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

morasp

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steve
You thought the bootleg was unwatchable? The original DVD sets were nothing to write home about either. Everything wrong with DVD presentations of other shot-on-film-edited-on-tape, only worse because they stripped the credits from every episode except that in which Ned Beatty guest-starred. At least they have since been remastered albeit only on DVD at the moment.
I mistakenly bought one of the bootleg sets and my local library had the original DVDs that I used to check out before I got the HD set. To make a long story short the Bootleg set makes the original DVDs look like Blu ray, I would gladly part with the Bootleg set at a loss just to get rid of them.
 
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MatthewA

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You think that's bad? Disney used up the remainder of their contract with Sullivan on a one-off US release of the first season under the name "Tales From Avonlea" using the same masters they used for VHS and laserdisc. Those were supposedly even worse than Sullivan's sets though they were more than adequate for analog composite NTSC monitors. Wasn't the show shot in 16mm originally? Among the knick-knacks and doo-dads they used to send with those shipments from Canada were 16mm film outtakes.
 
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morasp

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You think that's bad? Disney used up the remainder of their contract with Sullivan on a one-off US release of the first season under the name "Tales From Avonlea" using the same masters they used for VHS and laserdisc. Those were supposedly even worse than Sullivan's sets though they were more than adequate for analog composite NTSC monitors. Wasn't the show shot in 16mm originally? Among the knick-knacks and doo-dads they used to send with those shipments from Canada were 16mm film outtakes.
Definitely a head scratcher.
 

Mysto

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I've recently adopted a monthly viewing schedule that my wife and I loosely follow. Sort of like a personalized network it helps to insure that we get to watch all of these great shows on DVD. For example H5O Classic is the first Monday of each month and the new H50 is the third Monday. It adds a little fun to the process and my wife has even started asking me what's on tonight. Here are a few recent episodes that stood out and made me glad that I started this hobby.

Gomer Pyle U.S.M.C. Season 2 Episode 10 Gomer the Star Witness Air Date NOV 19, 1965
With all of the great comedies from the sixties it's easy to forgot how good this show was. I have to admit a strong nostalgic connection to this show but it's hard to imagine anyone not enjoying Gomer's infectious enthusiasm and penchant for doing the right thing which stand in stark contrast to the Jaded cynical outlook so often portrayed in today's shows. When SGT. Carter tries to wine and dine Gomer, the only witness to a car accident involving Carter, Gomer has to tell the SGT. that the courtroom is the one place that truth takes priority over friendship. That same scene also had one of the funniest moments of the episode when Gomer shows off his dancing style that rivals his cousin Goober's. The picture and sound were great and the episode length was over 25 minutes.
Trivia: When Gomer checks out of the diner we learn that back then a BLT sandwich cost $0.69.
Plot: While sitting in a restaurant, Gomer witnesses an automobile accident between Sergeant Carter and another driver. When in court Gomer takes the oath seriously to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

Star Trek Voyager Season 2 Episode 11 Maneuvers Air Date NOV 20, 1995
I enjoy all of the shows in the Star Trek franchise and watch an episode from one of them every Friday with the monthly schedule. As much as I hate to admit it, picture and sound quality make a difference in the viewing experience so it was nice to see that some recent equipment upgrades including a new Audio/Video Receiver improved the picture and sound of this great show. Seska returns in an alliance with the Kazon and uses her insights to help them steal transporter technology from the Voyager. Chakotay really takes it on the chin in this episode, first when Capt. Janeway reprimands him for ignoring the chain of command and in the final scene when Seska leaves a final message to him which is played for the whole Voyager crew.

Emergency Season 4 Episode 6 Surprise Air Date OCT 19 1974
One of many great dramas from the seventies I never missed an episode of Emergency growing up. We usually watch this show at the end of each month. I was able to get this set at a bargain price but having watched the restored episodes on MeTV and Netflix if they ever released it on Blu ray It would be hard to resist.
Plot: The firemen assist a woman thrown from her motorcycle onto a cactus patch. John & Roy (along with the Rampart doctors) plan a surprise birthday party for Dixie; when she breaks her ankle while shopping the party plans and the ER begin to fall apart. Dixie then tells an incompetent nurse, she has to work the entire shift, for the rest of week; when she's been ordered to get some foot therapy. Rescues include two men trapped on the side of a building with a 1/2 ton sign hanging near them, a man trapped in his new sauna after passing out, and the doctors find he's suffering from Addison's Disease, and an old woman whose apartment building explodes during a gas leak--with John inside, he then suffers a broken foot. While recovering, Dr. Brackett brought along his first surprise for John, the recouperated Dixie, who brought John a cake, while Dr. Early gave John a tape recorder, in honor of his (and Roy's) teacher's birthday.

Hazel Season 3 Episode 1 Potluck a la Mode Air Date SEP 19, 1963
Much like Gomer Pyle there were so many good shows in the sixties it's easy to forget just how good Hazel was. For my money there's nothing on today that even comes close. Hazel's boundless enthusiasm and ability to win over anyone make this show a treat to watch. Her ability to win people over is put to the test here as the important potential client Mr. B has invited over shows up on the wrong night and meets Hazel when the Baxter's are dining out exactly the situation Mr. B has been trying to avoid. The meeting starts out poorly but it's great fun watching Hazel slowly work her charm on the stuffy house guests.

JAG Season 2 Episode 12 The Guardian Air Date MAR 28, 1997
Love this show and watch it every third Saturday of the month. With remakes of shows like H50, MacGyver, S.W.A.T., Magnum P.I., and The Equalizer coming this fall on CBS I wouldn't mind seeing a new version of JAG. They had a teaser on NCIS LA when Harm and Mac reprised their characters in the final two episodes of season ten so maybe there's a chance. This episode was reminiscent of Rambo with the wayward Navy SEAL played perfectly by Bruce Weitz (Mick from Hill St. Blues). This episode has more courtroom scenes than usual and the final scene when the SEAL finally talks to his estranged son who doesn't know that he's his father is priceless and very moving.

Avonlea Season 2 Episode 9 All That Glitters Air Date JUN 17, 1991
I watch this show on the first Sunday of each month. In a continuation of the previous episode Gus Pike has moved into the lighthouse with Ezekial Crane played by Michael York. When Sarah finds a Gold Doubloon everyone in Avonlea gets gold fever including the preacher and it even comes between the King family. Hetty King is furiously digging up her backyard late in the night and the next day looks like she hasn't bathed or combed her hair in a week. An old acquaintance of captain Crane's shows up and they battle until the end to see who will find the gold which turns into a pretty clever plot twist at the end. My favorite scene is when Hetty King (Jackie Burroughs), Janet King (Lally Cadeau), and Rachel Lynde (Patricia Hamilton) are sitting in the store enjoying tea and discussing whatever pops in their heads. It takes good acting to make a scene like that work and they almost make you feel like you're right there with them. A word of caution, if you're thinking about picking this set up there is a bootleg copy out there that is so bad it's unwatchable. You're better off registering at Sullivan entertainment and waiting for a sale.

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I gave you a thumbs up on the basis that I get a 69 cent BLT.
 

Rustifer

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My Three Sons
1.7 “Lady Engineer”
1.8 “Chip’s Harvest”
More good stuff from this Peter Tewksbury-guided first season, though the terrible replacement music by Mark Heyes threatened at times to squelch my enjoyment, especially in “Lady Engineer” (seriously, my 7-year-old son, randomly punching keys on a Casio, would come up with better sounding stuff). Anyway, the sharpness of writing and acting shine through regardless. Steve (the unflappable Fred MacMurray, who seems more present in these early episodes than in later years) becomes attracted to a visiting rocket scientist (Dorothy Green) seemingly impervious to his romantic overtures. A neat ending here, as it reveals that maybe Steve wasn’t entirely barking up the wrong tree, after all.
Glad to see you basking in My Three Sons episodes, Jeff! One of my favorite sitcoms of the era--always well written and avoids the stereotypical precocious kid characters in favor of more realistic behavior of the era. Even after the shift from Bub to Uncle Charlie, the show never missed a beat.
 
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BobO'Link

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I gave you a thumbs up on the basis that I get a 69 cent BLT.
Shouldn't be too difficult... according to the US Inflation Calculator that 1965 $.69 BLT would be around $5.62 today. Or just make it yourself. Based on current bacon, lettuce, tomato, and bread prices around here it'd set you back roughly $.69 for one. ;)
 
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Rustifer

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Episode Commentary
My Three Sons
"Mother Bub" (S3E15)

Robbie (Don Grady), while studying, asks Bub (William Frawley), "Do you know what dangling participles are?" Bub, trying to clean up around Robbie replies "Yeah, and I wish you'd keep them off the couch". Once again, Bub exhibits his gruffer-than-thou demeanor which can only be achieved by men who wear their pants up around their nipples.

Thus begins another day in the Douglas household. Chip (Stanley Livingston) and buddy Sudsy (Ricky Allen) are at the toy store admiring a nifty toy sports car. Sudsy, in an offhand remark, tells Chip he's lucky for not having a mom to tell his he can't buy it. Chip turns to his very distracted and busy father, Steve (Fred MacMurray) for permission. To sweeten his position, Chip feigns illness as advised by Sudsy because dads can be such "pansies". Chip kinda blows his illness act by requesting a large bowl of peach pecan ice cream, not necessarily the cure of choice for a stomach ache. Admitting it was all Sudsy's idea due to Chip's lack of a mom, sympathetic Steve shows Chip old photos of Bub being a part in every "mom" aspect of Chip's growing up. It's a very touching moment, although I don't think Chip ever got his bowl of ice cream.

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Chip dials his first "900" number; Sudsy plots; Robbie shares phone numbers of underage girls with Steve; Bub as resident domestic goddess

Adding insult to injury, it looks like Steve is going to miss Chip's birthday due to a pressing business trip. Feeling guilty, Steve buys the toy car for Chip. This causes Bub to flip out, accusing Steve of being conned by Chip and demand that the car be sent back. Sometimes I think Bub forgets who's paying for his room and board. Much to everyone's surprise, Chip readily agrees to having the toy car sent back, recognizing and appreciating Bub's "mothering" attitude.

A sweet and poignant episode that stands heads above some of the sillier sitcoms of the era (Dennis the Menace come to mind).
 
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ScottRE

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With the release of the TV series scores (mine is in transit as I write this), I am going back over the series bit by bit. This seems like as good a place as any to discuss the episodes in detail. Since we love that stuff

Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea
Episode 1: Eleven Days to Zero


Written and Directed by Irwin Allen

Episode Summary:

Admiral Nelson has eleven days to avert global disaster. Two massive seismic disturbances in the North Pole will cause gigantic tidal waves and devastate half the world. Nelson's plan is to set off a nuclear explosion exactly when the second quake begins, "breaking the backs of the tide waves before they form." However, an organization bent on world domination works to prevent Seaview from accomplishing her mission. It's a race against time to prevent the largest disaster in the history of the world.


Guest Cast:
Eddie Albert: Fred Wilson
Malone: Mark Slade
Dr. Gamma: Theodore Marcuse (additional footage: Werner Klemperer - uncredited)
The Chairman: Booth Colman
Air Force General: Hal Torey
Army General: Barney Biro
Sonar: Christopher Connelly (uncredited)


Observations:

A strong if not particularly profound pilot for the series. It is exactly what Irwin Allen wanted; fast paced, and action-packed with drama, conflict, and no wasted time. Character conflicts are introduced and resolved with little soul searching. The story is much like the 1961 film; a worldwide catastrophe threatens to kill millions. Nelson races to get to a specific area in order to detonate a nuclear explosion and stop the calamity. Along the way, they are pursued by an enemy sub, and a diving party is attacked by a giant octopus. Both of these sequences were taken from the film. The characters are defined by the roles they play in the plot, leaving the actors little to work with, however Richard Basehart gives Nelson the right amount of authority and gravitas to carry the hour, as well as the four years the series was on the air.

David Hedison has a tendency to shout his lines, a trait he would abandon with the coming of the series proper. His natural warmth radiates, and the easy chemistry between Basehart and Hedison is immediately apparent. Eddie Albert is grating as Fred Wilson, but warms up toward the end. This would be his only voyage on the Seaview.

While filmed in color, a black and white print was made airing and the opening credits were edited to conform to the format of the series. There are a number of differences between the aired and unaired versions of the pilot. The opening and closing theme music is completely different, but still composed by Paul Sawtell (Sid Cutner is credited with orchestrations). The unaired episode is three minutes shorter, omitting the scenes of Captain Crane testing security and all related conversation. These scenes were in the original shooting script and their omission removes some of Kowalski's motivation for distrusting Crane. Also, by taking them out, there is no answer to Fred Wilson's comment regarding Crane's lack of imagination. Finally, the conversation in the observation nose provides Nelson and Crane with a longer introductory scene, which adds dimension and warmth to the characters.

Other scenes were reshot, mainly involving Dr. Gamma and his melodramatic gestures, including a moment where he sweeps a large model of the Seaview off his conference table. When it came time to re-film these sequences, Theodore Marcuse was not called back or was unavailable and Werner Klemperer stepped in. Their physical builds and vocal qualities are quite different, with the only real similarity being their lack of hair. Ironically, the one shot of Dr. Gamma's face, partially obscured by shadow, is of Klemperer. His work was left uncredited.

The remaining alterations consist of minor music changes, tighter editing, one line of dialog from Chip and the removal of the word "evil" from the descriptions of Gamma's organization.

Other Observations:

Irwin Allen would direct and have a hand in writing all of his pilot episodes. The only regular episode directed by him, on any series, was The Village of Guilt, which was filmed next but aired later.

Dick Tufeld's narration at the start of the episode is the only use of this device in the series. Tufeld is best known for providing the voice of the Lost in Space robot, as well as narration for that series and The Time Tunnel. Del Monroe is credited as Delbert for the only time in the series. John Zaremba would go on to play Dr. Raymond Swain on The Time Tunnel, and would appear again on Voyage in the second season episode Time Bomb. Booth Colman reappears as The Chairman in The Mist of Silence, while Hal Torey played another General in the Lost in Space series premiere The Reluctant Stowaway. The man controlling Dr. Gamma's drone plane is Paul Zastupnevich, Irwin Allen's assistant and costume designer. He would play enemy technicians or provide background voices, primarily in the first season. Ray Didsbury can be seen as one of the officers in the observation nose when Crane reports to Nelson. He was Basehart's stand-in who was also used as a background crewman for a number of episodes, and occasionally had lines of dialog.

The opening scene is notable for the level of violence portrayed. Two motorcycle riders are killed, Captain Phillips is shot in the head, and two men are burned alive in the car crash. However, the sequence is more graphic in the shooting script; bullets smashed through the roof, Phillip's head wound streamed blood, and Nelson's face was itself blood-smeared. While the series never shied away from a high body count, it was rarely portrayed this realistically. The motorcade sequence would be used in its entirety in the second season episode The X-Factor.

Nelson wore four stars on his collar in the 1961 film, while in the series he has three. He would gain a fourth star in The Last Battle. No explanation for these changes was given.

The envelope containing the top secret orders reads "Commander Lee B. Crane U.S.S. Seaview." While he would occasionally be addressed by his rank, he is most often referred to as "captain" or "skipper," befitting his position as master of the boat. We never learn what Crane's middle initial stands for. Additionally, in the film, the sub's prefix was USOS, while the series, for the most part, used SSRN (later mistakenly called SSNR by Sparks and Nelson).

Crane served with Nelson on the Nautilus, and was the Intercollegiate Middleweight Boxing Champion. Fred Wilson had some "prior dealings" with Crane which soured him on Crane's command ability, However these incidents were never explained.

Nelson's cabin bears no resemblance to those seen in future episodes. The walls are white with a built in a bookcase and the desk is in the center of the small room. Afterward, the cabins would have wood grain paneling and become more spacious overall, while the position of the desk would change arbitrarily. Nelson also has a fire extinguisher and a large model of the Seaview. The same model sits on Dr. Gamma's conference table.

Most of the footage of the Seaview is from the 1961 film, as well as scenes of the crew wearing colored badges (such as the man writing on the glass map, and the men in the mess). Shots of the sub on the frozen surface, however, were newly created, along with the drone plane used in the latter half of the episode.

Nelson calls Crane "lad" several times in this episode. The intended father/son relationship gave way to one of close brotherly friendship.

Discrepancies:

The narration tells us the Seaview's top secret submarine base is located "five hundred feet beneath the famed Nelson Institute of Marine Research." However, when Nelson's car leaves the dock, they exit directly onto street level. At no point did they ascend from hundreds of feet below.

The painter applying the X on roof of Nelson's car should have been easily noticed by the rear guard in the motorcade. Further, the X changes size during the sequence, starting smaller and growing until reaching each corner of the roof.

The sequence with the giant octopus is taken from the film. Close up shots of Crane reveal the face of "movie Crane" Robert Sterling.

In the aired pilot, Klemperer as Dr. Gamma gives the order to have their sub fire on Seaview. He is wearing a blue suit. Seconds later, the next shot in the same scene is of Theo Marcuse wearing in a red smoking jacket.

During the submarine battle, the actors can been seeing "falling up" in a few shots.

The bomb attached to the snow cat is covered with frost after only being outside for a short time.

Whichever version you prefer, Eleven Days To Zero is a good pilot, and sold the series in grand style. However the best of the series was yet to come.

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Jeff Flugel

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With the release of the TV series scores (mine is in transit as I write this), I am going back over the series bit by bit. This seems like as good a place as any to discuss the episodes in detail. Since we love that stuff

Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea
Episode 1: Eleven Days to Zero
Excellent detail and analysis, Scott!
 

morasp

Second Unit
Joined
Oct 14, 2016
Messages
407
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steve
Episode Commentary
My Three Sons
"Mother Bub" (S3E15)

Robbie (Don Grady), while studying, asks Bub (William Frawley), "Do you know what dangling participles are?" Bub, trying to clean up around Robbie replies "Yeah, and I wish you'd keep them off the couch". Once again, Bub exhibits his gruffer-than-thou demeanor which can only be achieved by men who wear their pants up around their nipples.

Thus begins another day in the Douglas household. Chip (Stanley Livingston) and buddy Sudsy (Ricky Allen) are at the toy store admiring a nifty toy sports car. Sudsy, in an offhand remark, tells Chip he's luck for not having a mom to tell his he can't buy it. Chip turns to his very distracted and busy father, Steve (Fred MacMurray) for permission. To sweeten his position, Chip feigns illness as advised by Sudsy because dads can be such "pansies". Chip kinda blows his illness act by requesting a large bowl of peach pecan ice cream, not necessarily the cure of choice for a stomach ache. Admitting it was all Sudsy's idea due to Chip's lack of a mom, sympathetic Steve shows Chip old photos of Bub being a part in every "mom" aspect of Chip's growing up. It's a very touching moment, although I don't think Chip ever got his bowl of ice cream.

View attachment 74649 View attachment 74650 View attachment 74651 View attachment 74652
Chip dials his first "900" number; Sudsy plots; Robbie shares phone numbers of underage girls with Steve; Bub as resident domestic goddess

Adding insult to injury, it looks like Steve is going to miss Chip's birthday due to a pressing business trip. Feeling guilty, Steve buys the toy car for Chip. This causes Bub to flip out, accusing Steve of being conned by Chip and demand that the car be sent back. Sometimes I think Bub forgets who's paying for his room and board. Much to everyone's surprise, Chip readily agrees to having the toy car sent back, recognizing and appreciating Bub's "mothering" attitude.

A sweet and poignant episode that stands heads above some of the sillier sitcoms of the era (Dennis the Menace come to mind).
I'm a big fan of My Three Sons so thanks for that well written commentary.
 

JohnHopper

Screenwriter
Joined
Oct 31, 2010
Messages
1,666
Real Name
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With the release of the TV series scores (mine is in transit as I write this), I am going back over the series bit by bit. This seems like as good a place as any to discuss the episodes in detail. Since we love that stuff

Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea
Episode 1: Eleven Days to Zero


Written and Directed by Irwin Allen

Episode Summary:

Admiral Nelson has eleven days to avert global disaster. Two massive seismic disturbances in the North Pole will cause gigantic tidal waves and devastate half the world. Nelson's plan is to set off a nuclear explosion exactly when the second quake begins, "breaking the backs of the tide waves before they form." However, an organization bent on world domination works to prevent Seaview from accomplishing her mission. It's a race against time to prevent the largest disaster in the history of the world.


Guest Cast:
Eddie Albert: Fred Wilson
Malone: Mark Slade
Dr. Gamma: Theodore Marcuse (additional footage: Werner Klemperer - uncredited)
The Chairman: Booth Colman
Air Force General: Hal Torey
Army General: Barney Biro
Sonar: Christopher Connelly (uncredited)


Observations:

A strong if not particularly profound pilot for the series. It is exactly what Irwin Allen wanted; fast paced, and action-packed with drama, conflict, and no wasted time. Character conflicts are introduced and resolved with little soul searching. The story is much like the 1961 film; a worldwide catastrophe threatens to kill millions. Nelson races to get to a specific area in order to detonate a nuclear explosion and stop the calamity. Along the way, they are pursued by an enemy sub, and a diving party is attacked by a giant octopus. Both of these sequences were taken from the film. The characters are defined by the roles they play in the plot, leaving the actors little to work with, however Richard Basehart gives Nelson the right amount of authority and gravitas to carry the hour, as well as the four years the series was on the air.

David Hedison has a tendency to shout his lines, a trait he would abandon with the coming of the series proper. His natural warmth radiates, and the easy chemistry between Basehart and Hedison is immediately apparent. Eddie Albert is grating as Fred Wilson, but warms up toward the end. This would be his only voyage on the Seaview.

While filmed in color, a black and white print was made airing and the opening credits were edited to conform to the format of the series. There are a number of differences between the aired and unaired versions of the pilot. The opening and closing theme music is completely different, but still composed by Paul Sawtell (Sid Cutner is credited with orchestrations). The unaired episode is three minutes shorter, omitting the scenes of Captain Crane testing security and all related conversation. These scenes were in the original shooting script and their omission removes some of Kowalski's motivation for distrusting Crane. Also, by taking them out, there is no answer to Fred Wilson's comment regarding Crane's lack of imagination. Finally, the conversation in the observation nose provides Nelson and Crane with a longer introductory scene, which adds dimension and warmth to the characters.

Other scenes were reshot, mainly involving Dr. Gamma and his melodramatic gestures, including a moment where he sweeps a large model of the Seaview off his conference table. When it came time to re-film these sequences, Theodore Marcuse was not called back or was unavailable and Werner Klemperer stepped in. Their physical builds and vocal qualities are quite different, with the only real similarity being their lack of hair. Ironically, the one shot of Dr. Gamma's face, partially obscured by shadow, is of Klemperer. His work was left uncredited.

The remaining alterations consist of minor music changes, tighter editing, one line of dialog from Chip and the removal of the word "evil" from the descriptions of Gamma's organization.

Other Observations:

Irwin Allen would direct and have a hand in writing all of his pilot episodes. The only regular episode directed by him, on any series, was The Village of Guilt, which was filmed next but aired later.

Dick Tufeld's narration at the start of the episode is the only use of this device in the series. Tufeld is best known for providing the voice of the Lost in Space robot, as well as narration for that series and The Time Tunnel. Del Monroe is credited as Delbert for the only time in the series. John Zaremba would go on to play Dr. Raymond Swain on The Time Tunnel, and would appear again on Voyage in the second season episode Time Bomb. Booth Colman reappears as The Chairman in The Mist of Silence, while Hal Torey played another General in the Lost in Space series premiere The Reluctant Stowaway. The man controlling Dr. Gamma's drone plane is Paul Zastupnevich, Irwin Allen's assistant and costume designer. He would play enemy technicians or provide background voices, primarily in the first season. Ray Didsbury can be seen as one of the officers in the observation nose when Crane reports to Nelson. He was Basehart's stand-in who was also used as a background crewman for a number of episodes, and occasionally had lines of dialog.

The opening scene is notable for the level of violence portrayed. Two motorcycle riders are killed, Captain Phillips is shot in the head, and two men are burned alive in the car crash. However, the sequence is more graphic in the shooting script; bullets smashed through the roof, Phillip's head wound streamed blood, and Nelson's face was itself blood-smeared. While the series never shied away from a high body count, it was rarely portrayed this realistically. The motorcade sequence would be used in its entirety in the second season episode The X-Factor.

Nelson wore four stars on his collar in the 1961 film, while in the series he has three. He would gain a fourth star in The Last Battle. No explanation for these changes was given.

The envelope containing the top secret orders reads "Commander Lee B. Crane U.S.S. Seaview." While he would occasionally be addressed by his rank, he is most often referred to as "captain" or "skipper," befitting his position as master of the boat. We never learn what Crane's middle initial stands for. Additionally, in the film, the sub's prefix was USOS, while the series, for the most part, used SSRN (later mistakenly called SSNR by Sparks and Nelson).

Crane served with Nelson on the Nautilus, and was the Intercollegiate Middleweight Boxing Champion. Fred Wilson had some "prior dealings" with Crane which soured him on Crane's command ability, However these incidents were never explained.

Nelson's cabin bears no resemblance to those seen in future episodes. The walls are white with a built in a bookcase and the desk is in the center of the small room. Afterward, the cabins would have wood grain paneling and become more spacious overall, while the position of the desk would change arbitrarily. Nelson also has a fire extinguisher and a large model of the Seaview. The same model sits on Dr. Gamma's conference table.

Most of the footage of the Seaview is from the 1961 film, as well as scenes of the crew wearing colored badges (such as the man writing on the glass map, and the men in the mess). Shots of the sub on the frozen surface, however, were newly created, along with the drone plane used in the latter half of the episode.

Nelson calls Crane "lad" several times in this episode. The intended father/son relationship gave way to one of close brotherly friendship.

Discrepancies:

The narration tells us the Seaview's top secret submarine base is located "five hundred feet beneath the famed Nelson Institute of Marine Research." However, when Nelson's car leaves the dock, they exit directly onto street level. At no point did they ascend from hundreds of feet below.

The painter applying the X on roof of Nelson's car should have been easily noticed by the rear guard in the motorcade. Further, the X changes size during the sequence, starting smaller and growing until reaching each corner of the roof.

The sequence with the giant octopus is taken from the film. Close up shots of Crane reveal the face of "movie Crane" Robert Sterling.

In the aired pilot, Klemperer as Dr. Gamma gives the order to have their sub fire on Seaview. He is wearing a blue suit. Seconds later, the next shot in the same scene is of Theo Marcuse wearing in a red smoking jacket.

During the submarine battle, the actors can been seeing "falling up" in a few shots.

The bomb attached to the snow cat is covered with frost after only being outside for a short time.

Whichever version you prefer, Eleven Days To Zero is a good pilot, and sold the series in grand style. However the best of the series was yet to come.

View attachment 74662 View attachment 74658 View attachment 74660 View attachment 74661 View attachment 74663

Your overview is good but I was never sold to this pilot which looked like a television version of the feature film.
I was hooked when they introduced the Cold War and saboteur plots only.
It's “The Fear-Makers” that started my interest.
 

ScottRE

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Your overview is good but I was never sold to this pilot which looked like a television version of the feature film.
I was hooked when they introduced the Cold War and saboteur plots only.
It's “The Fear-Makers” that started my interest.
Oh yeah, The Fear-Makers, The Sky is Falling and The Mist of Silence got me good. That was when I went from "say, this is pretty good" to "holy crap, this is from the creator of Lost in Space??!!"
 

JohnHopper

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Your overview is good but I was never sold to this pilot which looked like a television version of the feature film.
I was hooked when they introduced the Cold War and saboteur plots only.
It's “The Fear-Makers” that started my interest.

What I like about the strong season 1 episodes is the human conflicts, starting with “The Fear-Makers”.​
The pilot is too generic in terms of characters.​
 

ScottRE

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Of all of Irwin's four 60's SF series, my choice for favorite pilot goest to The Time Tunnel, even if Voyage is my favorite series. There was a huge amount of personality and you really cared about the people involved.Voyage was a TV rewrite of the film in set pieces if not plot. Both LIS pilots were very busy and epic, but not particularly involving on a character level (te unaired was nothin gbut set-pieces and the network premiere was a breathless set up). Land of the Giants was creepy and very well mounted, but everyone was an archetype and it was almost a note-for-note update of Lost in Space at that point. The Time Tunnel may not have gone into depth as far as the leads, but overall the human drama which Irwin plumbed for his disaster films (in particular his first two) were evident in this one.
 

MatthewA

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A sweet and poignant episode that stands heads above some of the sillier sitcoms of the era (Dennis the Menace come to mind).
I always liked Dennis the Menace because it was one of the least moralistic 1950s/1960s sitcoms, almost like the evil twin of Leave it to Beaver. Ending after four seasons was a blessing in disguise because I don't think seeing him as a teenager, especially without Mr. Wilson still around, would have worked. I also happen to live near where the real Dennis Ketcham who inspired the original comic strip grew up.
 

Susan Nunes_329977

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Still going through the four westerns I wrote about earlier. I am getting fairly close to the end of watching The Texan. One of the things I wanted to be on the lookout for was an appearance by star (and series co-producer) Rory Calhoun's then-wife, Lita Baron, who appeared in a couple of episodes. I almost missed her but for finally looking at the closing credits. She made a couple or so appearances on the show as I would guess a saloon keeper in a tent which was part of a temporary camp while Calhoun and the rest of the guys were building railroad tracks. I was shocked at how she looked because she definitely looked she stepped out of the 1950s rather than the 1870s or 1880s. The hairstyle, the makeup, the earrings didn't fit the era. The only thing missing was a wristwatch.

Lita Baron was married to Rory Calhoun from 1948 to 1970, and they had a bit of a bitter divorce. They had three daughters from that relationship. She died in 2015 at the age of 91. She was born Isabel Castro in Spain, but she and her family moved to Michigan, of all places, when she was five and where she went to school. She graduated from River Rouge High School, class of 1942. Her yearbooks have been downloaded to Classmates, so that is how I found her.

I love looking at various actors' backgrounds on these shows, and Lita Baron was no exception.
 

JohnHopper

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Of all of Irwin's four 60's SF series, my choice for favorite pilot goest to The Time Tunnel, even if Voyage is my favorite series. There was a huge amount of personality and you really cared about the people involved.Voyage was a TV rewrite of the film in set pieces if not plot. Both LIS pilots were very busy and epic, but not particularly involving on a character level (te unaired was nothin gbut set-pieces and the network premiere was a breathless set up). Land of the Giants was creepy and very well mounted, but everyone was an archetype and it was almost a note-for-note update of Lost in Space at that point. The Time Tunnel may not have gone into depth as far as the leads, but overall the human drama which Irwin plumbed for his disaster films (in particular his first two) were evident in this one.

I agree with you concerning the fancy pilot of The Time Tunnel that is really engaging.​
The pilot for Voyage suffers from being a mix bag of the feature film combined with the James Bond tapestry:​
Dr. Gamma is the equivalent of Bloefeld from the Spectre. In a way, it foreshadows Ice Station Zebra.​
Oddly enough, the introduction part of that Voyage pilot will be recycled in the pilot of UFO.​
From Nelson to Straker, the introduction ends up with an exploding car.​
 

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Between watching various documentaries and WWI movies I've been binging Sanford and Son. I have 2 episodes left.

I've really enjoyed revisiting this series and found it quite funny at times.

The thing that hit me most was when Redd Foxx left the series, in a salary dispute, about 10 episodes into S3. While the series actually did better that season in the ratings I found it rather lacking. They filled Foxx's roll with that of "Grady" who kind of works but then not. When Foxx returned to the series, several episodes into S4, they began the practice of audience applause the first time any of the principal cast members came on stage. Like during its original airings, I found it intrusive, annoying, and frequently overly long, although not as long or rambunctious (cat calls, whistling, etc.) as I recall. I've also noticed that Demond Wilson (Lamont) looks at/towards the camera quite frequently during the last couple of seasons. It often appears he's looking at queue cards. Many later episodes have a joke or two that is very topical so if you don't know about people or current events of those years they'll fall flat (and weren't necessarily that good anyway).

An especially poor episode was the 2 part "The Hawaiian Connection" in which a jewel theft occurred in Hawaii. The crooks are trying to figure out how to get the jewels off the island as "Hawaii 5-0" is on high alert (and they played the H50 theme *every time* one of them was on the screen which was often). One of the perps (Greg Morris from Mission Impossible) notices there's a Junk Men convention, recalls his HS buddy Lamont, so they send tickets to Fred and Lamont to come to the conference and do a speech (they couldn't afford to go and were pining about that). When his character snuck into the Sanford's room to hide the diamonds they used the Mission Impossible theme. Yeah... When they got to Hawaii it became the same old cliche' of a "vacation in Hawaii" episode of so many comedy shows. It featured a really horrible and overlong car chase (the footage was obviously sped up to make it appear to be a high speed chase) with gratuitous stops at "famous" venues (we see Don Ho in a horribly scripted appearance). I mention all of that to say the sole redeeming feature of those episodes was the appearance of Barbara Rhoades in mostly skimpy swim suite type costumes.
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Another episode I didn't care for was the predictable "A Christmas Carol" episode where Dickens was rewritten to be a half hour episode no different than any of the dozens of other times this trope has been hauled out to fill time. I put these episodes in the "A very special episode" group of ones I'll always skip no matter what show does them.

I really don't have an episode that stood out as exceptional. Most were good to very good with the normal sub-par ones filling in gaps.

Then... some really odd continuity issues that I'm sure I never noticed during the original airings. Julio, the Puerto Rican, who moved in next door is suddenly gone with no explanation. The Sanford's purchase the property and create "Sanford Arms" which receives mostly lip service. In S5 everyone does some really nice things for Fred's 40th business anniversary by having the furniture reupholstered or refinished with Rollo giving the truck a sweet paint job and engine upgrade. That was all gone by the next episode with the furniture and truck looking just like they have for all other episodes. And the paint of the truck doesn't match the open/close paint. It's Red on the open/close but a light pink in the show.

The only other thing that really annoyed me is the overall episode quality fell after Foxx returned from his salary dispute with lots of cliche' type episodes and partial repeats of prior ones (major plot lines became minor or similar things happened). Oh... and the white cop, no matter who played the role, was amazingly stupid about slang or anything outside stereotypical 50s white America, especially after the contract dispute ended. Significantly dumb down Barney Fife or Gomer Pyle and you'll be close to how dense that character was written. Before that he would talk in very technical cop/legal terms and the black cop would translate. That was occasionally humorous as the white cop would give a drawn out explanation and they'd look at the black cop who'd say "He was busted" or other similar, normal, ways of describing the situation.

I was surprised to see Nancy Kulp (Miss Jane from The Beverly Hillbillies) in several episodes. I don't recall her being in the series at all. I'm guessing her character didn't really work or she didn't like the show as she was only in 5 episodes.

Frank Nelson, aka "the yessss guy" was also in several S5 episodes - different character in each and always with his trademark "Yessss" (something I've always found a bit grating):
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So... it might sound like I didn't like revisiting the series. That's not it at all - just pointing out the things I found annoying. I really did enjoy watching it again - more than I expected (it *is* a Norman Lear "comedy" after all - and I'm on record as not much caring for his style of comedy). I'm going to take a short break with a completely different type series and then jump into Steptoe and Son to see how the two series compare.
 

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ScottRE

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OMG I caught the Hawaii episode on TV a couple of years ago. Abysmal. I didn't realize it was that late in the run. Did Foxx's demands to return include firing the writing staff and replacing them with his own people? That's the only thing I can think of as to why the show would suddenly change upon his return.
 

BobO'Link

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It never entered my head to check if the writing staff changed after Foxx's return. If so, that certainly explains many of the little changes in things. So... I had to look it up. Nope... same 2 writers for most of the series: Ray Galtin and Alan Simpson received writing credits for all 135 episodes. No one else even came close with a couple of dozen receiving 1 credit each. Even in S5, the most with 1 episode writing credits, there were only 10 or so credited to others (I'm sure Galtin and Simpson served as either editors on or rewrote even those since they received a credit on all episodes).

For the most part, Foxx is pretty good. I never did care much for Demond Wilson but his character didn't feel as poorly done with this viewing as I'd remembered. His thing was too many looks towards the cameras and some stumbling in his delivery in the last few seasons - things that stuck out like a sore thumb with this viewing. I found I prefer "Bubba" to "Grady" when it comes to supporting characters. Unfortunately, Bubba was only in the 5th season. The penultimate episode featured BB King and was quite fun. BB knew Esther from St. Louis and had lost her to Uncle Woody, much to Fred's shock and surprise! Best part of the episode were a few performances by BB which were quite good (sometimes these musical guest things aren't so hot).
 

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