Steve Canyon (1958)

Discussion in 'TV on DVD and Blu-ray' started by michael_ks, Oct 25, 2007.

  1. michael_ks

    michael_ks Screenwriter

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  2. docdoowop

    docdoowop Second Unit

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    I only remember being pulled away from an episode with a UFO plot to go to the garden center with my Dad. Never quite forgave him for that. Nice to see the original 35mm film masters are extant.....I'll be a happy buyer if the whole season makes it to DVD.
     
  3. Bob Hug

    Bob Hug Screenwriter

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    Wow, that's one that I've heard of but never seen and so I can't comment on it, but it's a real surprise to see come to DVD, especially as it appears to be a private release through the Caniff estate with no mass market distributor (paging Infinity Entertainment).

    I do have most of Caniff's earlier "Terry & the Pirates" series. That series had 17, possibly 18 episodes produced and Alpha Video has released 16 of the episodes, unrestored, utilizing some pretty ragged (but watchable) prints. "Pirates" is a real low budget affair and I think it unlikely that it would ever get any kind of proper release. If the production values of "Steve Canyon" are better than "Pirates" then I might consider it . . . . a bit on the pricey side, but it does help with the series restoration . . . . but I would need a little more background on the series before commiting to buy it.
     
  4. Bob Gu

    Bob Gu Supporting Actor

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    I actually ordered this 4 episode Steve Canyon sampler a couple of days ago,and expect it next week sometime. It is pricy by TVONDVD standards, but I was very impressed by the talent: writing,directing and acting listed in the episode guide and shown in stills (check out "Miss Landers" and Mary Tyler Moore) and clips. Plus the prospect of a restoration headed by John Ellis who has a pretty impressive resume at IMDB.
    One interesting thing mentioned on the Steve Canyon blog was the possible existence and inclusion, on the DVD complete series set, of additional episodes that may have been shot but never assembled before the show was cancelled and taken off the air.
    The Steve Canyon film elements appear to have been in the hands of Milton Caniff or his estate all this time. Steve Canyon was owned by Caniff. Terry and the Pirates was owned by the comics syndicate.
    Dark haired Dean Fredericks,who stars as blond Steve Canyon, is a very recognizable face from fifties westerns. He was the Indian doctor in the feature "The Lone Ranger And The Lost City Of Gold" and the Indian Chief that fights Cheyenne in the "Quicksand" episode.
    Bob Hug, as a comics fan,you may notice,from looking at the stills of Fredericks as Steve Canyon, that Joe Kubert, (a Caniff influenced comic artist) used stills from or sketched Fredericks from TV for some of his late fifties Korean War jet pilot stories that apeared in DC war comics.
    http://stevecanyondvd.blogspot.com
     
  5. michael_ks

    michael_ks Screenwriter

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    Very interesting background information on the show and lead actor Dean Fredericks. I'm also a comic fan and very fond of the work Kubert did, particularly with "Enemy Ace".

    I was also impressed by the roster of talent for "Steve Canyon" as I half expected this to be a show of modest production values. I noticed that Nathan Scott, composer for segments of "The Twilight Zone" did the musical composition for SC. You mentioned "Miss Landers" (Sue Randall) and Mary Tyler Moore as having appeared in the show. Here's some other notables that appeared:

    Harry Townes, Morgan Woodward, Marion Ross, Russell Johnson, Jacqueline Scott, John Doucette, Tige Andrews, John Hoyt, Paul Comi, DeForest Kelley, Barry Atwater, Richard Anderson, Nick Adams, William Schallert, Sandy Kenyon, Robert F. Simon, Oliver McGowan, Jerry Paris, Ken Lynch, Abel Fernandez, Hayden Rorke, Leonard Nimoy, Gavin MacLeod, Jack Weston, Vito Scotti, Werner Klemperer, Dabbs Greer, Claude Akins, Ross Martin, Ron Ely, James Drury, George MacReady, Roy Thinnes, James Hong and Martin Milner. Wow! In just 34 episodes.

    Interestingly enough both Abel Fernandez and Jerry Paris both appear together semi-regularly. The following year they would of course both work together again in "The Untouchables".
     
  6. Bob Gu

    Bob Gu Supporting Actor

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    Mike, John Ellis, in a post over at the IMDB and on his Steve Canyon blog,says that the show was the most expensive show on the air that 1958 season.

    Being a 1958 show I should have a more vivid memory of watching Steve Canyon but I don't. It was on Sat. at 9:00PM, so it was not really a kid's show. I do remember having some kind of Steve Canyon promo-tie-in toy. But I don't remember what it was.
     
  7. Hank Dearborn

    Hank Dearborn Supporting Actor

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    Amazing how all of these shows are coming out of the woodwork now in the DVD age. There's finally a market for some long buried series. To me, it's worth it to get 4 shows with the original commercials. I wonder if they do the whole series if they would still include commercials.
     
  8. McAllister

    McAllister Auditioning

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    Now there's a DVD I'd like to get my hands on! I have an episode of SC on VHS on a double bill with Caniff's other comic "Terry and the Pirates". While T&P had its eyes on the kiddie market, SC was definitely aimed at the adults with all its Dragnet-like technical jargon and aerial photography... the show even originally had "Dragnet's" sponsor, Chesterfield cigarettes as its main sponsor.

    In keeping with the "Dragnet" parallel, several crew members from the original "Dragnet" worked on this show as well; Michael Meshekoff was one of the line producers, while Walter Schumann, who composed the legendary "Dragnet" theme, wrote the theme march for SC, which if you listen closely, almost sounds like "Off We Go Into the Wild Blue Yonder".

    "Steve Canyon" was even filmed on the Universal backlot, where the color version of "Dragnet" would be filmed eight years after the last SC episode. I almost expected Jack Webb to pop up as Canyon's superior officer, lol.
     
  9. michael_ks

    michael_ks Screenwriter

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  10. Bert Greene

    Bert Greene Second Unit

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    Sounds interesting. I'd always been curious about this series, which I rarely ever heard referenced. I used to purchase the "Steve Canyon" reprint magazines that Kitchen Sink was putting out in the early-80s (alongside their "Spirit" mag), covering the first few years of the comic-strip. I'll definately try out the sampler dvd volume. I recall Dean Fredericks mostly from that old "Phantom Planet" (1961) movie. And speaking of Joe Kubert, I have to admit he wasn't my favorite when I was a kid (tended to prefer Russ Heath's take on Sgt. Rock), but in later years, seeing his work on "Hawkman" and "Viking Prince," I became a big fan. Anyway, this "Steve Canyon" tv-series seems to have some top-flight talent behind it, and sounds to be miles ahead of the earlier, very low-budget "Terry and the Pirates" concoction.
     
  11. DeWilson

    DeWilson Cinematographer

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    I wonder if the show was cancled due to raitings or due to the high cost to produce the show.

    It's a really good show.
     
  12. Bob Gu

    Bob Gu Supporting Actor

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    Re: Cancellation: Part of the problem may also have been the fact that Steve Canyon had it's day and time slot moved three times in it's one season. Another factor may have been the U.S.A.F. not wanting stories that, to them, showed the Air Force in a bad light. Since Steve Canyon was a troubleshooter, if nothing could go wrong with men,equipment, or procedures, that Steve could fix, there could not be much of a story. (See John Ellis's post on the Steve Canyon page at Internet Movie Data Base.)

    I emailed John Ellis and asked a couple of questions about the Steve Canyon DVD release.

    1)What's the full series going to cost to buy and how will it be distributed?

    John Ellis:"We don't know how much the set will cost, or if it will be split into two vol's, or what just yet. I hope to do it as one big box set, with the original commercials included. We are negotiating a deal with a dvd distibution company right now, so we'll see what happens. I can tell you it will be priced as low as we can afford to make it, comparable with other box sets. Our distribution deal looks good. It's with an old friend of mine, and will hopefully include putting the discs on military bases as well as regular stores, netflix, amazon.com and many other venues".

    2)Possible lost episodes that were filmed but never aired?

    John Ellis: "We have a script for one episode that isn't accounted for, and there are two gaps in the numbering of episodes, and a two week gap in filming in Nov of 1958 that coincides with the extra script Production #9216 (PROJECT B-58)...Davis Haft (producer) can't remember, but did remember there were "unfinished things" at the end of the series. We are still searching for nearly 2 tons of film, soundtracks and other materials that we hope will turn up somewhere. I just went through 5 boxes of memos, letters, photos, and other documents, copying/scanning anything that relates to the series, which I will study in detail..There is a lot of exciting info and clues there, and what I don't include on the dvd set and blog, will probably go into a book that appears likely".
     
  13. Doug^Ch

    Doug^Ch Second Unit

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    I received my copy of Steve Canyon yesterday and watched it last night. I loved it; the quality was extremely good (if Route 66 could only look so good). It was definitely a real he man's show; my wife didn't care for it - too much technical stuff; not enough plot. I could not really understand her not liking the show as it seemed pretty exciting to me. I will for sure pick this up when it becomes available in its entirety. This is one show worth preserving. It included all the original commercials for Chesterfields and L&M Cigarettes and promos for other ABC shows like The Donna Reed Show, some westerns and a trial show whose names escape me at the moment.
     
  14. michael_ks

    michael_ks Screenwriter

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  15. John Ellis

    John Ellis Stunt Coordinator

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    Hello all!

    I have been following this forum and am very interested to hear comments from those of you who ordered the Special Edition DVD...
     
  16. Hank Dearborn

    Hank Dearborn Supporting Actor

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    The episode you appear to be missing is #9 Operation B-52 and aired on November 15, 1958. For a complete episode guide, go here:
    http://aa.1asphost.com/CTVA/US/Military/SteveCanyon.htm
    Hopefully you will be able to locate all 39 episodes.
     
  17. John Ellis

    John Ellis Stunt Coordinator

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    Well, OPERATION B-52 is one of the four we just released on the Special Edition DVD...in fact it was the very first episode we had transferred from 35mm to digital video. I'm not sure where you got this info, but we DO have ALL 34 broadcasted episodes (there are not 39), and all but one is a 35mm original broadcast print from either NBCs original run in 1958/1959, or is from the ABC repeats in 1960.
    We are still looking for certain things related to the series, such as an original STEVE CANYON RETURNS! ABC promo from 1960, and The Eddie Fisher show that aired on NBC September 30, 1958, in COLOR, with Milton Caniff and Dean Fredericks promoting the series.
    I have referred to the CTVA Steve Canyon page many times in the past...but our "Steve Canyon On DVD Official Episode Guide" (see the link in my signature below) is the only fully ACCURATE guide on the web. I actually offered our credits info to CTVA a while ago, and I need to follow up on this with them (I've been bad). Their site is the VERY BEST around otherwise, but they don't have the benefit of having the original studio files that we do.
     
  18. Tory

    Tory -The Snappy Sneezer- -Red Huck-

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    If you can get the Eddie Fisher show, please include the entire episode, not just the bits relevant to Steve Canyon. If you can not do that, then at least list that these clips are just excerpts. I have purchased classic tv series with similar material as bonus feature believing it to be the whole show and was a bit upset to find it not. I would still buy it anyway though. I know Steve Canyon is the focus of the release but I would like to see the material as it was presented within a whole episode.
     
  19. Bob Gu

    Bob Gu Supporting Actor

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    I've enjoyed watching the 4 episode sampler, (and the promo with excerpts from six other episodes) of Steve Canyon and plan to buy the complete series set when it's available.

    The Steve Canyon episodes look as good if not better than any other black and white TV show in my DVD collection. I hope the rest of the episodes are in equally good shape.

    I like the half-hour adventure format of 50's and 60's TV, and the one season shows like Steve Canyon are fun to collect. It's always nice to see a character actor like Dean Fredericks get a chance to play a lead in a series.

    The show itself has a lot of visual interest with all the footage of different types of Air Force planes and helicopters. I guess a lot of this film was real Air Force photography of actual tests and operations provided to the show and blended with scenes shot with the cast for the show, with the Air Force providing the real planes and pilots.

    Say John Ellis, I hope you will include the script for "Project B-58" on the DVD as an extra along with any film you might find. A little quick research shows that the B-58 "Hustler" was the first USAF supersonic bomber. In developement during the '50's and deployed in 1960. Maybe the story was shelved for security reasons?

    And,John, after you complete Steve Canyon maybe you could get Paramount/Desilu interested in releasing "Whirlybirds". (Or go low tech with a one season show like "Tales Of The Vikings").
     
  20. John Ellis

    John Ellis Stunt Coordinator

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    Tory, your comments have been noted. There can be issues relating to amount of time/space on the discs, as well as "clip fees" that are usually charged by the minute and can be extremely exorbitant! Having said all of that, I just hope we are able to find this and other things we are looking for. There WILL be significant extras on the discs.
     

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