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

mark-edk

Second Unit
Joined
Jun 28, 2002
Messages
362
I don't think a 5th season episode is a good way to dip into 'That Girl'. It's a season Marlo Thomas didn't want to do, with a change in the storyline (the proposal and impending wedding) that she didn't want to do either. The theme somehow sprouted lyrics and no longer synced with the visuals. However...

I'm a tough customer when it comes to comedies. I liked MTM but but rarely chuckled when watching it, leg alone laugh. Very few sitcoms will actually get a laugh out of me; exceptional sitcoms will elicit chuckles however. That Girl is one of the few that does. It's go-to viewing when I need cheering up. Even the presentation of show's title card is clever and makes me smile. I don't hold it against the show that the leads weren't fornicating. Half a century later and I'll wager there are few 'family shows' with unmarried leads going at it on network tv today. I haven't watched enough current sitcoms to know...maybe there are some, but then, would they really be 'family shows'? Just the other day I watched That Girl's season two premiere with Ethel Merman. A bright, funny show, with the great Lew Parker stealing scenes as Marlo's Dad. Very few episodes let me down, although the last season is not at the same level IMHO.

Humor is subjective. My cousin thought 'Clifford' was a hilarious off-beat movie. I thought it was mind-boggling and unfunny. Everyone reacts differently to comedy and that's why there's all sort of shows for all sorts of people. That Girl is one of those shows for me.

PS: Also high on my very short list of sitcoms are Gidget, Bosom Buddies, Danny Thomas, Abbott and Costello (season 1), and in first place, Mr and Mrs Ozzie Nelson. Probably a few more that slipped my mind but that would be about it,
 

Jeff Flugel

Effects Supervisor
Premium
Joined
Jan 7, 1999
Messages
2,066
Location
Osaka, Japan
Real Name
Jeff Flugel
Been on a bit of a Frankie Howerd kick lately...

Up Pompeii
1.3 "The Senator and the Asp"
2.3 "Jamus Bondus"
I'm guessing some members here might recall this series being run on various PBS stations around the U.S. during the '70s and '80s (and perhaps on CBC in Canada; Randall will have to chime in with that info). I think it's a very funny show, basically a broad farce modeled on A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (Howerd had starred in the London stage version from 1963-1965). The series is loaded with busty starlets, sexual innuendo, bad puns and constant "fourth wall" breaking asides to the audience from Howerd, who plays Lurcio, a slave in the household of a decrepit Roman senator, Ludicrous Sextus; his younger, adulterous wife, Ammonia; their daughter, Erotica; and naive son, Nausius. In spite of all the ribald "wink wink, nudge nudge, know what I mean?" humor, the series is free of any bad language and it's all in good fun, though very much a product of its time (1969-1970) - all to the good, as far as I'm concerned. And Howerd and company really knew how to cast a steady stream of pneumatic actresses who could fill out a toga...

This is readily apparent in "The Senator and the Asp," which sees the show in full knockabout farce mode and features the drop dead gorgeous Valerie Leon (familiar to ITC, Carry On...,Hammer horror and James Bond fans), her ample charms nearly bursting out of her skimpy costume. The Amazoninan, 5'11" Ms. Leon was married to one of the series' producers, Michael Mills, and she's a good sport as Frankie makes numerous lewd references to her assets. Very funny stuff.



The third episode of the second (and last) season, "James Bondus," is, as the title implies, a goofy 007 parody with George Baker (who had just co-starred as Sir Hilary Bray in On Her Majesty's Secret Service the year before) as an arrogant master spy sent from Rome to recover the missing plans for a new secret weapon (which happens to be a catapult that can hurl coconuts 25 feet). Where there's a James Bond type, a femme fatale must soon follow...here personified by the (of course, quite buxom) Patricia Haines, as Pussus Galoria.



It's all very silly, as you can tell, but also frequently screamingly funny, if you like this sort of humor (which I do). Howerd and his camp "Oooh! Errrr!" reactions and delivery crack me up no end, and he fires off more than his share of witty lines to balance out the broader stuff. All 14 episodes, including the pilot, are available on YouTube, and are highly recommended.

There was also an Up Pompeii! film in 1971, as well as a few sequel TV movies, oddly enough, both with the same title: Further Up Pompeii (1975 and 1991, respectively). Subsequent series by Howerd done in a similar fashion include Whoops Baghdad! (1973) and The Howerd Confessions (1976). I haven't seen Baghdad (not readily available, for obvious reasons), but I can heartily recommend The Howerd Confessions, which once again showcases Howerd's fine taste in female co-stars, including a startling run of '60s and '70s sex symbols such as Caroline Munro, Madeline Smith and Linda Thorson. Speaking of - as a treat for any Tara King The Avengers fans out there - here's a rather eye-popping scene featuring Ms. Thorson as an amorous housewife. Be sure to watch at least the first 30 seconds (right before Howerd gasps: "Can you see what I think I can see?")...you'll thank me later.

 
Last edited:

Doug Wallen

Lead Actor
Supporter
Joined
Oct 21, 2001
Messages
9,468
Location
Macon, Ga.
Real Name
Doug
Went back to the classic "camp" series and was quite surprised. I am starting the 2nd disc of the third season and at least in these episodes, Dr. Smith is back to being a serious threat to the Robinson family (one notable exception, to be discussed below). Nice to see the more sinister side to Dr. Smith return.

Lost In Space - The Complete Series - Widescreen
Space Destructors (3.6) Tommy Farrell. Smith finds a machine that manufactures androids. Smith learns to make them in his likeness and is becoming power mad. His desire is to rule the galaxy. Due to a miscalculation, Will goes through the process and comes out looking exactly like Smith. The makeup work is amazing on Bill Mumy. Episode echoes "I, Mudd". Good start on this disc.

The Haunted Lighthouse (3.7) Woodrow Parfrey, Lou Wagner. Written by Jackson Gillis. I was expecting a lot since he was also a writer on Perry Mason. Casting Parfrey helps - great character actor. This one again exhoes a Trek episode to me, "Charlie X". Episode a bit predictable but still Smith is kept to a minimum.

Flight Into The Future (3.8) Lew Gallo, Don Eitner. Another very interesting episode that plays with perception and reality. Effects work is also excellent.

Collision of Planets (3.9) Dan Travanty (Travanti), Linda Gaye Scott. Space hippies trying to gain citizenship are tasked with getting rid of the Robinson's before their planet collides with another. Side note, "Samson" Smith is a horrible secondary plot. Guess they ran ot of good stuff in the prior three. Oh well.

Space Creature (3.10) Regular cast only and a gas cloud. Good suspense episode. The Jupiter 2 is trapped inside a gaseous cloud and Will is feeling put upon as he is having troubles with his studies. He makes a common complaint that he wishes he were alone, and then his family begins disappearing one by one. Another good episode.

Glad I viewed this disc. Wish more of the show had been of this caliber, might have had a longer life.

Hawaii Five-O - The Complete 1st Season
Six Kilos (1.22) Antoinette Bower, Gerald S. O'Loughlin. McGarrett goes undercover as a "box man" to complete an assignment that 5-O lucked into. Nice to see Jack Lord playing a different personna than Mr. Law&Order. Strange to see O'Loughlin as a free man since he was in an earlier episode.

The Big Kahuna (1.23) Sally Kellerman, Robert Colbert, John Marley. The team investigates strange goings on at the request of the Governor. A descendant of the ruling clan is experiencing hallucinations.

Finished off this first season. Looking forward to continuing my journey in Hawaii.

Cannon - The Complete Series
Valley Of The Damned (3.13) Leslie Nielsen, Corrine Comacho, Jay Silverheels, Kaz Garas, Wesley Lau, X Brands, Charles Cyphers. Transient Indians are going missing from the reservation. Cannon uncovers a drug smuggling connection to Indians working off the books that could involve a local politician.

A Well Remembered Terror (3.14) Robert Goulet, Davey Davison, Robert Pine, Michael Strong, Lou Frizzell, H.M. Wynant. A hijacking from three years ago becomes pertinent when one of the criminals begins seeing a witness in his neighborhood.

Arena Of Fear (3.15) John Marley, Jess Walton, Nick Nolte. Standard boxing episode. Boxer with a hot streak is blackmailed into fixing a fight. His girlfriend senses something wrong and hires Cannon.

Photo Finish (3.16) Jack Cassidy, Herb Edelman, Sandy Kenyon, Anthony Eisley, Hal Williams. A General hires Cannon to find who killed his brother. After accepting the job, Cannon is being targeted.

Duel On The Desert (3.17) Joan Van Ark, Paul Brinegar, Denver Pyle, James Wainwright, David Lewis. Cannon is hired to deliver a ransom and is involved in a accident that leaves him with partial memory. He is aided by a young lady who could be involved in the kidnapping.

Where's Jennifer? (3.18) Pamela Franklin, Christopher Stone, Bill Quinn, Ann Doran, Russ Conway. Cannon is hired to find a missing person who was believed killed 5 years ago. Standard MPD episode that might have seemed fresh in the early 70's but leaped off the screen as soon as vandalism occured.

Have Gun - Will Travel - The Complete Series
Shadow Of A Man (4.20) Kent Smith, Walter Burke, Mike Kellin, Dianne Foster. Paladin is hired to protect a man who has lost his will to live and the love of his wife. Marriage is a partnership and its dissolution is tracked.

Long Way Home (4.21) Ivan Dixon, John Milford, Willaim Talman, Rayford Barnes. Hired to track a man with a $5,000 bounty causes Paladin to cross paths with a unique bounty and the other hunters who would just as soon see him dead. Excellent episode.

The Tax Gatherer (4.22) Roy Barcroft, Harry Carey, Jr. Paladin is hired to collect taxes and runs into a strange pair of cattle owners. Not a serious episode.

The Fatal Flaw (4.23) Royal Dano, Allyn Joslyn, Jena Engstrom. Traveling in winter weather sees Paladin, a lawman and a prisoner take refuge in a cabin. The only issue bothering Paladin is why the prisoner was so easily captured.

Fandango (4.24) Andrew Prine, Robert Gist, Karl Swenson, Rodolfo Acosta. Two joking youths got overinvolved in their fandango and committed murder. The sheriff charged with returning them is an old friend of Paladin's. The father of the dead boy is out to kill the boys. Paladin tries to keep the boys safe until justice (hanging) can be done.

The Last Judgment (4.25) Harold Stone, Donald Randolph, James Anderson. Paladin is pressed into service as an attorney for a doctor who saved an outlaw. Paladin tries to stall the kangaroo court until the real judge arrives.

The Gold Bar (4.26) John Fiedler, Jean Engstrom, Val Avery. A timid bank clerk steals a gold bar and tries to run away. he comes upon a pregnat woman who has been abandoned and feels he can't leave her. Paladin tracks the gold bar. The clerk becomes responsible and presses Paladin to deliver the baby. Feeling responsible, he requests Paladin help him return the gold bar. A broad comedy ensues as they attempt to return the gold anonymously.
 

ScottRE

Supporting Actor
Joined
Feb 6, 2005
Messages
946
Location
New York, Planet Earth
Real Name
Scott
Lost In Space had a fine start to its third season. You're just about past the best conescutive run of quality episodes since the first year. Then it dips into crap again before rebounding with Anti-Matter Man and Target Earth. After that, naybe two or three good ones, but mostly very lazy and tired TV. It's a shame, it could have been an amazing program.
 

bmasters9

Cinematographer
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Jan 8, 2008
Messages
4,290
Real Name
Ben Masters
First two episodes on VCI's all-in-one of Honey West (the DVDs are authored such that when one episode ends, there's a preview of the next one, and then the next one starts automatically; sort of a natural "play all").
 

Jeff Flugel

Effects Supervisor
Premium
Joined
Jan 7, 1999
Messages
2,066
Location
Osaka, Japan
Real Name
Jeff Flugel
First two episodes on VCI's all-in-one of Honey West (the DVDs are authored such that when one episode ends, there's a preview of the next one, and then the next one starts automatically; sort of a natural "play all").
Honey West is a fun series, Ben...though I don't necessarily recommend it as one to be binged. Others may disagree, but my advice is to mix an episode or two in with a few other series you happen to be viewing. However you decide to view it, enjoy!
 

bmasters9

Cinematographer
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Jan 8, 2008
Messages
4,290
Real Name
Ben Masters
Honey West is a fun series, Ben...though I don't necessarily recommend it as one to be binged. Others may disagree, but my advice is to mix an episode or two in with a few other series you happen to be viewing. However you decide to view it, enjoy!
I certainly will-- I saw two of this show, and advanced another on The Man From U.N.C.L.E. last night.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Jeff Flugel

BobO'Link

Lead Actor
Senior HTF Member
Joined
May 3, 2008
Messages
6,811
Location
Mid-South
Real Name
Howie
First two episodes on VCI's all-in-one of Honey West (the DVDs are authored such that when one episode ends, there's a preview of the next one, and then the next one starts automatically; sort of a natural "play all").
I very much dislike when a disc is authored in this manner. If I wanted to play them all I'd select that from the menu and I rarely use that option. There are those which have that option so you think you can do either but nope... it's always "play all from here".
Honey West is a fun series, Ben...though I don't necessarily recommend it as one to be binged. Others may disagree, but my advice is to mix an episode or two in with a few other series you happen to be viewing. However you decide to view it, enjoy!
I agree. I watched Honey West during its original airings and really liked it. I was also the perfect age for it - 10 - and thought the ocelot was real cool. OK... So's Honey... ;)

It's been several years since I watched my DVDs and don't remember... does that set include the S2 Burk's Law episode which introduced the character? It's not listed as a bonus feature on VCI's site.

Did you know Spelling's first choice for the role was Honor Blackman? I don't know which I'd have liked better...
 

Jeff Flugel

Effects Supervisor
Premium
Joined
Jan 7, 1999
Messages
2,066
Location
Osaka, Japan
Real Name
Jeff Flugel
It's been several years since I watched my DVDs and don't remember... does that set include the S2 Burk's Law episode which introduced the character? It's not listed as a bonus feature on VCI's site.

Did you know Spelling's first choice for the role was Honor Blackman? I don't know which I'd have liked better...
Don't believe the Burke's Law backdoor pilot for Honey West is on the set, Howie.

Blackman would have been great, but very different. It's cool that we got an American equivalent to Cathy Gale/Mrs. Peel...
 
Last edited:

bmasters9

Cinematographer
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Jan 8, 2008
Messages
4,290
Real Name
Ben Masters
I very much dislike when a disc is authored in this manner. If I wanted to play them all I'd select that from the menu and I rarely use that option. There are those which have that option so you think you can do either but nope... it's always "play all from here".
IIRC, I said that Mr. and Mrs. North was like that as well; why would some discs be made to where watching one episode makes the disc move automatically to the next one, even if you don't say play all?
 
  • Like
Reactions: Jeff Flugel

morasp

Second Unit
Joined
Oct 14, 2016
Messages
443
Real Name
steve
Here's what's on the schedule for this week. I'll try to recap my favorites next week.

Monday
Welcome Back Kotter Season 2 Episode 3 Sweatside Story
The F.B.I. Season 1 Episode 2 Image in a Cracked Mirror (Jack Klugman)
Tuesday
According To Jim Season 1 Episode 7 The Crush
Perry Mason Season 1 Episode 12 The Case of the Negligent Nymph
Wednesday
Home Improvement Season 1 Episode 8 Flying Sauces
NCIS Season 1 Episode 2 Hung Out to Dry
Thursday
F-Troop Season 1 Episode 4 Corporal Agarn's Farewell to the Troops
The Six Million Dollar Man Season 1 Episode 6 Doomsday and Counting
Friday
Hot In Cleveland Season 2 Episode 7 Dog Tricks, Sex Flicks, and Joy's Fix
Star Trek Deep Space Nine Season 1 Episode 19 In the Hands of the Prophets
Saturday
Looney Tunes Bugs Bunny
Border Town Season one Episode 26 Keenan's Raiders
JAG Season 2 Episode 13 Code Blue
Sunday
Mike Hammer Season 1 Episode 3 Hot Hands Cold Dice
Murdoch Mysteries Season 4 Episode 3 Buffalo Shuffle
 

Jeff Flugel

Effects Supervisor
Premium
Joined
Jan 7, 1999
Messages
2,066
Location
Osaka, Japan
Real Name
Jeff Flugel
Here's what's on the schedule for this week. I'll try to recap my favorites next week.

Monday
Welcome Back Kotter Season 2 Episode 3 Sweatside Story
The F.B.I. Season 1 Episode 2 Image in a Cracked Mirror (Jack Klugman)
Tuesday
According To Jim Season 1 Episode 7 The Crush
Perry Mason Season 1 Episode 12 The Case of the Negligent Nymph
Wednesday
Home Improvement Season 1 Episode 8 Flying Sauces
NCIS Season 1 Episode 2 Hung Out to Dry
Thursday
F-Troop Season 1 Episode 4 Corporal Agarn's Farewell to the Troops
The Six Million Dollar Man Season 1 Episode 6 Doomsday and Counting
Friday
Hot In Cleveland Season 2 Episode 7 Dog Tricks, Sex Flicks, and Joy's Fix
Star Trek Deep Space Nine Season 1 Episode 19 In the Hands of the Prophets
Saturday
Looney Tunes Bugs Bunny
Border Town Season one Episode 26 Keenan's Raiders
JAG Season 2 Episode 13 Code Blue
Sunday
Mike Hammer Season 1 Episode 3 Hot Hands Cold Dice
Murdoch Mysteries Season 4 Episode 3 Buffalo Shuffle
That's a nice rotation of shows you got going on there, Steve! An interesting mix of older and newer series.
 
  • Like
Reactions: morasp

Jeff Flugel

Effects Supervisor
Premium
Joined
Jan 7, 1999
Messages
2,066
Location
Osaka, Japan
Real Name
Jeff Flugel
A fun and varied grab bag of British shows for me this past week:

Connections – 1.1 “The Trigger Effect”
Peter M. Fitzgerald talked about this 1978 documentary miniseries a while back in this thread, and I was happy to find all 10 episodes currently available on YouTube. Dry but witty host James Burke takes the viewer on a tour through science and history, weaving a tapestry of disparate elements that show how the development of modern technology can be traced through a web of “connections” of discoveries and achievements from deep in humanity’s past. This first episode sets the table, beginning with a dramatic reconstruction of the 1965 New York City power blackout, and then shifting to the development of the humble but life-altering invention, in ancient Egypt, of the plow. Fascinating stuff, and never boring, due to Burke’s exuberance and the program's location-hopping around the world to bring the various historical anecdotes to life.

Mind Your Language – 2.1 “All Present If Not Correct”
As an English teacher working in Japan, I can relate to the linguistic classroom difficulties faced by the main character of this late ‘70s sitcom, Mr. Brown (Barry Evans), who teaches a large, diverse group of immigrants and foreigners at an adult education school in London. This is a very broad but amusing enough sitcom, very popular at the time, its repuation now tarnished with the modern view of it being too un-PC. Yes, the students are all stereotypes, and utter the usual malapropisms familiar to movie and TV audiences of the time, but the sheer range of nationalities presented made this series well-liked in the home countries of the characters depicted, and any ribbing of cultural stereotypes is good-natured and affectionate. Not to mention, the British characters - including stern, castigating school manager Ms. Courtney (Zara Nutley) and Cockney janitor Sid (Tommy Godfrey) - are also frequent targets of ridicule.

This episode finds Mr. Brown returning after an extended holiday, somewhat dismayed to see that all ten of his students from the previous year have failed their exams and are back in his class once again…along with a couple of new arrivals, flirty Swedish blond Ingrid (Anna Bergman) and a middle-aged Hungarian (Gabor Vernon) with virtually no English ability whatsoever. Several episodes are available on YouTube if you want to check this series out…it’s not a top-tier Britcom by any means, but is pleasant viewing nonetheless.




Lady Killers – 1.1 “Murder at the Savoy Hotel”
Fans of courtroom dramas might like this series, done in that "filmed staged play," pre-'90s style so common in British television production, which brings to life several infamous murder trials of some of Britain’s most well-known killers. The first season’s seven episodes focus on the deadly female of the species, while the second season changes the title's spelling to one word (Ladykillers) and turns its attention to notorious male murderers, such as Dr. Crippen, Frederick Seddon, Ronald True and the like. All episodes, shot on video and rarely straying out of the courtroom or prisoner’s chambers, feature an impressive roster of British acting talent. This inaugural episode highlights the case of Marie Marguerite Fahmy (Barbara Kellerman), who shot dead her abusive Egyptian husband in 1923 at London's Savoy Hotel. Was it murder, or self defense? Defending her is renowned barrister Sir Henry Curtis Bennett, QC, played with hammy relish by Robert Stephens (familiar to some for portraying the great detective himself, in Billy Wilder’s The Private Lives of Sherlock Holmes).

New Scotland Yard – 1.5 “Hard Contract”
Another excellent, gritty but lesser-known Brit police procedural, which ran for four seasons between 1972 and 1974. It follows the various criminal investigations of the steely-eyed, brusque Dept. Supt. Kingdom (played by John Woodvine, the concerned doctor in An American Werewolf in London) and his brittle, combative assistant, Det. Sgt. Ward (John Carlisle). Ward doesn’t feature in this particular episode, however; his place is taken by the bullfrog-voiced Windsor Davies (from It Ain’t Half Hot Mum), as Kingdom inherits a case from an ailing inspector: two different murder victims, both recently returned from abroad, and with no apparent connection, both killed with the same weapon in what looks to be the work of a professional hitman.

Meanwhile, army surplus store manager, Gould (Hammer vet Michael Ripper), grows suspicious of his new partner (Barry Warren), an old military crony who now moonlights as an assassin for international industrial conglomerate. A big break in the case occurs when Kingdom’s reporter brother-in-law, George (Patrick O’Connell), meets the attractive potential third victim (Julie Samuel) and gains some vital clues that help Kingdom bring the killer to justice. Some neat plot turns and low-key, realistic characterization make this one compelling viewing. I quite like the relationship between Kingdom and George…despite Kingdom’s bitter estrangement from his wife, he and her brother share a prickly but mutual respect for each other, and the bon vivant, skirt-chasing George frequently unearths some useful information to trade the police in exchange for first dibs on publishing rights. For whatever reason, the character disappears after the first season...as do Kingdom and Ward in the abbreviated fourth season, when two new police detectives take the lead.




Callan – 2.13 “The Worst Soldier I Ever Saw”
Way before he became famous in the States as The Equalizer, Edward Woodward was a massive TV sensation in Britain, playing reluctant government assassin Callan, in four series from 1967 – 1972. The series was followed by a 1974 feature film of the same name, and a TV movie called Callan: Wet Job wrapped things up in 1981. The first two seasons were filmed in black-and-white, including this episode, which centers around retired Brigadier Pringle (Allan Cuthbertson), who misses playing war and is planning to (essentially) defect to a rich Middle Eastern country and become a general of their armies. The Security arm of the British government wants to prevent this from happening at all costs, and assigns Callan – who once served under Pringle in Malaya – to ingratiate himself into the man’s household and put a halt to his plans. Callan poses as a homeless man down on his luck, gaining the attention of the brigiadier’s pretty, do-gooder daughter (Tessa Wyatt). This leads her father - who remembers Callan as an insolent, rebellious soldier but a superior killer - to give Callan a job as a valet, with the intention of putting his lethal skills to good use in his new position overseas. Callan recruits his frequent assistant, petty burglar and safecracker, Lonely (Russell Hunter), to track Pringle’s movements. (Lonely gets his name from his propensity to stink when he’s nervous, causing most people to keep their distance. The Callan/Lonely dynamic is the emotional heart of this often brutal, fatalistic series). Callan has a more personal stake in this assignment than usual, and the utter contempt he holds for his former superior officer drips off the screen via Woodward’s intense performance.

This is a highly-regarded series in the U.K., with Woodward winning a TV BAFTA in 1970 as best actor. It's a superior piece of work all the way, and somewhat unusual for the time, as it features several serialized elements as it progresses through its first two B & W seasons into its final two color seasons. The acting and writing is top-notch, with series creator James Mitchell scripting the lion’s share of the 44 episodes (including the 1967 Play For Today pilot, "A Magnum for Schneider.") Anthony Valentine (Raffles) shares some amusingly mocking scenes as Callan’s cold-blooded thug of a colleague, Toby Meres. Guest actress Tessa Wyatt would go on to co-star as Richard O’Sullivan’s wife in the sequel series to Man About the House, Robin’s Nest. Network put out two DVD two box sets for Callan, one for the 11 existing monochrome episodes and another for the 22 color ones. Highly recommended for those who like tense, realistic and downbeat tales of espionage.



Woodward, with guest actress Tessa Wyatt:


Tessa Wyatt in more glamorous guise:
1594778976805.jpeg



Are You Being Served? – 3.2 “Coffee Morning”
Not the most outrageous or slapstick episode of this perennial PBS favorite, but still worth watching. This ensemble sitcom ran for 10 seasons (1972-1985) and revolves around the eccentric personnel of an old-fashioned department store. In this one, floor manager Captain Peacock (Frank Thornton), displeased with the staff’s tea breaks exceeding the company-mandated 15 minute limit, institutes a sign-in and out policy which annoys his fellow workers. Maintenance man and union chairman Mr. Mash (Larry Martyn) marshals the reluctant staff into (very mild) industrial action, with the expected diminishing results...

Regular scene stealer Mr. Humphries (John Inman) is relatively sedate this time out, but there are enough funny lines and innuendo to keep one’s interest, despite a distinct lack of the usual references to “Mrs. Slocombe’s pussy” - meaning her cat, of course; this show loves a good double entendre. I’ve always found Wendy Richard (who plays Miss Brahms) quite sexy in her lantern-jawed, hard-edged way (as seen below in an episode of Up Pompeii!)




Doctor Who
– 12.1 “Robot”
Tom Baker, all bug eyed, toothy grin and Harpo Marx curls, takes over as the Fourth Doctor, and by 15 minutes into this four part serial, has his character down pat. Not a world-beater of a Who story - but then, most post-regeneration stories are more concerned with establishing the new Doctor’s persona than taxing viewers with overly-complicated plots. As first stories go, this is still a good one, sort of a swan song for the UNIT family established under Third Doctor Jon Pertwee's reign. The Doctor and Sarah Jane Smith (the late Elizabeth Sladen, sooo cute, despite being saddled with rather matronly fashions) investigate a sinister think tank who are using a powerful robot to steal nuclear missile codes, which they plan to use as leverage to subjugate the world to their control. As usual for classic Who, the clunky special effects leave something to be desired – but the dialogue and ideas presented, not to mention the charming performances, overcome the budgetary shortcomings. I’ll take the low-budget, story-rich original over the slick but mostly vacuous Nu Who version, any day of the week.

 
Last edited:

JohnHopper

Screenwriter
Joined
Oct 31, 2010
Messages
1,706
Real Name
John Hopper
Callan – 2.13 “The Worst Soldier I Ever Saw”
Way before he became famous in the States as The Equalizer, Edward Woodward was a massive TV sensation in Britain, playing reluctant government assassin Callan, in four series from 1967 – 1972. The series was followed by a 1974 feature film of the same name, and a TV movie called Callan: Wet Job wrapped things up in 1981. The first two seasons were filmed in black-and-white, including this episode, which centers around retired Brigadier Pringle (Allan Cuthbertson), who misses playing war and is planning to (essentially) defect to a rich Middle Eastern country and become a general of their armies. The Security arm of the British government wants to prevent this from happening at all costs, and assigns Callan – who once served under Pringle in Malaya – to ingratiate himself into the man’s household and put a halt to his plans. Callan poses as a homeless man down on his luck, gaining the attention of the brigiadier’s pretty, do-gooder daughter (Tessa Wyatt). This leads her father - who remembers Callan as an insolent, rebellious soldier but a superior killer - to give Callan a job as a valet, with the intention of putting his lethal skills to good use in his new position overseas. Callan recruits his frequent assistant, petty burglar and safecracker, Lonely (Russell Hunter), to track Pringle’s movements. (Lonely gets his name from his propensity to stink when he’s nervous, causing most people to keep their distance. The Callan/Lonely dynamic is the emotional heart of this often brutal, fatalistic series). Callan has a more personal stake in this assignment than usual, and the utter contempt he holds for his former superior officer drips off the screen via Woodward’s intense performance.

This is a highly-regarded series in the U.K., with Woodward winning a TV BAFTA in 1970 as best actor. It's a superior piece of work all the way, and somewhat unusual for the time, as it features several serialized elements as it progresses through its first two B & W seasons into its final two color seasons. The acting and writing is top-notch, with series creator James Mitchell scripting the lion’s share of the 44 episodes (including the 1967 Play For Today pilot, "A Magnum for Schneider.") Anthony Valentine (Raffles) shares some amusingly mocking scenes as Callan’s cold-blooded thug of a colleague, Toby Meres. Guest actress Tessa Wyatt would go on to co-star as Richard O’Sullivan’s wife in the sequel series to Man About the House, Robin’s Nest. Network put out two DVD two box sets for Callan, one for the 11 existing monochrome episodes and another for the 22 color ones. Highly recommended for those who like tense, realistic and downbeat tales of espionage.


Tessa Wyatt in more glamorous guise:
1594778976805.jpeg

::: I remember her now. She was the hippie chick on the trippy Pop episode of UFO entitled “The Long Sleep”.
long_sleep.png
 

Rustifer

Screenwriter
Premium
Joined
Oct 20, 2017
Messages
1,939
Location
Carmel, Indiana
Real Name
Russ J.
I’ve always found Wendy Richard (who plays Miss Brahms) quite sexy in her lantern-jawed, hard-edged way
I had never heard of Wendy Richards before, Jeff. Sorta reminds me of Barbara Rhodes. A quick look-up of Wendy sparked the need to post some eye-popping cheesecake of the lady:

1594820967799.png
1594821001606.png
1594821023260.png


Yep--pretty damn demeaning of me.
 

Rustifer

Screenwriter
Premium
Joined
Oct 20, 2017
Messages
1,939
Location
Carmel, Indiana
Real Name
Russ J.
Episode Commentary
The Rifleman
"First Wages" (S4E2)

Lucas (Chuck Connors) returns from an out-of-town trip--most likely having attended the Tricked-Out Rifle Annual Convention in Vegas--only to find Mark (Johnny Crawford) has taken on a job in town. What kind of job you ask? Stock boy for the local Kroger's? Domino's Pizza delivery? Sales clerk at The Gap? Nope. Mark is proudly shoveling horse crap at the livery stable. Poor Lucas had such high hopes of Mark eventually becoming a podiatrist, but this didn't seem like a road likely leading to that profession. Besides his abject disappointment, Lucas notices Mark's daily home chores going kaput due to the extra hours required of the new job.

Mark's job obsession has an underlying motive of which we will learn later. In the meantime, Lucas can't understand why Mark needs money when they have nearly $87 in their 401K, along with Lucas' dollar-a-week part-time deputy job under old Sheriff Micah. But Mark is adamant to earn some extra cash. Who wouldn't want to hang around dusty horses and hay-specked manure all day? Ah, the simple life. Idyllic.

1594822848432.png
1594822899192.png
1594822942177.png

Quite simply--a horse's ass; Coffee is a must first thing in the morning; Ed Nelson channels Clint Eastwood--poorly

As Lucas grows more apoplectic at the chores going undone, Mark is growing more exhausted at his long hours--his head frequently dipping down into the bowl of Campbell's bean soup at dinnertime. On this particular day, the livery proprietor Nils (Joe Higgins) asks Mark to run an errand across town. "Be sure to take the long way", advises Nils. But of course, snot-nosed teenagers like Mark never listen to their elders. He opts instead for the short cut through the border pass (which eventually becomes a six-lane highway dotted with Best Western and Ramada Motels). Along the way, Mark gets waylaid by wanted bad guy Ben Vargas (Ed Nelson), who promptly steals Mark's horse. Mark's absence causes Lucas to go hunt for him and subsequently beats the livin' crap out of the bad man.

So why did Mark need extra money? Why, to buy his dad a birthday present--a genuine shiny leather saddle from Dick's Sporting Goods. It just warms the cockles of one's heart. Whatever cockles are.
 
Last edited:

Forum Sponsors

Forum statistics

Threads
344,431
Messages
4,709,981
Members
141,268
Latest member
mooneyhill1