May 10, 2024

Around the dial

Xxwe open things this week with a 2022 article from The New Yorker (H/T Garry), where Colin Marshall takes a perceptive look at "What The Twilight Zone Reveals About Today’s Prestige TV." It ties in nicely with some of what I'll be writing about in tomorrow's TV Guide.

Staying on the TZ theme, we delve back into the past to look at A Vintage Nerd and her love of The Twilight Zone. It's a perfect description of how to introduce family and friends to the joy of the classics, something we all need to do to keep the classic TV flame burning.

Garry Berman asks (and answers) a question that some people would consider rank heresy: "Has Fawlty Towers been overrated?" There are only twelve episodes, after all; are they enough to justify calling it one of the "greatest" sitcoms ever? Have at it, gang.

At Comfort TV, David's progression through 1970s prime time television brings him (and us) to Sundays in 1974, remembered for Disney, The NBC Mystery Movie, Kojak, Mannix, and—Apple's Way? Well, not every swing is a hit.

"Ashes of Roses" is another episode of The Avengers that no longer exists, but thanks to John at Cult TV Blog, we can get some idea of what the story's about. You'll read more about The Avengers in tomorrow's TV Guide, but in the meantime enjoy this somewhat different episode.

"Have Guns—Will Haggle" is an episode of The Avengers that does exist, from the Steed/Tara final season, and it's the episode up for discussion at The View from the Junkyard. Find out what Mike and Roger think, and whether they "get" The Avengers or not.

Stunt doubles seldom get the credit they deserve, and so it's good to go to A Shroud of Thoughts for Terence's appreciation of Jeannie Epper, double for Lynda Carter on Wonder Woman, and performer in many, many television series and movies, who died this week, aged 83.

While not strictly classic television, the destruction of the Hindenburg, in particular Herbert Morrison's reporting, has been fodder for many shows over the years, and at Travalanche, we get some facts on the disaster, plus a look at some of the movie versions of the story. I'll refrain from calling it a blast. TV  


  1. On the Fawlty Towers article.
    The guy is overthinking it. True, in many ways, FT was typical sitcom material. Which is precisely why it was wise to end it after 2 series before it became too 'sitcomy'. Other Britcoms go on way too long. He mentions Allo Allo. That show went on for nearly a decade when it should have ended after series five.
    Other shows like Porridge, ended at exactly the right time, three series. Although you could say four with the sequel series Goin' Straight.

  2. David's mention of Apple's Way reminded me of when I was a kid. The networks were trying to find a family drama after the success of The Waltons. I think only Little House on the Prairie survived that quest. AW was advertised as a 'modern Waltons', with Waltons creator Earl Hamner Jr. as creator and producer.
    My mother LOVED the Waltons and really wanted to watch AW. My dad and I would have preferred The FBI (in its final season), but it didn't work out that way. After the first episode, something about a tree, my dad only had one comment: 'I don't like being preached to'. Never saw another episode.


Thanks for writing! Drive safely!