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What did you watch this week in classic TV on DVD(or Blu)? (5 Viewers)

Jeff Flugel

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Randall's recent photo essay in the 77 Sunset Strip thread in tribute to Andra Martin, who passed away at age 87 on May 3rd, set me off on another actress mini-marathon project. I remember the striking Ms. Martin fondly for her sensuous co-starring role alongside big Clint Walker in the WB western Yellowstone Kelly (which also starred fellow Warner's contract players John Russell and Edd "Kookie" Byrnes). The movie features a (for the time) rather saucy scene where man mountain Clint (the eponymous Kelly) rubs ointment on injured Indian maiden Ms. Martin's naked back.

MV5BNWJlNjg5NWMtODE0Yi00Y2MzLWI2MWUtOTcyZGViYzNjNzhhXkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyMzI4Nzk0NjY@._V1_.jpg


Other than the aforementioned big-screen western, I hadn't been at all aware of Ms. Martin's television work, which was rather extensive in her brief 5 year career (which ended shortly after her even-briefer marriage to WB stablemate, Ty Hardin, a.k.a Bronco). Watching some her guest star appearances over the past week has led me to the conclusion that she was a fine and capable actress, in addition to being a first-rate Babe-O Supreme (trademark pending). So, without further ado, here is Part Numero Uno of my Andra Martin-athon:

Lawman - 1.31 "The Huntress"
Saloon girl Lorna Williams (Andra Martin) comes to Laramie seeking revenge on the man who murdered her husband, wanted outlaw Jim Pierce (John Pickard). She's already personally sent Jim's equally nasty brother, Frank (Byron Keith), to meet his maker, and plans to do the same to Jim, too. The only problem is, she has no idea what Jim looks like...and neither does Marshal Troop, who sternly warns Lorna about taking the law into her own hands. Can Troop arrest Pierce before he catches up with Lorna? Olive Sturgess plays a young innocent new recruit to the world of dance hall life who becomes friendly with the preoccupied Lorna. Martin gives a good performance here as a woman whose lust for vengeance leads to tragedy. This episode is from the pre-Peggy Castle S1 era, so we get Dub Taylor as the garrulous bar owner instead. Another taut, tough script from ace western scribe Clair Huffaker.

77 Sunset Strip - 1.20 "Lovely Alibi"
Claude Akins plays Ed Bird, an old Korean war buddy of Stu Bailey's (Efrem Zimbalist, Jr.), now a cop in love with showgirl Jill Franklyn (Martin), who has some dubious connection to mob boss Vic Gurney (Steve Brodie) who Ed's been trying to snare for a long time...so much so, that he's been temporarily suspended from the force. When Gurney uses Jill as an alibi for the murder of a rival gangster, and she subsequently disappears right after Ed proposes to her, he enlists Stu's help in finding the girl and ascertaining just how heavily she's involved. There's a lot of pulchritude on display in this episode...aside from the lovely Ms. Martin (and of course regular French cutie, Jaqueline Beer, as switchboard operator Suzanne), we also get uncredited appearances by Linda Lawson as a va-va-voom femme fatale, and a very young Leslie Parrish, as Stu's date in one rather meta scene at Dino's, as the Frankie Ortega Trio plays their instrumental version of the show's theme tune. Some nice direction in the shootout finale, courtesy of Hollywood veteran George WaGGner.

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Hawaiian Eye
- 1.31 "Little Blalah"
"Blalah" is apparently Hawaiian slang for "brother." The "blalah" in question here is boozing Bobby Kramer (Robert Ivers), little brother of Sally (Martin), who's up to his neck in gambling debts. When a $30,000 payroll robbery occurs at the office of the construction business belonging to their ailing father (Paul Birch), resulting in the death of a security guard, suspicion falls first on Bobby, and then onto Sally's fiancee, Gavin McLeod (Mike Road). Friend of the family and Hawaiian Eye chief P.I., Tracy Steele (Anthony Eisley), sets out to catch the killer. Decent episode, notable mainly for just how absolutely smoking Ms. Martin looks throughout. Robert Conrad pops his head in briefly to earn his co-starring billing, and regulars Kim (Poncie Ponce) and Cricket (Connie Stevens) are also on hand, the latter only briefly to croon out "Birth of the Blues," yet another musical standard in a long line of songs that keeps this show from being released on disc.

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Bourbon Street Beat - 1.39 "Teresa"
I haven't watched many episodes of these WB detective shows thus far, but judging from the dozen or so that I have sampled, BSB is my favorite of the four (with Surfside 6 bringing up the rear) - mainly due to the acting chops of its two leads, Richard Long and Andrew Duggan, two very fine actors indeed. The scripts also seem of a slightly higher caliber to me. Pity, then, that it's this show that bit the dust after only one season. At least it goes out on a strong note here in its 39th and final episode. Despite featuring a trio of hot tamales - Andra Martin, Marie Windsor and Karen Steele - the titular "Teresa" actually refers to a hurricane. That's right, this is the ubiquitous W. Hermanos (i.e. the Bros. Warner) once again dipping into the studio vaults and doing a riff on one of their early movie properties...in this case, the Bogie-Bacall classic Key Largo. But there are enough interesting flourishes here to make everything go down nice and easy.

Jan Dennison (Martin) comes to ask Rex Randolph (smooth Richard Long) to help her track down her errant brother, Brad (Richard Rust) who has jaunted down to the island retreat of casino owner, Mara Lane (Windsor), ostensibly to repay a $5,000 gambling debt, but really to get some up close and personal time with sexy cougar Mara. Rex at first balks at the prospect of venturing down river in the face of an incipient hurricane, but gives in when Jan informs him that their rich father, due to return from Europe the next day, will cut Brad off completely if he finds out he's been cavorting around with the the dubious likes of Mara.

Rex and Jan eventually end up stranded at Mara's island, where brother Brad has been penned up in the tool shed to keep him from getting a gander at a pair of mobsters, Mark Comden (Brad Dexter) and Joe Komack (John Beradino) who Mara has agreed (for a fee, natch) to hide from the authorities, until they can make a getaway flight to Mexico with a cool quarter million in ill-gotten gains. Along for the ride is Joe's boozy actress wife (Steele), as well as Mara's loyal factotum, Morey (Robert J. Wilke). Before Rex and the goombahs can shoot it out, Teresa hits the island head on, forcing the survivors to scramble to higher ground and strap themselves down against the violence of Mother Nature unleashed. A very diverting episode, this, with a strong guest cast and some effective storm effects. I'm a sucker for stories set in stormy conditions anyway, so this one was right up my street. A pre-Burke's Law Gary Conway has a few brief scenes as a Coast Guard operator.

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Perry Mason - 1.36 "The Case of the Prodigal Parent"
When blackmailing creep Phillip Larkin (Terry Becker) is murdered, all clues seem to point to his former stepfather, Joseph Harrison (John Hoyt) as the guilty party. Somewhat surprisingly, Phillip's mother, the ex-Mrs. Harrison (the one and only Fay Wray, of King Kong fame) hires Perry to defend Joseph, then promptly goes into hiding so as to not testify against him. Andra Martin plays a young secretary at the company previously run by Harrison, who is involved with the case in what turns out to be a most personal way.

As usual with this series, the preliminaries are a trifle dull, but everything comes alive once we get into court and see legal maestro Mason work his mojo. Ms. Martin shows what a fine actress she could be in the emotive denouement. Also with Herbert Rudley, Ann Doran, Virginia Field, Morris Ankrum, Richard Bull (as a court stenographer) and "Ms. Hathaway" herself, Nancy Kulp, playing things very soberly indeed as the Harrison's loyal housekeeper. As always, Raymond Burr is slick professionalism personified as the unflappable Perry.

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Bachelor Father - 4.30 "Bentley and the Nature Girl"
My first-time watch of this once-popular but now rather obscure series, and I found it quite entertaining, in that pleasantly amusing late-'50s/early-'60s sitcom manner. Wealthy attorney and swinging single bachelor Bentley Gregg (John Forsythe) lives in his posh pad with orphaned niece, Kelly (Nellie Corcoran) and sarcastic Chinese-American servant - referred to as a "house boy" (*shudder*) - Peter (former stand-up comic Sammy Tong).

The urbane Bentley would much rather play poker with his buddies Cal and Chuck (Del Moore and Pat McCaffrie) on the weekends than rough it in the great outdoors, but when he meets Kelly's nature club leader, Angela Murdock (Martin), he promptly changes his tune. An avid birdwatcher, Angela invites him to the next meeting of the local ornithological society. Before long, she has Bentley tramping through hill and dale - ah, the lengths we men will go to get into an attractive woman's pants - trying to record the song of the elusive yellow-shafted flicker, upon which her father (Russell Collins) has staked his bird-watching reputation as being in the area. Bentley eventually does the capture audio proof Angela's father needs to back up his claim, but Cal and Chuck, tired of Bentley's continuous canceling of their poker matches, decide to sabotage his triumph in a very amusing (though highly embarassing for Bentley) way. Bentley doesn't remain angry at his so-called pals for long, though, for when the birding-obsessed Angela starts cooing to him about marriage, our bachelor father flits out the door faster than a hummingbird on speed. Cute show, and Sammy Tong clearly relishes getting all the best lines. Trivia note: apparently, Bachelor Father is the only primetime show to run consecutive years on three major networks (CBS, NBC and ABC respectively).

I should be back with Part Deux sometime in the next week or two, with more of a focus on Andra Martin's work in miscellaneous westerns, such as WB oaters Cheyenne, Bronco and Maverick, plus Wagon Train and, for good measure, at least one of her three appearances on The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet. Don't say I didn't warn you.
 
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The 1960's

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Another episode revisited in honor of James Olson's recent passing...

McMillan & Wife S3E3 Freefall to Terror (Nov. 11, 1973) W: Oliver Hailey, short story by Edward D. Hoch. D: Alf Kjellin.
Starring Rock Hudson, Susan Saint James, John Schuck, Nancy Walker. Guest starring Barbara Feldon, James Olson, Dick Haymes, Tom Bosley, Edward Andrews, Barbara Rhoades, Tom Troupe, John Fiedler.

San Francisco police commissioner Stewart McMillan (Rock Hudson) and his wife Sally (Susan Saint James) are at the airport seeing off big-time businessman Billy Calm (actor-big band singer Dick Haymes, once married to Joanne Dru and Rita Hayworth!), a former business partner and old friend who pilots his own Lear jet...Billy Calm is in the middle of a high stakes merger, really a hostile takeover, of another big company founded by Isreal Black (Edward Andrews). Calm flies off to finalize the deal, but not before a car almost runs him down on the tarmac, along with the McMillans. The car speeds off, no accident, and thus was an attempt on his life. That night and after bedtime, the McMillan household is awakened by Billy Calm's executive secretary Maggie Miller (Barbara Feldon, 'Agent 99' of Get Smart), a former girlfriend of the commissioner, who brings a copy of the merger contract that Billy Calm asks McMillan to read and provide input on (seems like a huge conflict of interest to a police commissioner, then or now). McMillan agrees to come down to Calm's offices in the morning to greet the returning businessman, who's flying back to SF to finalize the deal. If the merger goes through, it will be bad news for Isreal Black, and three of his former vice-presidents, played by James Olson, Tom Bosley and Tom Troupe, although one of them publicly says he's in favor of the deal.

Arriving at Billy Calm's offices, the McMillans are greeted by Maggie and informed that Billy's jet has been delayed by fog at the SF airport and he might have to divert to a regional airport. No sooner than they are in the offices, commissioner McMillan has to break up a fight between two of the company VPs...now fully aware of the prevailing tension, the McMillans are informed by Maggie that, unseen, Billy Calm has arrived and is now in the building...but the big deal has fallen through and the volatile Billy has apparently thrown himself out of a penthouse window to his death!

Problem is, no body is found on the street below! That is, until three and a half hours later, while returning from an adjoining restaurant to calm their nerves, Maggie and the McMillans are horrified to actually witness Billy's body falling onto the sidewalk in front of them! This prompts detective Enright (John Schuck) to remark: "he really took the long way down!"

My screen caps from the VEI complete series DVD set...
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Good mystery, as you might expect adapted from a previously published short story. Hudson and Saint James aren't Nick and Nora, but they're still a good team of married detectives in this NBC Sunday Mystery Movie series featuring great music by Billy Goldenberg, Jerry Fielding and Henry Mancini...directed by prolific actor Alf Kjellin, an entertaining and fast paced execution by a typically strong collection of familiar faces in James Olson, Tom Bosley, Edward Andrews, Tom Troupe and singer Dick Haymes (who's '40s and '50s hits included The More I See You, How Blue the Night, For You For Me Forever More, Speak Low and Another Night Like This, and his movies included State Fair (1945), The Shocking Miss Pilgrim, One Touch of Venus And On the Town) and graced by the beauty of Susan Saint James, Barbara Feldon and Barbara Rhoades.

Another revelation here is how good Barbara Feldon, usually seen in lighter roles and famous for Get Smart, could be in a dramatic role...playing a career girl used and abused by a series of men in failed relationships, she's absolutely terrific in this!
As always Randall thank you for the wonderful historical data I would never have known about had to you not brought it to light here. I will most certainly be purchasing the McMillan & Wife Complete Series on DVD. As Scott noted the image quality looks far better than I had ever expected. How can you go wrong at this price point!
Randall's recent photo essay in the 77 Sunset Strip thread in tribute to Andra Martin, who passed away at age 87 on May 3rd, set me off on another actress mini-marathon project. I remember the striking Ms. Martin fondly for her sexy co-starring role alongside big Clint Walker in the WB western Yellowstone Kelly (which also starred fellow WB contract players John Russell and Edd "Kookie" Byrnes). The movie features a (for the time) rather saucy scene where man mountain Clint (the eponymous Kelly) rubs ointment on injured Indian maiden Ms. Martin's naked back.

MV5BNWJlNjg5NWMtODE0Yi00Y2MzLWI2MWUtOTcyZGViYzNjNzhhXkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyMzI4Nzk0NjY@._V1_.jpg


Other than the aforementioned big-screen western, I hadn't been at all aware of Ms. Martin's television work, which was rather extensive in her brief, 5 year career (which ended shortly after her even-briefer marriage to WB stablemate, Ty Hardin, a.k.a Bronco). Watching some her guest star appearances over the past week has led me to the conclusion that she was a fine and capable actress, in addition to being a first-rate Babe-O Supreme (trademark pending). So, without further ado, here is Part Numero Uno of my Andra Martin-athon:

Lawman - 1.31 "The Huntress"
Saloon girl Lorna Williams (Andra Martin) comes to Laramie seeking revenge on the man who murdered her husband, wanted outlaw Jim Pierce (John Pickard). She's already personally sent Jim's equally nasty brother, Frank (Byron Keith), to meet his maker, and plans to do the same to Jim, too. The only problem is, she has no idea what Jim looks like...and neither does Marshal Troop, who sternly warns about taking the law into her own hands. Can Troop arrest Pierce before he catches up with Lorna? Olive Sturgess plays a young innocent new recruit to the world of dance hall life who becomes friendly with the preoccupied Lorna. Martin gives a good performance here as a woman whose lust for vengeance leads to tragedy. This episode is from the pre-Peggy Castle S1 era, so we get Dub Taylor as the garrulous bar owner instead. Another taut, tough script from ace western scribe Clair Huffaker.

77 Sunset Strip - 1.20 "Lovely Alibi"
Claude Akins plays Ed Bird, an old Korean war buddy of Stu Bailey's (Efrem Zimbalist, Jr.), now a cop in love with showgirl Jill Franklyn (Martin), who has some dubious connection to mob boss Vic Gurney (Steve Brodie) who Ed's been trying to snare for a long time...so much so, that he's been temporarily suspended from the force. When Gurney uses Jill as an alibi for the murder of a rival gangster, and she subsequently disappears right after Ed proposes to her, he enlists Stu's help in finding the girl and ascertaining just how heavily she's involved. There's a lot of pulchritude on display in this episode...aside from the lovely Ms. Martin (and of course regular French cutie, Jaqueline Beer, as switchboard operator Suzanne), we also get uncredited appearances by Linda Lawson as a va-va-voom femme fatale, and a very young Leslie Parrish, as Stu's date in one rather meta scene at Dino's, as the Frankie Ortega Trio plays their instrumental version of the show's theme tune. Some nice direction in the shootout finale, courtesy of Hollywood veteran George WaGGner.

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Hawaiian Eye
- 1.31 "Little Blalah"
"Blalah" is apparently Hawaiian slang for "brother." The "blalah" in question here is boozing Bobby Kramer (Robert Ivers), little brother of Sally (Martin), who's up to his neck in gambling debts. When a $30,000 payroll robbery occurs at the office of the construction business belonging to their ailing father (Paul Birch), resulting in the death of a security guard, suspicion falls first on Bobby, and then onto Sally's fiancee, Gavin McLeod (Mike Road). Friend of the family and Hawaiian Eye chief P.I., Tracy Steele (Anthony Eisley), sets out to catch the killer. Decent episode, notable mainly for just how absolutely smoking Ms. Martin looks throughout. Robert Conrad pops his head in briefly to earn his co-starring billing, and regulars Kim (Poncie Ponce) and Cricket (Connie Stevens) are also on hand, the latter only briefly to croon out "Birth of the Blues," yet another musical standard in a long line of songs that keeps this show from being released on disc.

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Bourbon Street Beat - 1.39 "Teresa"
I haven't watched many episodes of these WB detective shows thus far, but judging from the dozen or so that I have sampled so far, BSB is my favorite of the four (with Surfside 6 bringing up the rear) - mainly due to the acting chops of its two leads, Richard Long and Andrew Duggan, two very fine actors indeed. The scripts also seem of a slightly higher caliber to me. Pity, then, that it's this show that bit the dust after only one season. At least it goes out on a strong note here in its 39th and final episode. Despite featuring a trio of hot tamales - Andra Martin, Marie Windsor and Karen Steele - the titular "Teresa" actually refers to a hurricane. That's right, this is the ubiquitous W. Hermanos (i.e. the Bros. Warner) once again dipping into the studio vaults and doing a riff on one of their early movie properties...in this case, the Bogie-Bacall classic Key Largo. But there are enough interesting flourishes here to make everything go down nice and easy.

Jan Dennison (Martin) comes to ask Rex Randolph (smooth Richard Long) to help her track down her errant brother, Brad (Richard Rust) who has jaunted down to the island retreat of casino owner, Mara Lane (Windsor), ostensibly to repay a $5,000 gambling debt, but really to get some up close and personal time with sexy cougar Mara. Rex at first balks at the prospect of venturing down river in the face of an incipient hurricane, but gives in when Jan informs him that their rich father, due to return from Europe the next day, will cut Brad off completely if he finds out he's been cavorting around with the the dubious likes of Mara.

Rex and Jan eventually end up stranded at Mara's island, where brother Brad has been penned up in the tool shed to keep him from getting a gander at a pair of mobsters, Mark Comden (Brad Dexter) and Joe Komack (John Beradino) who Mara has agreed (for a fee, natch) to hide from the authorities, until they can make a getaway flight to Mexico with a cool quarter million in ill-gotten gains. Along for the ride is Joe's boozy actress wife (Steele), as well as Mara's loyal factotum, Morey (Robert J. Wilke). Before Rex and the goombahs can shoot it out, Teresa hits the island head on, forcing the survivors to scramble to higher ground and strap themselves down against the violence of Mother Nature unleashed. A very diverting episode, this, with a strong guest cast and some effective storm effects. I'm a sucker for stories set in stormy conditions anyway, so this one was right up my street. A pre-Burke's Law Gary Conway has a few brief scenes as a Coast Guard operator.

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Perry Mason - 1.36 "The Case of the Prodigal Parent"
When blackmailing creep Phillip Larkin (Terry Becker) is murdered, all clues seem to point to his former stepfather, Joseph Harrison (John Hoyt) as the guilty party. Somewhat surprisingly, Phillip's mother, the ex-Mrs. Harrison (the one and only Fay Wray, of King Kong and The Old Dark House fame) hires Perry to defend Joseph, then promptly goes into hiding so as to not testify against him. Andra Martin plays a young secretary at the company previously run by Harrison, who is involved with the case in what turns out to be a most personal way.

As usual with this series, the preliminaries are a trifle dull, but everything comes alive once we get into court and see legal maestro Mason work his mojo. Ms. Martin shows what a fine actress she could be in the emotive denouement. Also with Herbert Rudley, Ann Doran, Virginia Field, Morris Ankrum, Richard Bull (as a court stenographer) and "Ms. Hathaway" herself, Nancy Kulp, playing things very soberly indeed as the Harrison's loyal housekeeper. As always, Raymond Burr is slick professionalism personified as the unflappable Perry.

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Bachelor Father - 4.30 "Bentley and the Nature Girl"
My first-time watch of this popular but now rather obscure series, and I found it quite entertaining, in that pleasantly amusing late-'50s/early-'60s sitcom manner. Wealthy attorney and swinging single bachelor Bentley Gregg (John Forsythe) lives in his posh pad with orphaned niece, Kelly (Nellie Corcoran) and sarcastic Chinese-American servant - referred to as a "house boy" (*shudder*) - Peter (former stand-up comic Sammy Tong).

The urbane Bentley would much rather play poker with his buddies Cal and Chuck (Del Moore and Pat McCaffrie) on the weekends than rough it in the great outdoors, but when he meets Kelly's nature club leader, Angela Murdock (Martin), he promptly changes his tune. An avid birdwatcher, Angela invites him to the next meeting of the local ornithological society. Before long, she has Bentley tramping through hill and dale - ah, the lengths we men will go to get into an attractive woman's pants - trying to record the song of the elusive yellow-shafted flicker, upon which her father (Russell Collins) has staked his bird-watching reputation as being in the area. Bentley eventually does the capture audio proof Angela's father needs to back up his claim, but Cal and Chuck, tired of Bentley's continuous canceling of their poker matches, decide to sabotage his triumph in a very amusing (though highly embarassing for Bentley) way. Bentley doesn't remain angry at his so-called pals for long, though, for when the birding-obsessed Angela starts cooing to him about marriage, our bachelor father flits out the door faster than a hummingbird on speed. Cute show, and Sammy Tong clearly relishes getting all the best lines.
Jeff so many great shows that for the most part remain unattainable for purchase for various reasons. Andra Martin is indeed gorgeous. Thankfully the retro channels like METV, Antenna others allow us to see some of these greats though edited. I've been watching Bachelor Father on a daily basis. A very underrated comedy sitcom. Great job as always!
 

ScottRE

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I'm impressed your family would know which classic TV show sets you needed. Mine wouldn't have the slightest clue, and would be wary of adding to the growing mountain of discs. (well, still only a small hill compared to many around here)
As @BobO'Link said, I gave them lists with links to where to buy them. If I didn't, I'd get shirts.

I have enough shirts.
 

Desslar

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I don't know about Scott - but I used to give my family detailed lists of the *exact* release I wanted, where to get it (usually 2 or 3 vendors just in case), and the maximum to pay. I did that with books, music, TV series, and movies. And they'd ignore it every time. I'd get paperbacks instead of hardcover ("I got *three* books from your list!" - no, you got *none* of the books I asked for because you didn't read properly - or I'd get a "book on tape" version - all of those got returned/exchanged) or a burned copy they made from a friend's copy (sometimes an album that'd been transferred to CD - I could have done that myself with better results) or a bootleg. I just stopped making lists and went to "Just give me money and I'll get it myself." Worked far better... except when they made it a "gift certificate" instead of cash. These days I just say "Don't get me anything."
Yeah, I can imagine a lot of errant purchases occurring with a highly specific gift list. I guess the safest way would be to give them direct links to each product. Although you might as well buy them for yourself at that point.

Although I may dream of something like the new Magnum blu ray set, I mostly end up receiving clothes as gifts, which is boring but convenient because I find doing clothes shopping myself to be incredibly tedious.
 

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I have a library of novels. I want hardcover for that. I purchase paperback only for comic trade paperback stuff.
BEWARE THE THREAD DRIFT!!! :D

When given a choice, I always go with hardcover. If I'm buying a book, it's because I want to revisit it later - like a DVD. Hardcover lasts longer. And if it's a series, I want it to be the same style covers. And with James Bond novels, that's tough!

Comics: I prefer Omnibus and Masterworks (Marvel for the most part) but will get softcover when I want to fill in a rn of issues and the hardbacks are OOP and super expensive.
 

Flashgear

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As always Randall thank you for the wonderful historical data I would never have known about had to you not brought it to light here. I will most certainly be purchasing the McMillan & Wife Complete Series on DVD. As Scott noted the image quality looks far better than I had ever expected. How can you go wrong at this price point!
You're welcome Neal! Go for it, it's a pretty good series...but VEI themselves might sell it to you at a better, dirt-cheap price! They released it in two versions, one with a reduced 20 disc set, which is the one I have. And it's a great set. I haven't taken all that many caps from McMillan & Wife, but I previously took these of stunning JoAnna Cameron (Secrets of Isis) from a season 6 episode, Have You Heard about Vanessa? (April 24, 1977)...sadly, JoAnna Cameron passed away last October at age 73...
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ScottRE

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Yeah, Ms. Cameron was my childhood crush, which I'm sure is not a rare statement. Her appearance on the two hour "Deadly Dust" episode of Spider-Man was especially nice. I actually wished she stayed on as a regular, she had great chemistry with Nicholas Hammond.
 

The 1960's

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You're welcome Neal! Go for it, it's a pretty good series...but VEI themselves might sell it to you at a better, dirt-cheap price! They released it in two versions, one with a reduced 20 disc set, which is the one I have. And it's a great set. I haven't taken all that many caps from McMillan & Wife, but I previously took these of stunning JoAnna Cameron (Secrets of Isis) from a season 6 episode, Have You Heard about Vanessa? (April 24, 1977)...sadly, JoAnna Cameron passed away last October at age 73...
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I'm convinced and will purchase this! Not just saying it but really will!!

 

Purple Wig

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I was happy to pick this up for a mere fifty cents yesterday, replacing a copy that disappeared somewhere along the way. Flipping the book open to a random page, Ellison gives McCloud his stamp of approval (though Jeff might take issue with his stated desire to “see a lot more of Diana Muldaur”). On the following page, The Interns earns the appraisal “This is a sad, pitiable dud. Or, as we say, here in surgery, the prognosis looks sh-tty. Probably terminal.” Long write up on Matt Lincoln. Ellison is probably best known to the casual classic tv fan as the writer of Star Trek “City On The Edge Of Forever”.
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Rustifer

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77 Sunset Strip - 1.20 "Lovely Alibi"
Claude Akins plays Ed Bird, an old Korean war buddy of Stu Bailey's (Efrem Zimbalist, Jr.), now a cop in love with showgirl Jill Franklyn (Martin), who has some dubious connection to mob boss Vic Gurney (Steve Brodie) who Ed's been trying to snare for a long time...so much so, that he's been temporarily suspended from the force. When Gurney uses Jill as an alibi for the murder of a rival gangster, and she subsequently disappears right after Ed proposes to her, he enlists Stu's help in finding the girl and ascertaining just how heavily she's involved. There's a lot of pulchritude on display in this episode...aside from the lovely Ms. Martin (and of course regular French cutie, Jaqueline Beer, as switchboard operator Suzanne), we also get uncredited appearances by Linda Lawson as a va-va-voom femme fatale, and a very young Leslie Parrish, as Stu's date in one rather meta scene at Dino's, as the Frankie Ortega Trio plays their instrumental version of the show's theme tune. Some nice direction in the shootout finale, courtesy of Hollywood veteran George WaGGner.
Man oh man, Jeff...you hit all my buttons with your reviews here of 77SS, BE, and BSB. These are shows / episodes on which I've written countless commentaries. So good to see somebody other than me delving into them. Truth be told, I've been AWOL on these WB series for too long. You may have inspired me to change the oil and restart the engine.
 
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Nelson Au

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Guys, I’ve been revisiting the early first season of The Munsters and Taxi. Plus I viewed The Fugitive episode, The Other Side of the Mountain. Poor Dr. Kimble just can’t avoid trouble.

This weekend’s DecadesTV binge is The Flintstones. I have the Blu ray. The TV will likely be on in the background tuned into the binge.

Plus I’ve been doing my daily Star Trek viewing, this week was third season episodes picked at random.

I had also found on YouTube a local TV special made in 1975 called The Star Trek Dream. I saw that when it aired and it was a very well done exploration of the Star Trek phenomenon which was in full swing. The host is Bob Wilkins who hosted Creature Features on Saturday nights at 11:30pm. Spent many Saturday nights of my very young years watching. The Star Trek Dream was great to revisit. It had some great interviews with the cast and Gene Roddenberry and visited a Star Trek Convention. These were the lost years before Star Trek The Motion Picture. But for some reason, it made me sad. I don’t know about you guys. Maybe I’ve been spending too much time reliving the past with these TV shows or it was just re-seeing The Star Trek Dream. Made me think about the good days of my youth. I am fascinated in the 1960‘s. Though I don’t feel old, I guess I felt the passage of time.
 

ScottRE

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Nostalgia is quite a mood altering drug, isn't it? I get those same pangs often. I sometimes have to avoid listening to early 80's pop music because it brings me back to a time I miss - even though I didn't have the best time. Funny...
 
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Nelson Au

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Hey Scott, thanks for the reply and sharing your thoughts. It’s funny, watching the shows don’t usually bother me. I think it was seeing that documentary from 1975 was what got me. It was very nostalgic and affected me more then I thought.

On a related note, I read an article that we humans are finding comfort when we are in unfamiliar situations by revisiting old favorite TV shows. Or simply streaming familiar TV shows or a more recent time. It brings comfort and is a shared human experience. In these pandemic times, it was really helpful for a lot of people.

I can relate to that. But that Star Trek Dream documentary surprised me and got me into a little funk. I’ll get over it. It will take a little time. I did not enjoy re-watching a Star Trek episode last night.
 

Jeff Flugel

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Man oh man, Jeff...you hit all my buttons with your reviews here of 77SS, BE, and BSB. These are shows / episodes I've on which I've written countless commentaries. So good to see somebody other than me delving into them. Truth be told, I've been AWOL on these WB series for too long. You may have inspired me to change the oil and restart the engine.
Thanks for that, Russ, much appreciated - especially coming from the WB detective show guru himself! I certainly do hope we see some more commentaries from you on some of these shows, either here or in the 77 Sunset Strip thread.
 
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Flashgear

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Used to do a write up for each show I watched but I think I'm going to start doing a summary of my favorite episode each week and continue to post the schedule each month.

********** WARNING**********
It's hard to discuss an episode without mentioning the plot but I'll try to never give away the ending of an episode. Nevertheless there may be some discussions that some may consider plot spoilers.

Quantum Leap Season 2 Episode 6

Good Morning, Peoria - September 9, 1959​

Along with Gerald McRaney Scott Bakula is one of my favorite and I think underrated TV actors. I didn't really appreciate his work on NCIS New Orleans initially but watching the DVDs made me realize he did a great job on that show as well. We used to watch Quantum Leap every week when it was on and it definitely gets my vote for the best use of synthesizer in a television theme song. Its a great twist on time travel, how can go wrong with someone travelling around in history and helping people. This episode was from the Mill Creek Blu ray set and had very good picture and sound. As far as I could tell the music was all of the original songs.

In this episode Sam becomes a DJ at a rock and roll radio station in Peoria. His station manager Rachel (Patricia Richardson Home Improvement) just wants to make her dads station number one but the local businesses are worried that the music is going to corrupt their kids. After the town passes an ordinance banning Rock and Roll Sam convinces her to keep playing it. After Sam has to repair several sabotage attempts on the station the situation comes to a boiling point but finally gets resolved peacefully.

Quotes:

Sam: There was a poem in high school I think that I never forgot... Until now. I think it ended with, "And everywhere the ceremony of innocence is drowned, the best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity." I guess I just think it's time for the best to exhibit a little passionate intensity.

[making up a radio news piece]

Sam: Flash! President Eisenhower in a surprise move resigned from office this morning in order to join a Buddhist monastery. Said Ike 'I just like being around guys with less hair than me.'


In this Scene Al convinces Sam he needs to act crazy on the radio. His Good Morning Viet Nam type monologue that followed took me completely by surprise and was great fun. They kept it up throughout the episode and you were never quite sure what he was going to say.


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Enjoyed that review and caps, Steve! Quantum Leap is a show I only saw rarely, in the company of friends who loved the series, which of course has a legion of dedicated fandom to this day. This one sounds like a particularly fun episode. I hope you continue to relay your favorite 'finds' on a regular basis. Thanks!
Destry - The Solid Gold Girl. I’d been led to believe this was a relatively unremarkable series, but this first Don Siegel-directed episode hit the spot, stacking the deck with an unbeatable guest cast of Neville Brand, Claude Akins, and Broderick Crawford, plus Tammy Grimes a little on the sultrier side than usual. I didn’t have a strong opinion on John Gavin before this but his character is quite likable.

G.E. True - Commando. Excellent episode directed by William Conrad. Sort of a “Dirty One”, Sean McClory is a thief offered a pardon if he’ll crack a safe holding Nazi documents. Lloyd Bochner is the Lee Marvin figure, nice change to see him as a deliberate man of action here, no trace of smarm or conniving.
Alan, thanks for more obscure gems here! I love Destry, a comedic western series hour much in the same vein as Maverick and Alias Smith and Jones. A mid-season replacement show on ABC in 1963-64, it replaced the faltering 77 Sunset Strip (moved to another night to finish it's 6 year run), and was the lead-in for Burke's Law and Farmer's Daughter on Friday evenings. I wish Destry had lasted more than 13 episodes. The great action director Don Siegel, as you said, proved to be adept at light-hearted fare like this as well. Loaded with great guest stars and a fine array of beautiful women, I'm glad to have the great TMG DVD complete series set of this Universal production.

I checked out that episode of G.E. True on Youtube, a now obscure series from 1962-63, the kind of quality anthology series that was once common in those days. This episode (excellent as you said) seems to be inspired by the true WW2 story of Eddie Chapman, a British criminal and safecracker found in the jails of Jersey by the Germans when they invaded the British territory of the Channel islands in 1940. The Nazis tried to use him as a spy and saboteur using his unique skills, but once the Germans parachuted him back into England, he promptly turned himself in to the police. Eddie than became trapped in a dangerous 'double cross' double-agent gambit by MI 6, the British foreign intelligence service fictionally publicized in the Ian Fleming 'James Bond' novels. He was asked to take disinformation back to his Nazi handlers in occupied France! He had to endanger his life to earn his pardon. His story inspired a number of film treatments, including being played by Ray Milland in the 1958 movie The Safecracker. Eddie Chapman's incredible and hair-raising true story is best told in the best selling non-fiction book Agent ZigZag, by author Ben McIntyre.

Last Monday would have been Michael Parks 82nd birthday. In tribute to this fine actor here is one of his memorable television performances.

Route 66 (1960-1964)

S04E17 Cries of Persons Close to One (Jan.31.1964)
Michael Parks Martin Milner Glenn Corbett Ellen Madison Michael Baseleon Ken Strange Frank Tweddell James Farentino Alix Elias James Brown Tom McNeeley

Perhaps the very most haunting episode of Route 66 and not an easy watch. Michael Parks gives a stunning performance as prize-fighter Henry Frank. A disturbing look at one man’s struggle with illiteracy and his bout with alcoholism.​
Great photo essay for this powerful episode, Neal! Michael Parks must have savored the opportunity of playing this challenging role in a prestige series like Route 66, the best thing he'd ever done as an actor up to that point. Innovative direction by journeyman Allen Miner in a rare script by William Kelly and series' producer Howard Rodman. One of the best in the final season.
Combat
The Little Carousel (3.8) Sylviane Margolie, Warren Vanders. Saunders develops an emotional attachment to a teenage nurse assistant. She ingratiates herself with him and they develop a father/daughter type of relationship. She "saves" several soldiers. The episode only had one ending and it is what we get. What we usually see is the anger and hurt shown by Saunders - in front of his men. Very emotional episode. This one even intrigued my wife who does not generally enjoy this series.

Fly Away Home (3.9) Neville Brand. Unusual story about the use of carrier pigeons to photograph military installations and carry it back to headquarters. The birdman has an overly strong love of the birds and is extremely overprotective which causes friction between him and the troop,

A Rare Vintage (3.12) Lyle Bettger, Marcel Hillaire, Lawrence Montaigne, Corey Allen. Lt. Hanley is injured and captured. Caje and a local (Hillaire) go undercover as wine makers to try and help Hanley escape. Plays like a Mission:Impossible episode.

The Enemy (3.17) Robert Duvall. Hanley captures a very inventive Nazi bomb expert. Basically a two-person drama. Very claustrophobic and well acted episode.
Doug, great array of quality shows that you're watching! And you're in the midst of Combat!'s truly great third season. You just knew this was a special series creatively, producing an extraordinary number of fantastic episodes in later seasons as this show went from strength to strength. The Little Carousel is fondly remembered as one of the top episodes in the entire series, with a gut-wrenching performance by the great Vic Morrow in this unforgettably powerful episode. I'm not afraid to say this one makes me cry. For me, one for the ages in how good this drama series could be!

I well remember watching Combat! first run. I remember my Dear Mom escaping to her bedroom to spin her records or listen to the radio when Combat! came on. In retrospect, I felt sorry for my Mom in trying to find serenity whenever Combat! filled our household with the sound of ten thousand gunshots (or more) every week! There's an episode coming up soon for you, episode 19, More Than a Soldier, that starts off with blistering action with at least what sounds like ten thousand rounds being fired off in the first 5 minutes, when actor Ron Soble (who I always thought could have been Lee Van Cleef's little brother), playing a German soldier, rips through magazine after magazine from his Schmeisser sub-machine gun...it's really incredible, even for this action-packed show, and you can really tell Soble is enjoying himself! This is a Vic Morrow episode with guest star Tommy Sands the pop singer. Still a lot of great stuff coming your way in seasons four and five too! Great and interesting reviews as always Doug!
Randall's recent photo essay in the 77 Sunset Strip thread in tribute to Andra Martin, who passed away at age 87 on May 3rd, set me off on another actress mini-marathon project. I remember the striking Ms. Martin fondly for her sensuous co-starring role alongside big Clint Walker in the WB western Yellowstone Kelly (which also starred fellow Warner's contract players John Russell and Edd "Kookie" Byrnes). The movie features a (for the time) rather saucy scene where man mountain Clint (the eponymous Kelly) rubs ointment on injured Indian maiden Ms. Martin's naked back.

MV5BNWJlNjg5NWMtODE0Yi00Y2MzLWI2MWUtOTcyZGViYzNjNzhhXkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyMzI4Nzk0NjY@._V1_.jpg

Lawman - 1.31 "The Huntress"
Saloon girl Lorna Williams (Andra Martin) comes to Laramie seeking revenge on the man who murdered her husband, wanted outlaw Jim Pierce (John Pickard). She's already personally sent Jim's equally nasty brother, Frank (Byron Keith), to meet his maker, and plans to do the same to Jim, too. The only problem is, she has no idea what Jim looks like...and neither does Marshal Troop, who sternly warns Lorna about taking the law into her own hands. Can Troop arrest Pierce before he catches up with Lorna? Olive Sturgess plays a young innocent new recruit to the world of dance hall life who becomes friendly with the preoccupied Lorna. Martin gives a good performance here as a woman whose lust for vengeance leads to tragedy. This episode is from the pre-Peggy Castle S1 era, so we get Dub Taylor as the garrulous bar owner instead. Another taut, tough script from ace western scribe Clair Huffaker.

77 Sunset Strip - 1.20 "Lovely Alibi"
Claude Akins plays Ed Bird, an old Korean war buddy of Stu Bailey's (Efrem Zimbalist, Jr.), now a cop in love with showgirl Jill Franklyn (Martin), who has some dubious connection to mob boss Vic Gurney (Steve Brodie) who Ed's been trying to snare for a long time...so much so, that he's been temporarily suspended from the force. When Gurney uses Jill as an alibi for the murder of a rival gangster, and she subsequently disappears right after Ed proposes to her, he enlists Stu's help in finding the girl and ascertaining just how heavily she's involved. There's a lot of pulchritude on display in this episode...aside from the lovely Ms. Martin (and of course regular French cutie, Jaqueline Beer, as switchboard operator Suzanne), we also get uncredited appearances by Linda Lawson as a va-va-voom femme fatale, and a very young Leslie Parrish, as Stu's date in one rather meta scene at Dino's, as the Frankie Ortega Trio plays their instrumental version of the show's theme tune. Some nice direction in the shootout finale, courtesy of Hollywood veteran George WaGGner.

Hawaiian Eye - 1.31 "Little Blalah"
"Blalah" is apparently Hawaiian slang for "brother." The "blalah" in question here is boozing Bobby Kramer (Robert Ivers), little brother of Sally (Martin), who's up to his neck in gambling debts. When a $30,000 payroll robbery occurs at the office of the construction business belonging to their ailing father (Paul Birch), resulting in the death of a security guard, suspicion falls first on Bobby, and then onto Sally's fiancee, Gavin McLeod (Mike Road). Friend of the family and Hawaiian Eye chief P.I., Tracy Steele (Anthony Eisley), sets out to catch the killer. Decent episode, notable mainly for just how absolutely smoking Ms. Martin looks throughout. Robert Conrad pops his head in briefly to earn his co-starring billing, and regulars Kim (Poncie Ponce) and Cricket (Connie Stevens) are also on hand, the latter only briefly to croon out "Birth of the Blues," yet another musical standard in a long line of songs that keeps this show from being released on disc.

Screenshot (278).png

Bourbon Street Beat - 1.39 "Teresa"
I haven't watched many episodes of these WB detective shows thus far, but judging from the dozen or so that I have sampled, BSB is my favorite of the four (with Surfside 6 bringing up the rear) - mainly due to the acting chops of its two leads, Richard Long and Andrew Duggan, two very fine actors indeed. The scripts also seem of a slightly higher caliber to me. Pity, then, that it's this show that bit the dust after only one season. At least it goes out on a strong note here in its 39th and final episode. Despite featuring a trio of hot tamales - Andra Martin, Marie Windsor and Karen Steele - the titular "Teresa" actually refers to a hurricane. That's right, this is the ubiquitous W. Hermanos (i.e. the Bros. Warner) once again dipping into the studio vaults and doing a riff on one of their early movie properties...in this case, the Bogie-Bacall classic Key Largo. But there are enough interesting flourishes here to make everything go down nice and easy.

Jan Dennison (Martin) comes to ask Rex Randolph (smooth Richard Long) to help her track down her errant brother, Brad (Richard Rust) who has jaunted down to the island retreat of casino owner, Mara Lane (Windsor), ostensibly to repay a $5,000 gambling debt, but really to get some up close and personal time with sexy cougar Mara. Rex at first balks at the prospect of venturing down river in the face of an incipient hurricane, but gives in when Jan informs him that their rich father, due to return from Europe the next day, will cut Brad off completely if he finds out he's been cavorting around with the the dubious likes of Mara.

Rex and Jan eventually end up stranded at Mara's island, where brother Brad has been penned up in the tool shed to keep him from getting a gander at a pair of mobsters, Mark Comden (Brad Dexter) and Joe Komack (John Beradino) who Mara has agreed (for a fee, natch) to hide from the authorities, until they can make a getaway flight to Mexico with a cool quarter million in ill-gotten gains. Along for the ride is Joe's boozy actress wife (Steele), as well as Mara's loyal factotum, Morey (Robert J. Wilke). Before Rex and the goombahs can shoot it out, Teresa hits the island head on, forcing the survivors to scramble to higher ground and strap themselves down against the violence of Mother Nature unleashed. A very diverting episode, this, with a strong guest cast and some effective storm effects. I'm a sucker for stories set in stormy conditions anyway, so this one was right up my street. A pre-Burke's Law Gary Conway has a few brief scenes as a Coast Guard operator.
Great tribute to the lovely Andra Martin, Jeff! So glad you can watch these entertaining WB detective shows on Archive.org or Uncle Earl's Classic TV channel! I have all of the big 4 WB detective series complete on DVD-R in varying states of watchability. But these shows, along with the WB westerns, are real meat and potatoes in my youthful classic TV world! Love 'em!
Bachelor Father - 4.30 "Bentley and the Nature Girl"
My first-time watch of this once-popular but now rather obscure series, and I found it quite entertaining, in that pleasantly amusing late-'50s/early-'60s sitcom manner. Wealthy attorney and swinging single bachelor Bentley Gregg (John Forsythe) lives in his posh pad with orphaned niece, Kelly (Nellie Corcoran) and sarcastic Chinese-American servant - referred to as a "house boy" (*shudder*) - Peter (former stand-up comic Sammy Tong).

The urbane Bentley would much rather play poker with his buddies Cal and Chuck (Del Moore and Pat McCaffrie) on the weekends than rough it in the great outdoors, but when he meets Kelly's nature club leader, Angela Murdock (Martin), he promptly changes his tune. An avid birdwatcher, Angela invites him to the next meeting of the local ornithological society. Before long, she has Bentley tramping through hill and dale - ah, the lengths we men will go to get into an attractive woman's pants - trying to record the song of the elusive yellow-shafted flicker, upon which her father (Russell Collins) has staked his bird-watching reputation as being in the area. Bentley eventually does the capture audio proof Angela's father needs to back up his claim, but Cal and Chuck, tired of Bentley's continuous canceling of their poker matches, decide to sabotage his triumph in a very amusing (though highly embarassing for Bentley) way. Bentley doesn't remain angry at his so-called pals for long, though, for when the birding-obsessed Angela starts cooing to him about marriage, our bachelor father flits out the door faster than a hummingbird on speed. Cute show, and Sammy Tong clearly relishes getting all the best lines. Trivia note: apparently, Bachelor Father is the only primetime show to run consecutive years on three major networks (CBS, NBC and ABC respectively).

I should be back with Part Deux sometime in the next week or two, with more of a focus on Andra Martin's work in miscellaneous westerns, such as WB oaters Cheyenne, Bronco and Maverick, plus Wagon Train and, for good measure, at least one of her three appearances on The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet. Don't say I didn't warn you.
I have to check this one out! From what I've seen, Bachelor Father was a truly delightful and long lasting series. Time to take a deeper dive into this show, well represented on YT and Dailymotion.
 
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rjd0309

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Watched VTTBOTS S01E06 The Sky is Falling on MeTV, and saw Adam Williams playing the role of "Chief". What gives? Was Henry Kulky unavailable the week of filming?
 

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