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What did you watch this week in classic TV on DVD(or Blu)? (2 Viewers)

Rustifer

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Episode Commentary
Perry Mason
"The Case of the Larcenous Lady" (S4E12)

Why did Robinson Crusoe kill Friday on a Saturday? This sort of mystery requires the 1960 law and order triumvirate of defense attorney Perry Mason, public prosecutor Hamilton Burger and police Lt. Arthur Tragg. Only Perry Mason (Raymond Burr) can solve the puzzle, as Hamilton Burger (William Talman)--despite having a raft of tagged evidence--still can't see the big picture, nor can Lt. Tragg--at age 186--who doesn't even remember his last bowel movement. The whole event will end in the courtroom, where a stern judge will surely sustain every objection that Perry raises while secretly wondering what Della Street (Barbara Hale) is wearing under her form-fitting skirt. Perry will be the only one privy to that mystery.

The alliterative lady in the episode title is the wife of Mayor Jim Henderson (Arthur Franz) who is being offered a plum position in the government. Wife Mona (Patricia Huston) is prepared to do anything to help move hubby up the slippery political ladder. But in order to facilitate, she must first suspend some sort of illegal land deal she's cooked up with scuzzy realtor Tom Stratton (Edward Platt). To accomplish this, Mona sends the unwitting secretary of her husband, Susan (an impossibly young Louise Fletcher), to a sleazy highway motel to meet up with Stratton and receive a $10,000 payment. A photo of the transaction is secretly taken for fertile extortion fodder.

Confused and scared, Susan hotfoots to Perry Mason's office, interrupting his lunch of a dozen swiss cheese and mustard sandwiches that Della keeps in the break room fridge in case Perry needs to nibble on something other than her ear lobe. Susan is afraid any sort of scandal may hurt her boss' opportunity at the new job. So therein lies the players and the plot to this story.

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Paul Drake models Walmart's A-Line Sportswear; Perry gives Della that special look; Lt. Tragg employs the old hand-in-the-popcorn trick

Mona meets with the wife of her husband's main competitor for the position with the singular purpose in blackmailing the couple to withdrawing from the running. Mona proves to be as cold as March in Montana and mean as a badger with swollen hemorrhoids. You just know she's gonna get her comeuppance at some point. In fact, she conveniently gets shot dead just as Perry shows up at her home. Her husband seems to know who did it, but his lips are sealed--much to Perry's disgust. Perry would prefer a simple solution so as not to interfere with lunch hour, but it's not to be as there are plenty of suspects who were willing to see Mona end up on the wrong side of the lawn. The story has more twists than a Chubby Checker album--too many for this lazy commentator to spell out.

In the end, with the investigative help of Paul Drake (William Hopper)--Perry's silver-haired detective whose sport coats are generally louder than a ghetto boom box, coupled with a local prosecutor who couldn't argue his way out of an empty room, Perry masterfully shines a divining light onto the entire mystery. And just in time to catch the daily liver and onions special at the courtroom lunch counter.
 
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Rustifer

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The Norliss Tapes (1973 TV movie)
Ahhh, I remember this little spine-tingler, Jeff. Its meaty atmosphere is only outdone by the dual appearances of Angie Dickinson and ice blue-eyed Michele Carey.
Michele was rarely seen in later life, but I had the luck to spot her once while I was hanging around Newport Beach where she was living before her death in 2018. Older, for sure, but there was no mistaking those eyes.
 

Rustifer

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I've always had trouble getting into made-for-TV horror product after I was 13 or so. For me, most of it is just... lacking in horror due to the constraints put on TV content. I think lots of that was that local stations ran all those 30s-50s horror movies, mostly uncut, on Saturday afternoon movie and late night horror host programs.
I'm kinda with you on this, Howie--certainly more so than your disturbing enjoyment of Gumby.
As a kid, I remember spending my summers visiting my cousin in Chicago in the late 1950's--where we would watch with mouths agape at Cleveland-based late night horror show host Ghoulardi and his relentless line up of B movies. Friday fright nights were never better.

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If you're gonna look like this, you'd better own it completely.
 

BobO'Link

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I'm kinda with you on this, Howie--certainly more so than your disturbing enjoyment of Gumby.
As a kid, I remember spending my summers visiting my cousin in Chicago in the late 1950's--where we would watch with mouths agape at Cleveland-based late night horror show host Ghoulardi and his relentless line up of B movies. Friday fright nights were never better.

If you're gonna look like this, you'd better own it completely.
The host of ours was "Sivad" the “Monster of Ceremonies” :
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That's Davis, spelled backwards. Here he is without makeup:
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Watson Davis of Memphis, TN who hosted "Fantastic Features" from 1962 to 1972. It first aired in Prime Time on Saturdays, moved to Friday night at 10:30 and then expanded to add a double feature on Saturday nights, also starting at 10:30. I could occasionally convince my mom to let me stay up for both movies on Saturday night.

A competing station ran movies every Saturday afternoon with one of them usually being a horror movie.
 
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Jeff Flugel

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I've always had trouble getting into made-for-TV horror product after I was 13 or so. For me, most of it is just... lacking in horror due to the constraints put on TV content. I think lots of that was that local stations ran all those 30s-50s horror movies, mostly uncut, on Saturday afternoon movie and late night horror host programs. I'd seen far more scary and disturbing material by the time I was 13 than late 60s and 70s network TV would, or could, deliver. That's not to say there aren't some entertaining products out there as Hammer House of Horror is well done and one of the better examples of the genre. Some of Alfred Hitchcock Presents and The Twilight Zone touched on horror to, mostly, good effect (I caught a few of Hitchcock's horror episodes as a wee lad and found them scary - but the horror books with his name on them were much better) and here was the Boris Karloff hosted Thriller - which, frankly, was somewhat less than thrilling for me with most episodes. I tried to watch Rod Serling's Night Gallery but found it mostly predictable, watered down, and just plain boring (yeah, I know... that's high sacrilege in some circles). I never watched Kolchak: The Night Stalker as by that time I'd given up on ever seeing anything scary on network TV. Even most of the newer, modern, "adult" horror series fall flat for me. Looking at you, Penny Dreadful, The Walking Dead, Stranger Things, and a few others.

Well, Howie, even if I didn't convince you of the merits of The Norliss Tapes, you really should check out Kolchak: The Night Stalker...at the very least, see the original TV movie The Night Stalker. Darren McGavin's Carl Kolchak is IMO one of the great fictional creations for the screen, big or small. And his antagonistic relationship with his put-upon editor, played to apoplectic perfection by Simon Oakland, is wonderful. Watch it for the sharp writing and performances, if nothing else.
 

bmasters9

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Ben Masters
Reached checkers on Have Gun, Will Travel last night (albeit unconventionally, as [on my copy of the all-in-one] I first saw the last go, then filled in what was left on the fourth and fifth gos, and finally finished the last of the third one).
 

Rustifer

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Episode Commentary
Bonanza
"The Gamble" (S3E27)

On the way back home from a grueling cattle drive, the entire Cartwright clan rides into a small town late at night looking for a spot to bed their horses. Both the Westin and Marriott had a no pet rule, so they settle the animals at the livery. Adam (Pernell Roberts) carries a saddlebag filled with $30,000 from the cattle sale. Either the Cartwrights are planning a weekend getaway to Reno, or the money is headed for the bank--which, coincidently, is being robbed at that very moment by four hooded men. They make off with --guess what--$30,000 stuffed in a duplicate of the saddlebag carried by Adam. Oh, you can bet there's gonna be some kind of kerfuffle over this.

The Sheriff (Charles McGraw) and his Deputy (Ben Johnson) are quick to gather up Ben (Lorne Greene) and sons as probable suspects, despite the fact that they're doing nothing more suspicious than playing a rousing Monopoly game in their hotel room. Of course the Sheriff finds cash in Adam's saddlebag and understandably mistakes it for the purloined bank loot. Secretly, Ben promises himself to apply for a debit card so as to avoid carrying cash in the future. The Cartwrights are summarily tossed into jail. Sharing the cell's one toilet with Hoss (Dan Blocker) appeals to no one--especially since he had just finished off a double burrito supreme at breakfast.

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Hoss tests the structural integrity of the jail bunk; Trials put Adam to sleep: Once free, the Cartwrights head for a Cracker Barrel

Needing a big time lawyer, Ben tries to reach Perry Mason only to sadly discover he's actually a fictional character. Matlock is also a no-go. The townspeople are in an uproar--not only for the robbery, but also feeding Hoss at taxpayers' expense was rapidly depleting the community chest. Once the Sheriff determines that the Cartwrights' money is legit--he hatches a devious plan to steal it and still pin the robbery on the family. Back in those days, it was a 50-50 proposition that lawmen were as crooked as the criminals. Much like politicians today.

The trial doesn't go well. The only chance to avoid hanging is for Little Joe (Michael Landon) to escape and clear their name, i.e. find the real crooks. He races back to Virginia City to tattle on the sheriff and to round up the Ponderosa crew to storm the town. As anyone knows, Hop Sing can be fearsome wielding a deadly wok. Joe returns to clear everything up in the nick of time--just as Ben and the boys are about to hang.

The whole mess makes Hoss hungry as a horse, so he eats one--the Sheriff's.
 
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Doug Wallen

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The Rockford Files - Complete Series
The Mayor's Committee From Deer Lick Falls (4.9) Edward Binns, Charles Aidman, Priscilla Barnes, Jerry Hardin, James Luisi, Richard Sanders. Jim is hired on a phony job looking for a fire engine. He is really being evaluated as a potential killer for hire. Some politicians made some bad decisions concerning taxes and want to get rid of the only witness, one of the politico's neice. Intriguing episode.

Hotel of Fear (4.10) James Luisi, Frank DeKova, Barry Atwater, Gerald McRaney, Vince Bagetta, Stuart Margolin. Angel is the only eyewitness in a murder case. He takes advantage of the situation to get #1 treatment as a "star" witness in police protection. Pretty good use of the "Angel" character with some amusing bits of comedy.

Forced Retirement (4.11) Larry Hagman, Margie Impert, Denny Miller, Ron Masak, Gretchen Corbett. A schoolmate of Beth's is working on a submersible robotic explorer who is being conned. Rockford steps in to determine the thieves plan and save Beth's friend. A very underwhelming episode for me. One plus, this episode does show Hagman developing that J.R. duplicitous nature.

Next up, I finally get to crack open the Emma Peel megaset. So looking forward to reviewing these episodes and enjoying that age of my childhood again.

The Avengers - Emma Peel Megaset
The Town Of No Return (4.1) Alan MacNaughton, Patrick Newell, Terence Alexander, Juliet Harmer. Agents are vanishing from a small coastal town and Steed and Peel are sent to investigate. Very creepy vibe when they first arrive. Excellent premier episode.

The Gravediggers (4.2) Ronald Fraser, Paul Massie, Steven Berkoff, Ray Austin, Caroline Blakiston. Men who die, but have antenna in their coffins, dressed up pall bearers, a train mock up and Mrs. Peel tied to a tiny train track. Very interesting mystery.

The Cybernauts (4.3) Michael Gough, Frederick JaegerBernard Horsfall, Bert Kwouk, Ronald Leigh-Hunt. Corporate executives are being murdered in a very specific manner, a single karate chop to the neck. Through legwork and karate schools, a robotics expert becomes the lead suspect. Great final act.

Death At Bargain Prices (4.4) Andre Morell, T. P. McKenna, george Selway. Trouble inside a department store. The only way to investigate, Steed and Peel go undercover. Mrs. Peel ends up in ladies wear. Another fun romp.

Castle De'ath (4.5) Gordon Jackson, Gordon Urquhart, Jack Lambert. The Avengers version of a haunted castle story. When an agent in diving gear is found dead in a Scottish loch yet substantially taller than he was whilst he was alive Steed and Mrs. Peel visit a remote castle owned by the feuding De'ath cousins, Ian and Angus, to investigate the sinister goings-on. Weakest of these episodes I viewed.

The Master Minds (4.6) Lawrence Hardy, Patricia Haines, Bernard Archard, Ian MacNaughton. Ministry leaders are comitting thefts and when caught, have no memories of it. Steed suspects hypnosis and post-hypnotic suggestions as the culprit. He has one general monitored by an in house doctor, but can the doctor be trusted? The common thread between all officials is their membership in a high IQ club called RANSACK. Steed gains entrance as Mrs. Peel gives him all the entrance exam answers. Another fine episode.

The Munsters - Complete Series
A Walk On The Wild Side (1.3) Cliff Norton, Barry Kelley, Herman's insomnia causes him to walk in the park, the same one that has an active robber prowling. Herman unwittingly helps capture the criminal.

Rock-A-Bye Munster (1.4) Sid Melton, Paul Lynde, Marilyn Lovell. Standard sitcom trope, misunderstanding between leads. Herman believes Lilly is expecting. Episode is helped by Paul Lynde as a near-sighted doctor.

Pikes' Pique (1.5) Richard Deacon, Jane Withers, Pat Harrington, Jr. A no-nonsense utilities director wants a pipeline to go under the Munster property. Again built on misunderstandings and comedic reactions from people spying the Munsters.

Lo-Cal Munster (1.6) Caryl Rowe, Ronnie RondellJr., Michael Jackson, Dick Winslow, Paul Lynde. Dr. Dudley's first appearance I believe. Herman's Army unit is due for a reunion. Herman is unable to fit in his uniform so he decides to go on a crash diet. The episode uses the flashback to tell the story after starting near the conclusion. Maybe this was more original in 1965. Also, this was a Thanksgiving themed episode.
 

bmasters9

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Forced Retirement (4.11) Larry Hagman, Margie Impert, Denny Miller, Ron Masak, Gretchen Corbett. A schoolmate of Beth's is working on a submersible robotic explorer who is being conned. Rockford steps in to determine the thieves plan and save Beth's friend. A very underwhelming episode for me. One plus, this episode does show Hagman developing that J.R. duplicitous nature.

Larry Hagman did do a lot of development of the nature he would have as J.R. Ewing in quite a few of those shows-- this is why "Dead Air" (from the fourth go of The Streets of San Francisco) is a staple episode of that 70s ABC police procedural for me.
 

Rustifer

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Episode Commentary
Murder, She Wrote
"Fire Burn, Cauldron Bubble" (S5E13)

I want to live in Cabot Cove, despite the fact that its homicide rate per capita makes 1920's Chicago look like a public library. I want the opportunity to eat--every day--lobster dunked in 18 sticks of melted butter. I want Dr. Hazlitt as my personal physician, knowing full well his health is worse than mine and therefore can't point an accusing finger at me. I want to live just far enough away from Jessica Fletcher so as not to hear the constant clacking of her ancient typewriter. But mostly I want to live in Cabot Cove because one can work part time in a flower shop and still afford to live in a nice cottage on the coast. Apparently, the cost of living index in that neck of the woods is about .75 cents an hour. As we near Halloween, what better time for an episode that features the quaint New England hobby of setting witches on fire?

The aforementioned Dr. Hazlitt (William Windom), after most likely dipping a bit too deep in the medicinal whiskey cabinet, spots a pilgrim-dressed woman chanting oaths and drawing witchy symbols in his lawn. Upon spotting him, she runs away. You can bet no one in their right mind is going to believe him--least of all Jessica Fletcher (Angela Lansbury).
"She was a pretty good-looking tri-centenarian", Hazlitt claims. Jessica offers up a bowl of chowder to shut him up.

Mildred (Dee Wallace), the town librarian, assists not only Jessica in researching her mystery novels, but also Gordon Fairchild (Robby McDowall) on his newest book--"Purity Terhune--The Witch of Cabot Cove". Fairchild's agent, Rick Rivers (a very long-haired young Bill Maher) is responsible for feeding his boss' enormous ego and hunger for publicity. Naturally, Fairchild is eager to interview Dr. Hazlitt about his recent witch-sighting. Was it Purity Terhune?

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Yep, that's Bill Maher; Yep, that's Roddy McDowall; Yep, that's the witch...

All visitors to Cabot Cove stay at the ominously named Hill House--just a mile or two down the road from the Bates Motel. Fairchild has his knickers in a twist because Rick hasn't churned up enough publicity regarding the imminent release of his book. In the meantime, Mildred's long long sister Irene (Juliana Donald) suddenly shows up in town--recognized by Hazlitt as the phantom witch he saw in his yard. The cauldron is certainly starting to bubble over now.

Later, Irene is seen creeping around Mildred's house at night in a witch-like manner. Call in the official Witch Hunter, found under "Con Artists" in the Cabot Cove yellow pages. Is the 17th century witch real? Is Irene the witch? Can Jessica sort through the myriad of useless characters written into the script? Does Dr. Hazlitt get to the diner in time for the chicken pot pie special? Is Elvis still alive?

Well, it wouldn't be a mystery without these questions. It might also not be interesting even with the answers.
 

Purple Wig

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Julia - “Two’s a Family, Three’s A Crowd”
My World And Welcome To It - “Nobody Ever Kills Dragons Anymore”, “Native Wit”
The Tony Randall Show - “Case: the Hooper Affair”
My Three Sons - “J. P. Douglas”. Chip blows an amp at practice. Robbie lifts an imitation Fender Twin over his head. Uncle Charlie grouses.
The Good Guys - “Pilot”, “Love Comes To Annie Butterworth”
Dusty’s Trail - “There’s Nothing Like A Dame”
Password - 1966 episode with Bob Denver
David Letterman - 1982 segment with Bob Denver
Confessions Of A Top Crime Buster - Feature length re-edit of episodes of Don Adams the Partners
East Side/West Side
- “The Beatnik and the Politician”
The Nurses - “The Saturday Evening Of Time”
The Interns - “The Oath”
Route 66 - “To Walk With The Serpent”
Pete & Gladys - “Pete’s Personality Change”
Seventeen - 2/1/1958 episode of WOI Iowa teen rock & roll dance program
Condo - “The Neighbors” ‘83 McLean Stevenson series
Navy Log - several episodes
The New Dick Van Dyke Show - “Queasy Rider”
 
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JohnHopper

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Oct 31, 2010
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John Hopper
The Avengers - Emma Peel Megaset
The Town Of No Return (4.1) Alan MacNaughton, Patrick Newell, Terence Alexander, Juliet Harmer. Agents are vanishing from a small coastal town and Steed and Peel are sent to investigate. Very creepy vibe when they first arrive. Excellent premier episode.

The Gravediggers (4.2) Ronald Fraser, Paul Massie, Steven Berkoff, Ray Austin, Caroline Blakiston. Men who die, but have antenna in their coffins, dressed up pall bearers, a train mock up and Mrs. Peel tied to a tiny train track. Very interesting mystery.

The Cybernauts (4.3) Michael Gough, Frederick JaegerBernard Horsfall, Bert Kwouk, Ronald Leigh-Hunt. Corporate executives are being murdered in a very specific manner, a single karate chop to the neck. Through legwork and karate schools, a robotics expert becomes the lead suspect. Great final act.

Death At Bargain Prices (4.4) Andre Morell, T. P. McKenna, george Selway. Trouble inside a department store. The only way to investigate, Steed and Peel go undercover. Mrs. Peel ends up in ladies wear. Another fun romp.

Castle De'ath (4.5) Gordon Jackson, Gordon Urquhart, Jack Lambert. The Avengers version of a haunted castle story. When an agent in diving gear is found dead in a Scottish loch yet substantially taller than he was whilst he was alive Steed and Mrs. Peel visit a remote castle owned by the feuding De'ath cousins, Ian and Angus, to investigate the sinister goings-on. Weakest of these episodes I viewed.

The Master Minds (4.6) Lawrence Hardy, Patricia Haines, Bernard Archard, Ian MacNaughton. Ministry leaders are comitting thefts and when caught, have no memories of it. Steed suspects hypnosis and post-hypnotic suggestions as the culprit. He has one general monitored by an in house doctor, but can the doctor be trusted? The common thread between all officials is their membership in a high IQ club called RANSACK. Steed gains entrance as Mrs. Peel gives him all the entrance exam answers. Another fine episode.


The cream of the crop remains:
“The Town Of No Return”
The reason why I put “The Town of No Return” on my top list is because of the empty location category. I like to witness two characters lost in a desolate place where people are gone. There is a strong existential feel of a lost era. The pub scene is a good sum up of the leaning: I adore the picturesque and jolly bartender who sets up the mood. Did you notice Steed finding out the inscription of the late Peggy Warren? The story tackles the theme of infiltration and remplacement which anticipates the Mission: Impossible episode “The Town”. The first pub scene is very unsettling (the frozen clients, the warm bartender, the titled frame) and directs the atmosphere. I like the build-up of the story. Anyway, on the grim side, Smallwood ends up hunted down and killed on the beach and our heroes discover his buried body.​
Actor Patrick Newell as Smallwood will later play the chief of the British Secret Service named Mother from season 6.​
To be noted:​
1. The tilted frame at the local hotel-pub​
2. The existential void of the abondoned RAF base​
3. the lovely Juliet Harmer for an epic fight against Diana Rigg​
“Death At Bargain Prices”
It is a good episode for many reasons:​
1. It is loosely based on Seven Days to Noon (1950) because a revengist threatens the government to blow up London with an atomic bomb—the season 7 of Mission: Impossible entitled “Ultimatum” is also derived from that film​
2. The sales director Wentworth is a killer: a good metaphor for commerce​
3. Steed receives a knock on the face by Wentworth because he dares to speak to the old bitter boss​
4. A scientist is kidnapped and chained and forced to work in the back room of the general store​
5. The two outfits (the conventional petal dress at the lingerie department and the black-leathered overall) that Mrs Peel wear are part of the main titles​
“The Master Minds”
This particular one is on my top list for many reasons:​
1. The organization called Ransack​
2. The mind control gimmick of the radio set​
3. Mrs Peel totally hypnotized and committing felonies​
4. The mysterious foe that reveals to be a woman who keeps on leading people to false leads because she poses as an archery instructor​
5. Steed cheats at his Ransack exam: he has long and handy sleeves​
6. Steed witnessing the zombified students who walk down to the briefing room at night​
7. The prologue depicting the robbery of government secrets​
8. The harsh contrast between the grim situation of Steed and his sense of humour​
9. During the fight outcome, a RAF training film is being projected backwards by accident​
“The Cybernauts”
The Cybernauts through automation warns the audience about totalitarianism. Dr Armstrong is a raving mad revengist who ends up killed by his own creation. The equation is simple: true freedom is people. The subtheme of claustrophobia is tacked through the factory building and its mazes of passages and corridors: Steed is frightened about it. United Automation is a factory run by punchcards. Notice how Dr Armstrong describe his computarised creations (“A perfect trouble-free labour force”) and his creed (“Security … Efficiency… Comfort… Relaxation…”). On the light note, I enjoy the the karate school scenes a lot: Mrs. Peel’s initial test against a woman wrestler is revealing. The karate school appears to be the wrong lead. For the anecdote, Steed keeps on taking pictures with his umbrella and does industrial espionage at Harachi Corporation and later on, he manufactured his own punchcards to sneak into United Automation. As in “Dial a Deadly Number”, the killer tracks his victim down with tricked pens.​
 
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Jeff Flugel

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Episode Commentary
Murder, She Wrote
"Fire Burn, Cauldron Bubble" (S5E13)

I want to live in Cabot Cove, despite the fact that its homicide rate per capita makes 1920's Chicago look like a public library. I want the opportunity to eat--every day--lobster dunked in 18 sticks of melted butter. I want Dr. Hazlitt as my personal physician, knowing full well his health is worse than mine and therefore can't point an accusing finger at me. I want to live just far enough away from Jessica Fletcher so as not to hear the constant clacking of her ancient typewriter. But mostly I want to live in Cabot Cove because one can work part time in a flower shop and still afford to live in a nice cottage on the coast. Apparently, the cost of living index in that neck of the woods is about .75 cents an hour. As we near Halloween, what better time for an episode that features the quaint New England hobby of setting witches on fire?

The aforementioned Dr. Hazlitt (William Windom), after most likely dipping a bit too deep in the medicinal whiskey cabinet, spots a pilgrim-dressed woman chanting oaths and drawing witchy symbols in his lawn. Upon spotting him, she runs away. You can bet no one in their right mind is going to believe him--least of all Jessica Fletcher (Angela Lansbury).
"She was a pretty good-looking tri-centenarian", Hazlitt claims. Jessica offers up a bowl of chowder to shut him up.

Mildred (Dee Wallace), the town librarian, assists not only Jessica in researching her mystery novels, but also Gordon Fairchild (Robby McDowall) on his newest book--"Purity Terhune--The Witch of Cabot Cove". Fairchild's agent, Rick Rivers (a very long-haired young Bill Maher) is responsible for feeding his boss' enormous ego and hunger for publicity. Naturally, Fairchild is eager to interview Dr. Hazlitt about his recent witch-sighting. Was it Purity Terhune?

View attachment 80217 View attachment 80218 View attachment 80219
Yep, that's Bill Maher; Yep, that's Roddy McDowall; Yep, that's the witch...

All visitors to Cabot Cove stay at the ominously named Hill House--just a mile or two down the road from the Bates Motel. Fairchild has his knickers in a twist because Rick hasn't churned up enough publicity regarding the imminent release of his book. In the meantime, Mildred's long long sister Irene (Juliana Donald) suddenly shows up in town--recognized by Hazlitt as the phantom witch he saw in his yard. The cauldron is certainly starting to bubble over now.

Later, Irene is seen creeping around Mildred's house at night in a witch-like manner. Call in the official Witch Hunter, found under "Con Artists" in the Cabot Cove yellow pages. Is the 17th century witch real? Is Irene the witch? Can Jessica sort through the myriad of useless characters written into the script? Does Dr. Hazlitt get to the diner in time for the chicken pot pie special? Is Elvis still alive?

Well, it wouldn't be a mystery without these questions. It might also not be interesting even with the answers.

Good stuff, Russ! Was never a fan of Murder, She Wrote at the time it aired (always thought it a pale American imitation of Miss Marple) and haven't checked out an episode since, though I know the show has a legion of fans. This one sounds kind of fun, though. I'm a sucker for a Halloween or Christmas-themed episode...
 

Jeff Flugel

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Jan 7, 1999
Messages
2,330
Location
Osaka, Japan
Real Name
Jeff Flugel
Julia - “Two’s a Family, Three’s A Crowd”
My World And Welcome To It - “Nobody Ever Kills Dragons Anymore”, “Native Wit”
The Tony Randall Show - “Case: the Hooper Affair”
My Three Sons - “J. P. Douglas”. Chip blows an amp at practice. Robbie lifts an imitation Fender Twin over his head. Uncle Charlie grouses.
The Good Guys - “Pilot”, “Love Comes To Annie Butterworth”
Dusty’s Trail - “There’s Nothing Like A Dame”
Password - 1966 episode with Bob Denver
David Letterman - 1982 segment with Bob Denver
Confessions Of A Top Crime Buster - Feature length re-edit of episodes of Don Adams the Partners
East Side/West Side
- “The Beatnik and the Politician”
The Nurses - “The Saturday Evening Of Time”
The Interns - “The Oath”
Route 66 - “To Walk With The Serpent”
Pete & Gladys - “Pete’s Personality Change”
Seventeen - 2/1/1958 episode of WOI Iowa teen rock & roll dance program
Condo - “The Neighbors” ‘83 McLean Stevenson series
Navy Log - several episodes
The New Dick Van Dyke Show - “Queasy Rider”

That is an impressive line-up of hard-to-find shows, Alan! Any particular favorites / standouts from that list? I've heard of most of 'em, but have only seen episodes of My Three Sons, Route 66 and David Letterman.
 

Purple Wig

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That is an impressive line-up of hard-to-find shows, Alan! Any particular favorites / standouts from that list? I've heard of most of 'em, but have only seen episodes of My Three Sons, Route 66 and David Letterman.
Thanks Jeff. I’d long been curious about My World And Welcome To It, and it didn’t disappoint, unique feel and great acting. East Side/West Side and The Nurses were both high quality early 60’s drama. Pete and Gladys is a soothing and funny recent favorite. Dusty’s Trail was the result of a night that turned into a Bob Denver fest, and recently a friend asked why I’d been so adamant about the show being so terrible. So I gave it another chance and it wasn’t as bad as I remembered. Not recommending it though. Interns is a pretty good early 70s drama with Mike Farrell and Broderick Crawford, this episode had Mills Watson as a rapist, coincidentally the same day I saw an episode of Mash where he was a racist. Partners was also good, but I’m enough of a Don Adams fan that I saw the Nude Bomb at least twice in the theater :) Was also happy to see his partner was Rupert Crosse who I mainly knew from Cassavetes films.
 
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Purple Wig

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Good stuff, Russ! Was never a fan of Murder, She Wrote at the time it aired (always thought it a pale American imitation of Miss Marple) and haven't checked out an episode since, though I know the show has a legion of fans. This one sounds kind of fun, though. I'm a sucker for a Halloween or Christmas-themed episode...
Wasn’t a big fan at the time, would watch it with my Grandma if I was at her house, but I like it now. Has had a lot of great guest stars, like Bruce Glover and Richard Bradford....there’s a woman in prison episode with an interesting cast.
 

BobO'Link

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Good stuff, Russ! Was never a fan of Murder, She Wrote at the time it aired (always thought it a pale American imitation of Miss Marple) and haven't checked out an episode since, though I know the show has a legion of fans. This one sounds kind of fun, though. I'm a sucker for a Halloween or Christmas-themed episode...
My wife loved Murder, She Wrote and we watched it every week. I'd normally time shift it just in case. Over time I grew to enjoy it almost as much as she and purchased the complete series a few years back (on sale, of course). It's still unopened but I really need to open it and watch a few. We always joked that it looked like a nice place to live if you could make it past the annual murder rate statistics.
 

Rustifer

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Good stuff, Russ! Was never a fan of Murder, She Wrote at the time it aired (always thought it a pale American imitation of Miss Marple) and haven't checked out an episode since, though I know the show has a legion of fans.
Wasn’t a big fan at the time, would watch it with my Grandma if I was at her house,
Yeah, I wasn't that much of a fan either. I'm not sure why I chose to do a commentary on it other than it being a kind of Halloween-y episode. My wife and I would always anticipate/ make fun of the idiotic freeze-frame forced laugh by Jessica at the end of each show.
Having been in showbiz for about 127 years by the time she did this series, Angela Lansbury was able to rope in a ton of marquee guest stars that had--at one time--some serious acting resumes. Murder, She Wrote seemed to be the last stop on the road to Geritol Heights for many of them.
 
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