The Classic/Retro Pop Culture Thread

Discussion in 'TV & Media' started by The Old Mixer, Jan 11, 2016.

  1. RJDiogenes

    RJDiogenes Idealistic Cynic and Canon Champion Premium Member

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    Sigh. Such an amazing sound and such a lovely voice.

    At first I thought I never heard this, but it started to tickle at my memory as I listened. Not a bad song.

    I don't remember "Yo-Yo," but the others are all good songs.

    Even with Prime, some things you have to pay for-- either renting or buying. That Girl is indeed available to stream for free, but you also have the option of purchasing seasons or episodes.

    Nobody is innocent!

    And when it came to drugs, they were right. This is definitely a classic episode and, in its own way, a cultural touchstone as much as Room 222 or Love, American Style.
     
  2. The Old Mixer

    The Old Mixer Mih ssim, mih ssim, nam, daed si Xim. Moderator

    _______

    50th Anniversary Viewing
    (Part 2)

    _______

    Ironside
    "In Search of an Artist"
    Originally aired January 2, 1969
    The friend is Denny Fielder (William Burns), who was married to the daughter of a reformed mobster and signed left a note indicating that he'd killed her alleged lover, their chauffeur, then apparently died by driving his car off a cliff. Their investigation takes Team Ironside South of the Border, where credibility is stretched a bit when Ironside stumbles upon another example of Fielder's work in the open market of a randomly selected village. Ironside turns up Fielder and learns that he was taking the fall for his wife, Leona (Lorraine Gary), whom he'd found unconscious at the scene of the murder.

    A couple of hitmen try to take Team Ironside and Fielder out while they're still in Mexico. It turns out that the victim's wife's brother, who'd been questioned earlier in the episode, did it, while the wife's father, Jack Stuart (Broderick Crawford) had hired the hit men, though the episode didn't explain why--To get at Denny? For helping the killer to cover it up? Denny and Leona, who was just the recipient of passes by the victim, are reunited.

    This one was pretty meh, being chock full of contrivances and hampered by Burns's weak acting.

    _______

    Star Trek
    "Whom Gods Destroy"
    Originally aired January 3, 1969
    Stardate 5718.3


    See my post here.

    _______

    Adam-12
    "Log 81: The Long Walk"
    Originally aired January 4, 1969
    They transition through the lecture on officer presence at roll call (by the looks of it part of the original edit). Maybe some of us wanted to hear what Sgt. MacDonald had to say! It's not like you could just Google it back then.

    Once on patrol, Reed and Malloy respond to a call to back up Adam-18 in investigating a robbery at a gas station, where they find the attendant pistol-whipped. Then Adam-12 proceeds to search for the suspect in the direction that he was seen heading. I never would have noticed it myself if I hadn't read it on IMDb, but when they're talking about searching for a red convertible, one drives right by them in the rear projection! :lol:

    The officers then respond to a call from a guest home about a "found adult"...a very senior gentleman (Richard Hale) who showed up out of the blue to unofficially join the community. In questioning him, they learn that he's from Deadwood, South Dakota. It gets a bit confusing after that, as he seems to think he got to the home from his daughter's place in Santa Monica in her car, but the officers doubt that he could have driven it...so I'm not sure what the episode was trying to imply--That he walked and only thought he drove? That his daughter dropped him off?

    They then respond to a call about a prowler...this time from a fully dressed babysitter. Investigating some noise outside, they find that the perp is a raccoon in a tree.

    Reed: One-Adam-Twelve, request Code Seven at Pico and Sepulveda.
    Dispatch: One-Adam-Twelve, continue patrol and a call.​

    That's more like it--She just saves calls waiting for Reed to request a Code Seven! :lol: Anyway, it's for a 459 silent at a warehouse. The officers are fired at upon entering, but Malloy manages to sneak to a light switch in the dark. Two perps are shot before Malloy gets the drop on the remaining two, only to reveal once Reed's covering him that he's been holding the perps at gunpoint with an empty pistol. Reed realizes that this was an example of "officer presence" at work.

    _______

    Get Smart
    "Hurray for Hollywood"
    Originally aired January 4, 1969
    Parody? It is the title, save for a spelling variant. And do we really need witty asides in episode synopses? I think that the Wiki contributor doing these Get Smart write-ups could take a little advice from Joe Friday.

    Max and 99's acting coach, Pedechefsky (Ivor Francis), does a dramatic reading of what he says is a verse from "Do You Know the Way to San Jose"...except that it's not.

    In his rehearsal as the butler in the play, Max does his lines Cagney style. The KAOS agents learn that Max and 99 are CONTROL agents when Max makes a call to the Chief on a house phone. How convenient that he didn't use a certain well-known fixture of the show....

    After the Chief and one of his men arrest the KAOS agents onstage during the actual performance, the CONTROL and KAOS agents maintain the illusion that it's all part of the play by taking multiple curtain calls.

    _______

    Hogan's Heroes
    "The Missing Klink"
    Originally aired January 4, 1969
    The plan is to set up the underground to capture General Burkhalter while Klink's giving him a ride, in order to exchange the General for an imprisoned resistance leader named Wagner. But Klink goes to the train station when Burkhalter was taking a plane, so Wagner's brother (Chris Robinson, formerly Sandy Komansky on 12 O'Clock High) just gets Klink.

    Hogan has to concoct a scheme to make Hochstetter think that Klink is really a highly placed British agent code-named Nimrod so that they'll go through with the exchange to get their hands on him. Once they do, Hogan's team defuses the situation by making them think that their assumptions about Klink's true nature were the result of a misunderstanding.

    In the coda, Hogan gets a set of plans and a message from the real Nimrod, who was aware of the Colonel's scheme...which would seem to suggest that Nimrod really is somebody close at hand....

    DIS-miiissed!

    _______

    But do the Ronettes still sound like the '50s to you?

    So...how 'bout them Beatles...?

    I'm not too familiar with the Osmonds' work in general. Their major hits were mostly a bit early for me to remember firsthand, and the only one that I distinctly recall having heard on oldies radio is their #1 debut single, "One Bad Apple," which always sounded like a blatant Jackson 5 rip-off to my ear. I skipped them in working on my '70s playlists...time will tell if my attidtude softens when I get to them as 50th anniversary business....

    Insightful...I was under the impression from retroactive commentary about the show that it was generally considered massively uncool, but it seems that it does have its appeal to some of us who are aficionados of the era and its pop culture.

    Which brings us to...

    _______

    Dragnet 1967
    "The Big Explosion"
    Originally aired January 19, 1967
    This episode has another future Mark VII series regular in it: Bobby Troup (Dr. Early on Emergency!) as bartender Al Amory, the owner of the loaned station wagon used in the robbery. Also noteworthy is that McCord is billed as Kent McWhirter, which is his real name.

    The episode commences on Thursday, September 15 (also apparently 1966, and thus falling within the extended timeframe of the previous episode). Friday and Gannon, working the burglary watch, are sent to investigate the robbery of high-velocity dynamite from a construction company. A hand grenade was thrown by the burglars in the robbery, and they took enough explosives to level two city blocks. In addition to whatever use the burglars intend to put it to, Friday and Gannon realize that there's additional danger of TV or radio transmissions unintentionally setting off the blasting caps, which could in turn detonate the dynamite if the caps are stored close to it. Thus, in contrast to the previous episode, this one takes place in a very tight timeframe, with two ticking clocks.

    Trailing the station wagon used in the robbery ultimately leads Friday and Gannon to Donald Chapman (Don Dubbins), who's on bail after non-fatally shooting somebody with whom he was involved in a minor traffic accident. They break into his apartment to find it filled with German war memorabilia (including a prominently displayed swastika), assault rifles, hand grenades, and hate literature. They also find the dynamite and blasting caps, stored close to one another as feared, such that they're careful not to use their radio to call it in. Once the bomb squad is on the scene, Friday makes the decision to risk legally contaminating the evidence to have the blasting caps removed from the premises immediately. Alas, the bomb squad discovers that half of the dynamite and several of the caps are missing.

    Chapman is caught coming home, and the detectives proceed to interrogate him in his apartment. He repeatedly asks for the time, and only spills the beans after Friday lies to him, telling him that it's past the next hour. Chapman then readily admits to having set the explosives at a school that was being integrated. Friday makes a quick call, the school is promptly evacuated, and the explosives--rigged to be set off by the morning school bell--are found in the nick of time.

    Dragnet05.jpg
    Dragnet06.jpg

    An odd detail in the episode: When Friday and Gannon are tracking down the station wagon, they go to the house of the previous owner, which has what looks like a two-story decorated Christmas tree in the background. That fits better with when the episode was aired than when it was said to take place.

    _______
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2019
  3. RJDiogenes

    RJDiogenes Idealistic Cynic and Canon Champion Premium Member

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    It's all part of god's plan. God's weird, badly written plan.

    Is that the first time we've seen another Adam?

    I hope the driver was waving at them. :rommie:

    Maybe another missing scene? Sounds like a story about senile dementia, and that his daughter was trying to get rid of him.

    Do they usually get naked babysitters?

    That Malloy is cool as a cucumber. :mallory:

    Interesting. I wonder if that ever came up again.

    Oh, sure.

    Who? :rommie: Oh, yes, early Beatles are very enjoyable and would undoubtedly have become legendary even if they didn't move on into artistically experimental work-- nowhere near as legendary as they are, of course, but they'd still be a top band of the era.

    I used to think it was The Jackson Five. :rommie:

    Oh, it was definitely considered massively uncool. But when they're right, they're right. Also, the thing about Joe Friday is that, as massively and humorlessly uncool as he was, he was always there to help anybody who needed help, and he always knew who the bad guys were, as evidenced in the next episode.

    And these are all based on true stories, right?
     
  4. TREK_GOD_1

    TREK_GOD_1 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Bullshit. It was accepted history that from the start, Brockman's ridiculous self-centered marketing of Head misled most of the public to the degree they did not even know it was a Monkees film, which hurt its prospects at the box office. As noted days ago, those who saw it--and were familiar with the Monkees' message had no trouble with the plot. This was not the case with Magical Mystery Tour, which was out and front a well-advertised, screaming from the rooftops new Beatles movie, and even that could not save it from being the shitstorm of no meaning as accurately judged by the TV audience. So, MMT had no valid excuses to protect the plotless failure that it was from start to finish.

    One album catapulted its creators into a new era of success--a true rebirth for the group. The other--The White Album--sounded the death bell of a group, which is uncontested. I'm guessing the group who was catapulted--benefitted from their output that year was the Rolling Stones.
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2019
  5. TREK_GOD_1

    TREK_GOD_1 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Only worth the "brother" statement from Kirk about Spock, which by this time in the series was one of its best-established elements.

    Guest star Keye Luke (Donald Kory)--in addition to many credits of a distinguished career--was the first actor to portray a live action Kato in The Green Hornet (Universal, 1940) and The Green Hornet Strikes Again! (Universal, 1941) serials. Sort of a degree of separation situation in that he landed the memorable role of Master Po on Kung Fu (ABC, 1972-75) a series believed to have been swiped from Bruce Lee's (the TV Kato, of course) concept about a martial arts practicing Chinese man in the Old West called The Warrior. A more direct Lee connection was Luke providing his uncredited voice for actor Shih Kien's Han in Enter the Dragon (Warner Brothers, 1973).


    Jack Webb and his stable could be SO heavy handed at times, with the military drums as part of the soundtrack, etc. The episode would have worked better without the score and that final, "GET IT, AUDIENCE?!? HE'S PART OF THAT SAME KIND OF EVIL!!" pull-in on the Nazi flag. I give him credit for producing this subject at time where racial injustice / conflict had the potential pushing the U.S. toward another civil war, but Webb & Co. loved going the sledgehammer route.
     
  6. GNDN18

    GNDN18 Pool boy Premium Member

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    D35C0BB1-4BB5-42A5-A778-E3F3289BA116.gif
     
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  7. The Old Mixer

    The Old Mixer Mih ssim, mih ssim, nam, daed si Xim. Moderator

    :lol:

    Absolutely not. All of the squad cars are Adams...we see other officers on duty and hear other Adam callsigns in roll call and radio dispatches all the time.

    Definitely didn't seem to be anything missing in that sequence...and if it was a clear case of abandonment, I think they would have moralized about it or followed up on it. I think they thought they were getting across whatever had happened, but they weren't, at least not for me. The title of the episode ("The Long Walk") implies that there wasn't a car involved after all.

    I was contrasting to the episode when they got a call about a prowler from a woman in a nightgown who was hitting on Malloy.

    Even when women in nightgowns are hitting on him.

    As did I before I found out it was a rip-off.

    I'm probably informed by having first been exposed to the show when it was being aired again as cross-promotion with the then-upcoming Aykroyd/Hanks parody film, but I've always seen Friday as being unintentionally campy.

    Supposedly. I've always taken that with a grain of salt. I imagine that they were using actual cases for story ideas, but taking their liberties with the details.

    Excuses, excuses. Was Brockman also responsible for "Porpoise Song" not cracking the Top 40?

    You're welcome to value the albums however and based on whatever criteria you choose, but your opinion of the relative merits of these two albums is far from universal.
     
  8. RJDiogenes

    RJDiogenes Idealistic Cynic and Canon Champion Premium Member

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    Nice. :D

    Okay, I wasn't sure if that had been mentioned before.

    Interesting and weird. I have no other guesses.

    Oh, right, I forgot about that. :rommie:

    Sometimes it can be taken too far. :rommie:

    That's definitely true. He was comically straight laced. But he took public service very seriously.
     
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  9. TREK_GOD_1

    TREK_GOD_1 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Yep. It represented his approach to messaging. Subtlety be damned! :lol:
     
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  10. TREK_GOD_1

    TREK_GOD_1 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Brockman's misrepresenting of the film / having a negative impact is a matter of record, whether you want to accept it or not. However, Magical Mystery Tour had no excuse of bad, misrepresenting marketing; it was a major disaster/failure that was all Beatle--well, Paul pulling the others along.

    The Head soundtrack was released as a tie-in to the film, and as such, influenced its sales--like any soundtrack from a film. Historically, if the film is a success, its soundtrack will see greater sales (e.g. The Omen was a popular LP because of the influence of the hit movie), so its no shock that one song you mention from the film did not crack the top 40. (although the album reached #24 on the Canadian charts).

    What is accepted is that the White Album was the beginning of the end of The Beatles, as evidenced by the disjointed quality of recordings so all over the place that the creative high of a Sgt. Pepper's seemed like a distant memory by 1968, when that was only a year old in reality.

    That was not the Rolling Stones' problem in 1968; all personal issues aside, their creative output--not only with Beggars' Banquet, but with "Jumpin' Jack Flash"--one of the songs of the decade, and arguably in the annals of popular rock/pop music--showed just how potent they were, essentially outclassing all others that year.
     
  11. Nerys Myk

    Nerys Myk Kang, now with ridges Premium Member

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    You can't imagine how ecstatic I was to find this album in a record bin at a Sears store back in the 70's. It had eluded me for years.
     
  12. The Old Mixer

    The Old Mixer Mih ssim, mih ssim, nam, daed si Xim. Moderator

    _______

    50 Years Ago This Week

    Coming Soon to a 50th Anniversary Album Spotlight near you!


    Selections from Billboard's Hot 100 for the week:

    Leaving the chart:
    • "Bring It On Home to Me," Eddie Floyd (13 weeks)
    • "Chewy Chewy," Ohio Express (13 weeks)
    • "Little Arrows," Leapy Lee (14 weeks)
    • "Scarborough Fair," Sergio Mendes & Brasil '66 (9 weeks)
    • "See Saw," Aretha Franklin (8 weeks)
    • "Shame, Shame," Magic Lanterns (12 weeks)

    New on the chart:

    "Mendocino," Sir Douglas Quintet

    (#27 US)

    "There'll Come a Time," Betty Everett

    (#26 US; #2 R&B)

    "I Got a Line on You," Spirit

    (#25 US)

    "Take Care of Your Homework," Johnnie Taylor

    (#20 US; #2 R&B)

    "But You Know I Love You," The First Edition

    (#19 US; #18 AC)


    And new on the boob tube:
    • Mission: Impossible, "The Mind of Stefan Miklos"
    • Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In, Season 2, episode 15
    • The Mod Squad, "Hello Mother, My Name Is Julie"
    • Ironside, "Why the Tuesday Afternoon Bridge Club Met on Thursday"
    • Star Trek, "The Mark of Gideon"
    • Adam-12, "Log 62: Grand Theft Horse?"
    • Get Smart, "Tequila Mockingbird"
    • Hogan's Heroes, "Operation Hannibal"

    _______

    Probably not by me, but definitely on the show.

    First version (with "Love Me Do" and "P.S. I Love You") or second version (with "Ask Me Why" and "Please Please Me")?
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2019
  13. Nerys Myk

    Nerys Myk Kang, now with ridges Premium Member

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    First version.
     
  14. The Old Mixer

    The Old Mixer Mih ssim, mih ssim, nam, daed si Xim. Moderator

  15. RJDiogenes

    RJDiogenes Idealistic Cynic and Canon Champion Premium Member

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    Wow, I don't think I've heard this in decades. Very nice sound.

    Sounds nice enough, but not especially memorable.

    This is a good one.

    This is just okay.

    That was a song. And it was on TV once. The singer was cute, though. The girl one, I mean.

    My favorite Get Smart title. :rommie:
     
  16. J.T.B.

    J.T.B. Rear Admiral Premium Member

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    With later-to-be-known biker type character actor Mickey Jones on drums, though you can barely see him.
     
  17. The Old Mixer

    The Old Mixer Mih ssim, mih ssim, nam, daed si Xim. Moderator

    _______

    55 Years Ago Spotlight


    Selections from Billboard's Hot 100 for the week:

    Leaving the chart:
    • "Baby Don't You Weep," Garnet Mimms & The Enchanters (9 weeks)
    • "The Boy Next Door," The Secrets (10 weeks)
    • "Everybody," Tommy Roe (14 weeks)
    • "Have You Heard," The Duprees feat. Joey Vann (10 weeks)
    • "In My Room," The Beach Boys (11 weeks)

    New on the chart:

    "Southtown, U.S.A.," The Dixiebelles w/ Cornbread & Jerry

    (#15 US)

    "Talking About My Baby," The Impressions

    (#12 US; #2 R&B)

    "I Want to Hold Your Hand," The Beatles

    (#1 US the weeks of Feb. 1 through Mar. 14, 1964; #1 UK; #1 song on Billboard's 1964 Year-End Chart of Pop Singles; #16 on Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Songs of All Time)

    _______

    I'm surprised anyone's heard of any of these! A full house of obscuros we've got this week! Anyway, this was the second of two spread-out Top 30 hits by the Quintet, the original having been 1965's "She's About a Mover" (#13 US; #15 UK). It's early to tell, but it's OK.

    Another case of a late, final Top 30 hit...Betty's previous ones having been the classic "The Shoop Shoop Song (It's in His Kiss)" (#6 US; #1 R&B) and a duet with Jerry Butler, "Let It Be Me" (#5 US; #1 R&B), both from 1964. As for the current one...yeah, you can tell why it didn't crack the Top 20.

    As for these guys, total one-small-hit wonders...but yeah, it's reasonably groovy.

    Yeah, definitely a weak follow-up to "Who's Making Love"...and Johnnie won't be getting back in the Top 20 until 1973.

    Ah, selective quoting. Did I ever mention that my Mom had a thing for Kenny?

    You get a better look at him in this blast from the further past:
     
  18. RJDiogenes

    RJDiogenes Idealistic Cynic and Canon Champion Premium Member

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    Well, that's interesting. He apparently had quite a career, too. The poor female singer doesn't even get a Wiki page of her own.

    Hey, the Dixiebelles again. Perky!

    Didn't make much of an impression.

    Another one-hit wonder. Slow year so far.

    Well, I heard of two, but one was definitely a Lost 45.

    Mine, too, until the plastic surgery. On a slight tangent, I visited Mom yesterday evening instead of the morning, and I found out that she had a crush on James West-- I didn't even know she was aware Wild Wild West existed.
     
  19. TREK_GOD_1

    TREK_GOD_1 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    The best song of that week by far, and one of the best of 1963/64. Unique arrangement and not at all bandwagoning on the trends of the day like so many acts tended to do.
     
  20. The Old Mixer

    The Old Mixer Mih ssim, mih ssim, nam, daed si Xim. Moderator

    _______

    50th Anniversary Viewing
    (Part 1)

    _______

    The Ed Sullivan Show
    Season 21, episode 12
    Originally aired January 5, 1969
    As represented in The Best of the Ed Sullivan Show

    In the intro, Ed acknowledges that Diana Ross & the Supremes had performed "Love Child" earlier in the season. That version wasn't in a Best of installment, though I previously posted a clip of it. This one was on Best of, and the ladies are back to wearing matching outfits with shoes:

    Unusual for Best of edits, we proceed straight into the Supremes plugging their spanking new, not-yet-charting single, the thematically compatible "I'm Livin' in Shame," which deals with how the narrator has regretfully come to disown her mother as a reminder of her lower-class origins:

    Best of edited down this performance, bringing it to an abrupt end, but we have the full song here.

    After the commercial break, Ed requests an audience bow from Jack Lord, "CBS TV star of Wednesday night's Hawiyah 5-O". Then it's on to another comedy routine by Burns & Schreiber. Schreiber pretends to be a coin-operated "Vendor Buddy" on a subway platform, who wants more dimes to keep his canned half of a casual conversation going. "How about that trouble in Vietnam?"

    After another break, it's another audience bow, this time from skier Jean-Claude Killy, who's described as having won three gold medals in 1968's Winter Olympics and brought a little footage to prove it. From there Ed introduces Shani Wallace, claiming that a prior appearance on his show got her cast in the film version of Oliver! Wallace performs "As Long As He Needs Me" from the musical. (Fun Fact: Worf's future mom Georgia Brown, then in the Broadway cast of Oliver!, had previously performed this number as part of Sullivan's legendary February 9, 1964, broadcast.) Following Shani's performance, Ed wishes her a Happy New Year.

    Next Henry Mancini and his orchestra team up with Johnny Mathis for a performance of what tv.com identifies as "'Moment to Moment' and a medley of Latin songs". They then proceed straight into a medley of the Mancini-written songs "Days of Wine and Roses" and "Moon River". Here we also have "Dear Heart," which was edited out of the Best of version. Ed also wishes them a Happy New Year afterward.

    tv.com indicates that the Supremes also did "I Get a Kick Out of You" (with flourishes of "I've Got You Under My Skin" included). Thanks to The Supremes Archive, we've got that, too.

    _______

    Mission: Impossible
    "The Exchange"
    Originally aired January 5, 1969
    No tape! No briefing! Definitely no stinkin' portfolio! The episode opens with Jim, Rollin, and Cin posing as military officers in an Eastern European country, where Cin is breaking into somebody's vault to take pictures of some documents. She makes no mistakes, but a pigeon flies into the window that she carefully opened, tripping the electric eyes surrounding it. Her last act before capture is to toss her camera down to her teammates. This is followed by a rare scene of the team with their pants figuratively down, Jim clearly distraught over the turn of events. Speaking of pants down, we're then teased with a brief scene of Cin being strip-searched, implying more than it shows. Her captors have deduced that she's a highly trained agent working for an unknown organization and intend to learn more.

    The team proceeds to improvise a rescue plan that involves an exchange with Rudolf Kurtz (Will Kuluva), a prisoner on the Western side of the Curtain whom the enemy wants...as well as, perhaps implausibly under the circumstances, some specialized gadgetry. Jim makes it clear that their plan to break this prisoner out will pit them against friendly authorities...and that he's under no illusion that Cin's capture will end with anything other than her ultimately being broken and then killed. But good guys that they are, the IMF won't turn over Kurtz until they've at least gotten the intel that the friendly authorities have been trying to get out of him...so its dueling interrogations between the IMF and their enemies of the week.

    As Cin's interrogation under Colonel Strom (Vernon) commences, she maintains her composure, falling back on a Fake True Identity. But in an adjacent room, a Dr. Gorin (Robert Ellenstein) monitors her pulse through sensors in her chair. The only thing that registers significantly is her reaction upon being faced with the possibility of long-term solitary confinement in a very small cell. Her captors decide afterward to take advantage of this weakness to break her.

    Horn-Rimmed Jim pays a visit to Strom, pretending to be a representative of the country that Cin is claiming to be from...making it clear that Cin must be using a pre-established backup cover. He negotiates for her release while covertly taking pictures of Strom's office with a disguised camera. Meanwhile Rollin pays a visit to Kurtz (Will Kuluva), replacing him with a lifelike inflatable dummy and smuggling him out in his large, paneled wheelchair.

    Strom and Dr. Gorin put their plan into motion, which (again implausibly) includes a cell with a ceiling that lowers and a ventilation shaft with panels that close in around Cin. As she begins to panic, we hear a distinctive music cue that sounds familiar from Trek...I think it was used in "Is There in Truth No Beauty?," and also popped up in this week's "Let That Be Your Last Battlefield". I'm not sure how to describe it, but it sounds vaguely like the Bionic sound effect. Anyway, as Cin delves further into drug-enhanced panic, they question her remotely, getting Jim's first name and probing for his last.

    Pretending to be operatives from Kurtz's side, the IMF fakes smuggling him across the border by sealing him in a crate and using taped noises and a platform rigged to simulate the movement of a truck. Seriously, where did they get ahold of all this stuff on the fly and while in the middle of an operation already in progress on foreign soil? It gets worse when they release Kurtz from his crate in a re-creation of Strom's office! Fake Colonel Jim proceeds to attempt to debrief Kurtz on tape, and convinces him that Strom committed suicide after being outed as a double agent, aided by a fake newspaper and fake files! Kurtz is sufficiently convinced to give them all the info they want about his operations. As soon as that's accomplished, they drop the pretenses and proceed with the exchange.

    The West Zone authorities swoop in during the transfer, but the IMF players maintain their covers and negotiate for the exchange to proceed using the information that they extracted from Kurtz as incentive. However, as Horn-Rimmed Jim is walking way with Cin in his arms, Strom fires an automatic rifle at the two of them...which they survive thanks to the bullet-proof trenchcoats that the team brought along!

    Sigh...this really wanted to be a fun episode...in a different context, the twists and turns of the perfectly good operation would have been quite entertaining. But it was all undermined by the ludicrous implausibility of the IMF improvising such a complex scheme while already in a foreign country. The one thing that kept me guessing was, as Cin's interrogation intensified, whether her increasing terror was an act that she'd been trained to pull off. But there was no reveal in that department, so we're left to believe that it was all genuine. It was pretty bold of the show to go there with one of the regulars, but I have to wonder if they'd ever put a male agent in the same sort of compromising position.

    _______

    The Avengers
    "My Wildest Dream"
    Originally aired January 6, 1969 (US); April 7, 1969 (UK)
    This one appears to have been produced early in the Tara "series"...Thorston's back to wearing wigs and driving her plum-colored sports car, and Mother's not in it. We get another glance at Thorston looking really good in a longer wig, though it's only for one extremely brief scene that appears to have been inserted as an afterthought to provide a smidgen of connecting exposition between major scenes. (Or perhaps it was a more substantial scene that was edited down drastically for syndication.)

    This episode is about as formula as the show gets...a series of people are dying via some odd, mysterious means. This show is getting very tiresome for me, I'm afraid. In this case, Steed and Tara are on the scene for both of the first two killings, which is in accordance with the villains' plan...to have them serve as "unimpeachable witnesses" to the murders.

    Dr. Jaeger, a quack whose signature technique is to have his patients "kill" an effigy of their greatest enemy while in a dream state, actually isn't in on the scheme...his nurse and a male accomplice have been secretly arranging for the patients to be used as actual killers, acting on behalf of one of the members of the Acme Precision Combine board...who, again according to formula, we'd been led to believe was one of the potential targets. For the convenience of the story, Tara suddenly has a bumbling young would-be suitor, whom the villains bring to Jaeger so they can use him to attempt to kill Steed.

    _______

    Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In
    Season 2, episode 14
    Originally aired January 6, 1969
    Henry Gibson sings a song about a bluebird.

    The Fickle Finger of Fate goes to the drug industry.

    Laugh-In covers noteworthy events of 1968:


    The Peter Falk Joke Wall:


    _______

    The Mod Squad
    "The Sunday Drivers"
    Originally aired January 7, 1969
    The episode begins with the trio off-duty in Vegas, where Linc's friend Tommy is killed by TV physics, his car going up in a pillar of flame as soon as it tips over. They do acknowledge that the car's tank was loaded, which it shouldn't have been for doing the stunt.

    Linc gets himself in as a replacement driver despite the manager's racism by showing off his impressive stock-footage driving. Linc comes to believe that Tommy was hustling when he finds out that his friend was bringing home a lot more dough than the manager pays his drivers. He also does some snooping around the garage and confirms with local police help that Tommy's car was sabotaged. Linc lets Tommy's brother in on his real job to get him to talk about where Tommy's money was coming from. It turns out the cars are being used to smuggle drugs in from Mexico.

    Greer, who's reluctantly allowed the Squad to investigate out of their jurisdiction, makes the scene, where he recognizes the manager's accountant as George Albert (Woodrow Palfrey), a hustler with whom he's tangled in the past...but Albert also spots Greer hanging out with the trio. Albert catches Linc searching one of the cars, and has mechanic Larry (Paul Carr) nab Julie (who's been working undercover as a waitress and trying to get info out of Larry); and Julie is in turn used to lure Pete in. We learn that Tommy was blackmailing the smugglers, whose number includes female driver Sally (Quentin Dean), with whom Pete has been connecting. The only major character working at the circus who's not in on the operation is the manager, who walks into the garage while the Squad are at gunpoint, giving them the distraction they need to overpower their would-be killers. Sally fatally takes a stray bullet in the struggle.

    The trio do their customary end-of-episode walk-off on the Vegas Strip.

    _______

    Your memory must be failing you, Old Timer...his career came up in The Other Thread when he was a three-time guest on The Incredible Hulk. :p

    That is, however, their second and last Hot 100 single, and thus the last we'll be hearing from them.



    At least you noticed they were there. That's progress.

    I'll give LBJ credit where it probably isn't due...the British Invasion happened on his watch.

    I forgot about that. *shudder*

    Ah...if you had H&I, I'd suggest it would be a good opportunity to check out Black Sheep. A good amount of Conrad running around shirtless, sometimes just in his boxers. And generally just playing a pretty enjoyable character.

    Well, I can appreciate your enthusiasm for this song, which is a personal favorite, if not your lack of appreciation for the most game-changing debut single of the decade.
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2019