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Science Fiction Theater


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20 replies to this topic

#1 of 21 Bob Furmanek

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Posted October 13 2005 - 08:01 AM

Several sellers on eBay have box sets of this show with all 78 episodes. Can anyone recommend which set is the best?

Thanks!

Bob

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#2 of 21 Jack Briggs

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Posted October 14 2005 - 04:02 AM

Bob, forgive my ignorance, but has a DVD release of this old 1950s series been officially released? If you're talking about bootlegs, we'll have to shut the thread down.

#3 of 21 Bob Furmanek

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Posted October 14 2005 - 04:25 AM

Jack, that's just it. I don't know if those DVD sets are legit or not. I don't want to make a purchase until I can find out for sure. I thought somebody might have that information.

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#4 of 21 Jack Briggs

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Posted October 14 2005 - 07:00 AM

Bob, simply run a search at any standard online DVD vendor to find out. I haven't time, but my thinking is that this thread will not be able to continue. I think I would have heard about this series being released to DVD if it were legitimate.

#5 of 21 Joe Lugoff

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Posted October 15 2005 - 04:32 AM

What's odd to me is that these sets, which I've presumed are bootlegs, show up in the ad at the top of this HTF webpage -- in fact, right now it says "Science Fiction Theater - Complete TV Series on DVD" and the link goes to www.vintagetvandmovies.com. I think that might be the same guy who's selling them on eBay.

If it's not ok to discuss these sets on this forum, why is it ok to advertise them?

#6 of 21 Jeff#

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Posted October 15 2005 - 05:36 AM

Of course it's OK to discuss them -- it's a TV show, right? Posted Image

Here's a topic: Science Fiction Theatre is one of the few TV series in history to start filming in color (first season) and then switch to black & white film for the second season to save money.

To take it a step further, I can think of 2 series that began in black & white, went to color, and then back to B & W: The Joey Bishop Show did the same and somebody once told me that the final season of Wagon Train is another example.

#7 of 21 Jeff#

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Posted October 15 2005 - 05:42 AM

I saw Science Fiction Theatre in 1970s reruns on my local station when I was a kid and for a series from the 1950s it was OK for its time. The stories were based on both proven scientific principles and logical theories.

Here's another topic: Truman Bradley. One of the more boring hosts who should have stuck to radio announcing?

#8 of 21 Mark Talmadge

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Posted October 15 2005 - 05:56 AM

Actually, you'll find that nearly 90% of the auctions on eBay are actually bootlegs, pirated copies of television shows, anime, and movies and genereally speaking, eBay doesn't do anything to curb the problem until they are contacted by the studio that owns the rights to that particular show or series. Anyone claming to be selling complete shows on DVD you'll find them to be most likely pirated copies.

#9 of 21 JeffT.

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Posted October 16 2005 - 04:35 AM

Posted ImagePosted Image

"Good evening Ladies and Gentleman my name is Truman Bradley your host on SCIENCE FICTION THEATRE. Let me show you something interesting."--Truman Bradley.

SCIENCE FICTION THEATRE (Syndicated 1955-57) is one 1950s tv series that I'd really like to see (professionally) made available on a high quality DVD release.

With the acquisition of the MGM film and television film catalogue (including the former United Artists properties) it would seem that this (now rarely seen) tv show is under the ownership of the (dreaded) Sony Corporation whom Heaven only knows (I'm sure) will ever get around to commercially marketing the Ziv TV Productions libraries anytime soon (if at all).

SCIENCE FICTION THEATRE predates such later better known (and of course more popular) genre anthology efforts like ONE STEP BEYOND (ABC 1959-61), THE TWILIGHT ZONE (CBS 1959-64) and THE OUTER LIMITS (ABC 1963-65) but is just as worthy of public recognition and acclaim in its own right.

I always found that the series host Truman Bradley (February 08th, 1905 - July 28th, 1974) was an excellent choice as the show's omnipresent spokesman for his personably friendly manner, dignified well groomed and smartly attired presence always lent considerable respectability and credibility to the (seemingly) extraordinary events depicted in the widely diverse and well presented teleplays.

Just imagine how fantastic this timeless tv classic would look in colour! For those who've never seen this SF (with emphasis on the science) show then you've really missed a lot.

Bring on SCIENCE FICTION THEATRE in a (legitimate) DVD collection!

Jeff T.

#10 of 21 Michael Alden

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Posted October 16 2005 - 05:03 AM

I doubt we will ever see this from Sony. They own so much now. Maybe we might have had a chance from MGM but now, now way. I got most of mine recorded off of PBS in Milwaukee years ago and they come in at 26 minutes. Much better than the 22 minute hack jobs from Sci-Fi Channel. And I know someone who inquired about licensing them from Sony and was told, "we don't license". So count this one out I'm afraid.

Quote:
If it's not ok to discuss these sets on this forum, why is it ok to advertise them?


Still waiting to hear the answer to this one.

#11 of 21 Bob Hug

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Posted October 16 2005 - 11:17 PM

And I know someone who inquired about licensing them from Sony and was told, "we don't license".


Then how does Sony explain its licensing arrangement with Image Entertainment for "Naked City?" In fact, the Sony logo even appears on the spine of the DVD case (at least it does on box set #1).

#12 of 21 Cees Alons

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Posted October 17 2005 - 06:01 AM

Quote:
If it's not ok to discuss these sets on this forum, why is it ok to advertise them?
It's not. But that ad is something we cannot completely control, because they "google" around. However, if you report this to Parker, he can probably filter them out. This is a difficult problem for us - sometimes the filtered-out ad shows up again in another form.

Please, help the forum. Also by not looking at evil ads Posted Image


Cees

#13 of 21 JeffWld

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Posted October 17 2005 - 06:45 AM

Quote:
Then how does Sony explain its licensing arrangement with Image Entertainment for "Naked City?" In fact, the Sony logo even appears on the spine of the DVD case (at least it does on box set #1).


The reason appears to be one of ownership. While Sony may have broadcast distribution rights, it does not constitute the right to negotiate DVD rights-which remain with Herbert B. Leonard's business reps. Sony will not currently license material/productions for which they have complete ownership.

#14 of 21 JeffT.

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Posted October 17 2005 - 02:56 PM

This is the major flaw with what's being marketed commercially on DVD as so much of what is accessible is (generally) reprehensibly bad while (genuinely) interesting and worthwhile tv properties like SCIENCE FICTION THEATRE (Syndicated 1955-57) sit somewhere in the studio library film vaults uselessly languishing away indefinitely doing no one any good.

That's why it's (virtually) impossible to take (particularly) the tv series DVD industry seriously at all.

Incidentally SCIENCE FICTION THEATRE consists of a respectable 78 half hour episodes (39 produced in colour).

Anyways don't curtail or prohibit this discussion thread and let's make it the official SCIENCE FICTION THEATRE information-news message forum.

Jeff T.

#15 of 21 Jeffrey Nelson

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Posted October 17 2005 - 04:39 PM

I've never even heard of this show! How does it compare with the other Big Three genre anthology shows?

#16 of 21 JeffT.

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Posted October 17 2005 - 05:22 PM

It is good! It is very good!

This marvellous tv series had truly great guest performers (more than) comparable to other big three genre anthologies, always consistently interesting and diverse stories and was handsomely well produced.

Just to give you a sample actors like Vincent Price, Gene Barry, Gene Lockhart, Martin Milner, DeForest Kelly, Basil Rathbone, Edmund Gwenn, Dane Clark, Zachary Scott, John Howard you name it! Practically everybody who was anybody (at the time) made guest appearances on this extraordinary anthology show.

It its day (back in the 1950s) SCIENCE FICTION THEATRE (Syndicated 1955-57) was a very popular and well respected tv series.

Even in the 1960s when I first saw it on television it was still going strong in tv syndication.

I can't recommend it highly enough.

Jeff T.

#17 of 21 Tom.W

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Posted October 17 2005 - 05:28 PM

Quote:
I always found that the series host Truman Bradley (February 08th, 1905 - July 28th, 1974) was an excellent choice as the show's omnipresent spokesman for his personably friendly manner, dignified well groomed and smartly attired presence always lent considerable respectability and credibility to the (seemingly) extraordinary events depicted in the widely diverse and well presented teleplays.
Very well stated, JeffT. Far from being boring, I found Bradley's intros and summations to be informative and thought-provoking. Like John Newland on One Step Beyond, and Karloff on Thriller, Bradley was a perfect fit for the role, a true fifties icon.

Unfortunately, like other Ziv classics now buried in Sony's vault, I guess we'll have to preserve our tv sourced tapes of Science Fiction Theater, even hacked up as they are.

#18 of 21 JeffT.

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Posted November 09 2006 - 08:40 AM

This discussion thread has been dormant (way) too long!

Still championing the underdog, I have taken note of a current syndication run (on a local Western film and television specialty subscription service) of the BAT MASTERSON (ABC 1958-61) tv series starring Gene Barry which was produced by ZIV Television Productions (also responsible for the excellent SCIENCE FICTION THEATRE).

The video transfers being circulated are in (consistently) exceptionally fine shape and hopefully this also applies to the other tv properties in the (former) United Artists Television catalogue as well.

The Sony Corporation with its extensive television libraries from both (the former) Screen Gems Productions and United Artists combined now under it auspices could prove to be a formidable exponent of classic tv series DVD collections in the future.

Certainly the always innovative and immensely captivating SCIENCE FICTION THEATRE (Syndicated 1955-57) should prove to be one of the company's more interesting DVD releases.

This DVD distribution company has (potentially) only just begun!

Jeff T.

#19 of 21 Michael Alden

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Posted November 09 2006 - 09:34 AM

I was having a discussion a few nights ago with JeffWld and we were talking about how Sony, better than any other studio, has done a great job historically of getting their product out there. Just look at some of the obscurities that they were able to put on the air in the 80's:

CBN - Wackiest Ship in the Army, Empire, Iron Horse, Young Rebels, Here Come the Brides, Born Free, Wild Bill Hickok, Farmer's Daughter, The Quest

HA - Occasional Wife, Mr. Merlin, Mama Malone, The Charmings, Tabitha, Quark, Camp Runamuck

USA - Second Hundred Years, Temperatures Rising, Bob and Carol and Ted and Alice, Bridget Loves Bernie, Girl With Something Extra, The American Girls, Feather and Father Gang

BET - The Outcasts, Sanford, Sanford Arms

Channel America - The Interns, Nakia, David Cassidy, Man Undercover, Doctor's Private Lives, Ivanhoe, Salvage One, Gibbsville, Matt Helm

LBS Syndication - Hawk, Gidget, Route 66, Tallahassee 7000, Joe Forrester, Medical Story, Ghost Story


And then on DVD: Tabitha, Walking Tall, Blue Thunder


Say what you want about Sony/Columbia/Screen Gems or whatever they're called this month, but they have done more with their library over the last 25 years than all of the other studios combined. The sheer amount of short-run series that they have at least done something with is highly commendable. While I know this is a DVD forum and many people like to complain that they were in diapers 5 years ago and didn't know how to work a VCR, that fact remains that this company has consistently put their product out there for people.

BTW, didn't MGM cancel their distribution deal with Sony and sign on with Fox, hence the release of Addams Family on Fox? A more awful turn of events I couldn't imagine as I'm sure Fox will put more effort into the 35th repackaging of BUFFY than they will into any MGM show. But they're the best, right guys?

#20 of 21 Bert Greene

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Posted November 09 2006 - 02:01 PM

I like "Science Fiction Theater," with those great Truman Bradley intros, and the steady stream of b-movie stalwarts in guest-star roles. It's a bit atypically static for a Ziv series (most of which zip by like lightning), but it has its own virtues. Glad to hear "Bat Masterson" is making the rounds again. CBN aired reruns of it around 1986, but only for a brief while. Maybe only three months or so. I only managed to tape a couple of examples. But, yes, CBN was quite a goldmine back then... some more series they ran: Stoney Burke, The Monroes, Ben Casey, Blondie (the '57 version), Laramie, Bachelor Father, Bill Dana Show, Universal Star Time (old Chrysler Theater episodes under a new heading), and so many more! That's been 20 years ago now. I thought the ensuing promise of yet more satellite stations popping up by the dozens would bring us even more and more old-shows out of the archives. What a sad joke that has turned out to be! I now get well over a hundred channels on my dish, yet I sure as heck was better off back then, with only 15 or so cable-channels.


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