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

John*Wells

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Perry Mason Returns
Perry Mason: The Case of the Notorious Nun
Perry Mason: The Case of the Shooting Star
Perry Mason: The Case of the Lost Love
Perry Mason: The Case of the Sinister Spirit
Perry Mason: The Case of the Murdered Madam
 

BobO'Link

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Over the past 3 weeks I've watched all 8 seasons of The Cosby Show. I watched most of this one during its original airings and enjoyed it but grew tired of it and the constantly revolving door of step children/cousins/etc. by the 7th season so never really watched that one or S8. At one point I'd have told you I really only liked the first 4 seasons - basically until Rudy got a bit older. To that end I'd originally purchased S1-4 and had no intentions of getting more - but a very low price on the Mill Creek complete series set had me change my mind. At the time, I was actually able to return those first 4 seasons (they were unopened and I'd purchased them at Sams who had a very liberal return policy) which more than covered the cost of the MC set.

Having now seen it all, and in a rather short time span, I can say I was wrong about that. For the most part I enjoyed all 8 seasons, with episode exceptions, mostly in the last 3 seasons, far more than I was expecting.

The early seasons are still strong and very good. There's a good family dynamic going on with the kids acting exactly like I'd expect kids of their ages to act. I've never quite understood how "Cliff" runs a ob/gyn practice in his basement considering the shots of the house exterior that we are shown. There's *no* parking - yet the family has 2 cars (one supposedly a station wagon and the other a luxury type car). That means there's one space when "Claire" goes to work but "his" car will still be on the street (there's no garage shown or mentioned - ever). And that one's likely taken by his receptionist. So just where do his clients park? No other entrance is shown on the front and at least one shot of the front shows the houses on the street are all "attached" which means no side door.

I've decided some of my general feelings towards the show had quite a bit to do with things that were going on with a cast member and a, IMHO, somewhat lackluster spin-off show (A Different World) involving that troublesome character. Basically I never much liked the older girls. "Denise" (Lisa Bonet) was mostly just not there and when she was she acted like a prima dona type. She mostly drifted in and out of the series when they seemingly needed a break from the core group. Of course lots of that was due to what she did in her personal life which got her expelled from the series but then rehired later when things settled down and she left the spin-off. Her later story line where she married the Navy guy who had a daughter never rang true. The daughter was *always* at the Huxtable's house and Denise was never around. At the time it smacked of "we need a kid in the series as Rudy's grown up and not cute any more". It really didn't quite play that way on my viewing of the discs but came close a few times.

I never did like the "Sondra" as she seemed to have a "I'm better than you" attitude. I also didn't much care for the Sondra and "Elvin" story line, although his incredibly mistimed chauvinistic comments when they were dating were often sources of amusement. And they couldn't leave those type of comments out as when Elvin stopped they brought in a neighbor kid (Kenny) to fill in the gaps by spouting much the same things and attributing them to his brother. They gave that couple twins who never really had much to do on the show. I remember thinking at the time that they'd take over the "cute kid" part and was surprised they did not.

Basically, the younger 3 kids were more "real," better written, and fleshed out much better.

Theo's story line improved over the course of the series (I think his character "grew" the most and best) while Vanessa's pretty much died out. Even when Theo left for college he had better stories than Vanessa. Her "engagement" story line in the last season was seemingly there for nothing but filler. Rudy's turned out rather well and they really continued to give her good material after she grew out of the "cute" phase. That doesn't happen very often in a sitcom.

I didn't care for Cliff's "cousin" who moved in during the 7th season, apparently to fill the teenage angst bit and bring in some of her friends to expand the cast (after all, everyone had moved out but Rudy by this point). I felt the episodes featuring her were some of the weakest of the series, mostly because she just kind of appeared out of nowhere and the audience is suddenly asked to accept her as if she's been in the show for years. At least she was only in about half of the episodes and not featured in all that many. Honestly it's pretty much the same with "Olivia" but at least she had those "cute kid" type lines for support. I enjoyed the bits with her more than I recall enjoying them during the original airings.

It's a series I'd absolutely consider revisiting at some point.
 

Jeff Flugel

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I will always associate Barry Atwater with his memorable role as the scientist-turned-zombie in the very scary Outer Limits episode, Corpus Earthling...
For me, Atwater will always be Janos Skorzeny from The Night Stalker.



Great write-up of what looks like a neat episode of Steve Canyon, Randall!
 

Doug Wallen

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Gunsmoke - Seasons 10-12
Disc listing and episode order is incorrect on these discs.

Gilt Guilt (10.31) Andrew Duggan, Jan Clayton, Peter Brooks. Doc receives a visit from a former student who chased gold and now wants to return to doctoring because he failed a goldrush partner. The former partner's wife and son are victims of scurvy due to a severe drought. The stories cross over in interesting ways. Good Doc Adams episode.

Bad Lady From Brookline (10.32) Betty Hutton, Claude Akins. This episode must be a showcase for the guest actress. This is a reather pedestrian episode that finds a wife and son coming to Dodge to meet up with her husband. She discovers her husban is dead and has been killed by Matt. She vows revenge, goes to work as a saloon singer for Kitty while learning how to shoot from an enemy of Matt's. The episode is schizophrenic in that it moves broadly from comedy to melodrama. Not a high point for me.

Two Tall Men (10.33) Harry Townes, George Lindsey, Ben Cooper. Doc is travelling back to Dodge with money for Matt, two men happen upon an injured Doc. A mountain man believes they are trying to rob Doc. He shoots and scares them away. He takes Doc into town and begins to spin a tall tale. He turns the town against the two men and incites mob violence. Matt arrives almost two late to correct the problem. Excellent episode.

Honey Pot (10.34) Rory Calhoun, Harry Lauter, John Crawford, Joanna Moore. A man comes to town and tells Sam he's going to shoot Matt. It's soon understood he is an old friend. Involved in shooting and killing a man, their friendship is stretched as he claims self defense even though he was the only one armed.

The New Society (10.35) James Gregory, Richard X. Slattery, Sandy Kenyon, Jeremy Slate, Jack Weston, Elizabeth Perry. Matt is ordered to Ridge Town to reopen the case of an army major who was murdered 12 years before, when a dying outlaw he shot swears he did not commit the crime, and it appears the whole town is hiding something.

He Who Steals (10.36) Harold J. Stone, Russ Tamblyn, Larry Ward, Stanley Adams. A young impressionable cowhand meets a buffalo hunter and is intrigued. After a run in with a cattle rancher, the young man strikes out on the prairie with the buffalo hunter. Interesting episode that examines the philosophical differences between a fading way of life and civilization (the rule of Law & Order). He ends up making some tough life choices.

So ends season 10. I am now halfway through my journey with Gunsmoke.

Hawaii Five-O - Seasons 1-4
The Joker's Wild, Man, Wild (2.13) Beverlee McKinsey, Kaz Garas, Eddie Firestone, Lani Kai. A rich spoiled girl has created a competition between two "boyfriends". As the game continues, the challenges become more dangerous with death/murder being the final challenge.

Which Way Did They Go (2.14) William Windom, Philip Pine, Jackie Coogan. A released crime boss is taunting McGarrett while trying to plan and pull off a robbery right under Five-O's watchful eyes. An enjoyable cat-and-mouse episode.

Blind Tiger (2.15) Marion Ross, Robert Edwards. The standard television trope of temporary blindness affects McGarrett. He is blinded on his birthday by an angry parent. The blindness was not the preferred outcome and the parent continually tries to kill McGarrett. The final showdown occurs in a darkened hospital room where Steve utilizes his senses to defeat his opponent (Wait Until Dark). Best moment is when the now sighted Steve walks right by his therapy nurse with no recognition on his face.

Run, Johnny, Run (2.17) Christopher Walken, Jack Ging, Marcy Lafferty, Nephi Hanneman. Steve feels responsible for a seaman who went AWOL and apparently killed a shore patrol officer. Unable to believe that, he searches for an alternative solution. The shore patrol partner seems like he has a motive.

JAG - The Complete First Season
Defensive Action (1.13) Terry O'Quinn, Glenn Morshower, Andrea Thompson, W.K. Stratton, Cliff de Young, A patrolling F-14 malfunctions in a no-fly zone; the crew ejects, and the bird explodes. A Serb helo strafes the crew while they descend with their chutes. The CAG destroys the helo, then he faces a court-martial; Harm and Meg defend him.

Smoked (1.14) Andrea Thompson, Michael McGrady, Bernard White, Steven Anderson. John M. Jackson joins the cast as Adm. Chegwidden. After a lightning strike an F-14 wanders into Cuban airspace, and Cuban fighters force it to land. Harm and Meg in Cuba try to negotiate a return of the aircraft and the pilot -- before anyone seizes the advanced programs from the bird.

Hemlock (1.15) Andrea Thompson, Jack Conley, James Denton, Ollie North, Robert Curtis Brown. By mistake a foreign agent sends a fax to Meg's office; then he retrieves it and shoots Meg to prevent her from identifying him. Meg undergoes surgery; Harm and others track and find the assailant, who's an assassin on an assignment.

High Ground (1.16) Andrea Thompson, Stephen McHattie, Christopher Murray. A Marine sniper receives orders contrary to a previous deal; his CO refuses to listen; the sniper takes a shot at the CO's Humvee. Harm and Meg investigate. After an escape and a chase, Harm returns the accused to the base and works it out.

M Squad - Complete Series
Dead Or Alive (2.2) Tom Pittman, Judi Meredith, Michael Pataki. A pair of gun crazy kids are loose in Chicago-- and a young reporter is defending them in the press against Ballinger and "police brutality".

The Missing Claimant (2.3) Joan Vohs, Rebecca Welles, Harry Lauter. A shady lawyer protects a false heir to a fortune-- by killing the real relative! Ballinger is called in to set everything straight.

The Refugee (2.4) Judith Braun, Mark Neiman, Jean Del Val. Ballinger goes undercover as an immigrant worker to help break an extortion ring targeting foreigners.

Combat - Complete Series
Off Limits (1.20) Jeremy Slate, Peggy Ann Garner, William Windom. A pretty female Lt. married to a corporal, has also fallen in love with her Capt., and the husband might be killed when he has to fill in for an AWOL private.

No Hallelujahs For Glory (1.24) Elizabeth Allen. A coldhearted photo journalist accidentally causes a town to believe they are liberated and when the Nazis move in with their murderous torture methods, she learns the true meaning of human suffering during war.

The Battle Of The Roses (1.26) Antoinette Bower, Penny Santon. A young woman who cannot face the horrors of the war isolates herself in an idyllic garden which is unscathed by German bombs and refuses to leave. Saunders attempts to evacuate her before more Germans come.

Hill 256 (1.27) Robert Culp, Bill Zuckert, Liam Sullivan, Jack Hogan. Kirby finds himself on trial for cowardice. He claims to have seen a gun emplacement that Metcalf (Robert Culp) did not. Saunders and Cake make a foolhardy trip to Hill 256 to discover any evidence that could clear Kirby. Making reckless decisions is one aspect that I enjoy seeing play out. Good episode.

Have Gun - Will Travel - Complete Series
Brother's Keeper (4.33) Wright King, Ed Nelson, Karl Swenson, Betsy Jones-Moreland, Ben Wright. On his way from Santa Fe after collecting a $2500 reward, Paladin is attacked and nearly killed by a puma. Nearly unconscious, two men walk up and deciding that he won't make it, take his horse, guns and money and ride off. He staggers to the nearest town only to discover that the information he gathered about these men could apply to most of the town. Now how will get back his property.

Bear Bait (4.34) Judi Meredith, Martin West, Richard Rust, Ralph Reed. In taking a commission, Paladin travels to Deerfield. There he immediately falls afoul of a young, abusive ranch hand. After being put in his place, he recruits two coworkers to help him do likewise to Paladin.

The Cure (4.35) Norma Crane, Jerry Wayne, Jeanne Vaughn. Martha Jane Conroy aka Calamity Jane is at rock bottom. With the help of an old friend, Paladin, she tries to recoup some losses from her former business partner.

The Road (4.36) Gene Lyons, Ben Wright, George Kennedy, Joel Crothers. Men scavenge for whatever they can along the trail that may or may not lead to gold. When Paladin finds himself on the same path, he has to be careful lest he fall prey to those same men. When his gun and all other goods are stolen, he makes an atlatl to defend himself, regain some his possessions, and save his life.

The Uneasy Grave (4.37) Pippa Scott, Werner Klemperer. A friend asks Paladin to inspect his vineyards in Sonoma, to see what is happening to the taste of his wine. Outside Johnsonville, a woman is digging a grave. When he stops, she asks for his help to avenge the deceased.

Soledad Crossing (4.38) Edward Faulkner, Ken Curtis, Natalie Norwick. Paladin responds to an ad offering a $2000 reward for the twins who killed two deputies and wounded four bystanders. He captures one; the other is already dead "of natural causes." But he has difficulty returning him when the town is quarantined due to possible diphtheria outbreak, and he as well as his prisoner may be infected.
 
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Rustifer

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Episode Commentary
Hogan's Heroes
"Who Stole My copy of Mein Kampf?" (S4E16)

Who knew that being a POW in Germany during WWII could be so much fun? Those zany American and British prisoners were always plotting, escaping, returning, throwing parties...
What makes the war even more of a giggle fest is the befuddled German Colonel in charge of the camp--who is duped at every turn by Col. Hogan (Bob Crane), and a roly poly prison guard Sergeant who knows nothingggg. So if you were a soldier during the war, chances are you weren't having any fun unless you found yourself in a POW club...uh...camp.

Hogan receives a secret message from Allied Command, but is initially unable to to decipher it due to Col. Klink (Werner Kemplerer) having confiscated his code book. Rats! Code books were tough to come by during a war. Meanwhile, Klink is to receive an award for his record of no escaped prisoners--even though Hogan and his crew seem to stroll in and out of the camp at will. Hogan eventually decodes the message--which orders him to 'silence' a defector who has joined the German propaganda department. The defector's name is Leslie, which Hogan assumes is a guy. But in this POW camp where fun is fun--expect the unexpected. Hogan's team rigs up an electric razor (they had those during the war?) in order to zap the defector when used.

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A typical war defector; Hogan and Klink discus the day's MLB scores; The coffee in this place sucks...

The plan goes swimmingly well until Leslie turns out to be a stunning blonde (Ruta Lee in a decidedly 60's hair do and bad British accent). As been said--the only thing constant is change, so Hogan must shift into reverse gear. Instead, he poses as a willing defector to the defector herself and effectively screws up her radio program that is to give Klink his award. Leslie's use to the Third Reich comes to a rapid end.

Some blondes don't have more fun.

Menial Notes:
Ruta Lee nearly flunked out of high school by spending so many late nights rehearsing for local plays and hanging around with school mate David Nelson (of Ozzie & Harriet fame).

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Given half a chance, I would've hung out with her, too...
Always was a big Ruta Lee fan.
 
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Flashgear

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Steve Canyon episode 11, Operation Crash Landing (Dec.6, 1958) D: Lamont Johnson, W: Sydney Carroll, Guest starring Nick Adams, William Schallert, Jack Hogan, Sandy Kenyon, Wesley Lau.

In this well mounted episode loaded with familiar faces from classic TV and movies, Steve Canyon (Dean Fredericks) is having another sh*t day at the wheel of his gigantic B-52. It surely wasn't supposed to be like this, especially while on what should have been a pleasant good-will flight, sans H-bombs, to exotic Rio de Janeiro...things start to go SNAFU on the return leg back to Edwards AFB...idiot deluxe crewman Sgt. Bowman (Wesley Lau of Time Tunnel) has managed to tangle with a biting plague monkey just minutes before take-off...this being a 25 minute show, the incubation period for spinal Meningitis is shown to be about 3 minutes, whereupon Bowman begins to have a splitting headache, followed by screaming convulsions a minute later...not sure what his duties are on the big jet, but he's pretty much dead-weight ballast here...rather than throw him out like a mail bag, Canyon has crewman Lt. Michelson (Sandy Kenyon) give Bowman a shot of Demerol, and thankfully, he's out like a light for the rest of the show...in the next few minutes, his Meningitis is likely to become the deadly Cerebral kind...Canyon leans on the throttles to get them home ASAP...but wouldn't you know it, on final approach, they discover that the tail wheel landing gear won't lock in place...Canyon breaks off the landing and orbits the field to try to let engineer Sgt, Korman (Nick Adams of The Rebel, Saints and Sinners etc.,) sort out the problem landing gear while an F-84 chase plane looks them over...Canyon's in contact with the Tower, where the ATC (Jack Hogan of Combat! and Adam-12) calls for the base flight surgeon (William Schallert of The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis, Patty Duke Show and nearly 400 acting credits)...the surgeon informs Canyon that his stricken crewman can't tolerate an ejection...Canyon confers with Sgt. Korman and his men, who in solidarity with their sick friend and self-sacrificing commander, decide to strap-in and ride out the tail-skidding crash landing together...fortunate at least to have burned off their jet fuel and thus minimizing a fire should they break-up on the crash strip...my screen caps from volume 2 of the great Steve Canyon DVD sets...
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The plague monkey didn't get a credit, unfortunately.

Needless to say, but the big Boeing B-52 doesn't fail them...the B-52, the last of which were built in 1962, still serves in the USAF to this day...with upgrades they plan to continue flying the B-52 indefinitely...where it may yet be flying as a hundred year old icon of superb American aviation design...among it's flyers, it's affectionately known as the B.U.F.F. (big, ugly, fat f*cker)...I've always thought they were beautiful, especially after seeing one air-to-air from the KC-135 Hercules I was in...looking at it above us at about 38,000 ft., as it flew on to the West, trailing a long, beautiful contrail in the crystal-clear blue sky of the Stratosphere for which it was made...
 
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ScottRE

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I pulled out the Steve Canyon box set over the weekend thanks to this thread. I usually start from the beginning, but I wanted to just catch an episode that seemed interesting, so I started at 3rd volume. The format had changed at this point, taking Steve off the Air Force bases into a variety of situations. I popped in “Blackmail” and intended to just watch one.

I cranked through the entire disc in one afternoon. This series got insanely good! It’s also a lot darker than I would have expected for a show based on a comic strip series. “Iron Curtain” was very touching and sobering, but “Operation Intercept” was positively grim. Especially the reveal that the pilot and co pilot were dead (“they look like snowmen”) and the fact that they had no idea if the navigator was alive or not, yet still shot down the plane to keep it out of Russian airspace. Steve needed a shot of bad whiskey at the end was amazing. This series should have gone on, it was a great adventure and as much for adults as kids. I wasn’t as enamored with the original format, keeping it to various bases, but once he got to different locales, this series really picked up. Dean Fredericks was really well cast. Really top grade. Awesome series.
 

Jeff Flugel

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Did a little cop show marathon, before moving into a gentle warm-up in anticipation of October and some darker Halloween-themed viewing:

Hunter – 1.2 “Hard Contract”
Hunter is saddled with an annoying insect of a temporary partner, Sgt. Bernie Terwilliger (James Whitmore, Jr., who always excelled at these kind of roles) out to scribble down every one of Hunter’s procedural violations, while Dee Dee McCall (Stepfanie Kramer) tries to track down on her disgraced and disgruntled former partner, who’s planning a hit on a witness under heavy police protection. It won’t take a brain surgeon to figure out that Hunter will quickly ditch Bernie to help out his new BFF McCall. The plot ain’t anything special, but Fred Dryer is appealing as a sort of second-rate Dirty Harry, and has good chemistry with Kramer. It helps that exec producer Stephen J. Cannell had a real flair for churning out entertaining action nonsense like this. That said, seeing Ms. Kramer - surely one of the best looking officers to ever grace a TV cop show - in her skintight undercover hooker gear and big '80s hair, is the undisputed highlight of the episode.






The Mod Squad – 1.26 “A Seat by the Window”
An intriguing premise in this one: an unidentified man is knifed at a bus station and the killer escapes on one of three “youth outing” tour buses, the kind that don’t have any ticket information or waiting lists with names, etc. Linc, Pete and Julie (the oh-so-lovely Peggy Lipton) each hop on a different bus, undercover as fellow sightseers, to investigate. With Bo Hopkins, John Beck, Julie Gregg and (briefly) a very young and pretty Tiffany Bolling. I’ll give you one guess as to which one plays the fruit loop killer…




Kojak – 1.14 “Die Before They Wake”
Tina Louise (a loooooong way from Gilligan’s Island) impresses here in a small but crucial part as a heroin addicted call girl who’s involved in the murder of a crusading TV reporter out to bust a drug-and-prostitution ring. Telly Savalas’ Kojak, in his slick, expensive suits, always stands out from the rest of his rumpled cop underlings. Harris Yulin has a fine line in "sleazebag bad guy," and willowy brunette Jess Walton does good work as the ex-addict girlfriend of the murdered man, out for revenge. Good, gritty stuff, as was:

The Streets of San Francisco – 1.24 “Shattered Image”
When a high-ranking politician is murdered by speargun on a yacht in San Francisco Bay, our boys Stone and Keller are on the case, and even the protestations of the dead man’s wife (Barbara Rush), an old flame of Stone’s, won’t keep the detectives from doing their job and nailing the culprit. As always, the great chemistry between Karl Malden and Michael Douglas, plus lots of neat San Fran location footage, makes for compelling viewing. Also with Jim Davis and Dick Sargent.

The Scooby Doo Show
3. 6 “A Highland Fling with a Monstrous Thing”
3. 10 “The Creepy Creature of Vulture’s Claw”
It might be hard for some to imagine, but there is definitely a measure of quality between various Scooby-Doo cartoons. “A Highland Fling…” is pretty dang good by Hanna-Barbera standards, with plenty of funny touches and a reasonably clever script. “The Creepy Creature…” is more of a humdrum entry, although it does offer a much larger range of suspects than usual. Overall, if you like the antics of Shaggy, Scooby and the gang (as I do), there are worse ways to pass the time late at night, vegging out on the sofa before shuffling off to bed.

The Munsters – 1.29 “Herman the Rookie”
Typically funny shenanigans with the lovable Munster family, as Herman, trying to teach Eddie how to play baseball, hits one eight blocks out, where it konks Leo Durocher on the head. This naturally gets the manager’s attention, and so off he goes to the Munster’s house in an attempt to recruit Herman to his team. Lots of fun physical gags here, as Herman’s oafish strength during the tryout makes a shambles of the field and causes the other players to leave the field in disgust.

The Avengers – 4.11 “Man-Eater of Surrey Green”
An intelligent, man-eating alien plant hitches a ride on a rocket that crash lands in the bucolic English countryside, and soon begins planning world domination with the help of a wealthy horticulturist (Derek Farr). This episode, from the first (black-and-white) Mrs. Peel season, is about as sci-fi as this series ever gets. It cracks along at a nifty pace and – at least until the rather ridiculous finale, featuring a fight between Steed and a mind-controlled Mrs. Peel – keeps things relatively grounded, despite the “out there” premise. In a neat twist, only those people who wear hearing aids can resist the mind control of the alien invader. Athene Saylor is a delight as the eccentric elderly botanist who assists Steed and Mrs. Peel. Gillian Lewis (from Mr. Rose and The Mind of J.G. Reeder) also shows up as one of the scientists who fall prey to the killer plant from outer space. And, of course, the late, great Diana Rigg's beauty and poise simply melt the screen.




The Adventures of Superman – 1.2 “The Haunted Lighthouse”
Oof. Apologies to boomers everywhere, but I’m afraid I found this episode pretty poor. It doesn’t help that lame-o king of all wussbags, Jimmy Olson (Jack Larson), is front and center throughout, seemingly unable to handle a mystery that would hardly challenge Wally and the Beaver. I haven’t watched this show for years, but even as a kid catching it in reruns, it always irked me that they only seemed to put run-of-the-mill thugs and criminals up against the immortal, all-powerful Superman. We don’t even get Lex Luthor, for Pete's sake!

You can tell how cheap the production is when the woman posing as Jimmy’s Aunt Louisa comes out of the house to greet him and casts a big shadow on the painted coastal backdrop. Viewers will sigh in relief when good ol’ George Reeves as Clark Kent shows up to help wet blanket Jimmy take down a trio of smugglers. I picked up the S1 DVD of this show several years ago more because it’s a beloved icon of ‘50s television than for any real fondness or nostalgic memories. This is the first episode I've mustered up the enthusiasm to watch since. Oh, well, I guess things can only get better from here...
 
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bmasters9

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Did a little cop show marathon, before moving into a gentle warm-up in anticipation of October and some darker Halloween-themed viewing:

Hunter – 1.2 “Hard Contract”
Hunter is saddled with an annoying insect of a temporary partner, Sgt. Bernie Terwilliger (James Whitmore, Jr., who always excelled at these kind of roles) out to scribble down every one of Hunter’s procedural violations, while Dee Dee McCall (Stepfanie Kramer) tries to track down on her disgraced and disgruntled former partner, who’s planning a hit on a witness under heavy police protection. It won’t take a brain surgeon to figure out that Hunter will quickly ditch Bernie to help out his new BFF McCall. The plot ain’t anything special, but Fred Dryer is appealing as a sort of second-rate Dirty Harry, and has good chemistry with Kramer. It helps that exec producer Stephen J. Cannell had a real flair for churning out entertaining action nonsense like this. That said, seeing Ms. Kramer - surely one of the best looking officers to ever grace a TV cop show - in her skintight undercover hooker gear and big '80s hair, is the undisputed highlight of the episode.
I saw that episode from a copy of the first-season Mill Creek release that I had a long time ago, but I don't have that anymore; this is why I constantly hope that that Mill Creek all-in-one will come down to a more manageable price point.
 

Jeff Flugel

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I saw that episode from a copy of the first-season Mill Creek release that I had a long time ago, but I don't have that anymore; this is why I constantly hope that that Mill Creek all-in-one will come down to a more manageable price point.
I only own the Hunter S1 DVD, which is less than $9 on Amazon. Not sure if you're Region Free, Ben, but you could always try that 42 disc German complete series set, which is currently sitting at 42 Euros (or roughly $49). I believe fellow HTF member Dave Lawrence spoke about this one recently in the "What's the last TV DVD/Blu-Ray you bought" thread.


hunter2.jpg
 
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bmasters9

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I only own the Hunter S1 DVD, which is less than $9 on Amazon. Not sure if you're Region Free, Ben, but you could always try that 42 disc German complete series set, which is currently sitting at 42 Euros (or roughly $49). I believe fellow HTF member Dave Lawrence spoke about this one recently in the "What's the last TV DVD/Blu-Ray you bought" thread.


View attachment 79475
I am not region-free in the sense of being able to play foreign discs like this one is (my PS3 can play only Region 1 discs and true region-free discs [one example of the latter being that Blu of The China Syndrome]), so I wonder how that PS3 can be converted to being a region-free one (or barring that, how much a region-free player would cost).
 
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BobO'Link

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Howie
The Adventures of Superman – 1.2 “The Haunted Lighthouse”
Oof. Apologies to boomers everywhere, but I’m afraid I found this episode pretty poor. It doesn’t help that lame-o king of all wussbags, Jimmy Olson (Jack Larson), is front and center throughout, seemingly unable to handle a mystery that would hardly challenge Wally and the Beaver. I haven’t watched this show for years, but even as a kid catching it in reruns, it always irked me that they only seemed to put run-of-the-mill thugs and criminals up against the immortal, all-powerful Superman. We don’t even get Lex Luthor, for Pete's sake!

You can tell how cheap the production is when the woman posing as Jimmy’s Aunt Louisa comes out of the house to greet him and casts a big shadow on the painted coastal backdrop. Viewers will sigh in relief when good ol’ George Reeves as Clark Kent shows up to help wet blanket Jimmy take down a trio of smugglers. I picked up the S1 DVD of this show several years ago more because it’s a beloved icon of ‘50s television than for any real fondness or nostalgic memories. This is the first episode I've mustered up the enthusiasm to watch since. Oh, well, I guess things can only get better from here...
No apology needed with that episode, Jeff. It *is* one of the weaker ones.

FWIW, S1 is more detective/crime based. I like Phyllis Coats (Lois Lane in S1) much better than Noel Neil (took over the role in S2). S1 most decidedly has a different vibe than the rest of the series. You start to get the mad scientists (mostly on the side of the law but a thug/gangster steals the invention or them) and a few "human interest" type things in the later seasons. No Lex but there *are* several featuring Kryptonite as a way to take Supes out.

BUT - There's also "Great Caesar's Ghost" - S3E5. It's the one where Perry White is a key witness in a gangster trial. But on the eve of his testimony, he believes he not only hears a ghost but sees it too! The gangsters dress one of the henchmen up in Roman attire and put makeup on him to make him look "ghostly" to fool Perry. Yeah... Perry's just as much a dupe as Jimmy Olsen.

"Caesar's Ghost" shows up to scare Perry:
1601656766012.png


The gang and Perry just as Superman shows up:
1601656618461.png

Even as a kid I thought this one was pretty lame, and I absolutely *love* the series!
 

Montytc

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Tim Montavon
I only own the Hunter S1 DVD, which is less than $9 on Amazon. Not sure if you're Region Free, Ben, but you could always try that 42 disc German complete series set, which is currently sitting at 42 Euros (or roughly $49). I believe fellow HTF member Dave Lawrence spoke about this one recently in the "What's the last TV DVD/Blu-Ray you bought" thread.


View attachment 79475
Did a little cop show marathon, before moving into a gentle warm-up in anticipation of October and some darker Halloween-themed viewing:

Hunter – 1.2 “Hard Contract”
Hunter is saddled with an annoying insect of a temporary partner, Sgt. Bernie Terwilliger (James Whitmore, Jr., who always excelled at these kind of roles) out to scribble down every one of Hunter’s procedural violations, while Dee Dee McCall (Stepfanie Kramer) tries to track down on her disgraced and disgruntled former partner, who’s planning a hit on a witness under heavy police protection. It won’t take a brain surgeon to figure out that Hunter will quickly ditch Bernie to help out his new BFF McCall. The plot ain’t anything special, but Fred Dryer is appealing as a sort of second-rate Dirty Harry, and has good chemistry with Kramer. It helps that exec producer Stephen J. Cannell had a real flair for churning out entertaining action nonsense like this. That said, seeing Ms. Kramer - surely one of the best looking officers to ever grace a TV cop show - in her skintight undercover hooker gear and big '80s hair, is the undisputed highlight of the episode.






The Mod Squad – 1.26 “A Seat by the Window”
An intriguing premise in this one: an unidentified man is knifed at a bus station and the killer escapes on one of three “youth outing” tour buses, the kind that don’t have any ticket information or waiting lists with names, etc. Linc, Pete and Julie (the oh-so-lovely Peggy Lipton) each hop on a different bus, undercover as fellow sightseers, to investigate. With Bo Hopkins, John Beck, Julie Gregg and (briefly) a very young and pretty Tiffany Bolling. I’ll give you one guess as to which one plays the fruit loop killer…




Kojak – 1.14 “Die Before They Wake”
Tina Louise (a loooooong way from Gilligan’s Island) impresses here in a small but crucial part as a heroin addicted call girl who’s involved in the murder of a crusading TV reporter out to bust a drug-and-prostitution ring. Telly Savalas’ Kojak, in his slick, expensive suits, always stands out from the rest of his rumpled cop underlings. Harris Yulin has a fine line is sleazebag bad guy, and willowy brunette Jess Walton does good work as the ex-addict girlfriend of the murdered man, out for revenge. Good, gritty stuff, as was:

The Streets of San Francisco – 1.24 “Shattered Image”
When a high-ranking politician is murdered by speargun on a yacht in San Francisco Bay, our boys Stone and Keller are on the case, and even the protestations of the dead man’s wife (Barbara Rush), an old flame of Stone’s, won’t keep the detectives from doing their job and nailing the culprit. As always, the great chemistry between Karl Malden and Michael Douglas, plus lots of neat San Fran location footage, makes for compelling viewing. Also with Jim Davis and Dick Sargent.

The Scooby Doo Show
3. 6 “A Highland Fling with a Monstrous Thing”
3. 10 “The Creepy Creature of Vulture’s Claw”
It might be hard for some to imagine, but there is definitely a measure of quality between various Scooby-Doo cartoons. “A Highland Fling…” is pretty dang good by Hanna-Barbera standards, with plenty of funny touches and a reasonably clever script. “The Creepy Creature…” is more of a humdrum entry, although it does offer a much larger range of suspects than usual. Overall, if you like the antics of Shaggy, Scooby and the gang (as I do), there are worse ways to pass the time late at night, vegging out on the sofa before shuffling off to bed.

The Munsters – 1.29 “Herman the Rookie”
Typically funny shenanigans with the lovable Munster family, as Herman, trying to teach Eddie how to play baseball, hits one eight blocks out, where it konks Leo Durocher on the head. This naturally gets the manager’s attention, and so off he goes to the Munster’s house in an attempt to recruit Herman to his team. Lots of fun physical gags here, as Herman’s oafish strength during the tryout makes a shambles of the field and causes the other players to leave the field in disgust.

The Avengers – 4.11 “Man-Eater of Surrey Green”
An intelligent, man-eating alien plant hitches a ride on a rocket that crash lands in the bucolic English countryside, and soon begins planning world domination with the help of a wealthy horticulturist (Derek Farr). This episode, from the first (black-and-white) Mrs. Peel season, is about as sci-fi as this series ever gets. It cracks along at a nifty pace and – at least until the rather ridiculous finale, featuring a fight between Steed and a mind-controlled Mrs. Peel – keeps things relatively grounded, despite the “out there” premise. In a neat twist, only those people who wear hearing aids can resist the mind control of the alien invader. Athene Saylor is a delight as the eccentric elderly botanist who assists Steed and Mrs. Peel. Gillian Lewis (from Mr. Rose and The Mind of J.G. Reeder) also shows up as one of the scientists who fall prey to the killer plant from outer space. And, of course, the late, great Diana Rigg's beauty and poise simply melt the screen.




The Adventures of Superman – 1.2 “The Haunted Lighthouse”
Oof. Apologies to boomers everywhere, but I’m afraid I found this episode pretty poor. It doesn’t help that lame-o king of all wussbags, Jimmy Olson (Jack Larson), is front and center throughout, seemingly unable to handle a mystery that would hardly challenge Wally and the Beaver. I haven’t watched this show for years, but even as a kid catching it in reruns, it always irked me that they only seemed to put run-of-the-mill thugs and criminals up against the immortal, all-powerful Superman. We don’t even get Lex Luthor, for Pete's sake!

You can tell how cheap the production is when the woman posing as Jimmy’s Aunt Louisa comes out of the house to greet him and casts a big shadow on the painted coastal backdrop. Viewers will sigh in relief when good ol’ George Reeves as Clark Kent shows up to help wet blanket Jimmy take down a trio of smugglers. I picked up the S1 DVD of this show several years ago more because it’s a beloved icon of ‘50s television than for any real fondness or nostalgic memories. This is the first episode I've mustered up the enthusiasm to watch since. Oh, well, I guess things can only get better from here...
Great set of shows Jeff!
 

Jeff Flugel

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Jeff Flugel
No apology needed with that episode, Jeff. It *is* one of the weaker ones.

FWIW, S1 is more detective/crime based. I like Phyllis Coats (Lois Lane in S1) much better than Noel Neil (took over the role in S2). S1 most decidedly has a different vibe than the rest of the series. You start to get the mad scientists (mostly on the side of the law but a thug/gangster steals the invention or them) and a few "human interest" type things in the later seasons. No Lex but there *are* several featuring Kryptonite as a way to take Supes out.
Cheers, Howie! Phyllis Coates is one of the main reasons I picked up S1 of The Adventures of Superman...can't stand Noel Neill, especially in those later color seasons of the show! Ironically, Ms. Coates is nowhere to be seen in "The Haunted Lighthouse."




Great set of shows Jeff!
Thanks, Tim!
 

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