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

Jeff Flugel

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Ah, the above is proof of Jeff's adept freeze framing! You can't catch an alluring shot like these without a quick trigger finger! As my Dad used to say...that girl has an impressive superstructure. I wonder who she is? Shirley Eaton is prime Britbabe too. Thanks for reminding me to seek out that R2 DVD set of Man of the World, and I had no idea of the spin-off series The Sentimental Agent...great stuff as always, Jeff!
Thanks, Randall! I was watching the episode in question, and when I came across this witty little scene, I figured it would be one to yield a few good screencaps that you and Russ at least might appreciate. ;)

I would take more screen captures, but the only DVD drive I have is in my old laptop, which is a slow-to-load old dinosaur hunk of machinery that I only use on occasion. But when it comes to these lesser-known TV shows, it's hard to find good images on Google, so it helps to go to the source.

I'm looking forward to receiving my copy of The Sentimental Agent DVD set...apparently, two episodes feature one of the earliest appearances each by two top-tier Britbabes: Diana Rigg and Sue Lloyd (her first credited role). The rest of the cast list reads like a typical "Who's Who" of British and American thesps, too...including an early role for Susan Clark. That Varela...he gets around.

 
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Jeff Flugel

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Midsomer Murders
Agatha Raisin
Poirot
Miss Marple
Inspector Lynley Mysteries
Morse
Hamish MacBeth
Father Brown
Shetland
I like a lot of these shows, too, Russ, especially the Christie adaptations and Inspector Morse and its spinoffs. The ITC spy / adventure shows don't have the deft plotting that characterizes their more cerebral brethren, but they definitely have other compensations, and I love them just as much, in their own way.

Not to be unkind but I haven't argued with you in a long time...I feel so much better now. :P
Good to see you more active around these parts, Marv! Don't be a stranger...
 

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Also you should never have popcorn with bourbon. I suggest potato chips.
I feel so much better now. :P
As someone who can't stand the taste of whisky (no matter what you call it) I'd say it should be cognac/brandy or ouzo... or a good dark rum...
 
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Ron1973

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I finished up Renegade. It really picked up steam towards the end. I'd always thought it similar to The Fugitive with a man being on the run that was falsely accused.The final episode even had that feel to it. Instead of a one armed man, though, we had a crooked cop. His boss, played by Kent McCord, was starting to look at Dutch Dixon suspiciously already. Reno Raines was vindicated at the very last of the show, although Dutch went on the run after shooting Kent McCord's character. It ended without saying whether he lived or died-they said he was in a coma. This one will probably wind up being streamed again sometime this year.

So what to watch next? Amazon is full of classics. I tried out a few episodes of The Rebel Johnny Yuma. The 1st episode was good with Dan Blocker playing a villain. I just couldn't get into it. I might try it again later.

I then decided to take a stab at Yancy Derringer. I'll be finishing it up tonight. I don't know why it didn't last longer. It appears it was a Timeless release when it was on DVD. Amazon's prints are absolutely outstanding with no major flaws to be seen. I'd easily put it up against any show of its genre.

So what do I watch next? I feel like I'm at an all you can eat buffet! Magnum P.I., Murder She Wrote, Peter Gunn, Family Affair, and so many others.
 

Jeff Flugel

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I then decided to take a stab at Yancy Derringer. I'll be finishing it up tonight. I don't know why it didn't last longer. It appears it was a Timeless release when it was on DVD. Amazon's prints are absolutely outstanding with no major flaws to be seen. I'd easily put it up against any show of its genre.
Good to hear that Amazon Prime's prints of Yancy Derringer are nice and clean. I have the Timeless set and agree completely, it's one excellent show, full of action and humor.
 

Jeff Flugel

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Been on a bit of an ITC kick lately, obviously:

The Baron
- 1.14 "There's Somebody Close Behind You"
Before he became Hondo on S.W.A.T., Steve Forrest starred as John Mannering, a.k.a "The Baron," a former cattleman from Texas who became an antiques dealer living in London, frequently moonlighting as a crime fighter. The series - based off a series of novels by the extremely prolific John Creasey - ran for 30 episodes from 1965 - 1966.

Mannering witnesses a gangster gun down a police inspector friend during a robbery attempt, and is determined to bring the killer to justice, despite becoming a target himself. It's rather alarming to see what passed for a witness identification line-up in '60s Britain...Mannering just walks into the same room as the line of possible suspects and touches the killer on the arm to ID him. (OK for The Baron, as he is ready to rumble with these creeps...but imagine being a little old granny and expected to do the same...) After this, he's marked for death...but The Baron doesn't wait around for his assassins to come calling; instead, he goes on the offensive.

It's fun to see the great character actor Phillip Madoc as a bowler-hatted, brolly-carrying assassin. Also with Sue Lloyd as Mannering's assistant (looking gorgeous per usual) and Jerome Willis. Forrest makes for a fine leading man in the Simon Templar mode, and is especially convincing in action scenes, of which he gets several here - including decking nasty henchman Mike Pratt [later of Randall & Hopkirk (Deceased)] across the hood of a car.

A consistently entertaining series, this, despite the transfers on the Region 1 Koch DVD set looking like they've been left out in the sun for months. Would love to see this come out on Blu-Ray some day (pretty please with sugar on top, Network!)





The Saint - 5.5 "The Helpful Pirate"
Simon Templar is ready to hop aboard a plane for sunnier climes when he's accosted at gunpoint and escorted to a meeting with a MI5 muckity muck (Jack Gwillim), who persuades him to go to Hamburg to track down a prominent laser scientist, Prof. Roeding (Redmond Phillips), who has gone missing. Anneke Wills, mere months away from her time on Doctor Who, pops up as the professor's worried daughter. Former Bond villain Vladek Sheybal is magnificently reptilian as a Russian agent negotiating with the American hood (Paul Maxwell) who's holding the professor hostage. The "helpful pirate" of the title is a local con artist (Erika Remberg) who gives Templar an important piece of information at a crucial moment. Famed ITC stuntman turned successful director, Ray Austin, turns up as a henchman. Typically solid, jet-setting action adventure, with Moore on fine insouciant form.




The arrival of my The Time Tunnel Region Free UK Blu-Ray set spurred me on to check out the first episode, "Rendezvous with Yesterday," up on the big screen.

What is it about Irwin Allen and his TV show pilots? He really pushes the boat out, blowing his wad on the first episode...only to end the season (or series, in the case of The Time Tunnel) with the budget running out and having to scrimp every ounce of production value out of old stock footage. Whichever way you slice it, this is an impressive premiere episode, with stunning matte paintings, gigantic colorful sets and a real sense of scale. A budget-minded senator (Gary Merrill) threatens to pull the plug on a top secret 10-year program to build a massive time machine, leading to scientists Tony Newman (James Darren) and Doug Phillips (Robert Colbert) getting thrown back in time, landing on board the Titanic on the eve of its sinking.

Sort of like an early version of Quantum Leap, the duo end up skipping backwards and forwards in time, never seeming to eat any food, drink any water, take a shower, use the bathroom, or even change their clothes for the rest of the series. Michael Rennie and Susan Hampshire add class to the Titanic portion of the story, while Whit Bissell and Lee Meriwether hold the fort back at the lab. Great theme tune by Johnny Williams, too. A fun show, probably my favorite of Irwin Allen's '60s sci-fi spectaculars, and it looks razor sharp on Blu-Ray.

 
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Been on a bit of an ITC kick lately, obviously:

The Baron
- 1.14 "There's Somebody Close Behind You"
Before he became Hondo on S.W.A.T., Steve Forrest starred as John Mannering, a.k.a "The Baron," a former cattleman from Texas who became an antiques dealer living in London, frequently moonlighting as a crime fighter. The series - based off a series of novels by the extremely prolific John Creasey - ran for 30 episodes from 1965 - 1966.

Mannering witnesses a gangster gun down a police inspector friend during a robbery attempt, and is determined to bring the killer to justice, despite becoming a target himself. It's rather alarming to see what passed for a witness identification line-up in '60s Britain...Mannering just walks into the same room as the line of possible suspects and touches the killer on the arm to ID him. (OK for The Baron, as he is ready to rumble with these creeps...but imagine being a little old granny and expected to do the same...) After this, he's marked for death...but The Baron doesn't wait around for his assassins to come calling; instead, he goes on the offensive.

It's fun to see the great character actor Phillip Madoc as a bowler-hatted, brolly-carrying assassin. Also with Sue Lloyd as Mannering's assistant (looking gorgeous per usual) and Jerome Willis. Forrest makes for a fine leading man in the Simon Templar mode, and is especially convincing in action scenes, of which he gets several here - including decking nasty henchman Mike Pratt [later of Randall & Hopkirk (Deceased)] across the hood of a car.

A consistently entertaining series, this, despite the transfers on the Region 1 Koch DVD set looking like they've been left out in the sun for months. Would love to see this come out on Blu-Ray some day (pretty please with sugar on top, Network!)





The Saint - 5.5 "The Helpful Pirate"
Simon Templar is ready to hop aboard a plane for sunnier climes when he's accosted by gunpoint and escorted to a meeting with a MI5 muckity muck (Jack Gwillim), who persuades him to go to Hamburg to track down a prominent laser scientist, Prof. Roeding (Redmond Phillips), who has gone missing. Anneke Wills, mere months away from co-starring in Strange Report, pops up as the professor's worried daughter. Former Bond villain Vladek Sheybal is magnificently reptilian as a Russian agent negotiating with the American hood (Paul Maxwell) who's holding the professor hostage. The "helpful pirate" of the title is a local con artist (Erika Remberg) who gives Templar a crucial piece of information leading. Typically solid, jet-setting action adventure, with Moore on fine insouciant form.




The arrival of my The Time Tunnel Region Free UK Blu-Ray set spurred me on to check out the first episode, "Rendezvous with Yesterday," on the big screen.

What is it about Irwin Allen and his TV show pilots? He really pushes the boat out, blowing his wad on the first episode...only to end the season (or series, in the case of The Time Tunnel) with the budget running out and having to scrimp every ounce of production value out of old stock footage. Whichever way you slice it, this is an impressive premiere episode, with stunning matte paintings, gigantic colorful sets and a real sense of scale. A budget-minded senator (Gary Merrill) threatens to pull the plug on a top secret 10-year program to build a massive time machine, leading to scientists Tony Newman (James Darren) and Doug Phillips (Robert Colbert) getting thrown back in time, landing on board the Titanic on the eve of its sinking.

Sort of like an early version of Quantum Leap, the duo end up skipping backwards and forwards in time, never seeming to eat any food, drink any water, take a shower, use the bathroom, or even change their clothes for the rest of the series. Michael Rennie and Susan Hampshire add class to the Titanic portion of the story, while Whit Bissell and Lee Meriwether hold the fort back at the lab. Great theme tune by Johnny Williams, too. A fun show, probably my favorite of Irwin Allen's '60s sci-fi spectaculars, and it looks razor sharp on Blu-Ray.

The Time Tunnel is my favorite Irwin Allen show (followed closely by Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, which *needs* a BR release too). I was incredibly upset when it didn't return the following year. It wasn't the fault of the show or Allen's production style (his tendency to blow the budget early on and have to scrimp the last 1/3 or so of a season).

According to Wikipedia:
Although The Time Tunnel was scheduled on Fridays (often considered the "death zone" for TV programs), the ratings for the series were solid and it looked very likely that the series would be renewed. ABC pointed to The Time Tunnel as one of the few successes in a disastrous schedule.

An ABC executive gathered support for a series titled The Legend of Custer that he was in favor of and, since the fall schedule hadn't been announced, he lobbied to drop The Time Tunnel in favor of Custer.

The Legend of Custer was quickly cancelled after airing 17 low-rated episodes, skewered by critics and performed worse than The Time Tunnel.
I've also read that it was cancelled because ABC wanted Allen to reduce the budget by 1/3 and he refused. I tend to think the it's somewhat a combination of the two but the exec wanting "Legend..." is the reason I see most.

According to James Darrin:
“We were doing our last or next-to-last Season One episode, we were about to go on hiatus, and Irwin telephoned me on the set. Like I said, we had a pretty special relationship. I don’t think he and Bob did, to be honest with you, not that it meant anything, but Irwin and I just got on well. And so he called me on the set and told me that Time Tunnel had been picked up for another season. And he said, ‘You can tell Bob and whoever else you wanna tell.’ I was thrilled. I told Colbert, I said, ‘Irwin just called me and told me that we were picked up’ and blah, blah, blah. But then later, [it was announced that] Time Tunnel was being taken off the air.”
I've not watched the DVD interview to verify - IMDB says:
In the DVD interview, Robert Colbert said that had the show been renewed for another season, Irwin Allen was planning to have the time tunnel finally bring them home, and the new scripts would have them going into the time tunnel each week to "fix" wrongs that happened in history...
The only thing that ever annoyed me with the show was the very shallow depth of the tunnel. Another 20' of that forced perspective could have eliminated many of the shadows on the back wall that broke the illusion in that first episode of a tunnel running hundreds of feet.

I know I'd have watched a 2nd season of the show... and more had it lasted.
 

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I just watched again the first five minutes of a rare unsold espionage pilot entitled Hunter (1973).
I wish I could watch it completely.

It was done by the creator of Mission: Impossible after leaving the series at the end of season 4.
It was produced in 1971 and broadcast in 1973.

Production Team
producer: Bruce Geller
writer: Cliff Gould
director: Leonard Horn
composer: Lalo Schifrin​
Starring
John Vernon
Steve Ihnat
Sabrina Scharf
Edward Binns
Fritz Weaver
Ramon Bieri
John Schuck
Barbara Rhoades
Roger Bowen
Woodrow Parfrey
Lonny Chapman
Ed Flanders
Jerry Douglas
 

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I just purchased S1 of The Hardy Boys, Nancy Drew Mysteries (1977). I've never seen it before, making the purchase solely due to Pamela Sue Martin and liking the books on which it's based. Like most people my age, those books were pretty much staples of our reading as kids. I devoured them - both series (I had a sister to use for the excuse of reading Nancy Drew).

The episodes on the DVDs are *not* in normal broadcast order. They've opted to split them between Hardy Boys or Nancy Drew episodes on the discs. That is, discs 1 & 2 have the first 7 episodes featuring the Hardy Boys, in broadcast order. The Nancy Drew episodes are on discs 3 & 4, also in broadcast order. But they originally aired alternating - a Hardy Boys one week, Nancy Drew the next, etc. So... I'm getting a whole lot of Hardy Boys and no Nancy Drew yet.

At this point I've watched the first 6 episodes and am finding it pretty much what I expected - at least with the Hardy Boys episodes. Hmmm... putting the episodes on the discs that way *could* be a blessing in disguise based on what I've seen so far...

It's quite obvious that the Hardy Boys episodes were aimed at HS girls. Shaun Cassidy and Parker Stevenson were absolutely selected for their looks and not, apparently, any acting ability. Not that they really need any for the rather pedestrian and predictable scripts. In spite of that, they're brisk and mostly entertaining for what they are. I can also see why I never tuned in during those years. I'd have likely watched the Nancy Drew episodes and not bothered at all with the Hardy Boys ones. But this also premiered my Sr. year in college and I didn't watch much TV that year. I was too busy with school, work, and parties. It also had the misfortune of airing opposite 60 Minutes - a show I *did* watch when I watched TV on Sunday evenings.

Cassidy was being groomed for pop stardom at the time and it shows. One episode so far has him singing his "hit" song (a half-baked version of "De Do Ron Ron") from the era - and features him singing far too often (2 or 3 other songs) in that episode, one that appears specifically written to "showcase" his talent (poor lip-syncing FWIW). The prior one features Rick Nelson singing a few of his former hits and I'm surprised they didn't find a way to get Cassidy on stage with him. The following one features Cassidy "singing" "Surfin' USA" (Why? OK... it fits the surfing theme of the episode but it's just not that good - the song or episode). I've never been much of a fan of TV episodes that work in pop acts as obvious promotional appearances.

Stevenson overcame this show as well as being a teen idol and went on to appear in lots of TV while Cassidy pretty much faded from sight, both as an actor and singer (he's something of a writer/show runner these days).

At least most episodes have a few scenes with the adorable Lisa Eilbacher:



I'm ready for the Hardy Boys to take a powder and watch some Nancy Drew...
 
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BobO'Link

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The Nancy Drew episodes are much more fun and more in keeping with the original books. The scripts are a bit better and the supporting cast is better as well. William Schallert plays Carson Drew, Nancy's dad. It's always a pleasure to see him in a series and he does a very good job as Nancy's dad.

One episode had Carl Betz, Victor Buono, Bob Crane, Dina Merrill, and Pippa Scott as a group of successful classmates with a secret reunite for a charity stage production. It was a fun, well done, script with a solution that wasn't obvious.

Buono and Merrill


Betz and Crane




Another featured Jamie Lee Curtis, Robert Englund, Beverly Garland, Marjorie Lord, and Robert Alda in a well done script.

Susan Pratt, Englund, and Curtis


Lord and Alda


I read that Martin became somewhat disappointed with the more juvenile aspects of the role, and left during the second season. That's a shame as the S1 Nancy Drew episodes are quite good. I'd consider S2 were it not for her departure from the role and that many of the S2 episodes in which she appears have her joining forces with the Hardy boys.
 

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Been on a bit of an ITC kick lately, obviously:

The Baron
- 1.14 "There's Somebody Close Behind You"
Before he became Hondo on S.W.A.T., Steve Forrest starred as John Mannering, a.k.a "The Baron," a former cattleman from Texas who became an antiques dealer living in London, frequently moonlighting as a crime fighter. The series - based off a series of novels by the extremely prolific John Creasey - ran for 30 episodes from 1965 - 1966.

Mannering witnesses a gangster gun down a police inspector friend during a robbery attempt, and is determined to bring the killer to justice, despite becoming a target himself. It's rather alarming to see what passed for a witness identification line-up in '60s Britain...Mannering just walks into the same room as the line of possible suspects and touches the killer on the arm to ID him. (OK for The Baron, as he is ready to rumble with these creeps...but imagine being a little old granny and expected to do the same...) After this, he's marked for death...but The Baron doesn't wait around for his assassins to come calling; instead, he goes on the offensive.

It's fun to see the great character actor Phillip Madoc as a bowler-hatted, brolly-carrying assassin. Also with Sue Lloyd as Mannering's assistant (looking gorgeous per usual) and Jerome Willis. Forrest makes for a fine leading man in the Simon Templar mode, and is especially convincing in action scenes, of which he gets several here - including decking nasty henchman Mike Pratt [later of Randall & Hopkirk (Deceased)] across the hood of a car.

A consistently entertaining series, this, despite the transfers on the Region 1 Koch DVD set looking like they've been left out in the sun for months. Would love to see this come out on Blu-Ray some day (pretty please with sugar on top, Network!)





The Saint - 5.5 "The Helpful Pirate"
Simon Templar is ready to hop aboard a plane for sunnier climes when he's accosted at gunpoint and escorted to a meeting with a MI5 muckity muck (Jack Gwillim), who persuades him to go to Hamburg to track down a prominent laser scientist, Prof. Roeding (Redmond Phillips), who has gone missing. Anneke Wills, mere months away from co-starring in Strange Report, pops up as the professor's worried daughter. Former Bond villain Vladek Sheybal is magnificently reptilian as a Russian agent negotiating with the American hood (Paul Maxwell) who's holding the professor hostage. The "helpful pirate" of the title is a local con artist (Erika Remberg) who gives Templar an important piece of information at a crucial moment. Famed ITC stuntman turned successful director, Ray Austin, turns up as a henchman. Typically solid, jet-setting action adventure, with Moore on fine insouciant form.




The arrival of my The Time Tunnel Region Free UK Blu-Ray set spurred me on to check out the first episode, "Rendezvous with Yesterday," up on the big screen.

What is it about Irwin Allen and his TV show pilots? He really pushes the boat out, blowing his wad on the first episode...only to end the season (or series, in the case of The Time Tunnel) with the budget running out and having to scrimp every ounce of production value out of old stock footage. Whichever way you slice it, this is an impressive premiere episode, with stunning matte paintings, gigantic colorful sets and a real sense of scale. A budget-minded senator (Gary Merrill) threatens to pull the plug on a top secret 10-year program to build a massive time machine, leading to scientists Tony Newman (James Darren) and Doug Phillips (Robert Colbert) getting thrown back in time, landing on board the Titanic on the eve of its sinking.

Sort of like an early version of Quantum Leap, the duo end up skipping backwards and forwards in time, never seeming to eat any food, drink any water, take a shower, use the bathroom, or even change their clothes for the rest of the series. Michael Rennie and Susan Hampshire add class to the Titanic portion of the story, while Whit Bissell and Lee Meriwether hold the fort back at the lab. Great theme tune by Johnny Williams, too. A fun show, probably my favorite of Irwin Allen's '60s sci-fi spectaculars, and it looks razor sharp on Blu-Ray.

Jeff, you've been enjoying some of my favorites from across the pond. The Baron was a great find when E-One released it in the US several years ago. I always found Steve Forrest very wooden in S.W.A.T., about the only thing I remember him from. But he is very enjoyable as the Baron, and I absolutely love that ITC/Avengers feel of the show.

Roger Moore always disappointed me as Bond, but I absolutely love the Saint, and was so glad when Shout/Timeless released it in 2015.

And Sentimental Agent is very enjoyable also. Though I had never heard of the series, or of Carlos Thompson, it is a lot of fun. Too bad there were only 13 episodes.

You have inspired me to watch one of these three later tonight.
 

Jeff Flugel

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I'm ready for the Hardy Boys to take a powder and watch some Nancy Drew...
Yeah, as a kid I preferred the Hardy Boys episodes, but the Nancy Drew episodes play better today. It helps that Pamela Sue Martin is a much better actor, as well as being more attractive. ;) The guest star-studded episode you reference above ("A Haunting We Will Go") is a good one.

I read that Martin became somewhat disappointed with the more juvenile aspects of the role, and left during the second season. That's a shame as the S1 Nancy Drew episodes are quite good. I'd consider S2 were it not for her departure from the role and that many of the S2 episodes in which she appears have her joining forces with the Hardy boys.
My understanding is that Martin got disgusted with her Nancy Drew character getting the short end of the episode-count stick in S2, with the few episodes she appeared in being team-ups with the more popular (with the teeny-bopper female viewers) Hardy Boys, saw the writing on the wall, and decided to leave the series, to be replaced by another actress later on in the second season. There are still some good episodes in S2, though, so I'd recommend picking that one up at some point...but be forewarned, the show drops the Nancy Drew character in S3, as the Hardy Boys go to work for the FBI. For the first two seasons at least, The Hardy Boys Nancy Drew Mysteries is a fun, breezy show, an enjoyable if sometimes cheesy watch. And the title sequence and main theme are terrifically atmospheric:


 
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Jeff Flugel

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Jeff, you've been enjoying some of my favorites from across the pond. The Baron was a great find when E-One released it in the US several years ago. I always found Steve Forrest very wooden in S.W.A.T., about the only thing I remember him from. But he is very enjoyable as the Baron, and I absolutely love that ITC/Avengers feel of the show.

Roger Moore always disappointed me as Bond, but I absolutely love the Saint, and was so glad when Shout/Timeless released it in 2015.

And Sentimental Agent is very enjoyable also. Though I had never heard of the series, or of Carlos Thompson, it is a lot of fun. Too bad there were only 13 episodes.

You have inspired me to watch one of these three later tonight.
Thanks, Glenn...you have good taste in UK shows as well as westerns! Pretty much agreed on Roger Moore...I find him entertaining if not entirely convincing as Bond, but he's perfect as The Saint. I remember catching the color episodes of the show in syndication on Saturday afternoon growing up in the 1970s. I always got excited when I saw the spinning ITC logo and heard the distinct musical sting which accompanied it. I've been an ITC fan ever since...

 

Ron1973

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Thanks, Glenn...you have good taste in UK shows as well as westerns! Pretty much agreed on Roger Moore...I find him entertaining if not entirely convincing as Bond, but he's perfect as The Saint. I remember catching the color episodes of the show in syndication on Saturday afternoon growing up in the 1970s. I always got excited when I saw the spinning ITC logo and heard the distinct musical sting which accompanied it. I've been an ITC fan ever since...

And it just so happens that Amazon just gave me a suggestion for The Saint since I watched Yancy Derringer. It looks like one that'll keep me busy for a while!
 

Ron1973

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Just checking in to say I'm on episode 5 of The Saint. I'm hooked already! I was sort of surprised to see Robert Easton turn up as an American ambassador. He, of course, played Beauregard Short on The Beverly Hillbillies among other "hick" roles. He also had a bit part in the movie adaptation of The Beverly Hillbillies, making him the only actor besides Buddy Ebsen to appear from the series.
 

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LA Law: "Hey, Lick Me Over" (11/3/1988): Season 3, cut to 19 episodes by a Writers' Guild of America strike, begins with Abby receiving a disappointing performance review after bringing a loaded handgun to the office for self-defense, Grace prosecuting an easily aroused man (Joe Spano, NCIS) licking a random woman (Coleen Maloney) in a theatre, Benny going to court for his right to register to vote, Roxanne getting a marriage proposal from Dave Meyer, Jennifer Kepler tries to reconnect with Leland, and Victor handling the case of a man (Scott Paulin) suing a security company for failing to stop a home intruder from raping his wife (Lori Walsh). Meanwhile, Ann and Stuart are trying to have a baby and haven't been able to conceive.

From the "Little Things Mean A Lot": This episode aired on the 10th anniversary of the NBC premiere of Diff'rent Strokes, which also had an Arnold, except he was never referred to as "Arnie" by anyone.

From the "Both Sides Now" Department: Alan Oppenheimer plays a judge five years after having played a lawyer on Gimme A Break!, where he represented an aunt trying to sue Nell and the Chief for custody of the Kanisky girls.

R1 vs. R2: This one is a tough call. R1's picture has the same things wrong with it that the previous two seasons had, namely blocking, moire, and haloing. Those things are present but far less pronounced on the R2. But the R1 is in stereo where the R2 is in mono.

LA Law: "The Son Also Rises" (11/10/1988): Abby has an interview for an associates' position at another firm. Ann represents a boy named Matthew Richardson (Remy Auberjonois) suing his father, Kevin (Rene Auberjonois, Benson), for hitting him. Roxanne asks Arnie to represent Dave's sister Madeleine (Miriam Flynn, National Lampoon's Vacation) in her divorce. Grace prosecutes a cop killer (Glenn Plummer, Menace II Society), and the DA wants her to bend the law to get a conviction. Jennifer and Leland go to lunch, where she questions him about how he views Abby's role in the firm, among other things, particularly matters of the heart.

From the "We Are Family" Department: In addition to the late Rene Auberjonois acting with his real-life son Remy, Dann Florek's brother, Dave, plays a policeman.

R1 vs. R2: Unfortunately, both are in mono, but the R2 track sounds less weak and has slightly sharper (though darker) picture.

LA Law: "Romancing the Drone" (11/17/1988): Stuart goes to a fertility clinic and finds out it isn't Ann's fault they have yet to conceive. Dave records a tape to give to his customers via direct mail; Roxanne unloads on him after he takes his sales pitch to the office. Abby starts her own law firm. Arnie tries to get a better settlement for his client's (Debra Stipe) divorce than her previous lawyer could; to do this, he suggests that she sue her older ex-husband (John Bennett Perry, 240-Robert) for emotional distress, citing a recent case in Texas as precedent. As Arnie and Monica debate the merits of the case over luncheon, it becomes an argument over the state of their relationship. Kuzak defends an accused rapist (Kevin Gage, The 'Burbs) who was working as a handyman; the woman accusing him (Pamela Reed) has a journal, and the judge in the case (Jennifer Bassey) asks her to hand it over. Grace is angered by Kuzak taking the case at all.

Music: Beethoven's 9th Symphony

R1 vs. R2: For once, the R1 has the upper hand for having stereo sound AND the original 20th Television Fox logo! One thing I noticed is how similar this show's theme song is to the concurrent theme from Donahue, also composed by Mike Post and first used in 1985. Both appeared on a Polydor Records album in 1988.

LA Law: "Sperminator" (12/1/1988): Jonathan is unhappy about Victor having to assist him on a major trial involving a man who died while rock climbing during a company event. Stuart is not feeling well because of the drug he took to increase his sperm count, so Ann wants him to stop taking it. While meeting with an ambitious publicist named Betsy Major (Nana Visitor), who is also a single mom, Abby's first client in her new firm is Nathaniel "Whitey" Holland (Troy Evans, Bosch), a contractor who claims his client (Ken Foree, Kenan & Kel) ripped him off with a bounced check yet has decided to sue him, and the judge (Abraham Alvarez) denies him a continuance, depriving Abby of a chance to see his papers.

From the "Who Let the Dogs Out?" Department: Gregg Berger (Mitchell Noyes, one of the witnesses in the rock climbing case) is the voice of Odie in several Garfield cartoons and video games. He compares the deceased to "one of those cats you see suction-cupped to a car window" and doesn't mention the cat by name. That would have been giving publicity to the recently debuted Garfield and Friends Saturday morning cartoon on CBS and thus giving one of NBC's competitors free publicity. Ironically, when 20th Century Fox made a Garfield movie in 2004, they made Odie a real dog, thus shutting him out of it.
 
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BobO'Link

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Yeah, as a kid I preferred the Hardy Boys episodes, but the Nancy Drew episodes play better today. It helps that Pamela Sue Martin is a much better actor, as well as being more attractive. ;) The guest star-studded episode you reference above ("A Haunting We Will Go") is a good one.



My understanding is that Martin got disgusted with her Nancy Drew character getting the short end of the episode-count stick in S2, with the few episodes she appeared in being team-ups with the more popular (with the teeny-bopper female viewers) Hardy Boys, saw the writing on the wall, and decided to leave the series, to be replaced by another actress later on in the second season. There are still some good episodes in S2, though, so I'd recommend picking that one up at some point...but be forewarned, the show drops the Nancy Drew character in S3, as the Hardy Boys go to work for the FBI. For the first two seasons at least, The Hardy Boys Nancy Drew Mysteries is a fun, breezy show, an enjoyable if sometimes cheesy watch. And the title sequence and main theme are terrifically atmospheric:


I've looked at the synopsis for S2 episodes with Nancy Drew. Many (most?) are 2 parters and also "feature" the Hardy Boys. No thanks. There are only a handful of true Nancy Drew episodes and the last 2 of those are a different character in the role (which may not be bad - I've enjoyed all of the serials and movies I've seen with the character no matter who's in the role). I'd also read that about S3 so it's never been on my radar - mainly due to the leads - and even more so after watching S1.
 

Rustifer

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Episode Commentary
The Roy Rogers Show
"The Haunted Mine of Paradise Valley" (S1E18)

As a kid, Roy Rogers was a staple in our house. Roy Rogers retail paraphernalia was available at every five and dime, and you were a neighborhood freak if no ownership of a Roy Rogers gun, holster, hat, neckerchief or even a toy Nellybelle jeep. My one nagging bafflement was that the show, obviously a cowboy / Western drama, included some folks riding in cars instead of on horses. To me, this represented a vague sort of anachronism. As a modern day cowboy, I don't think Roy would have avoided some kind of institutional stay had he tried to operate in, say, Chicago.

Old miner Joe Denton (Hank Patterson) is shot clean off his horse by a couple of crooks hoping to swipe his gold mine map. No dice. Roy and Dale come across Joe as he's beginning to court the Grim Reaper, his dying words are that the map "is hidden at the bottom of the mine shaft". What shaft and where? The robbers then focus their attention on Joe's wife, arriving by stagecoach (who the heck was traveling in a coach in the 1950's?). She's held up but rescued by Roy before the thieves can wreak any havoc. They're promptly chased off by Roy and Pat Brady in his zero resale-value jeep. The scoundrels are found hiding out in an old worked-out mine, but Roy has no hard evidence against them. Apparently police stations didn't yet exist in this neck of the woods, so reliance upon an old timey sheriff residing in a jailhouse was the singular access point of law enforcement. It's up to Roy to dig up evidence against the crooks.

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Dale displays the reason for Roy's affection; Bullet gleefully pees on Roy's boots; Roy,Trigger and the American Way

Discussions ensue in the Eureka Cafe, handily run by Miss Evans--so you know that the chrome napkin dispensers are gleamingly clean and the ketchup bottles are kept full. It's obviously a destination diner for Guy Fieri. Roy and Pat decide to double back to the mine for clues. "Odder than a sugar barrel full of fish hooks" is the learned assessment of Pat Brady. While snooping around, Roy and Pat are accosted by the robbers and a gunfight ensues. Guns being fired in a mineshaft gives ample reason to the existence of ear doctors.

In a gross miscarriage of justice, the sheriff arrests Pat and Roy for trespassing. Sadly, Perry Mason is not in the neighborhood to defend the boys. Nonetheless, bail is provided so Roy and Pat--lesson not learned--foolishly return to the mine and are once again captured by the thieves. "This time you're gonna get it" they declare, echoing the statement made by bad guys for time immemorial. But not to worry as Dale Evans and Bullet the Wonder Dog come to their rescue. Unwittingly, this leaves the diner unattended so several cups of coffee go unpaid for.
 

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