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THE IMMORTAL (1970-1971) to hit DVD very soon!

Discussion in 'TV on DVD and Blu-ray' started by ClassicTVMan1981X, Oct 5, 2017.

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  1. Doug Wallen

    Doug Wallen Producer

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    Ep. 3 - White Elephants Don't Grow On Trees

    An ever down-on-his-luck dreamer who bid his last chance for custody of his son for leaking toxic gas canisters, must flee Fletcher and his men while transporting the tanks with Ben.

    Ross Martin (Wild Wild West), Mitch Vogel (Bonanza), William Wintersole, Ed Begley, Jr. (St. Elsewhere, 7th Heaven, Veronica Mars)

    Fletcher alert!

    I liked the opening, the first glimpse we have of Ben is him running. The entire first act is him running and outwitting his pursuers. I liked the introduction to Eddie and Jud. We have all probably known someone like them - dreaming of all they will do that is just out of their reach. Two characters I liked. The conflict in this one reminded me a lot of The Fugitive (Ben on the run, needs some help, receives it and then feels obligated to help his saviors in whatever way he can).

    It also helps that I really enjoy an appearance by Ross Martin. It also seems that Christopher George was fairly physical in this one (opening act especially).
     
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  2. Hollywoodaholic

    Hollywoodaholic Edge of Glory?

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    I'm down to the last two screening these, and while I've enjoyed them, there is a bit of repetitive formula to them that should constitute a drinking game.

    In every episode...

    1) He has a fistfight (he's got a great stunt double who seems to do everything at twice the speed of normal Ben Richards - he really throws himself into these fights as if he just had some Walter White blue meth)

    2) There has to be car chase. Richards seems to have a car in most episodes. His adopted father gives him one in one episode, but it was featured in an earlier episode, which leads me to believe these stories are not really in order.

    3) A woman has to kiss him. The lengths they go through to make this happen in every single episode, is quite funny. It's normal for TV leads to be chick magnets, and maybe it's Richard's blood, but no matter where he goes, whether the woman is single or not, she is irresitably drawn to kiss him at some point in the show, no matter how random or out of the blue it happens.

    It was good to see Barry Sullivan return in a later episode. And in the same episode as Bruce Dern playing another of his patented hillbilly lowlifes.

    Vic Morrow does a great job playing a sadistic sheriff heavy in one episode. My childhood hero Sergeant Saunders gone to seed.

    I've enjoyed the show but it is basically The Fugitive recycled (and I'm sure that's how they pitched it). He's on the run. Instead of a one-armed man, he has to find his brother. He wanders around Southern California posing for other locations throughout the country. Wherever he goes, a random woman falls in love with him. God bless 60-70s TV!
     
  3. Blimpoy06

    Blimpoy06 Supporting Actor

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    I've only watched the first three shows, but I noticed that trend right away. When watching White Elephants Don't Grow On Trees" I was thinking, "Oh cool, an early TV version of Sorcerer." But it turned out to have a lot of repetitive story beats and never really dealt with the danger of the cargo to the fullest.
     
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  4. Doug Wallen

    Doug Wallen Producer

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    When he jumped in the back and started tossing the cannisters I started laughing and told my wife the bad guys are gonna have to avoid the explosions. :lol: I thought the explosions should have been larger based on the first one.
     
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  5. Doug Wallen

    Doug Wallen Producer

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    Ep. 3 - Reflections On A Lost Tomorrow

    Ben gets a job as a lab janitor for a doctor studying blood and longevity. Weaker, Maitland becomes a patient at the clinic, offering to buy their exclusive help, permanently.

    Jack Albertson (Chico And The Man, Poseidon Adventure), Rosemary Forsyth (Shenandoah), David Brian

    Fletcher Alert!!!

    Episode begins dealing with the possibility of Ben's brother as Ben is in town looking for someone from his memory of where he and his brother visited during their youth. Apparently cable access to medical gatherings was all the rage as Ben overhears info from a Doctor experimenting with "immortality". Ben searches out the Doctor, finds a beautiful daughter to charm while Maitland is trying to bribe the Doctor. Chasing ensues.

    Not a complex story, but a pleasant reminder of a fun hour of television I looked forward to each week.
     
  6. Doug Wallen

    Doug Wallen Producer

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    P. 4 - The Legacy

    Ben helps a female social worker/teacher treating a group of Mexican American rogues out for enough money through unsafe mining to move on to better things.

    Mario Alcalde (Peyton Place), Susan Howard (Petrocelli, Dallas), Manuel Padilla, Jr. (Tarzan)

    Even though I enjoy seeing Susan Howard, I felt this was a weak entry. Story not very compelling, nearly put me to sleep a couple of times. All characters seemed out for themselves. Also, no Fletcher.
     
  7. Blimpoy06

    Blimpoy06 Supporting Actor

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    This episode felt like it should have aired after the pilot. I like this more than the straight car chase episodes. You almost could have filmed this with a little tweak as an Incredible Hulk episode 10 years later.
     
  8. Mary_P

    Mary_P Second Unit

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    Chris George had a legendary stunt double, Hal Needham, who was credited as stunt coordinator for the show, but doubled for George himself in this and many other projects. They had a very similar look, body type, etc. Reportedly George did also do some action scenes himself that he didn't have to.

    I undoubtedly couldn't tell the difference between them on a 20-something-inch color TV pulling signal from a rooftop antenna in 1970, but it's more obvious which is which on a decent quality DVD shown on a 55-inch screen today.
     
  9. Hollywoodaholic

    Hollywoodaholic Edge of Glory?

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    So that was Hal Needham, a legend indeed. Yes, I can also now clearly see the difference on a 55-inch screen, but he was still one of the closest looks a star he was doubling for that I've seen. The haircuts were spot on. He just moved about three times as fast (maybe to help blur any recognition).
     
  10. Doug Wallen

    Doug Wallen Producer

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    Ep. 5 - The Rainbow Butcher

    A crooked sheriff arrests Ben for a minor traffic infraction, adding to his workers slaving on a kid's camp. His coerced kept woman wants a way out.

    Vic Morrow (Combat, Twilight Zone-The Movie), Colin Wilcox-Paxton (To Kill A Mockingbird), Jerry Ayres, Byron Mabe

    Vic Morrow as a corrupt sheriff. Great casting that elevates this particular story. The subtle spousal abuse subplot was an interesting angle. Always interesting to see these adult ideas on screen. Probably jarring to see back in 1970. A very entertaining episode.
     
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  11. Doug Wallen

    Doug Wallen Producer

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    Ep. 6 - Man On A Punched Card

    Computer programmers, at first intent on proving their system for Maitland's grant money, agree to predict Ben's escape route.

    Lynda Day George (Mission:Impossible), Don Knight, Lee Patterson, Karen Arthur

    Fletcher Alert!

    Another look at the "computerized" world of the early 70's. I learned Fortran on a computer like that while in college in the spring of '77. Data punch and card readers were very interesting. Using a computer to predict moves was an interesting touch. I enjoyed the casting of Lynda as the programmer. Another good story.

    I had always seen Hal Needham's name and wondered if he was the stunt double. Probably the best double I have seen in many of these various 70's series.
     
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  12. Doug Wallen

    Doug Wallen Producer

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    Ep. 7 - White Horse, Steel Horse

    A nasty tempered rancher who refuses to pay his hired hands what he promised causes a fatal scuffle for which he blames Ben and a drifter.

    John Dehner (The Doris Day Show), Don Knight, Warner Anderson, Steve Oliver, Robie Porter, Fred Gavlin, John Pickard

    Fletcher Alert!

    This episode falls back onto strong hippie vs. establishment tropes. Some of the dialogue in this one was almost laughable. Episode was structured almost like a Fugitive episode, but without the Fugitive's timeless quality. To much emphasis on the use of the word "pig", definitely dates the story.
     
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  13. Message #93 of 106 Mar 3, 2018
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2018
    Doug Wallen

    Doug Wallen Producer

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    Ep. 8 - The Queen's Gambit

    A woman feigning car trouble draws Ben into the compound of a young millionaire envisioning a 'partnership' to greater world power.

    Lee Meriwether (Barnaby Jones, The Time Tunnel), Don Knight, Nico Minardos (regular guest star), Karl Swenson (Little House on the Prarie)

    Fletcher Alert!

    Maitland has competition. Interesting idea. His tracker is the gorgeous Lee Meriwether, I am always happy to see her appear in anything. Two unusual deaths in this episode, Ben's and Fletcher's. Can they both be real? We know that Ben's is not real, I can only assume that Fletcher's is not real either. Time will tell. Not a bad episode even though the "love" interest seems strained (as someone alluded to earlier). This one is not as dated as the prior episode, thank goodness.
     
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  14. Doug Wallen

    Doug Wallen Producer

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    Ep. 9 - By Gift of Chance

    A domineering foreman on a declining tomato farm deliberately poisons his illegal workers with pesticide, one of them Ben's friend.

    Michael Conrad (Hill St. Blues, The Longest Yard-1974), Jacqueline Scott (The Fugitive), Don Knight, Herbert Jefferson, Jr. (Battlestar Galactica)

    Fletcher Alert!

    Illegal immigrants!!! Interesting story, but I didn't really understand why the tomatoes were picked when they just needed more time to be free of the poisonous effects. I guess it was just so Michael Conrad could go all vicious/jealous of the attention Ben was receiving from the female lead. Best part was when Ben used the machinery to break the door.

    I have noticed on most of these episodes, there is now a spoken epilogue that adds to or clarifies some of the conflicts unearthed during the episode. Again, another similarity to The Fugitive.
     
  15. Blimpoy06

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    I'm watching these much slower than you are Doug. But I share many of the same views on the episodes. The show was written by husband and wife team Bob and Wanda Duncan. They were mostly know for writing for the Irwin Allen shows of the 60's. One aspect of their script I want to point out is the acknowledgement of Ramos that "great white guilt" is a big motivation for many small, token attempts to help minorities in America. I wish more of the story had been built on exploring that topic.
    [​IMG]
     
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  16. Neil Brock

    Neil Brock Producer

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    The show was basically The Fugitive, with a science fiction element added in. Which would explain why I liked it so much! This was my favorite show when it was on. I was so disappointed when it got cancelled so quickly. In the early 80s, I met someone who was the biggest TV show collector in the country. The Immortal was the first thing that I requested from him.

    By the way, for those who like me, enjoy this genre, there was a blatant ripoff in the mid-80s called Hot Pursuit. Only difference was that it was a married couple on the run, not one man, and the killer had one eye, not one arm! It got pulled after 10 episodes and NBC burned off the last 3 in the summer. I was away and never got to record them, so if anyone out there has them, I'm dying to see those last 3 episodes.
     
  17. Message #97 of 106 Apr 7, 2018
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2018
    Doug Wallen

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    Ep. 10 - Dead Man, Dead Man

    After surviving a car crash on a mountain road, Ben must pose as the missing driver, a deputy sent to arrest the local doctor for fraud.

    Don Knight, Henry Beckman (Bronk), Joan Hotchkis, Byron Keith

    Fletcher alert!!!

    Mistaken identity episode. I thought this one used the characters very well. A very good episode that I thoroughly enjoyed. Reminded me of what I liked best in The Fugitive. Seems that Ben was almost as lost as the viewers. Really nice episode.
     
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  18. Doug Wallen

    Doug Wallen Producer

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    Ep. 11 - Paradise Bay

    Ben seeks his brother in a dwindling beach town slated for corporate development.

    Howard Duff (The Felony Squad, Flamingo Road, Magnum,p.i.), Tisha Sterling, Scott Brady

    Pretty standard episode. I am still impressed with the stunt work/doubling of Chris George in all of the physical encounters. Hal Needham did excellent work on this series.
     
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  19. Doug Wallen

    Doug Wallen Producer

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    Ep. 12 - The Return

    To save the victim of an argument implicating his boyhood benefactor, Ben must choose whether to expose his whereabouts to his pursuers.

    Don Knight, Harry Townes (multiple The Fugitive appearances), Richard Ward (Mandingo, Good Times), Ford Rainey, Ted Knight (The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Too Close For Comfort)

    Fletcher alert!!!

    A socially conscious episode. Ben was raised by a black family who he visits and then get involved due to an arrest. Ben has to decide whether saving a life is worth exposure. The stakes are very personal in this one. Very good episode.
     
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  20. Doug Wallen

    Doug Wallen Producer

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    Ep. 13 - To The Gods Alone

    Fletcher traps Richards in a cabin, framing a 'flashback' tale of a dying Jordan Braddock.

    Don Knight, Barry Sullivan, Lynn Loring, Bruce Dern (The Cowboys, Chappaquidick), Peggy Rea (The Waltons)

    Fletcher alert!!!

    A flashback story showing the conclusion of the Jordan Braddock story. Seems that maybe this one should have played earlier in the run. Well developed conclusion. Framing story was a bit weak, but the flashback made up for it. Unexpected appearance by Bruce Dern (another Fugitive connection), always a welcome sight in his guest appearances.
     
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