's a cut above the average TV movie, and a nasty little piece of work. It deserves to be remembered more than it is, so have at it. 

Let's keep going, with Captain Video's Secret Sanctum, and this comic adaptation of Arch Oboler's classic Old Time Radio series Lights Out. It's called "Come to the Bank," and as a bonus you can listen to the audio version (first broadcast in 1942) while you read along. Who says radio doesn't come with pictures? And a warning: don't read it if you don't like to be scared.

Jack's Hitchcock Project at bare-bones e-zine continues with Lukas Heller's second episode for the show, the eighth-season "I'll Be Judge—I'll Be Jury," starring Peter Graves, Albert Salmi, and Ed Nelson. It's a great example of adapting a novel into a television episode—not an easy task when you consider how difficult it is to even adapt a short story. It's not to be missed. 

Last week at The View from the Junkyard, we looked at Mike's take on Star Trek: The Animated Series. I thought we'd stay with it again this week, with "The Magicks of Megas-Tu," which may be a terrible name for an episode of anything, but this is a particularly good episode, one that might even have helped inspire one of the Star Trek big-screen adventures.

We've seen how one of the unique features of the 1970s was the number of big name stars who made the journey to the small screen in the form of less-than-successful TV series (Yul Brynner, Anthony Quinn, Diana Rigg, Jimmy Stewart, Shirley MacLaine, etc.), and here's one more example, courtesy of Travalanche: Fay, a short-lived sitcom starring Lee Grant. If you haven't heard of it, read on.

And finally, hats off to Gill at Realweegiemidget Reviews, celebrating her eighth anniversary in the blogging business. Let's hope there are many more years to come for one of my favorite blogs!  TV  


  1. Aw, thanks Mitchell, I'm honoured and really touched by this lovely comment - thanks xx

  2. Love you to join my blogathon if you have time,

    1. Thanks, Gill, and thanks for the kind comment above! Not sure if I'll have time, but I will if I can. Stay tuned!


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