1. Sign-up to become a member, and most of the ads you see will disappear. It only takes 30 seconds to sign up, so join the discussion today!
    Dismiss Notice

Mr. Novak, NBC TV Series 1963-65.

Discussion in 'TV on DVD and Blu-ray' started by Flashgear, Jul 11, 2017.

Tags:
  1. Bert Greene

    Bert Greene Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2004
    Messages:
    669
    Likes Received:
    668
    Trophy Points:
    610
    I'm up to the "Death of a Teacher" episode, which I found to be a particularly strong, effective drama. There was a little extra ring of sadness about it because long-time character actor Frank Albertson, who played the 50-year-old teacher who bites the dust, happened to pass away in real life, all too young, shortly after appearing in this episode. Always figured he had another twenty years in him, continuing his portrayals of staid businessmen, town elders, and eventually grandpa's, which his career path had been comfortably taking (similar to Regis Toomey's). I usually think of Albertson back when he was a golly-gee-whiz 'juve lead' in things like the fun Universal serial "The Lost Special" (1932). So anyway, it was strangely sad to see him take a grim exit in "Novak" which actually bordered reality.

    Several other episodes I found quite impressive. "A Boy Without a Country" initially seemed like a contrived premise, but the script was very, very good, and Walter Koenig really sold it with his excellent performance. "Love in the Wrong Season" with Patricia Crowley was also especially strong, as was "Pay the Two Dollars." I particularly liked how the episode "A Thousand Voices," with Frankie Avalon, didn't telegraph at first quite where it was heading. I appreciate writing like that, which keeps me guessing for a while. Didn't care as much for "He Who Can Does" with Edward Mulhare as the famed writer. Seen these stories of boorish, famous characters a few too many times, and I thought adding the past relationship with Miss Pagano was a bit too cute by half. The episodes that have impressed me 'least' usually tend to be the ones involving troubled, misfit dudes, like "My Name is Legion," "Private Life of Douglas Morgan Jr.," and "The Exile" (although this latter one wasn't without merit). There's always been a limit for me as to how much empathy I can muster for moody, inwardly-vexed oddballs and the rabbit-holes they always fall into.

    The only episode I found a bit too soapbox-ish was "Hello, Miss Phipps," although I've long adored Lillian Gish, and she delivers a fine performance. My problem was that the script struck me as a bit dishonest, in the way it muddied the waters. The writer obviously wanted a story in which a teacher is teaching sex education to her students, and the parents learn of it and try to get her fired. But here, the catalyst for this is some singular male student's writing (or drawing) in his notebook, in which it is admitted was NOT part of some lesson, but something he did of his own initiative. Just what it is, remains mysterious to the viewer. The teachers themselves are shown to find it completely untoward and out-of-bounds as well. Yet from this single student's extracurricular drawings or writings, the parents consolidate into a one-minded mob and blame the old-lady health/hygiene teacher? To quote Robby the Robot, it just doesn't compute. I didn't buy it. It's obvious that the script's desire was to champion sex education in school, but the route to the conflict struck me as unbelievable (as was the presentation of the parents as dunderheaded lemmings). But anyway, these are the type of things that invariably sink 'issue' oriented dramas for me. Too constructed, too heavy-handed.

    Although I've inadvertently found myself zeroing in on a few isolated negatives, the series as a whole has been very solid and enjoyable. Better than I remembered. And, oh yeah, I'm getting a big crush on Miss Scott! Open your dang eyes, Novak!
     
  2. Doug Wallen

    Doug Wallen Lead Actor
    Supporter

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2001
    Messages:
    6,927
    Likes Received:
    2,880
    Trophy Points:
    9,110
    Location:
    Macon, Ga.
    Real Name:
    Doug
    I have made my way through disc 4 of the 1st season. I am still amazed at the subjects being examined on this 1963/1964 television series. The "adult" content still suprises me. During this period I was enjoying silly comedies (Gilligan's Island) and fanciful secret agents (Man From U.N.C.L.E. and Secret Agent Man). After all, I was only 6-7. I was unaware of thoughtful shows that examined issues mostly in an evenhanded way. Thoughts on these five episodes follows;

    The Song of Songs (1.16) Brooke Bundy, Edward Andrews. A parent's worst nightmare is realizing that your child may be exposed to subject matter that is not desired. The single father in this episode wants to protect his daughter from "pornography" that turns out to be the Song of Songs written by Solomon (The Bible). Seems that Dad doesn't want his daughter to grow up. He takes her out of school because he also has a suspicion that Novak is involved with his daughter. He even brings up the fact that the Bible is not allowed to be taught without remembering that only applies to doctine, not the literary nature of the book. Ultimately the daughter and her father have a conversation where Dad begins to realize that his daughter has a mind of her own and is growing up.

    The Exile (1.17) Richard Evans, Les Tremayne, Virginia Christine. Charlie appears to be a typical underachiever who dropped out of high school three years ago. He wasn't taking his studies seriously and just wanted to be out. He wanted to be his own man. After three years of a dreadful life he is looking for something to do and has started haunting the halls of Jefferson High. Mr. Novak wants to help, but is unable to provide concrete assistance. This episode showcases the need to adapt schooling to specific learning disabilities. Charlie may have had ADHD. It was stated that he never finished anything he started and he only wanted to return to school on his terms. Maybe a different approach could have worked for his particular needs. A grown up teenager who doen't fit in with adults or his peers - he lost his girlfriend because he was aimless. No easy answers for this one.

    Sparrow On The Wire (1.18) Beau Bridges, Neil Burstyn, Mike Kellin, Kathy Garver (small role as a student). The debate club has a powerful debater who happens to be anti-semitic. This is exposed in the practice debate that opens the show. Mr. Novak is incensed and removes Pat from the team. Arnold (the Jewish student) doesn't like the way Mr. Novak handled "his" fight. Pat in turn seeks help from the department head, Mr. Cohen (another Jew). Through spoken and unspoken threats, Mr. Cohen tries to force Mr. Novak to reinstate Pat. When this doesn't work, Pat coerces his teammates to drop off the team also. Mr. Novak and Mr. Cohen finally take steps to expose Pat's attitudes for the small minded thinking they are. Excellent episode.

    The Private Life Of Douglas Morgan Jr. (1.19) Peter Helm, Frank Maxwell, Harold Gould. An examination of differing viewpoints concerning military service around the time the draft was in the news. A good student is losing his focus and becoming the class clown. Even though ROTC is mandatory, Doug decides he doesn't wish to participate anymore and pulls out a phrase he has recently read about, "conscientious objector". Mr. Vane excuses him for a week to do plenty of outside reading about both sides of this issue. During it all, I was very impressed with the way his parents were portrayed. They were supportive and non-judgmental concerning attitudes that were opposed to theirs. Through research, Doug did come to a decision. He even impressed his fellow students along the way.

    Death Of A Teacher (1.20) Frank Albertson, Tony Dow, Harry Townes, Phyllis Hill, William Sargent. What if a beloved teacher dies at school before class begins. So begins one of the most interesting episodes I have watched. The day began as usual with a meeting that Novak was late for due to a flat. As he was walking Mr. O'Neal collapsed. Moving swiftly, he was taken into the office as students were moved to the hallway and CPR was started. The shock of losing a valued colleague during school was examined. At this time, grief counselors were unheard of so everyone grieved in their own way. Students questioned "Why?". His best friend blamed it upon his giving his all to his students and none to himself. he actually said being a teacher "murdered" him and refused to attend the funeral. The impact of what Mr. O'Neal contributed was felt by all. Mr. Vane made the notification to his wife and asked if she would consider returning to work. Mr. Novak became involved with helping Mr. Deaver find a way to come to terms with his anger and grief. Loss of life is always a struggle and this episode shows some of the many faces of grief that are possible.

    Another strong selection of episodes. I always enjoy when this series returns to my rotation.

    Randall, any word about season 2??? Sure hope you can give us some good news.
     
    JayHink, Rodney, Gary OS and 7 others like this.
  3. Flashgear

    Flashgear Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2007
    Messages:
    1,346
    Likes Received:
    3,809
    Trophy Points:
    1,610
    Location:
    Alberta Canada
    Real Name:
    Randall
    Thank you for posting your excellent and thorough episode reviews Doug and Bert!

    Doug, I haven't heard anything about a season two Mr. Novak release as yet...I sure hope we don't have to wait as long as the yet to happen season two of Eleventh Hour, or God forbid, the never end 'em of Mayberry RFD...the Warner Archive people hold their cards close to the vest, but to be fair to them, sometimes they've learned that the less said, the better, when it comes to customer fan queries about prospective releases...at least it's good to know that WAC Chief executive George Feltenstein himself is a big fan of Mr. Novak, and that he was motivated by Chuck Harter's Brilliant and totally unexpected book on the series to expedite the release of season one...

    I haven't been posting here for awhile because I've suffered a health scare...2019 can go to hell...a terrible leg infection with an antibiotic resistant organism is responsible for nearly three months of hell...I felt like I stepped on a landmine...I'm not diabetic and there were no open wounds involved...something called "Cellulitis", which is apparently quite common...what is less common is the need to try just about every IV antibiotic in the world to find one that saves my leg...I'm still in a slow recovery, but at least my leg isn't twice normal size and blood red in color...first time I've ever been the spam in the can in the back of an ambulance...I'm 63 going on 90...at least that's how I feel...oh, and I also had to replace my computer hardware...well, enough of that...

    Seeing Mr. Novak in this Warner Archive set has been a gratifying and sometimes emotional experience. I've long had 55 out of 60 episodes on homemade DVD derived from the old TNT broadcasts, but this new release has allowed me to see the missing three season one episodes for the first time since 1963-64...I'll try to post my "missing three" reviews and more screen caps in the near future as my health allows...and continue with my reviews of the many excellent season two episodes that I have in my collection...

    I agree completely Bert...Marian Collier is one beautiful woman...Chuck Harter's great book benefits enormously from his access to Producer E. Jack Neuman's personal papers and Mr. Novak production archive...which Marian Collier granted him access to...it's among the nice legacies of this show that they ended up a married couple and that she is his still vital and active widow, very much dedicated to preserving the great E. Jack legacy in television history...she also helped Sandy Grabman with her Petrocelli book...

    As Bert says: "open your dang eyes, Novak" She's right in front of you, ha, ha...screencaps from the new set...
    A novak wac 72.JPG

    The main men of the series...Oscar winning actor Dean Jagger delivers the goods and this is James Franciscus in his career signature role...
    A novak wac 27.JPG
    A novak wac 73.JPG

    A novak wac 66.JPG

    Novak's ghastly 1963 Plymouth Valiant station wagon, parked right out front at Jefferson High for the whole world to see...uncool, Novak! ha, ha...
    A novak wac 67.JPG

    Of course, with girls like these coming from week to week, a guy's head would spin...
    A novak wac 41.JPG
    A novak wac 37.JPG
    A novak wac 36.JPG
    A novak wac 28.JPG
    A novak wac 53.JPG

    A novak wac 64.JPG

    One of Novak's most memorable nemesis in season one...the smarmy. sarcastic and slick Peter Breck...
    A novak wac 55.JPG
    A novak wac 56.JPG

    Among the uniformly excellent supporting cast, I also wish these two guys had been allowed more screen time...Steve Franken and Vince Howard...
    A novak wac 71.JPG
     
  4. Jeff Flugel

    Jeff Flugel Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 1999
    Messages:
    1,141
    Likes Received:
    3,045
    Trophy Points:
    1,610
    Location:
    Osaka, Japan
    Real Name:
    Jeff Flugel
    Great to see you being active again on the forum, Randall! And so very sorry to hear about your health difficulties...Nothing is so important than our continuing good health - no, not even our favorite TV shows or movies! It's heartwarming to hear that you are on the mend, and I hope the good news continues...ditto for your (lesser, but still no doubt highly annoying) computer hardware issues. We missed seeing you around these parts. And never fear, S1 of Mr. Novak is currently sitting in my shopping cart at Amazon, waiting patiently for the end of the month...

    And just a little Mountie throwback, to cheer you up and speed you on your recovery...

    [​IMG]
     
  5. Doug Wallen

    Doug Wallen Lead Actor
    Supporter

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2001
    Messages:
    6,927
    Likes Received:
    2,880
    Trophy Points:
    9,110
    Location:
    Macon, Ga.
    Real Name:
    Doug
    Welcome back Randall. I have missed seeing you here. I sympathize with you over the health issue. Had my own scare a year and a half back (prostate surgery - sure did change most everything I do) and The Magician helped with my recovery .

    Looking forward to more of your excellent reviews and screen caps.
     
    ChrisALM, Gary16, Gary OS and 5 others like this.
  6. Flashgear

    Flashgear Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2007
    Messages:
    1,346
    Likes Received:
    3,809
    Trophy Points:
    1,610
    Location:
    Alberta Canada
    Real Name:
    Randall
    Thank you Jeff, very much appreciated! As an apparently now fragile old man, I felt it was my duty to warn all others (even a young'un like yourself) about "Cellulitis" infections and the antibiotic resistant bugs that can cause it to rot your leg off...I'm using a walker and now have a handicapped parking placard to boot...and my dog hates me for not taking her on the daily rabbit run...but she's at least as stupid as I am and has had a facefull of porcupine quills and dousings of skunk essence to prove it, so we're probably both better off, especially after about 6 weeks of -20 to -40 lows and about 4 feet of snow to add to our misery. The "real" Mounties patrol around here but believe me, not many are of the representative specimens of Sgt. Preston or Renfrew or any of the movie Mounties, ha, ha...none of 'em look like they could drag my dead weight out of the bush, ha, ha...

    Glad to hear you have Mr. Novak in line for yourself...I can almost guarantee you will find much to like in this timelessly relevant and important series...very entertaining as well, and for me, a priceless television treasure.
     
  7. Message #467 of 479 Mar 12, 2019
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2019
    Flashgear

    Flashgear Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2007
    Messages:
    1,346
    Likes Received:
    3,809
    Trophy Points:
    1,610
    Location:
    Alberta Canada
    Real Name:
    Randall
    Thank you Doug! You and I are almost exactly the same age, I believe. Glad that you are on the mend too, and we greatly appreciate your wonderful reviews...I often find myself saying to myself, "Doug sure has a great line up there!" I find myself in envy and driven to revisit some of the same great episodes you featured...a real gift of inspiration that I can rely on, so thank you for all you do here. I still need to pick up The Magician and start on that one too. Reminds me how much we like Bill Bixby...I recently watched him in a season one It Takes a Thief in which he was terrific as always. Too bad that Bill Bixby didn't appear in Mr. Novak, but he was plenty busy with 'Uncle Martin' at the time!
     
    Doug Wallen, Gary OS, Bob Gu and 2 others like this.
  8. Bert Greene

    Bert Greene Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2004
    Messages:
    669
    Likes Received:
    668
    Trophy Points:
    610
    Gee, Randall, sorry to hear of your health woes. I think we all assumed you were just taking a breather after your busy but highly enjoyable efforts here at championing "Novak." Not that you contracted some exotic malady! Would have sent some prayers your way, and hope you're bouncing back from it all.

    Anyway, I was glad to see that "Mr. Novak" finished strong, as I made it through to the end of the season. All pretty solid episodes, with two real gems... the episode with Brenda Scott, "Fear is a Handful of Dust," and also "One Way to Say Goodbye" with Kathryn Hays and Tom Nardini. Anyway, it's been good seeing the series (this 1st-season, at least) in complete episodic order, and getting a better grasp of it. It's definitely an over-achiever. Really like the cast, from the main players down to the recurring folks in supporting roles. They, along with the depiction of the daily chaos, the hustle-and-bustle, of the school day, made the series consistently engaging, which helped to overcome the occasional rough patches (for me) involving moody, angst-ridden teens, or plotlines a bit too 'issue' oriented. I have a feeling that if the series had instead debuted two, three, four years later than it did, these aspects would have been largely amplified, and I'd find the resulting series quite unwatchable. So I'm glad the show began when it did.
     
  9. Darby67

    Darby67 Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2009
    Messages:
    1,296
    Likes Received:
    1,709
    Trophy Points:
    1,610
    Real Name:
    Sean
    Randall, I am so sorry to hear about your health issue and I wish you all the best in your recovery. My father-in-law had Cellulitis so I can definitely empathize with what you are going through.

    I'm very glad to have you back posting again!
     
  10. Bob Gu

    Bob Gu Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2006
    Messages:
    1,281
    Likes Received:
    1,415
    Trophy Points:
    1,610
    Real Name:
    Bob Gudera
    Say, Randall, I think the modern Mounties have trouble, dragging you out of the tundra, because of the heels.
    dsc_89832.
    Wait for the sleds.
    RCMP-Twitter-2-e1545680505385.
    s-l1000.

    This seems suspicious, Randall mentions 4 feet of snow and this ad appears at the bottom of the thread.
    1405420188898958152.
     
  11. Gary OS

    Gary OS Producer

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2004
    Messages:
    4,875
    Likes Received:
    2,101
    Trophy Points:
    4,110
    Real Name:
    Gary
    Wow, Randall, I'm very sorry you have been going through that nasty stuff with your leg and all. I'll keep you in my thoughts and prayers, buddy. As you can see, many of us here have been missing your postings. Hope you are back to 100% health soon.

    Gary "and I still love Bob's Mountie pics as well" O.
     
  12. bmasters9

    bmasters9 Producer

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2008
    Messages:
    3,195
    Likes Received:
    2,917
    Trophy Points:
    4,110
    Real Name:
    Ben Masters
    As I've said before many a time (and, IMO, it still deserves repeating), The Streets of San Francisco has been very much like that for me!
     
    Jeff Flugel and Flashgear like this.
  13. Message #473 of 479 Mar 12, 2019
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2019
    Flashgear

    Flashgear Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2007
    Messages:
    1,346
    Likes Received:
    3,809
    Trophy Points:
    1,610
    Location:
    Alberta Canada
    Real Name:
    Randall
    Thank you Bert for those kind words. I really appreciate that. And I agree completely with you about the nature of Mr. Novak being representative of a kind of sweet spot in television history, where it could advocate for a liberal issue with reason and sensible sense of proportion, restraint and appropriate vigor without having the political license that such shows would feel free to bash us over the head with, just 5 or so years later. Those two episodes you mention, the exquisite Brenda Scott's incredibly authentic, heart breaking and powerful performance in Fear is a Handful of Dust and the melancholy beauty of the authentic and convincing love story that is central to Kathryn Hays appearance in the splendid One Way to Say Goodbye are a pleasure to behold...for me, two of the all time great Novak episodes...along with the astounding Sparrow on the Wire, A Single Isolated Incident, Death of a Teacher, I don't Even Live Here and others...a phenomenal proportion of great episodes, with some in the immortal class of all time great B+W TV...at least that's how I see it...and with loads of great episodes in season two as well!



    Thanks Sean for the best wishes...glad your Father in Law got better...it's been tough and I haven't entirely beat it yet...The Doctors and Nurses told me that they see a lot of cellulitis infections, quite often in younger people too (hikers and athletes especially), but it's thankfully rare involving such antibiotic resistant pathogens as I suffered...they were amazed and very concerned with the persistence of my infection, as they eventually threw the Vancomycin, Doxycycline and Sulfatrim at me.

    Thanks Bob, please send that girl mountie right over! I'll help polish her thigh high boot heels, ha, ha...I've got to call 'em as I see 'em as far as the quality of our current Mounties...there definitely seems to be a different criteria for hiring these days...way back when I was a kid they were all giants in jodpurs and bear fur hats, really impressive on a Harley Electraglide...real hard rock types that seemed bulletproof and tough as nails...hold off on the sled dogs, though...they look hungry and I already have to feed my freeloader of a dog by the hundred weight, ha, ha...my place is surrounded by heaps of snow, concealing the motherload of dog poop that lies beneath till spring melt...it would likely qualify for a superfund toxic wasteland clean-up site...looks pretty for the time being...Amazon delivers here, so I have Gunsmoke season 14 right here by my side! Speaking of giants like James Arness and the late, great, Morgan Woodward in two great episodes...

    Thanks Gary! It's always a treat when you drop in, as we miss your regular input...I love Bob's pics too...for the life of me, I don't know where he finds half of them...
     
    Jeff Flugel, Darby67, Bob Gu and 2 others like this.
  14. Message #474 of 479 Mar 12, 2019
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2019
    Bob Gu

    Bob Gu Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2006
    Messages:
    1,281
    Likes Received:
    1,415
    Trophy Points:
    1,610
    Real Name:
    Bob Gudera
    Well, the Mountie pics are all over, and my search engine finds them, even when I am looking for other stuff, like Gene Autry or Gabby Hayes, for example:
    q90AFzTQKbJ3af5nc42aOVO6N8b.
    AUTRY-Mounties-2.
    1619262de590b50505d02d4a66d3e584--meanwhile-in-canada-nerdy.
    royal mountie hayes stori-view 1954.
    Oh, Canada!
    7c5f3111824201.56252f8f90c8a.

    Of course, Jeff is the Arnold Friberg expert.
    s-l1000.
     
  15. Rodney

    Rodney Screenwriter
    Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2001
    Messages:
    1,732
    Likes Received:
    1,230
    Trophy Points:
    1,610
    I'm trying to ration these episodes, but the show is so good that I cannot help but keep watching episode after episode. What a gem, and I am so glad to have heard about it here and blind-bought it. James Franciscus is great in this, as is both Dean Jagger and Jeanne Bel. I also love the touches of life in the 60's, like showing the flag go up as the student plays "To the Colors" on the trumpet before everyone says "The Pledge of Allegiance". They stopped saying the Pledge when I went to high school, but I remember reciting it in elementary and junior high.

    I'm currently at The Death of a Teacher.

    I started the episode, and the first thing that stunned me was the surprise that they actually changed the theme song for this episode. I cannot recall any show ever having done that.

    Without watching further, I stopped the episode, took out the Mr. Novak disc and put in Season 3 of Leave it To Beaver, to watch Frank Albertson in Wally's Test from a few years prior playing another teacher, Mr. Gannon. It just seemed right to watch him play a teacher, especially with Tony Dow being a student in both shows.

    I then went back and started the episode over from the beginning. This was a powerful episode, and I really enjoyed it.

    I hope WB comes out with Season Two very soon.
     
    Bob Gu, Bert Greene, Darby67 and 4 others like this.
  16. Flashgear

    Flashgear Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2007
    Messages:
    1,346
    Likes Received:
    3,809
    Trophy Points:
    1,610
    Location:
    Alberta Canada
    Real Name:
    Randall
    Rodney, glad to hear your thoughts on viewing the series thus far...I'll have to check out that episode of Leave it to Beaver...something else that makes watching Mr. Novak's Death of a Teacher especially poignant...the episode originally aired on February 4, 1964, and Frank Albertson himself was reported as passing away, suddenly in his sleep at age 55, just 3 weeks later on February 29.

    The episode was directed by Richard Donner, one of his 7 episodes for the series...
    Death 1.JPG Death 2.JPG



    Frank Albertson as the much loved and long serving teacher Mr. O'Neil, who dies suddenly on the job at Jefferson High...screen caps from my home made DVDs, not sourced from the new WAC release...I previously posted some of these in my own episode review way back in this thread...
    Death 3.JPG Death 4.JPG
    Death 5.JPG

    Rodney, I agree that this episode, one of the hallmarks of season one, is powerful indeed, with wonderful performances all around from the ensemble cast...Jeanne Bal tears your heart out as she ultimately breaks down in the private sanctuary of her office...
    Death 25.JPG

    Dean Jagger delivers the dreadful news to Albertson's wife, played by Phyllis Hill...
    Death 18.JPG

    Harry Townes, who really shines here as well, with the great Dean Jagger, Stephen Roberts and Kathaleen Ellis behind them...James Franciscus and Marian Collier at right...
    Death 6.JPG Death 7.JPG

    Dean Jagger with William Swan playing the priest called for last rights...William Sargeant as the doctor who pronounces death...
    Death 9.JPG Death 8.JPG

    Tony Dow, Janet Langard and Marc Rambeau as the student journalists of the school newspaper, struggling to write the obituary and to understand the painful grief filled rage of teacher Harry Townes at the sudden death of his longtime friend...
    Death 39.JPG Death 32.JPG

    Harry Townes delivers an angry monologue, full of long repressed pain and rage filled grief at the death of his friend, who he says was over worked and under appreciated in his life long toil as a dedicated and selfless teacher...the kids are stunned and rendered speechless as Townes declares his on the spot resignation from his own long time teaching career...
    Death 37.JPG Death 31.JPG

    Harry Townes, James Franciscus with Phyllis Hill playing the bereaved widow...an unexpected and inspiring resolution to this episode that you will not soon forget...
    Death 46.JPG Death 45.JPG

    That same winter and early spring, Frank Albertson appeared in an episode of John Gavin's Destry Big Deal at Little River (Mar. 20, 1964), and the prototype episode of Andy Griffith Show introducing Gomer Pyle, USMC (May 18, 1964)...living on in celluloid memories and remembered for his lengthy career as a young leading man and then older character actor, appearing in such well known films as Bachelor Mother, Wake Island, It's a Wonderful Life and Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho...

    David Niven, Ginger Rogers and Frank Albertson in Bachelor Mother (1939)...
    [​IMG]

    Frank Albertson with Janet Leigh in Psycho (1960)...
    [​IMG]
     
    Bob Gu, Darby67, Bert Greene and 4 others like this.
  17. Gary16

    Gary16 Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2006
    Messages:
    1,019
    Likes Received:
    1,183
    Trophy Points:
    1,610
    Real Name:
    Gary
    Thanks for the excellent write up on this emotional episode. One small correction for future reference: it’s Landgard not Langard.
     
  18. Lecagr

    Lecagr Second Unit

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2009
    Messages:
    343
    Likes Received:
    257
    Trophy Points:
    110
    Real Name:
    Lee
    A few questions about the episode "A Single Isolated Incident":

    What happened with the four kids who were suspended? Did they end up getting expelled? And did the other kids who were involved ever get caught? I would have to watch the end of the episode again, but it seems to me that these issues are left unresolved.

    A few comments:

    One of the suspended kids is Stephen Talbot/Gilbert Bates from Leave It To Beaver!

    One of the teachers in the episode is the same actor who later on had a role in the Emergency! TV series.
     
    Flashgear, Jeff Flugel and Darby67 like this.
  19. Doug Wallen

    Doug Wallen Lead Actor
    Supporter

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2001
    Messages:
    6,927
    Likes Received:
    2,880
    Trophy Points:
    9,110
    Location:
    Macon, Ga.
    Real Name:
    Doug
    Well, I finished up this set a few weeks ago and have been very busy. Spring seems to always get in the way. I really enjoyed getting to see a series that I had heard referenced, but never viewed. My main knowledge of the players was very limited. Dean Jagger was only remembered as Major General Waverly from White Christmas. I was a bit more familiar with James Franciscus who played Longstreet and the leader of the second expedition to find Taylor in Beneath The Planet Of The Apes.

    I was impressed with Principal Vane from episode 1. Each episode I could see how he helped his teachers by providing what they needed whether it was a bump in morale, fatherly encouragement or fatherly correction. He was neither mean nor vindictive, his care and concern was always there just under the surface of "boss". I also enjoyed seeing the evolution of Mr. Novak. He arrived at Jefferson "book ready", but not seasoned. He was an interested teacher but somewhat clunky in his interactions. You could see his character learn from his mistakes and become a veteran teacher as well as a more helpful mentor to his students. He didn't allow disruptions and the students seemed to appreciate that.

    I was mostly impressed with the frustrations the teachers experienced. Apparently, parents supporting school functions and teachers has always been a hurdle. My parents thought nothing of being present at every school function much to my embarrassment then (although I am pleased that they were there as it was a great example for me with my children).

    I thought the Mr Novak - Season 1 ended just as strongly as it began.

    I'm On The Outside (1.21) Mr. Novak is accused of predjudice as a defense mechanism by a hispanic student. The student can't see past his rascism.

    Chin Up, Mr. Novak (1.22) Mr. Novak has to give up his Literature class to a visiting teacher from England.

    Fear Is A Handful Of Dust (1.23) A teen age girl is having a hard time understanding her maturing body. She is not supported at home and can't understand why Mr. Novak is aggressively pushing her talent. Tony Dow (Wally Cleaver) plays a very important part in this story.

    How Does Your Garden Grow? (1.24) Barbara Barrie (Mrs. Barney Miller) is a teacher who is very educated and successful as a student. She is not so in the classroom.

    The Tower (1.25) A geometry that is receiving numerous complaints is forcefully retired by Principal Vane. Imagine everyones surprise when they find her in her classroom the next day refusing to leave.

    One Way To Say Goodbye (1.26) Kathryn Hays ( Gem) as a former student who drops in after school is over to reminisce and meets Novak. Romance develops. Bombshell drops that she is married. Two very dramatic scenes follow, first with the husband and second with the wife. Good drama, but not one I liked. Mr. Novak shouldn't be the "other" man.

    Day In The Year (1.27) Possibly the strongest episode as there are no answers to the situation then or now. A student collapses in Novak's classroom. After the Doctor examines her, he explains she collapsed from an overdose. Her former boyfriend is shaken and eventually provides enough information to name a suspect. This is important as the girl has died. Mark Slade ("Blue" Cannon) is the pusher. Best moment in this episode is the conversation between Novak and Lt. Medford (Commodore Mendez) where he admits his fear for his children. Drugs a problem then and still here today.

    Moment Without Armor (1.28) Ms. Pagano is accosted while leaving campus after a late meeting. She has a privileged student who expects Daddy to solve all his issues. Easy to conclude that he attacked her, but did he? Ms. Pagano is so frightened she is jumping at shadows and is at a loss for what to do. Fear in schools is still a constant threat.

    Fare Thee Well (1.29) An episode examining what happens when a "good" girl makes a passion mistake. She is afraid to tell her parents and is hiding her condition until she is unable to. Her concern is to finish school with her classmates. Revealing her pregnancy will keep that from happening. Since this is fiction, she has the most understanding parents ever seen. I found that to reduce the believability factor for this episode. While this would be great, I believe reality would involve major discussions, possibly some raised voices and plenty of crying by everyone. I give the series credit for tackling the issue and presenting the truth that quick marriages are not the best solution.

    The Senior Prom (1.30) School is nearly over and the Prom committee has not done any work. The chairman just wanted the title and was hoping to breeze by on her sweet nature and looks and hope that Mr. Novak would do the lion's share of the work. Novak refused and told Marta Kristen (Judy Robinson) that she was going to have to pull things together and get work done by her crew. He motivated her enough to give the Juniors and Seniors the best Prom ever, only downside - she had no date because she became bossy.

    It seems that while the show is 55 years old, things in our educational system have not changed much. There are still not enough hours in the day to adequately prepare for classes, retain certification, be available to students, attend meetings, dances, ball games, PTA functions, assemblies, etc. A fairly accurate look at what goes on each week in our school system. Absolutely one of the best "blind buys" I have ever made. Thanks, Randall.
     
    Gary16 and Flashgear like this.

Share This Page