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Discussion in 'TV on DVD and Blu-ray' started by Bryan^H, Aug 28, 2015.
I liked her better than Bonnie. Much greater presence.
Good point-- didn't see the context!
Man in a Suitcase - 1.30 "Night Flight to Andorra"
McGill is in the Pyrenees, working with a motley crew of cut-throat thugs on an apparent heist to steal art treasures from a well-guarded mansion owned by master criminal Radek. His real mission is to recover a top-secret microfilm for the British government. Things get hairy when a young female tourist (Luanshya Greer) stops off at the remote farmhouse where McGill and team are hiding out, and she witnesses their plans for the heist. This - for my money one of the finest of all ITC series, with an extremely charismatic lead in Richard Bradford - goes out with a bang in this tense episode. The title refers to McGill's plan to use a glider to break into the baddie's walled compound.
7.5 "Suspect Number One"
Hadn't watched this "cops on the beat" series since I was a little kid. These two episodes were on You Tube and seemed mostly complete at around 25 minutes. Enjoyed both of them quite a bit, especially their focus on nuts-and-bolts procedural elements, typical for Jack Webb productions. In "Suspect Number One," Don "Red" Barry turns in a fine, heartfelt guest performance as an ex-con Malloy (Martin Milner) helped put away years before, who can't adjust to life outside the pen. Guess this is another series to add to the TV-on-DVD "Buy" list.
1.1 "Comprehensive Cover"
1.2 "A Deadly Policy"
1.3 "Clause for Concern"
Watched the first half of this first-rate 6-part thriller from Southern Television, which aired in 1976, and features John Gregson (perhaps best known for the 1960's ITC series Gideon's Way). Gregson plays Kirby, a hard-drinking insurance salesman who's traveling back from France when he notices two mysterious men following him. He abandons his car and cadges a ride back across the channel on the boat of an attractive young woman, Laura (Prunella Ransome). Thus begins a twisty tale of espionage, intrigue and murder.
The script by N.J. Crisp is sharp and keeps the viewer guessing; I also like how the episode titles are clever riffs on insurance jargon. Gregson plays a much harder-edged character than usual, and it soon becomes obvious that he was, and is, a lot more than just an insurance salesman. Sadly, the actor died of a heart attack at the age of 55, shortly after filming this series - a good 18 months before it aired. He looks a bit paunchy and disheveled, but convincing enough as an aging but still lethal operative. The supporting cast includes some impressive names: Patrick Allen, Ralph Bates, Robert Keegan (in a very different sort of role than he played in Fly into Danger) and David Gwillim.
May to December
1.1 "It Never Entered My Mind"
1.2 "Fools Rush In"
1.3 "Send in the Clowns"
1.4 "Anything You Can Do"
I used to watch this 1989-1994 Britcom on PBS back in college, but hadn't seen it in nearly 30 years. It's a very sweet, funny and engaging little comedy about a middle-aged solicitor, Alec (Anton Rodgers) and a 26-year-old gym teacher, Zoe (Eve Matheson), who comes to his office as a client wishing to get a divorce. Despite their age difference, the two are strongly attracted to one another, and the series follows their misadventures and struggles as they start a relationship, despite many obstacles in their path. The two leads are charming, and are well supported by a likable cast of characters playing family members and co-workers, including Clive Francis as Alec's womanizing partner, Miles; Paul Venables and Christina Pickles as his grown children, supportive and disapproving, respectively; and Frances White as Alec's cool-as-a-cucumber secretary.
Unfortunately, Eve Matheson decided to quit the show to pursue a stage career at the end of series 2, leading to her character being recast with another actress, Lesley Dunlop, for the remaining 4 series. Ms. Dunlop is attractive enough in her own right, but the delicate chemistry is gone and the show just doesn't sparkle like it did with the original actress. Only the first 2 series have been released on DVD and are outrageously expensive for so few episodes (S1 is 6 episodes for $38 and S2 is 7 around $40!) Luckily, pretty much the entire series is available on You Tube, albeit in watchable but hardly pristine VHS quality.
Another fine list, Jeff. After reading your take on Adam-12, I was reminded that I was on a plane with Martin Milner several years ago. Unfortunately, there was a very large lady sitting between us who bent his ear about her ungrateful daughter, her cats, boyfriends and dusting techniques. She had no idea who he was. Although he listened politely, I could tell he wanted to push himself through the plane window and take his chances on the fall. I had about 100 questions I wanted to ask him about Route 66, but alas, never got the chance.
The series was sort of the originator of "police procedurals", but a long long way from what were used to now, thanks to the likes of CSI, Law & Order, etc.
Also, Kent McCord seemed to be a rather dorkish actor at first--but eventually developed into a pretty fair thespian.
Great story about Martin Milner, Russ! I'm positive he'd have rather answered every one of your 100 questions about Route 66, than be harangued by the lady in the next seat.
I had completely forgotten about Kent McCord until I watched the above two Adam-12 episodes. Maybe it was because they were from the tail end of the series, after McCord had had a chance to grow into the part, as you say - but I thought he worked well with the more experienced Milner. You're right, the show is very low-key and comparatively undramatic compared to the fever-pitch melodrama of most modern police procedurals, but that's part of its appeal, for me.
I know I've heard of May to December and thought I had some in my collection. Nope. I'm guessing I looked at it during a browsing session on Amazon.uk while looking for unknown treasures. It's quite likely the high price kept me away as I've enjoyed watching the main characters in other series.
I finished my BR of The Twilight Zone and really enjoyed it. Mine is the later CBS all-in-one release but appears to be the Legend release repressed. It has the Legend logos at the start of discs and all of the special bonus features on the Legend DVD set (which I also own). The quality is superb. I'm probably in a minority on this but I prefer The Outer Limits to The Twilight Zone. That may be due to me having watched the former during its original airing but not the later. I've seen a few episodes of TTZ in syndication over the years, most of which are among the episodes most often cited as great, but have never watched it all until now. I found myself trying to figure out the twist ending and succeeded more often than not.
After that I started Dad's Army. I'd purchased a copy of the UK complete series some time back after purchasing, watching, and greatly enjoying the "Best of" US release. I'm about half-way through series 4 and am really enjoying the shows. I've spotted a half dozen BBC TV stars who went on to star/costar in other highly regarded UK series. One of my favorite characters in this one is "Fraser." He's a Scotsman who constantly complains and tells the occasional "bad/horror" story related to what's going on at the time. He's a very good story teller.
Buck Rogers in the 25th Century
'The Plot To Kill A City' parts 1, and 2 (October 11, 18, 1979)
Sorry about the angle, and quality of screencaps, as they do no justice to the Blu-Ray video image:
Yeah, I can see that high price for the first 2 series of May to December putting you off, Howie! If I remember correctly, you don't have internet hooked up to your TV in your man cave, but if you ever find yourself watching on a tablet, I heartily recommend checking out the first series at least on You Tube. It's a surprisingly addictive little show.
John Laurie is hilarious as "Fraser." All of the cast are spot on in Dad's Army. My favorite is Clive Dunn as the garrulous Corporal Jones, and his immortal catchphrase, "They don't like it up 'em."
I really need to get that complete series set some day. From what I've seen, it stays pretty consistently strong throughout its entire run.
No need to apologize, Bryan - despite the angle, those screencaps look fab! Thank you for posting them. It's obvious that the Blu-Ray is the way to go for this series. Now I just have to decide if I want to pony up the cash for it. Haven't seen the show since I was a teen...not sure how it'd hold up for me now. At least it's obvious from your screencaps that the late 70s / early 80s starlet cheesecake factor is high.
Yes lots of cheesecake for sure, this series excels at that.
This is a time machine back to my youth. I still remember watching, and loving this show Thursday nights on NBC.
I love the late 70's, early 80's high gloss "wet look" that so many ladies dressed, both clothing, and makeup.
I still think it is a fashion trend that needs to come back.
Blu-Ray is gorgeous. Almost too perfect. Last time I checked it was $41 for the complete series.
So worth it.
Mod Squad: Season 1
Episode 6 - Find Tara Chapman
Episode 7 - The Price of Terror
We just returned from a vacation and I had planned to watch The Fugitive to get my vintage TV groove back, but when I heard about the death of Peggy Lipton, I decided to watch the Mod Squad instead. This was one of the first shows that was must see TV for me and Lipton was one of the first actresses that got my attention. Lipton wasn't really at the center of either one of these episodes, although she did get kidnapped by an ex con that was tormenting Captain Greer in the second one. She looked young and beautiful, and it is hard to believe fifty years have passed since these episode were done.
I'm towards the end of series 4 so don't know from here on, unless some of those episodes are on that "Best Of" collection which is uniformly funny and good, but I can say without hesitation that it hits the ground running and has been *very* consistent. The worst part about the complete series set, at least the one I have, is 3 of the 6 series 2 episodes are lost. I don't know if those 3 were found and are in a later release - I've not checked.
Mission:Impossible - Season 4
The Amnesiac (4.13) Julie Gregg, Steve Inhat, Anthony Zerbe. A dead thief returns from death by way of plastic surgery (thenks Paris) who then tricks his former partner into revealing the location of stolen money in order to cause friction and a change of leadership. Very plot heavy and the nice use of code to relay information to our undercover Paris.
The Avengers - Season 4 (streaming from tubi tv)
The Cybernauts (4.3) Michael Gough, Bert Kwouk, Frederick Jaeger, Bernard Horsfall, Ronald Leigh-Hunt, John Hollis. Steed and Peel are trying to determine the karate master who can kill with one blow of his hand. Always had a fond spot for this episode. The prints up on tubi seem to be remastered. Looked great. Will be following up with their return in season 5 soon.
Lost In Space - Complete Series Remastered in Widescreen
I always wonder when this shows up if I will be able to tolerate Dr. Smith for the whole disc. I must say that disc 4 of the first season has been a very enjoyable disc with many episodes that I have a strong affection for.
The Keeper: Part 1, Part 2 (1.16, 1.17) Michael Rennie. Such a strong guest star that elevates this episode. All the characters have settled into their respective roles and this episode showcases that so well. For one thing the alien is truly alien with no moral compass to guide him. He wants specimens, not a suck-up like Dr. Smith (who has already displayed his simple to deceive mind), but true representatives of humanity (Will and Penny). He is single minded in his purpose. I liked the fact that when Smith opens the cages, we see som attempts at continuity in that past aliens/monsters are seen escaping the Keeper's ship. Little touches like that have enhanced my enjoyment of this first season. For an alien so evil, I thought his folding was a bit false, but it made for a touching ending. One of the best.
The Sky Pirate (1.18) Albert Salmi. Well, we've already seen Warren Oates and Michael Rennie, seems they are getting good guest stars. Despite the obvious silliness with a mechanical parrot, I enjoyed this one. I liked the relationship that Captain Tucker had with Will, especially the oath and prayers scene. Simple story and easy to see where it would go, but still a pleasnat escapist episode.
Ghost In Space (1.19) The only episode on this disc that had to much of Smith. A Ouija board and a seance, come on!!! The monsters footprints appearing in the sand was cool (reminded me of the Invisible Monster in Jonny Quest). Such a shame when we saw the monster that the footprint didn't match. I was so surprised when I saw the ending teaser as the next episode is the one that made me truly accept the Robot as a Robinson family member. Strong memories of this one from childhood.
War Of The Robots (1.20) Robby the Robot. As much as I enjoyed Robby in Forbidden Planet and his TZ and Columbo appearances, this is the episode where I first remember seeing him. He was so awful to our Robot. I felt sorry for him and was able to identify with the hurt and usefulness he was experiencing (I always came in second to my younger and better looking brother). So wonderful to view this one again. So glad the Robinson's came to their senses.
Evening Shade - Complete Series
Mr. Mom (1.9) - Wood is feeling unloved as he has become "Mom".
Hooray For Wood (1.10) Wood is cast as a Confederate colonel in Charles Nelson Reilly's Civil War drama.
The Wood Who Stole Christmas (1.11) Wood and Ava teach their children about greed and the Christmas spirit.
Wood and Ava and Gil and Madeline (1.12) Swapping comes to Evening Shade with Erin Gray. This episode ran about 22 minutes long, not sure if that is correct as the episode didn't seem to be missing anything, but I am not an expert on these matters.
Wood's Thirtieth Reunion (1.13) The old boys (James Hampton and Doug McClure) are reunited, past secrets are uncovered and the old girlfriend arrives with a proposition for Wood.
Vote Early And Vote Often (1.14) A flashback to Ava's campaign and victory for DA.
Chip Off The Old Brick (1.15) Herman's father (Brian Keith) arrives in town to spend time with his boy, but would rather be anywhere else. Herman confronts Dad.
The Trials Of Wood Newton (1.16) Wood's father-in-law hits a colleague and Wood ends up being the star witness against Evan.
The High Chaparral - Season 3
Time Of Your Life (3.1) James Mitchum, Lani O'Grady. The Chaparral men are in town to celebrate a successful cattle drive and sale. Blue locks horns with a gunslinger and feels the need to stand on his own two feet and sets out to confront his enemy. A strong coming of age tale. Blue takes responsibility for his actions and wishes to earn the respect of his peers and father. Great start to season 3.
A Time To Laugh, A Time To Cry (3.2) Donna Baccala, Frank Silvera, Victor Campos, Julio Medina. Commancheros are terrorizing the Chaparral and retreating to Mexico. Mano aborts one of their robberies and they vow to get even. The rescued include a former childhood playmate/sweetheart. John asks Montoya for help and is refused. Mano falls in love and proposes. His intended is wounded as is Mano. The ranches are now unified and the search is on. Mano finds his beloved and experiences the traditional ending. A stock tale well told.
"Strange, isn't it Major? How a couple of kiloliters of a plain, harmless-looking liquid can mean so much to so many people. To Silff, to Poltzin, to me and to you... (Bang!)"
—Colonel Alex Vorda
As in "Fool's Gold", here's another social place with a colourful name: "Cabaret Candide". After "The Code", find again the reference to the United People's Republic, a synonym for USSR, a reference to the North Asia People's Republic, meaning Red China: see "Commandante", and a reference to two towns: Donengrad and Dobray. Again, notice some Eastern Europe Gellerese idioms: "Militik IV - Divizion Chemiko", "Telefön", "Depot Cönstruktion". A quick stock footage from "Memory" is used for the police HQ.
A twisted and fascinating East German plot a la "Illusion" which gives Leonard Nimoy the chance to play two peculiar parts, especially during Jim's Act 3 & 4 light show; Monique plays Cinnamon's theme music followed by a "Mannix" melancolic tune by Lalo Schifrin. The East German officers cast is strong: the heavyweight guests Ihnat and Zerbe. We can even admire a caricature of actor Anthony Zerbe. For the anecdote, the picture of unseen Otto Silff is the actor playing Sebastian in "The Falcon". As in "Time Bomb", the subtheme of the episode is the danger of the nuclear power. The episode was actually shot by season 5 cinematographer Ronald W. Browne unlike the official credits of Al Francis. The car accident scene is contrived and too well-composed when it comes to Monique who is hurt and lied down on the floor with a face whose heavy makeup belongs to the old Hollywood tradition!
As far as I'm aware, Howie, those 3 Series 2 Dad's Army episodes are still missing, as well as 2 of the Christmas Specials. Some missing believed wiped episodes of other sitcoms have turned up in the past few years, so one never knows...
There's a special feature on that S2 disc talking about the series' history and the lost episodes. Essentially saying it was common (which you should already know if you've done much research into early UK TV production - and some US) due to the expense of using video tape. They make the connection (finally - someone actually talks about this aspect) that although film was less expensive the ROI on video tape was better as it wasn't normally held but reused as there was no foresight into the historical nature and/or viability of future use of these programs. Of course the only reason we have lots of those early TV series is *because* they were filmed rather than produced on video tape. It absolutely amazes me that some video taped shows survived (Laugh In being somewhat an exception as it's not a good idea to reuse physically edited tape so there wouldn't have been much of a reason to not keep it).
This was one of Yvonne Craig's first post-Batman appearances and it also demonstrated why she did not IMO have the ability to be a true series or guest star focal point. Within a couple years her appearances on TV were becoming more of the back end of the credits variety.
"Back end of the credits"?
I'm talking more about how her parts became smaller and smaller so that in shows where the guest star would get a front of episode billing, she was by then getting the small parts that were in the back end. I realize of course now that some shows *always* put the guest star lists in the end credits.
Us old timers got it!