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What did you watch this week in classic TV on DVD(or Blu)?

Discussion in 'TV on DVD and Blu-ray' started by Bryan^H, Aug 28, 2015.

  1. Doug Wallen

    Doug Wallen Lead Actor

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    Been a tough week for me and I had just started my weekly rounds with some more Perry Mason from Season 7. Got some bad news on Tuesday morning. My father passed from this life to the next. So many emotions were tumbling around. Growing up in the sixties with a factory worker father, television was a welcome diversion. My father would come in from work to a prepared supper. After supper, my brother and I would play outside far a couple of hours (this was on school nights - homework completed as we waited for him to get home). After being called in for baths, we would gather in the living room and watch television (except Wednesday nights - church).

    So many shows (now considered "classic" in this forum) were enjoyed, it was a family pastime. Gunsmoke, Perry Mason, Batman, Voyage to the Bottom Of The Sea, Star Trek, Gomer Pyle USMC, Wild Wild West, Mannix, Mission:Impossible, Tarzan, Hawaii Five-O, Cheyenne, The Rifleman, Maverick, Dialing for Dollars, Honey West, Man From U.N.C.L.E., The Andy Griffith Show, The Beverly Hillbillies, Green Acres, The Dick Van Dyke Show, I Love Lucy; well you get the picture.

    I have so many memories of times past, but these times shared around the tv set are now all the more special as they remind me of family times with my father. I guess he instilled in me a love for these old shows. When he would visit, we almost always ended up watching westerns on Saturday on Encore Westerns. Great memories. Thanks, Dad.
     
  2. BobO'Link

    BobO'Link Producer

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    I'm sorry to hear of your loss, Doug. My prayers are with you and your family.
     
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  3. Jeff Flugel

    Jeff Flugel Screenwriter

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    Very sorry for your loss, Doug. Your post was eloquent. A good deal of our love for these old TV shows stems from the sort of memories you shared about the time spent with your dad, watching and enjoying family time together. I spent several evenings this last visit Stateside with my folks, watching classic westerns like Wagon Train and The Rifleman with my dad. I know he very much appreciated that time with me, just as I'm sure your father did, watching Encore westerns with you. May he rest in peace. Sincere condolences to you and your family.
     
  4. Message #2664 of 2945 Sep 9, 2019
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2019
    Flashgear

    Flashgear Screenwriter

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    Doug, my sincere condolences on the passing of your Dear Father. God Bless you and your Family. I know how you must suffer and grieve for this wonderful man... those precious memories and legacy of love carrying you forward.

    Thank you for contributing so much here on this forum, our shared communal touchstone for so many precious memories of past joy and family love of good times, past and present.
     
  5. Message #2665 of 2945 Sep 9, 2019
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2019
    Flashgear

    Flashgear Screenwriter

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    Universal studios shooting schedule for active sound stages posted on a certain day in 1964...showing the TV shows and theatrical feature films then in production at the studio...I have no idea what Project 120 actually was...perhaps a yet untitled production...a yet to be sold pilot? Two wonderful theatrical films, Father Goose (Carry Grant, Leslie Caron, Trevor Howard) and Art of Love (James Garner, Dick Van Dyke, Angie Dickinson, Elke Sommer)...the long running Jack Benny, Hitchcock Presents/Hour, Wagon Train and McHale's Navy in their last seasons...
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  6. GMBurns

    GMBurns Second Unit

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    Doug, so sorry to hear about your Dad. Thanks for your touching tribute to times shared with him.
     
  7. Message #2667 of 2945 Sep 9, 2019
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2019
    Rustifer

    Rustifer Screenwriter
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    Jeff--
    I have cable access to MeTV, ANTV and TCM, which pretty much operate as my only avenues to classic TV material. I DVR shows that I want to watch as well as write about.
    I envy those of you who have extensive DVD libraries of so many series, many of which I've never heard. I have enough trouble with my wife regarding the time I spend watching TV that the idea of purchasing even more access to shows via DVD sets would most likely earn me a bachelor's life again. The fact that I research and write about the shows are my only saving grace as she views this as productive.
     
  8. Jeff Flugel

    Jeff Flugel Screenwriter

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    That's a very interesting production slate, Randall - thanks for sharing! I recognize most of those shows...however, I'm totally unfamiliar with Harris Vs. World (actual title, Harris Against the World), which seems to be a one-season show starring Jack Klugman, and Karen, apparently some kind of family sitcom starring Richard Denning. Anyone (apart from Neil Brock) familiar with these two short-lived, obscure shows?
     
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  9. bmasters9

    bmasters9 Producer

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    What would your wife rather have you doing?
     
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  10. Rustifer

    Rustifer Screenwriter
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    Oh gosh...that list would include volunteer work, hobbies (non-TV oriented), lunch meetings with past business colleagues, and on and on and on.
    Some people retire only to pick up something new to occupy all their time because they can't stop working.
    I retired with the singular purpose of doing whatever I want--especially if it includes doing nothing.
     
  11. bmasters9

    bmasters9 Producer

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    In short, your wife would much rather have you be the workaholic, I take it?
     
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  12. Rustifer

    Rustifer Screenwriter
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    Yep. Been there, done that.
     
  13. Message #2673 of 2945 Sep 9, 2019
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2019
    Mysto

    Mysto Screenwriter

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    As others have said - very sorry for your loss.

    Doug - one of the special joys of vintage TV shows are the connections and memories they conjure. Your dad will always live in your memories when you watch these old shows. For me it is Sea Hunt. I was still a young lad when my father and I watched together and every time I watch one, I remember.
     
  14. Rustifer

    Rustifer Screenwriter
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    upload_2019-9-9_8-18-14. upload_2019-9-9_8-18-39.

    Ann Helm + Yvonne Craig = My Fantasy Island
     
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  15. Message #2675 of 2945 Sep 9, 2019
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2019
    Jeff Flugel

    Jeff Flugel Screenwriter

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    McCloud - 6.6. "The Day New York Turned Blue"
    This was something of a schizophrenic episode, with multiple plot strands that eventually, sort of, come together at the finale. NYC is in the midst of a heavy snowstorm. A prostitute (Bernadette Peters) with a beef against men is sending select johns to the hospital by slipping them mickies and spraying them all over in blue paint. William Daniels is a government efficiency expert looking for ways to trim the police department's budget. Chief Clifford is trying to extract information from a corrupt union accountant (Gig Young) who is targeted for assassination by the mob. And most of New York's finest are disgruntled with their low pay and decide to go on strike at midnight, leading to an Assault on Precinct 13 sort of situation at the station house, as a truckload of gangsters close in on McCloud, Clifford and a handful of other dedicated cops. It might be a bit of a mess, but it ain't boring. Also with Carl Weathers.

    The New Avengers - 1.3 "The Last of the Cybernauts...?"
    No sooner had my copy of Network's The Cybernauts Trilogy plopped through my mailbox, then I fired up the projector and gave this episode a spin. While none of the Cybernauts episodes would likely be claimed as the upper tier of any of the The Avengers series, they're all three fun, entertaining romps. I first caught The New Avengers on the CBS Late Night Movie showings in the late '70s (along with Kolchak: The Night Stalker). I've always liked the show, a slightly grittier version of the earlier series. The show has never looked particularly good on home video, at least till now. Lots of droll, sexy banter between younger "action man" Gambit (Gareth Hunt) and new Avengers gal Purdey (leggy, plummy-voiced Joanna Lumley), some fun action, and an older but still suave Steed (Patrick Macnee) showing that he's still a badass, as the trio contend with a vengeful enemy who has gained control of the titular robot killers. Network's 2K remastering has worked marvels, and the sets, cars, and kooky fashions really shine. Could this be a sneak peak of a complete series Blu-Ray release coming down the pike? Fingers crossed...

    [​IMG]

    Sharpe's Rifles

    Another favorite series brought to Blu-Ray in glorious HD (albeit Region B locked). As with The New Avengers above, I had to slap this sucker on right away once I got my hot little hands on the Sharpe: Classic Collection set. Sharpe's Rifles is the first movie-length entry in this rip-snorting adventure series set during the Napoleonic Wars, beautifully shot on location in the Ukraine and Portugal (and in later episodes, Turkey and India).

    Portugal 1809. Richard Sharpe (a whip-lean, wolfish Sean Bean, perfectly cast) saves General Wellington's life and is promoted from the ranks. Newly minted Lt. Sharpe has his work cut out for him, finding himself in command of the "Chosen Men,"a ragtag squad of expert marksmen, who at first hate and resent someone like Sharpe, who is not a "proper" officer...i.e., born to privilege. Wellington's aide and spymaster, Col. Hogan (Brian Cox) sends Sharpe and the Chosen Men on a secret mission miles behind enemy lines. Along the way, sparks fly when Sharpe joins up with a group of Spanish freedom fighters, led by the fiery Countessa Theresa (Assumpta Serna).

    This first Sharpe adventure is grand stuff, full of action, intrigue, rich dialogue and performances, nearly all of it filmed outdoors in striking (and bitterly cold looking) mountain locations. One of the story's highlights is Sharpe's antagonistic first meeting with his eventual best friend and right-hand man, Sgt. Harper (the excellent Daragh O'Malley). I've already waxed lyrical about this series before, so I'll just reiterate: for anyone who likes this kind of historical adventure type of program and has yet to see this series, it comes with my highest recommendations. And for those with Region Free Blu-Ray players, the 7-disc Classic Collection set is a must have.

    [​IMG]


    Father Ted
    - 3.6 "Kicking Bishop Brennan Up the Arse"
    Possibly the funniest episode of a sitcom I've ever seen in my life, just a scream from start to finish. For those who don't know Father Ted, it's an always irreverent, frequently surreal, and often brilliant Britcom, about a trio of ne'er-do-well Catholic priests and their housekeeper, holed up on a remote Irish island. It ran for three series (totaling 25 episodes, including a Christmas special) from 1995 to 1998, ending prematurely with lead Dermot Morgan's untimely death of a heart attack. Morgan's Father Ted Crilly is the lone voice of sanity amidst a host of crazy characters, including cheerful dolt, Father Dougal (Ardahl O'Hanlon, now solving murders on Death in Paradise) and irate drunkard, Father Jack (Frank Kelly).

    The series has many classic episodes, but for my money, none of them top this one, in which Father Ted loses a bet (seen in the previous episode, "Escape From Victory," also great) and must kick the fearsome and loathed Bishop Brennan...well, as the title says, "up the arse." How this all plays out is absolutely hysterical. I know humor is highly subjective, but I dare anyone to watch this episode and not crack up at the priceless reactions of Jim Norton (as the aforementioned Bishop Brennan) after the "arse kicking" goes down...

    Blackadder the Third
    - 1.2 "Ink and Incapability"
    An even more famously funny Britcom than Father Ted. I'm guessing most here have caught an episode or two of Blackadder from its many airings on PBS throughout the '80s and '90s. This is probably my favorite of the four series, with a pre-Mr. Bean Rowan Atkinson in full-on "sarcastic bastard" mode as scheming butler to foppish nitwit Prince George (Hugh Laurie, wonderful) in Regency-era London. In this one, Blackadder clashes with pompous know-it-all Dr. Samuel Jackson (Robbie Coltrane). When dimbulb servant Baldrick (Tony Robinson) accidentally burns the original manuscript of Dr. Johnson's long-labored-over dictionary, Blackadder attempts to write a new version himself. While there's no denying Atkinson's impressive gifts as a physical comedian in Mr. Bean, it's his deadpan, witty, master of insults Blackadder persona that for me remains the apex of his career.

    The Bionic Woman
    - 1.3 "Angel of Mercy"
    Jaime Sommers, under reluctant cover as a nurse, joins a crusty helicopter pilot (Andy Griffith) on a mission to rescue an ambassador and his wife, trapped under rubble in a hostile (and fictitious, natch) Banana Republic. Lindsay Wagner is of course an extremely pretty woman, but it's her character's earnest, down-to-earth, sweet nature that wins the audience over. She and Griffith have a nice, bantering chemistry together, resulting in an enjoyable if typically far-fetched adventure. As always, I enjoy those fun moments where Jaime gets to "go bionic."

    Petticoat Junction
    - 1.7 "The Ringer"
    It's time for the annual Shady Rest Horseshoe Tournament, and Uncle Joe is having a hard time finding a suitable contender to go up against eight-time champion Pixley Fats (Henry Calvin, better known as Sgt. Garcia on Disney's Zorro)...until athletic Betty Jo (Linda Henning) becomes the tournament's first female contestant. Another gentle, warm-hearted episode of this rural sitcom. Calvin gives a nicely Oliver Hardy-esque, near-silent performance as the gentlemanly dandy, Pixley Fats.

    [​IMG]
     
  16. Message #2676 of 2945 Sep 9, 2019
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2019
    JohnHopper

    JohnHopper Screenwriter

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    I hope the BD set of The New Avengers will come somewhere in 2020.
    The music by Laurie Johnson is so good.
    Oh, incidentally, Jeff, what is the opening titles they use for that release since the series had two main titles.

    The film montage main titles


    The animation main titles


    For more Purdey, find The New Avengers (Target) Digital clean clip


    It's a remake of a season 1 episode ("Little Orphan Airplane") of The Six Million Dollar Man.
    Anyway, it's fun and it has an original score by the legendary Jerry Fielding.
     
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  17. Bob Gu

    Bob Gu Screenwriter

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    d.

    Project 120 was Universal's first made for TV movie unit, for NBC. The 120 was minutes, and referred to a two-hour movie time slot, really 90-100 minutes actual runtime. This unit is said to be the first to make original feature length movies for TV. I can only find references to three actual movies the unit made, "The Hanged Man" with Robert Culp, "See The Man Run" with John Forsythe, and "The Killers" with Lee Marvin, which was released theatrically because of too much violence.

    Later the Universal two-hour slot TV movies, for NBC, were called World Premieres. The first one of those was, "Fame is the Name of the Game".

    Many of those Universal soundstages were knocked down recently to make way for a video game related theme park. There are demolition videos on YouTube.
     
  18. The Obsolete Man

    The Obsolete Man Cinematographer

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    It's rare I can answer things like this!

    Project 120 was a deal between NBC and Universal for a number of made for TV movies (120 was referring to the runtime). It's what eventually brought about the resurrection of Dragnet.

    And in making sure my facts were straight, I was beaten to the punch. Oh well.
     
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  19. Jeff Flugel

    Jeff Flugel Screenwriter

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    The Cybernauts Trilogy Blu-Ray uses the film montage main titles for The New Avengers, John. Like you, I very much hope to see the full series restored and released next year.



     
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  20. Message #2680 of 2945 Sep 9, 2019
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2019
    Flashgear

    Flashgear Screenwriter

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    Jeff, Harris Against the World was a short lived sitcom for Jack Klugman, gone by January 1965 and probably just 13 episodes. Karen (Debbie Watson, Richard Denning) was another short run sitcom, but it lasted a full season of a kind as one of the trio of sitcoms under the umbrella 90 Bristol Court...another short run sitcom listed on the board is Tom, Dick and Mary (Don Galloway, Joyce Bullifant), which was also gone in January 1965...The Munsters, of course, was the only ratings winner among the new shows listed there.
    Keep doing what you're doing Russ! We are your co-conspirators in this noble endeavor!

    Marv, just like Doug and yourself, I identify one special show with the dearly held memory of my Father...in his case it was QM's The FBI...I enjoyed that long running Efrem Zimbalist show, but I Had to watch it with my Dad...in Canada, it came on really late on Friday nights when I was often exhausted from a long day of high school and then football or hockey practice...when I sometimes fell asleep while watching it, my Dad seemed genuinely disappointed in me...like I had let inspector Erskine and the entire Bureau down, ha, ha...he might even have been an informant on my file with J. Edgar Hoover had I actually had one...my Dad did have me under surveillance as a possible subversive, ha, ha...

    Thanks Jeff for all your great reviews...I don't have McCloud season 6 in the R4 Madman sets that I have, so I haven't seen this episode since first run...but boy, do I remember that cute/sexy Bernadette Peters spray painting those drunken johns in blue paint...my Dear Mom was horrified at the TV depiction of such sleazy shenanigans...she remembered the more elegant Broadway and 42 St. of the 1940s...long before mayor John Lindsey and many others helped to temporarily destroy the theatre district...the garbage and cop strike actions certainly fit in well with the '70s scenario that I remember from that era...including my disappointment with the Bi-centennial celebrations...McCloud and the boys could hardly keep up with all the crumbs, bums and lowbrow hoods...but of course, Theo Kojak was also doing his best, ha, ha...

    Thank you Bob and Robert for all of that great info! You guys are amazing. I also posted this picture of the Universal studios 1964-65 shooting schedule over in the Is the B+W TV on DVD era slowly coming to an end?... I put up more details there about the other shows listed in that thread...
     
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