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

GMBurns

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Star Trek 1.17 The Squire of Gothos. William Campbell is delightful as the charming and annoying squire of the planet Gothos. He hijacks the Enterprise as a plaything and Kirk and crew keep devising ways to foil him. In the end, I almost feel sorry for him when his parents find out what he's been up to and he has to come inside and stop playing. The best episodes were always character-driven stories like this one that fulfilled Gene Roddenberry's vision for Star Trek as something like "Wagon Train to the Stars".
 

JohnHopper

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I finally got my THE PRISONER HD set and it has episodes from DANGER MAN in HD! Both from series 1 and series 2. Here are some screen grabs from COLONY THREE in HD, which I just watched. Magnificent View attachment 78456

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If I could get DANGER MAN in HD it would be a dream come true. These teaser episodes seem to suggest my dream may finally come true. Hopefully soon.

Be seeing you....

Edwin Astley - Danger Man: Colony Three (1964)
 

Rustifer

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I really don't have anything "classic" to write about today. I've been too immersed in my British Police dramas, most currently Waking the Dead and Wire In The Blood. Both have highly charismatic leads--Trevor Eve as the master of yell, Detective Superintendent Peter Boyd; and Robson Green as the ever diffident Dr. Tony Hill. Fortunately both shows have a sufficient number of seasons on which to hang some serious binge watching.

When I finally get an overload of murder and mayhem--as one must eventually--I return to the pillow-like comfort of my classic TV series. One rarely sees anyone chopped in half on Leave It To Beaver or people torched to charcoal briquette consistency on Andy Griffith. I've got a load of those more gentle shows recorded on my trusty DVD to get around to soon. Maybe tomorrow.
 
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Rustifer

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Star Trek 1.17 The Squire of Gothos. William Campbell is delightful as the charming and annoying squire of the planet Gothos.
As a matter of interest, William Campbell was once married to Judith Exner--known mostly for doing the dirty with both John F. Kennedy and gangster Sam Giancana, among many others.

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While in a crowded restaurant, William asks Judith "Did you do them, too?"
 
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Jack P

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I thought of a new angle to report on what I've watched yesterday beyond the usual actress marathon thing. Because many actors appeared in so many classic movies before they had to do more TV it's sometimes interesting when a classic TV show ends up "reuniting" actors who had been in a movie together years before.

First example. I obtained the 1933 horror movie "Mystery Of The Wax Museum" (a rare color film of the period) and the cast includes Glenda Farrell as a wisecracking blonde reporter and Frank McHugh as her editor whom she has a hostile relationship with that naturally after the resolution of the horror aspects of the film ends with them in a clench and getting engaged.

Then after checking the IMDB, I discovered that both Farrell and McHugh were in a S3 "Route 66" episode "Man Out Of Time" which I watched last night. The episode is a showcase for Luther Adler who plays a 1920s Chicago mob figure released from prison after 32 years. When an out of control cart nearly kills him (and Tod, working as a Chicago cabbie) saves him, Adler is convinced someone from the old day is out to get him. Tod, fascinated by him as a colorful figure from a bygone past is willing to ride him about town (while Buz, who associates Adler with a period when the mob killed and maimed people is hostile). Along the way, Adler sees his old haunts are torn down or altered beyond recognition. We then see a scene of him talking on the phone and it suggests someone is threatening him. Paranoid, he seeks out old newsman, McHugh, now minus a leg and eking out a living addressing envelopes. It's fascinating on the heels of "Wax Museum" seeing McHugh play a fast-talking editor of the early 30s now playing an ex-newsman of that era 30 years later and seeing the toll of age on him. McHugh agrees to help, but it only leads to one old pal who is infirm and incapable of having a grudge and then an amusing scene with Bruce "Untouchables" Gordon who is a totally reformed man and living the good life and who has long moved on from the past. Then there comes a confrontation with old girlfriend Farrell who now works at an amusement park cooking hot dogs. Farrell, it has to be said, did not age well in 30 years and that adds to the poignance of the scene. But its clear she has no grudge about the past and Tod and Buz take Adler back to his hotel......where it turns out that the runway cart incident was a total accident at the beginning and that the "phone call" Adler had received wasn't what it seemed either. The episode ends with a broken case of a man who after 30 plus years in jail can't adjust to the changes in the world he knew and the fact that he's no longer really important. I think again, it was a great break to have seen Farrell and McHugh in "Wax Museum" first before catching this because it offered a sharper impression of how they used to be 30 years before and added to the episode's subtext.

I'll be looking for some other examples along the way.
 

Doug Wallen

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Well, I have had some down time to my wife having slow and low bp issues. Stayed busy by watching classic tv, just not enough time to write any thoughts down. Having to get used to new rules for ER visits and hospital stays (not allowed in, not good for her either as she felt lonely and isolated, strange times - I felt so helpless). On to my viewing:

Star Trek - Season 1 Bluray
Shore Leave (1.15) Emily Banks, Bruce Mars, Perry Lopez. The white rabbit, Alice, Samurai, guns, Don Juan, WWII strafing and people from Kirk's past - what do they have in common? A very interesting idea at the time. A holodeck type planet that manufactures whatever you desire or even wish. This episode was such fun when I first watched it ant is still charming. Kirk and Finnegan, what a fight and a Kirk torn shirt episode. Always a fun watch.

Balance of Terror (1.14) Mark Lenard, Paul Comi, Lawrence Montaigne. Our fist look at the Romulans and it is "fascinating" A warrior culture that lfor one purpose - "to serve the Emperor" at all costs. What does blind leadership and devotion to a particular ideal get you. We see predjudice in a Federation officer who has to be reminded of the ideal. A great "cat & mouse" episode with each captain thinking ahead an out pacing the other. Such a great introduction to this offshoot of the Vulcan race.

The Galileo Seven (1.16) Don Marshall, John Crawford, Phyllis Mears. The Enterprise has a diplomatic mission that is interrupted by a scientific imperative. Spock commands a shuttle to investigate the Murasaki quasar. The shuttlecraft crashes and the crew finds deadly trouble. Spock makes logical choices but nothing reacts logically. Spock becomes alienated and is desparate and tries an illogical response to a hopeless situation. Interesting Spock episode.

and to celebrate the 54th anniversary on 09 08 2020 -

The Man Trap (1.1) Jeanne Bal, Alfred Ryder. An interesting first episode. While the story is pretty much by the numbers, I enjoy this episode for the utilization of the secondary characters. I always like the interplay between Spock and Uhura, Uhura and her "crewman", Sulu and Janice Rand. Such great character moments that were ultimately done away with for concentration on the "big three" ("Not that there's anything wrong with that!"). Enjoyable way to celebrate Trek.

WKRP in Cincinatti - The Complete Series
Herb's Dad ((2.15) Bert Parks. Herb wants to avoid his Dad when he comes to visit since Herb put him in Shady Acres Rest Home. After Dad escapes, he comes to the station and makes life miserable for Herb. After having a productive talk, Dad is on his way to Vegas.

Put Up Or Shut Up (2.16) Jennifer calls Herbs bluff and Herb seems to be just fine until he shows up at Jennifer's apartmen. Once inside he loses all confidence and can do nothing. Herb and Jennifer talk and come to an understanding. Interesting side note - Herb acts like he has never been in Jennifer's apartment. He was there just a few episodes before during the Christmas episode.

Combat - The Complete Series
Survival (1.23) Sgt. Saunders and his patrol are captured. While being locked up in a barn, a fire is started and Saunders is unable to escape. He receives severe burns on his hands. He eventually escapes and tries to track his men. He is desperately behind them and narrowly misses capture by the enemy. His burned hands are his biggest enemy. A very tense and exciting episode. One of the best I have seen.

No Time For Pity (1.21) Denise Alexander, Gunnar Hellstrom. Command gives Lt. Hanley 3 hours to rescue an old man, pretty librarian, and 5 children from the Germans, or they will bomb the town they are in. Good episode featuring Rick Jason.

Next In Command (1.18) Ben Cooper. What is the price of being a good soldier? PTSD (shell shock) before it was a thing? Cooper portrays the quirks and scaredness of his character very well. Another strong story and excellent execution.

Night Patrol (1.22) Skip Homeier. Sgt. Saunders and his squad are assigned by Lt. Hanley to capture a German soldier alive as prisoner in a night patrol in an area near the border. Soon they succeed but the prisoner is killed by a soldier that identifies himself as Lt. Joe Cranston. They wait a little longer to capture another German and they realize that they are under siege of the Germans. Cranston brings Saunders and the squad to a creepy cave where they discover many truths about Cranston and his squad. Cranston has many secrets and eventually gains redemption.

The Munster's - The Complete Series
Munster Masquerade (1.1) Linden Chiles, Mabel Albertson, Frank Wilcox, Lurene Tuttle. Introductory episode that dropped Herman, Lilly, Grandpa, Eddie and Marilyn on the world. What could be more perfect than to invite this family to a masquerade party. Great to have this show in my collection. I can always enjoy some Munster's.

My Fair Munster (1.2) John Fiedler, Claire Carleton. Standard sitcom fare involving opposites and mistaken identity made enjoyable since it is Herman, Lilly and Eddie. Grandpa is the catalyst, all in the name of trying to aid Marily in her quest for a boyfriend. Marilyn is very depressed, because all her boyfriends run away when they meet Herman. But Marilyn thinks that is all her fault and maybe there's something wrong with her. Grandpa wants to help her, preparing a sort of love potion, with all kind of ingredients, like a woman tear or Frank Sinatra's charming. Meanwhile, the postman and Yolanda Cribbins, the neighbour, are talking very bad about the Munster family. The postman is very afraid of delivering the mail at the Munsters' house, while Misses Cribbins thinks that the neighbourhood uses to be nice, until the Munsters arrive. Next morning, Grandpa is planning to pour his love potion on Marilyn's plate. There will be oatmeal for breakfast. Grandpa pours out the potion on the plate. But Marilyn leaves without having her breakfast. Lily will return all Marilyn's oatmeal to the saucepan. Herman, Lily and Eddie will eat the oatmeal with the love potion. The potion starts to make effect. Herman and Lily become seductive for each other. (from IMDB)

M Squad - The Complete Collection
Accusation (1.38) Fay Spain, Ken Clark. An unhappy wife and her chaffeur (lover) are suspected of killing the older, sickly husband and Detective Ballenger must figure it out.

More Deadly (2.1) Ruta Lee. New theme song for this season. I like it. Seems this is the episode that was parodied on the premier episode of Police Squad. I was overwhelmed by the complete similarity to story, sets and final conclusion. Story works as a drama as well as the parody. 2 innocent men are iced by a currency exchange bookkeeper, to disguise her embezzlement. The sultry femme fatale's yarn that it was a heist gone bad makes sense at first, because of a wave of such robberies on Chicago's Far East Side. Her story soon unravels after Frank speaks to his lab techs.

The Big Valley - The Complete Season 2
Target (2.7) James Whitmore, Julie Adams, Sherwood Price, Strother Martin, Harlan Warde. An unscrupulous candidate for Governor uses lies and misinformation. Unfortunately he begins to believe his press and starts to feel invincible in his quest to destroy the Barkley's.

The Velvet Trap (2.8) Laura Devon, Fred Beir, Kelly Thordsen. A gunslingers girl is trying to distract a bounty hunter. She runs across Nick and suckers him into aiding her. Nick finally sees the truth and disrupts the young ladies plan.

The Man From Nowhere (2.9) Sheree North, Anne Seymour, Bing Russell. Two ladies are waiting on their land to see if they are actually entitled as ranchers. The local cattlemen believe they are squatters and are trying to force them off for water rights. Jarrod is sent to mediate a potential dispute. While on his way, he is injured when his horse is spooked and joins that fine 60's trope - amnesia. He is aided the shooter's mom and is trying to find his memory while trying to find a peaceful solution.

I am down to the final 11 episodes of Perry Mason - Season 7-9 and decide to speed on through the last chunk of this classic series.

TCoT Scarlet Scandal (9.20) Will Hutchins, Gene Evans, Mala Powers, Luana Patten, Lloyd Gough, Dee Pollock. Cynthia Perkins' musician boyfriend, Donald Hobart, is charged with killing his sponsor in a small town. Perry and Paul, there on other business, decide to investigate. Based on their findings he is freed and Cynthia is charged instead.

TCoT Twice-Told Twist (9.21) The only color episode. Victor Buono, Kevin O'Neal, Scott Graham, Lisa Pera, Lisa Seagram, Nicolas Surovy. Lennie Beale is a teenager in a car stripping gang who is caught after Perry's car is stripped. Perry sees something good in Lennie, giving him a second chance. When a ringleader of the gang is stabbed to death, Lennie is charged.

TCoT Avenging Angel (9.22) Richard Carlson, Sue Ane Langdon, Paul Stewart, Patricia Owens, Lurene Tuttle. Perry is hired to help foster the career of singer Sandy Chester. The man hiring Perry wants his name kept secret. Perry contacts Clete Hawley to do the job but Clete's actions cause him to regret it. Sandy is charged when Clete is killed.

TCoT Tsarina's Tiara (9.23) Virginia Field, Kendall Clark, Leonid Kinskey, Wesley Addy. Perry takes a client with questionable jewelry to another client in the building to have the jewelry appraised. Shortly thereafter, Gerard Van Ness a partner in the jewelry business, is found with a dead body in the trunk of his car.

TCoT Fanciful Frail (9.24) Pippa Scott, Barry Kelley, Arch Johnson, Coleen Gray. Ethel Andrews thinks she is about to be married but finds herself accused of stealing $50,000 from her company. On the run, she changes identities with another woman, who dies in an accident. When Ethel's fiancé is killed, she is charged.

TCoT Unwelcome Well (9.25) Wendell Corey, Paul Brinegar, Gloria Talbott, Marilyn Erskine, Les Tremayne, James Best. Allan Winford is a small time oil operator working for oil tycoon Jerome Klee, whose only goal is money. When Klee decides to delay for 10 years the production of an oil field Winford discovered, he is murdered. Winford is charged.

TCoT Dead Ringer (9.26) Indus Arthur, Arlene Martel, Oliver McGowan, Henry Beckman, Stewart Moss. Perry loses a patent case for Barbara Kramer, whose father had died. A missing letter would prove her case but the other side used a sailor who looks like Perry to implicate him in bribery. When the winner is killed, Barbara is charged.

TCoT Misguided Model (9.27) Mary Ann Mobley, Paul Lukather, Anthony Eisley, Don Dubbins. Ex-boxer Dennis 'Duke' Maronek tries to protect his girlfriend and thinks he accidentally killed a man. He tells Perry, his lawyer, but refuses to go to the police. When another man is arrested for the murder, Perry is caught in a bind.

TCoT Positive Negative (9.28) Brian Donlevy, Bettye Ackerman, Parley Baer, Dabbs Greer, Simon Scott, Ted de Corsia. General Roger Brandon has been asked by a group to head an anti-corruption committee by the governor to fight George Emory. However, compromising pictures arrive showing Brandon's wife. Brandon visits Emory who is then found killed.

TCoT Crafty Kidnapper (9.29) Gary Collins, Cloris Leachman, Douglas Henderson, Anne Whitfield, Pat Priest. After an incident at a party, Greg Stanley goes outside to drive a drunken Danny Shine home. When they arrive at Shine's home, Stanley is arrested for shooting Shine, who is dead. The case is difficult to solve due to a baby's kidnapping.

TCoT Final Fade-Out (9.30) Dick Clark, Erle Stanley Gardner, Denver Pyle, James Stacy, Marlyn Mason, Jackie Coogan, Estelle Winwood, Gerald Mohr and most of the crew of the Perry Mason series. A great final episode with easter eggs galore. Barry Conrad has become a major star with an oversized ego. At the last moment, he tells his producer, Jackson Sidemark, that he won't be signing a new contract. Conrad, then Sidemark, are killed giving Perry two clients back to back.

It has been a long time coming to close out this series, approximately four years. It has been great. I will be moving on to to other shows for now.
 
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Jeff Flugel

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Well, i have had some down time to my wife having slow and low bp issues. Stayed busy by watching classic tv, just not enough time to write any thoughts down. Having to get used to new rules for ER visits and hospital stays (not allowed in, not good for her either as she felt lonely and isolated, strange times - I felt so helpless). On to my viewing:
Sorry to hear about your wife's health issues, Doug. That must be very stressful and worrying for you both. All the best to you, and I hope she feels better soon! Thanks for run-down of your classic TV viewing...always interesting to read your thoughts. That's a great run of classic Star Trek episodes. "Shore Leave" happens to be one of my all-time favorites.
 
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Rustifer

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Episode Commentary
Adam-12
"Boy, The Things You Do For A Job..." (S1E24)

I've come to the conclusion that Adam-12 was never really scripted. How could it be? There are too many dialogues so simplistic, often stilted and inane--it's hard to believe a smoky room full of seasoned writers would actually submit such scripts for production. But I will give credit where credit is due: The show went nearly over the top in portraying cops as real servants of the public. Yes, they rescue kittens from trees and help old ladies cross busy streets--but certainly a far cry better than the current concept of the police community today. Kudos for the series in at least accomplishing what seems like a fairy tale in this day and age.

So Malloy (Martin Milner) and Reed (Kent McCord) are cruising the streets in their black & white, the one with the bullhorn-sized siren and airplane landing lights on top--when they spot a speeder in a sleek Jaguar XKE whiz by like a fart-propelled hornet. In short order, Malloy pulls the car over, revealing a stunning blonde driver (Anna Capri) with a honey-dipped voice. Pete is all business, despite the girl's exhortations of flirtatiousness and heaving cleavage to escape a ticket.

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Anna Capri toweling off: Reed and Malloy practice simultaneous car farts; Malloy enjoys an occasional obscene phone call

The day progresses with the usual arrests of drunks, drug dealers and dangerous skateboarders. In the locker room after the shift, Malloy receives a package containing a photo of the bikini-clad speeder, signed "To Pete, With Love--Penny." Wolf whistles and friendly joshing ensue from his colleagues. Apparently the chase is on with Penny. But Pete may as well be an amorphic ballet set designer for all the interest he displays in her overt entreaties for his affection. The man has no pulse whatsoever. He's more into Sandra Dee-types than stripper-dusted pole dancers.

But Penny is not about to let her moist affection go to waste. She harasses the other officers in hopes they force Malloy to relieve her...um...itch. So Malloy eventually relents to peer pressure and takes one for the team. We never learn of how Malloy finally satisfies lovely pulsating Penny, but rumor has it his police baton is made of sturdy stuff.
 
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Flashgear

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Well, I have had some down time to my wife having slow and low bp issues. Stayed busy by watching classic tv, just not enough time to write any thoughts down. Having to get used to new rules for ER visits and hospital stays (not allowed in, not good for her either as she felt lonely and isolated, strange times - I felt so helpless).
God bless you, your dear wife and family. Hope you are all home soon in comfort, good health and happiness!
Combat - The Complete Series
Survival (1.23) Sgt. Saunders and his patrol are captured. While being locked up in a barn, a fire is started and Saunders is unable to escape. He receives severe burns on his hands. He eventually escapes and tries to track his men. He is desperately behind them and narrowly misses capture by the enemy. His burned hands are his biggest enemy. A very tense and exciting episode. One of the best I have seen.
Doug, all of your classic TV viewing is great stuff, enjoy your great reviews as always!

This episode of Combat! is one of the all-time greatest episodes of 1960s television drama ever produced in that era! Extraordinarily tough, graphic and brutal proceedings that gave supreme evidence that this series aspired to greatness and was indeed achieving that standard of excellence. Expert handling by future Oscar winning director Robert Altman. A powerful script by the great John D.F. Black, and an immortal performance by the great Vic Morrow that earned him an Emmy nomination. For me, a milestone in great American TV drama.
 

JamesSmith

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I'm working on the fourth season of Wild Wild West. Don't have seasons 2 or 3. It is interesting how color adds to the show. Still continue to see sets that they reuse and redress for different episodes. I give the effects department credit for taking a small budget and making things work. It is also interesting to note: how the later composers used sixties music for an 1870 set program. It does add a spy flavor to the show, but sometimes it can catch you unexpected. After hearing one cue, I find myself thinking, "Wait! Isn't this set in the old West?" Anyway, Conrad and Martin had real chemistry, and you can feel Martin's absence when he was recovering from a heart attack.

Good show.

--jthree
 

JohnHopper

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I'm working on the fourth season of Wild Wild West. Don't have seasons 2 or 3. It is interesting how color adds to the show. Still continue to see sets that they reuse and redress for different episodes. I give the effects department credit for taking a small budget and making things work. It is also interesting to note: how the later composers used sixties music for an 1870 set program. It does add a spy flavor to the show, but sometimes it can catch you unexpected. After hearing one cue, I find myself thinking, "Wait! Isn't this set in the old West?" Anyway, Conrad and Martin had real chemistry, and you can feel Martin's absence when he was recovering from a heart attack.

Good show.

--jthree

Robert Prince's hip cues from the score “The Night of the Doomsday Formula” are recycled in “The Night of the Juggernaut”.
 

Jeff Flugel

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I'm working on the fourth season of Wild Wild West. Don't have seasons 2 or 3. It is interesting how color adds to the show. Still continue to see sets that they reuse and redress for different episodes. I give the effects department credit for taking a small budget and making things work. It is also interesting to note: how the later composers used sixties music for an 1870 set program. It does add a spy flavor to the show, but sometimes it can catch you unexpected. After hearing one cue, I find myself thinking, "Wait! Isn't this set in the old West?" Anyway, Conrad and Martin had real chemistry, and you can feel Martin's absence when he was recovering from a heart attack.

Good show.

--jthree
Good stuff, James! The Wild Wild West is one of those shows that remained strong from beginning to end, IMO. But you really need to pick up the middle seasons - especially S2, which is arguably the show at its absolute peak. I very much enjoy the first black-and-white season, but to me, WWW really took off when it switched to color.
 
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The Obsolete Man

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While reading through these Adam-12 posts, I wondered why the hot young chick was going for old guy Pete Malloy.

Then I did the math and realized Pete in S1 of Adam-12 is the same age I currently am. So, either Pete's still a freewheeling youngster, or I'm old. Either way, where's my nutty rich broad? :D
 

Jeff Flugel

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While I usually try to watch a decent variety of shows each week, lately I've been focusing pretty exclusively on these classic Doctor Who Blu-Ray sets...especially Peter Davison's inaugural season (S19). Many of these were first-time views for me. I was familiar with the stories and general flow of the season, but for one reason or another I had never sat down and watched all the episodes. Back in the early '80s, I started watching the show on the Portland, OR PBS affiliate, and the very first episode I caught was "The King's Demon" part 2, from the tail end of S20, followed immediately by "The Five Doctors," after which point, I was hooked. This means that most of the first half of Davison's tenure is new stuff to me, which I'm finally getting around to. This is by far the most classic Who I've watched in over 30 years, and it's been a fun, nostalgic return to the early '80s, my entry point to the show. All the following serials are four-parters.

19.1 "Castrovalva"
Former script editor (for S18) and tech-head Christopher H. Bidmead penned this unusual and evocative tale about a strange city on a remote planet that the Fifth Doctor - struggling with a difficult regeneration - is brought to, seemingly by his worried companions...but something more sinister is afoot, with the Doctor's arch-nemesis, evil rogue Time Lord The Master, laying an elaborate time paradox trap.

I enjoyed this one immensely. It does start out a little slow, as the weakened Doctor wanders through endless corridors of the TARDIS looking for the Zero Room to help stabilize his condition, but once everyone gets to Castrovalva, the story really picks up, helped by some extensive location filming at Harrison's Rocks in East Sussex. A really clever hard sci-fi idea at the center of the plot, a nicely-realized set for the city of Castrovalva, and a fine guest cast, which includes Derek Waring, Michael Sheard and Frank Wylie, put this one at the upper end of Fifth Doctor stories for me, despite the fact that The Doctor is not quite himself, so to speak, until the last 15 minutes or so of episode 4.



19.2 "Four to Doomsday"
The TARDIS lands on a spaceship on its way back to Earth, peopled by strange beings that seem to have the power to shapeshift...or do they? At first, their leader, Monarch, seems benign, but, in true Doctor Who fashion, is really a power-mad psychopath with a God complex.

A solid story, this, if a bit dull overall. Stratford Johns (famous for playing Superintendent Barlow on the U.K. police drama Z Cars) brings great authority as Monarch, even while buried under heavy toad-like make-up. The Davison era is famous for its fractious, combatative group of companions, and this story is one of the worst for this. Janet Fielding's bleating Tegan and Matthew Waterhouse's sullen, wrong-headed Adric are at their most annoying here. There's an interesting multicultural slant to this story, and a much-needed little burst of action at the end, as The Doctor does a desperate spacewalk to recover his TARDIS. Also with Phillip Locke, Paul Shelley, Annie Lambert (damn slinky as one of the baddies) and Burt Kwouk, who sadly doesn't get much to do.



Having watched serial 4, "Black Orchid," the previous week, I skipped over the trippy but well-regarded "Kinda" (really out there, even for me) and went on to...

19.5 "Earthshock"
Rightly regarded as one of the highlights in the Davison era, this Cyberman story was written by Eric Saward (now assuming script editing duties as well) to simulate a fast-paced, hard-edged action/adventure movie, and so it really moves, with little fat on the bone and no shortage of death and terror. The opening episode, set in gloomy cave tunnels, with two faceless robots decimating a military squadron, is very atmospheric. The Cybermen get an '80s re-design which looks pretty cool, and Adric, whose last story this is, is at his most likeable and heroic. The surprise ending, which shocked UK fans at the time, is still effective today. Apparently director Peter Grimwade was a real tyrant on set, but he achieved results, as this is one of the best-directed and stylish of '80s Who serials. Beryl Reid appears as a rather-unlikely space freighter captain, James Warwick (Tommy Beresford on Agatha Christie's Partners in Crime) shows up as a macho military man, and David Banks brings some nicely-judged malice to the role of the Cyber Leader. Davison continues to showcase some serious acting chops as the Doctor, and is much more proactive in this one.



19.6 "Time-Flight"
The Fifth Doctor uses his UNIT credentials to finagle his way into investigating the mysterious disappearance of a Concorde flight which seemingly has been transported 140 million years into the past through a "time contour"...but for what purpose?

This one, written by "Earthshock" director Grimwade, has got a notoriously bad reputation among Who fans, but I must confess, I quite enjoyed it. Yes, it's obvious that the production team ran out of money, and the middle episodes look a bit cheap (but, it must be said, not much more lower budget than normal). Publicity hound producer John Nathan-Turner shot the last of the season's wad on filming at Heathrow Airport and on an actual Concorde plane for episode one and a bit at the finale of episode 4. That stuff adds a lot of visual interest that contrasts with the more set-bound runaround of episodes 2 and 3. The supporting cast also adds a lot to the fun here. It's great to see Nigel Stock (Watson to Peter Cushing's Sherlock Holmes in the '60s) in a good part as Professor Hayter, and the three gents who play the Concord pilots (especially Richard Easton as the resourceful Captain Stapley) liven things up considerably. Anthony Ainley returns as The Master, and - rather unusually for a season ender - there's a bit of a cliffhanger, as Tegan is apparently left behind at Heathrow as the Doctor and Nyssa dematerialize in the TARDIS. Well, she did keep banging on about wanting to get back to London...



I'll go back and polish off "Kinda" someday soon, but overall, I had a blast going through Peter Davison's first season, all spiffed up and looking great in HD. The special features on the S19 Blu-Ray set are fantastic...I managed to get through a big chunk of them for each story, but there is just WAY too much stuff in these sets to get through all at once - literally 3 - 5 hours of bonus content on nearly every disc, sometimes even more! Since the Tom Baker S14 and Colin Baker S23 Blu-Ray sets have recently arrived from Amazon, I'll likely watch of few stories (and extras) from each of those next.
 
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MatthewA

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The Mary Tyler Moore Show: "Love Is All Around" (9/19/1970): Well, well, well, it's been exactly 50 years since the beginning of this TV landmark, and how does it play today? Already from the first episode, the characters' relationships have been well-established, the humor feels grounded in believability, and the acting is excellent. In case you forgot how it all started: Mary Richards (Mary Tyler Moore, formerly of The Dick Van Dyke Show) moved to Minneapolis after not being able to get a commitment to marriage from her boyfriend, Bill (Angus Duncan, And Justice For All). Phyllis Lindstrom (Cloris Leachman, The Last Picture Show, which had been filmed but not yet released and would eventually earn her an Oscar), her new landlady, pre-emptively signed a lease for her so "dumb, awful Rhoda" (Valerie Harper, Li'l Abner), whom her daughter Bess (Lisa Gerritsen) calls an aunt, couldn't get it. Despite her best efforts, Rhoda eventually settles for the upstairs apartment.

Mary's new job is at WJM working as an associate producer for the evening news under Lou Grant (Edward Asner), though he admits it pays less than a secretary's position. Here, the news anchor, Ted Baxter (Ted Knight, Psycho, Caddyshack), has trouble pronouncing a lot of the words Murray Slaughter (Gavin MacLeod, later the captain of The Love Boat). Meanwhile, back at Mary's new home, Bill tries for one more chance while Mr. Grant comes in stumbling drunk and missing his wife Edie, so he "writes" a letter to her on Mary's typewriter. Such a scene easily could have become cringe-worthy in the hands of lesser writers and actors, but they play it with panache.

The DVD holds up reasonably well when upconverted to 4k. There obviously has been some remastering done as the colors are bright and saturated but not garishly so. The TLC that was put into Fox's season 1 box set still shines through, which is why it makes me sad that they felt corners had to be cut to get the rest of the show out. Don't blame me, though, I bought the darn thing as soon as it came out.

LA Law: “Cold Shower” (4/8/1993): The IRS, represented by Marvin Pick (Ethan Phillips) accuses Stuart’s client Celeste Bauman (Diane Ladd, Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore), a health guru who claims to be 75 years old and doesn’t look a day over 50, of fraud, but Stuart blames her old accountant. She dislikes the way Mr. Pick is treating her and refuses to cooperate until he shows her respect. It’s up to Gwen to save the day. Jonathan represents a gay man (Anthony Fusco) who is accused of selling forged art to a cop (Jason Beghe) who seduced him; he pleads entrapment. Tommy tries a teenager (Chance Quinn) as an adult for killing his bullies. Roxanne talks to Tommy about moving in, but he isn’t so sure.

LA Law: “That’s Why the Lady is a Stamp” (4/15/1993): Benny’s friend Dominick (Joe Grifasi, Natural Born Killers) helps him win money at the track, but Douglas and Arnie smell a rat. Leland advises a family (Ron Kuhlman, Kate Collins, Gloria Cromwell) to appraise their late father’s stamp collection for tax purposes, but they cannot agree on whether or not to sell it. When a philatelist comes to appraise the collection, they find more than just stamps. Melina handles the case of a disgruntled postal worker named George Whalen (Will Utay) who couldn’t take the pressure of working in an atmosphere that is higher-pressure than most people think. Some members of the firm have reservations about defending a bank accused of discrimination, but others argue they do not paint with such a broad brush. Melina asks Jonathan how to reduce her workload and thus her stress.

LA Law: “Come Rain or Come Schein” (4/22/1993): Ann represents Aaron Voss (George Wyner, Spaceballs), a weatherman fired from the station for a comedian. The attorney for the station (Stephen Root) argues he does not look like a TV weatherman. Daniel represents a day laborer (Roman J. Cisneros) suing for $2700 his client (Donald May) owes him for building a patio, but his wife (Barbara Stuart) says she rejected it and wanted it redone because the color was wrong. Arnie handles a divorce where the wife (Mimi Maynard) wants to have a divorce in front of a rabbi (William Kramer).

LA Law: “Vindaloo in the Villows” (4/29/1993): Dominic sets Benny up with a woman named Rosalie (Kathleen Wilhoite) whose mother (Kathleen Noone) interferes in her love life. When she comes to Benny at the office to tell him about a sexual assault, he tells her to tell Tommy. Stuart represents an Indian restaurant owner (Brian George) against a couple who claims the waiter (Kavi Raz, St. Elsewhere) and busboy (Iqbal Theba) assaulted them. A black woman (Della Reese) sues to reclaim the paintings of her great-grandfather Dandridge Bright, a slave of the ancestors of the current owners, Mr. and Mrs. Seaverson (Alan Fudge, Karen Montgomery), who want to show them off in museums.

LA Law: “Testing, Testing, 1… 2… 3… 4” (5/6/1993): Gwen is insecure about how to do when she studies for the BAR exam. She asks her instructor Tony Henderson (Cotter Smith) for help. Meanwhile, Daniel wants to get more serious but doesn’t think she wants to. Ann represents a second-grade teacher acquitted of child molestation who refused to take a penile plethysmograph test as a condition for rehiring. The mother (Claire Malis, the Facts of Life) of the boy in question, whom we never actually see, takes the stand to say the man is innocent. Jonathan represents baseball player Val Beaudine (Brian Cousins) against an overzealous fan named Ed Hicks (Alan Blumenfeld, Philly) who got in a fight with him and is representing himself in court when no real lawyer would.

From the “Missed it by That Much” Department: Of all Claire Malis’s appearance on the Facts of Life as Rose Polniaczek, none of them were in the episode Alan Blumenfeld was in. Blumenfeld made an uncredited appearance on this show in the season 2 premiere episode “The Lung Goodbye” as a therapist. His first credit, the 1983 movie WarGames, is the first movie my parents ever took me to see in a movie theater. It was a drive-in. Those are making a comeback these days.

LA Law: “Bourbon Cowboy” (5/13/1993): Melina provides clothes for a female client (Alanna Ubach) in prison while telling her that her boyfriend (Bruce MacVittie) is going to go free for the armed robbery of which they are accused by a man named Howard Bowling (John Lawlor, the Facts of Life, Phyllis). After a judge’s (Dion Anderson) prejudicial; remark, Melina tries to recuse the case on the grounds of bias because of his estrangement from his own daughter, but he denies the motion. Being a huge fan of country music, which shocks the partners, a starstruck Leland is excited that Arnie is representing down-on-his-luck alcoholic singer/songwriter Mason Paine (Ronny Cox) in his divorce from his wife Amanda Hopewell (Pam Tillis). Their main argument is over her permission to sing his songs, since her career has overshadowed his. Tony admits to being attracted to Gwen, but she doesn’t feel the same way, so he tells her to drop the class because he can’t deal with not having her. She won’t hear of it and sues him for sexual harassment. Without her mother knowing about it, Rosalie goes to Tommy to tell him her attacker, Clark Sims, has threatened her and that he has preyed on other mentally disabled women before.

Music: “Is This Gonna Hurt Again”

LA Law: “Hackett or Pack It” (5/27/1993):As Roxanne deals with the rigors of being six months pregnant, Dave Meyer returns with an idea to include her in an infomercial about a product designed to communicate in-vitro. Douglas tells the firm they are representing Buddy Hackett, a friend of Roxanne’s family, who is suing a cartoon show called Ned and Ed for taking his likeness without permission, but he’s less than excited about Douglas telling him jokes. Rosalie takes the stand to testify against Clark Sims (Scott Burkholder), and the defense (Brandon Maggart) tries to use Benny’s testimony to discredit her. Tony tries to hold Gwen’s old relationships against her in the sexual harassment suit. When Dave and Roxanne go to dinner to discuss things, the restaurant refuses to serve her wine when she asks for it, and Dave challenges them to do what she says. Right before the taping, she learns Dave’s finances aren’t as good as he has claimed. Roxanne offers to fund the project and provide a celebrity guest to make up for the one Dave lied about being able to book.

They obviously knew that the changes Tinker & Masius made were not working when the show fell out of the Top 30. They were dismissed, and William M. Finkelstein proved to be a better fit to at least stabilize the show. At least the second half of the season is far more bearable than the first, though it still shows its age in some ways.

From the “Wishin’ and Hopin’” Department: This same season, Buddy Hackett also lent his voice to an episode of Garfield and Friends as a genie who grants Odie his wish to fly. I guess they were trying to beat Aladdin to the punch with someone who worked for Disney years before Robin Williams by playing Tennessee Steinmetz in The Love Bug.

Music: “Kumbaya”
 

bmasters9

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LA Law: “Cold Shower” (4/8/1993): The IRS, represented by Marvin Pick (Ethan Phillips) accuses Stuart’s client Celeste Bauman (Diane Ladd, Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore), a health guru who claims to be 75 years old and doesn’t look a day over 50, of fraud, but Stuart blames her old accountant.
Wouldn't be long after that (a little under two years) before Ethan became Neelix on Voyager (fourth live-action Trek, and fifth overall, counting TAS).
 
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