The Classic/Retro TV Thread

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

  1. RJDiogenes

    RJDiogenes Idealistic Cynic and Canon Champion Premium Member

    Jun 11, 2003
    RJDiogenes of Boston
    I don't remember this one at all. Not bad, though.

    No recollection of this one either. Nice music, but a bit short on lyrics. :rommie:

    I remember this one now that I hear it. Catchy, if also a bit short on lyrics.

    I love this song. :rommie: The part about the words getting in the way is unfortunate, but the part about laying it between the lines makes up for it (and contradicts it), but my favorite part is the little homages to Donovan and The Beatles. :rommie:
  2. The Old Mixer

    The Old Mixer I am the modman, goo goo goo joob Moderator

    Feb 4, 2002
    Sitting in a nutmeg garden waiting for the sun
    Yeah, it's catchy for a below-Top 20. Can't say that I ever heard it on oldies radio, but I'm pretty sure I have on Sirius, and definitely have on Music Choice.

    This one, OTOH...I can't remember how it goes an hour after I've listened to it. Alas, Paul Revere & the Raiders are past their '60s hitmaking prime at this point, though they still have a few less memorable Top-20's to churn out before they achieve their greatest hit as the Raiders in 1971.

    Decent, catchy, solid soul number, but not one of the true classics of the era.

    Don't forget the Mamas & the Papas. This is a good sign o' the times song for me, referencing as it does then-current acts. I don't think those two lines are's saying that the typical radio hit doesn't have much to say, and if it does have something to say, it has to pretend that it doesn't.


    The Monkees

    "Monkee See, Monkee Die"
    Originally aired September 19, 1966
    I know it's all just absurd sitcom humor, but it occurs to me that if these guys didn't spend so much money on costumes, props, and scientific experiments for their zany schemes, they might not need gigs or rent money so badly....

    The gag with the messages on the (not-)carrier pigeon and St. Bernard were funny, as were the telephone connection gags during the seance.

    Overall the plot is a bit repetitive of last week's...a scheme against a beautiful young woman whom Davy falls for.


    Ah, there it is...

    (Charted Sept. 10, 1966; #1 US the week of Nov. 5; #23 UK)

    ...and another song that sounds a lot like it, "Tomorrow's Gonna Be Another Day"...

    Between this episode and the last, it seems like they could have picked the songs a bit better so that you didn't have pairs of songs that sound too much like each other in the same episode...unless they did that on purpose.

    It looks like Stacey Maxwell, the actress who played the heiress, has a role in the Londinium episodes of Batman.

    "Monkee vs. Machine"
    Originally aired September 26, 1966
    Alas, the best gags in this one came early in the episode: a job-interviewing computer misunderstanding Peter's answers to its questions; following which Mike turns the tables on the machine and confuses it into short-circuiting--beating then-new TV character James T. Kirk to the punch at what would become one of his signature moves!

    The rest of the episode leans on having the Monkees go into the toy factory in various combinations disguised as toy-testing kids and their parents. The suspicious manager trying to de-costume one of the actual parents was the best part of that, if a little predictable.

    And the episode's climax--the Monkees accidentally invent the boomerang? :wtf:


    "Saturday's Child"

    Decent but not very catchy. On the plus side, it's not another soundalike of "Last Train to Clarksville," which is reused here with its own episode-specific sequence. Plugging the first single two episodes in a row makes the choice not to have it in the first-aired episode seem all the more peculiar.


    Mission: Impossible

    "Odds on Evil"
    Originally aired October 22, 1966
    Ah, for the days when spies played baccarat instead of Texas hold 'em...and the basic premise is pretty much the same as that of Casino Royale. Conveniently for the audience, Cinammon's character needs the game explained to her.

    This episode, Briggs gets his message through a hand-cranked movie-viewing whatchamcallit...I thought the guy in the blog might identify it specifically, but no luck.
    And that's it for Briggs this episode, he isn't involved in the actual plan. This installment gives us an elaborate con without significant setbacks, which is more what I'm used to from later episodes.

    OK, I've since read that Peter Lupus actually is from Indianapolis, so being a genuine Hoosier is a point in his favor. It's a good thing that he's not from 130 miles further north--then I'd have to like him, it'd be a matter of hometown area pride! Anyway, this time Willy's job is to wear a 90-pound computer in his vest!

    Cinammon gets to do a bit of fighting in the climax. Which makes up for the fact that somebody forgot to put footage on the green screen for the interior shots of the red car that the others are driving. Or was that supposed to be a bulletproof screen or something?

    Originally aired October 29, 1966

    This time the recording is on a big reel-to-reel tape in a TV van.
    And yep, another nearby furnace. Guess that is the usual method at this point.

    This one prominently features TOS guests Percy Rodrigues and Mark Lenard.

    Yeah, the scheme here seems less clever and more contrived...relying a little too much on the idiot factor, as well as on the fact that this district has two residents who look like Martin Landau. Barney had to pay for that convenience by getting's plot karma.

    The ol' TV fu knockout karate chop was also leaned on in this one.

    "The Ransom"
    Originally aired November 5, 1966

    Because this is our first major format-breaker, with no formal assignment. Though the premise relies on Egan, the aforementioned czar, seeming to know what Briggs does for a living, which certainly raises some questions. Also, I couldn't tell if the location where Dan was approached by Egan was supposed to be a pool hall done low-budget, or if Dan's just got two pool tables in his den.

    And it's jam-packed with TOS guests:
    • William Smithers (Merik, "Bread and Circuses") as Egan);
    • Vic Tayback as an uncredited goon;
    • Eddie Paskey, also uncredited, even though he's an IMF operative who gets a photo in the portfolio scene, which the regulars aren't included in this time;
    • Don Marshall as a police officer;
    • Michael (Lt. DeSalle) Barrier as a hospital intern;
    • and I didn't spot Jack Donner (Romulan Subcommander Tal) as a drive--I read that he was in it on the blog.

    The lineless Eddie Paskey's role in thie mission involves him doing a Black Beauty-style switcheroo on an X-ray table. It's a bit odd as the witness he's replacing isn't particularly similar in physical type.

    Willy plays a motorcycle cop, so his talents include being big and intimidating, not just lugging stuff around.

    It's interesting how improvised the part in the hotel room was in-story...definitely not a flawless plan.


    Kung Fu

    "Cry of the Night Beast"
    PC 166251
    Originally aired October 19, 1974
    Now with cold opens! And we enter the season production-wise with some bounty hunters in hot pursuit (and Caine eluding them with a bit of badass hiding in plain sight). I take it from episode descriptions that I've seen that in this season they make up for the Fugitive Premise's long absence in spades.

    This installment gives us more mysticism, with the flashbacks featuring Young Caine having flashforwards to the situation that his adult self is in...which is pretty trippy. Later, adult Caine senses that if the buffalo hunter kills the calf, his unborn child will die.

    Guest stars include Albert Salmi, who previously played characters in two other episodes (the pilot and "Nine Lives"), as the buffalo hunter; Mrs. H herself, Stefanie Powers, as the expectant mother; and classic Trek film guest Alex ("Not now, Madeline!") Henteloff.

    The episode partly explores an extinction theme, emphasizing how the buffalo are dying out. And it features multiple characters who aren't particularly interested in the reward for Caine.

    "My Brother, My Executioner"
    PC 166252
    Originally aired October 12, 1974
    Well, the Brother Quest element of the Fugitive Premise is officially back! This is a fakeout story in which a man is using Danny Caine's identity to escape his own burdensome reputation as a gunfighter. At least it turns out that Kwai Chang himself wasn't fooled.

    Caine consults another Chinese mystic to find "Danny". And among the treasures that he's been carrying around in his bottomless pouch are the letters that grandpa gave him, which makes sense.

    Caine's badass moment in this one would have been taking out the gunfighter who was after "Danny"...but Quickdraw looked a little too much like Gene Wilder in Blazing Saddles for me to have taken him seriously.

    It occurs to me that if the Chinese government or bounty hunters knew about the Brother Quest, they could use it to set a trap for Caine. Maybe something like that will come up this season, with the Fugitive Premise now in the forefront.

    "This Valley of Terror"
    PC 166253
    Originally aired September 28, 1974
    They must've really loved James Hong on this show...he returns for still another role, this time as "Mad Man"...Flashback Mad Man to be specific.

    Caine badass moment: Casually beating down the men from the asylum with his flute!

    The mysticism element here is that the woman is having genuine prophetic visions. The Brother Quest angle factors in at the very end, when Kwai Chang asks her if Danny still lives...which is also an example of production-order continuity, as his doubt on that issue had just been expressed in the previous episode.

    Coming up in our next episode: The Shat!


    I've had the Ironside Binge on this weekend. I had enough of a a mild interest in this show that when they did the Daily Binge airing the first few episodes, I recorded just the first one to watch as 50th anniversary business. Seeing more of the early, late-'60s episodes, I'm actually regretting a bit that I didn't set them all to record...they have some good sign o' the times business, and Ironside himself is a bit badass in his "gruff mentor" way. I could have seen including this on a weekly basis, though I'd definitely be stretching things with amount of shows to view and DVR capacity. (I'm planning to start recording Laugh-In when they get back around to Season 1, which at 10 episodes a week will fill up a good amount of space real fast.)

    Last edited: Aug 16, 2017
  3. publiusr

    publiusr Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Mar 22, 2010
    Ongowah (yes)
  4. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

    Mar 15, 2001
    I don't remember that scene, but they didn't use greenscreens back then, at least not normally. Green is preferred for chromakey compositing today because it works well with digital cameras, but before the turn of the century, bluescreen was the most common color for matte shots. (Although early productions often used black screens, and Disney had a matte process using sodium-vapor light, which gave cleaner mattes than bluescreen but was reliant on the properties of a unique lens that nobody ever figured out how to duplicate, so it wasn't used often.) But bluescreen use was rare in television at the time -- pretty much Star Trek, The Invaders, and the second season of Land of the Giants are the only '60s shows I can think of that used them. Background footage in a car scene would've been done with a rear projection screen -- no compositing, just literally running the footage on a screen behind the car windows. That was the most common way of doing such effects at the time.
  5. The Old Mixer

    The Old Mixer I am the modman, goo goo goo joob Moderator

    Feb 4, 2002
    Sitting in a nutmeg garden waiting for the sun
    Maybe the car just had a really, really small rear window, but there was a conspicuous, greenish space behind the actors' heads where you'd expect to see that rear projection footage.

    Still no word on what the hand-cranked movie viewer is called? It occurred to me that, as Briggs had to crank it to play the briefing material...
  6. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

    Mar 15, 2001
    Perhaps a Kinetoscope or Mutoscope.
  7. The Old Mixer

    The Old Mixer I am the modman, goo goo goo joob Moderator

    Feb 4, 2002
    Sitting in a nutmeg garden waiting for the sun
    Looked more like the latter.

    ETA: Ooh, looks like Decades is doing a neat bit of 50th anniversary business on 08/29--Airing both parts of The Fugitive's finale on the anniversary of the date that Part II aired, plus several other episodes. I was tentatively planning to include that in my viewing depending on YouTube I can just record it. But I'll have to watch Part I on the wrong week. :p

    And it looks like Weigel now has Mr. Ed, if anyone cares.
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2017
  8. The Old Mixer

    The Old Mixer I am the modman, goo goo goo joob Moderator

    Feb 4, 2002
    Sitting in a nutmeg garden waiting for the sun
    Mission: Impossible

    "A Spool There Was"
    Originally aired November 12, 1966

    This one has Dan taking his briefing in a hotel suite with the maid as a contact. The recording is on a record again, with the extra gimmick that he has to develop the photos instead of just getting them in a packet.
    I clocked the decomposition as starting 1 minute and 42 seconds after the breaking of the seal. (@Christopher timed it 11 seconds slower, but oddly enough, that was roughly my initial math as well until I double- and triple-checked it.)

    This is definitely a format-bender in using only two operatives. It also seems unusual for them to have a contact at the mission location for them to get all expository with. And Rollin sure did hit on the location of the wire early. Getting to that point seemed a bit too easy.

    In general, this just didn't seem like an Impossible seemed like more traditional spy fi business with agents assuming covers and smuggling information. There was no elaborate heist scheme here, it was "Go here undercover, find something, and get it out." It's like they used a script that was written for some other spy fi didn't have that M:I-specific quality to it.

    Realistically, the decoy tape of Cinnamon and Rollin shouldn't have ended just as things were getting interesting between their characters...but that's TV for ya.

    "The Carriers"
    Originally aired November 19, 1966
    A double treat for TOS fans, this one also guests Barry Russo in a prominent baddie role.

    Dan gets his briefing in a photo booth with a small reel-to-reel tape.
    There! Stop! Just tweak the language a little and you've got it!

    Interestingly, Christopher 2010 had questioned whether M:I popularized the term "self-destruct". The first Google result I got was:

    This result also tentatively credits M:I with that meaning of the term, though it was in use much earlier in reference to less literal self-destruciton of the personal kind (gradual suicide):

    So he just may have been onto something that I never would have thought of.

    There's something vaguely funny about George playing a guy who's playing a guy who's playing a guy whose name is George.

    The fake training town is a good spy fi concept.

    It was a nice touch how Rollin deliberately had his character break character to sell the character that he was playing. Say, this is getting kind of confusing...and that makes it feel more like Mission: Impossible!

    It sure was convenient how their training supervisor warned them there'd be tests right before they were tested. Also convenient was how the possibility that their room might be bugged never came up, so they could speak freely there.

    So...George asking whether this was a suicide mission was foreshadowing the unexpected complication that the IMF operatives were playing people who were scheduled to be exposed to a plague. And then Rollin got a direct exposure while they were trying to nullify the plague. Furthermore, the operatives had to survive a Russian roulette interrogation before they were extracted.

    It was a clever angle having to make what they were doing look like an unsuccessful infilitration attempt (and it gave Dan and Willy a little something to do on the fringes of the mission). (In one early scene, Willy gets to play a paper boy! :lol: )

    Those angular frames in the corridor of the underground lab looked a little bit familiar....

    In the getaway scene, the car had some fog billowing by outside the rear window, and nothing else clearly visible. So revisiting that earlier not-green screen business, I guess they just didn't want to bother with rear projection on this show, at least in Season 1.

    Unlike some early installments, this one doesn't feel like the show hasn't become what it will be; what's more, it feels like what the show should have been, with the agents facing more dangerous complications in their missions...which isn't unique even in the Season 1 episodes to this point, but this one particularly feels like the show firing on all cylinders. It seems like George's character also had untapped potential as a recurring operative.

    Kor likes this.
  9. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

    Mar 15, 2001
    Gee, I wonder if maybe he had some other recurring role that kept him too busy to return to M:I...
  10. The Old Mixer

    The Old Mixer I am the modman, goo goo goo joob Moderator

    Feb 4, 2002
    Sitting in a nutmeg garden waiting for the sun
    And/or a part in a John Wayne flick the following season.

    I recall catching an episode in the background (which may be coming up in my viewing) that has George's photo in Dan's portfolio, so he sort of comes back....
  11. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

    Mar 15, 2001
    That portfolio scene might've included stock footage from this one. There was a fair amount of recycling of footage from those scenes, since it was mostly the same thing over and over except for the closeups on the dossiers. There were even recycled tape scenes several times per season, with new briefings dubbed over the same footage. Come to think of it, maybe the reason they set up the trope of delivering the briefings on audio was so that it would be easy to recycle the visuals.
  12. The Old Mixer

    The Old Mixer I am the modman, goo goo goo joob Moderator

    Feb 4, 2002
    Sitting in a nutmeg garden waiting for the sun
    Now that you mention it, the photo booth setup seemed familiar...maybe that was reused in one of the later Season 1 episodes that I watched.
  13. Spider

    Spider Dirty Old Man Premium Member

    May 23, 2004
    Lost in time
    Been watching a few episodes of Combat! That is still a good show and holds up well after all these years.
  14. RJDiogenes

    RJDiogenes Idealistic Cynic and Canon Champion Premium Member

    Jun 11, 2003
    RJDiogenes of Boston
    I thought that a lot about super-villains in comics. With all their elaborate equipment and hidden lairs, they must be already rich, so why turn to villainy? I guess it takes money to steal money.

    I love that song. A nice little story, uniquely and eloquently told. Like a lot of songs of the period, it's very poetic.

    I don't remember that one. Reminds me of Gone With The Wind. :rommie:

    Monkee, coordinate!

    Ah, the true story behind the Monkees comes out: They are stranded Vulcans.

    He's at a peep show? :rommie:

    Barney or Willy?

    Yeah, and something they couldn't really overdo, otherwise we'd have to wonder why it never came up before.

    And that's the name of that tune.

    In which he discovers that Caine is no Finnegan.

    I remember not caring much for Ironside back in the day, but I don't really remember why. I wonder how it would look through the lenses of nostalgia.

    That's not impossible (no pun intended)-- scripts for one show were often used for another, sometimes even if it had already been filmed.

    "This tape will wallow in self pity, join a strange religious cult, and eventually die of a drug overdose. Good luck, Dan!"

    All those could-have-beens.....
  15. The Old Mixer

    The Old Mixer I am the modman, goo goo goo joob Moderator

    Feb 4, 2002
    Sitting in a nutmeg garden waiting for the sun
    I've seen that one in the background at times, but never developed an attachment for it like I did for 12 O'Clock High. Just looked it up, hadn't realized it was still on in the '66-'67 season...looks like my window for exploring it as 50th anniversary business is passing.

    I know that it was brought up at times that classic mad scientist Luthor could have done very well for himself and the world if he'd used his scientific genius for legal pursuits. And I remember a post-Crisis story or two commenting on how the Silver/Bronze Age Flash Rogues had these fantastic gadgets and orchestrated elaborate, property-destroying schemes just to rob banks.

    Gah, yes, I meant Willy--I knew I'd do that sooner or later! Too easy to mix those names up. Willy looks more like a Barney than Barney does.

    Decades is showing it again this weekend if you want to give it a try, though they'll be picking up starting in the '70-'71 season.

    Part of the appeal of that show for me is that like Adam-12, it has its roots in the late '60s, but aired long enough that I remember seeing it first-run.



    Kung Fu

    "A Small Beheading"
    PC 166254
    Originally aired September 21, 1974
    The Shat is almost unrecognizable here with his colorful period face fuzz and equally colorful Irish accent; France Nuyen plays his wife; and their reunion is almost upstaged by James Hong, who seems to be appearing as a different character in every episode now. This time he's a Flashback Shaolin master.

    It's an interesting touch how Caine is already in a work/living situation at the beginning of the episode (with a female employer who's being all flirty with him)...they don't often do that on this show that I've noticed. And there's a bit of a woman's lib angle in the way Caine deals with her desire to be wifey to him.

    There's also a mysticism angle with the crow playing a symbolic role both in the flashbacks and in triggering the flashbacks.

    Spoiler alert: The Emperor's offer is a lie...a scheme of Cap'n Shat to collect the reward on Caine. Ultimately Kwai Chang and Cap'n Shat go mano a mano. Watch out for that flying butt slam, Caine!

    Caine badass moment: In the general melee that ensues, Caine takes out two of Shat's crewmen by repeatedly kicking one into the other.

    "The Predators"
    PC 166255
    Originally aired October 5, 1974
    They got a Singaporean actor to play the Indian this time, which is an improvement over Don Johnson.

    This one's flashback thread involves another Shaolin monk who stands out a little too much from the rest.

    Caine's situation in the present is presented as an in media res turns out that he's already looking for Rafe (Anthony Zerbe back as a new character) to clear him for something that happened pre-episode.

    At one point, Caine's bags get thrown off a cliff...I'll remember that the next time he pulls a fragile-looking memento from his pouch. Going to commercial on a freeze-frame of Caine and Rafe tumbling off the cliff reminds me a little too much of Dukes of Hazzard.

    Next up for Kung Fu will be the "Blood of the Dragon" two-parter, which actually aired as one episode and as the season premiere. Production-wise, "The Vanishing Image" comes before it, but I read that it should be watched out of order because it includes an assassin from the Order of the Avenging Dragon, which is introduced in "Blood of the Dragon". I wonder if "Blood of the Dragon" isn't meant to be watched earlier in the season even if one is otherwise going by production order, but I guess I'll find out.

    Last edited: Aug 16, 2017
  16. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

    Mar 15, 2001
    The thing about pre-Crisis Luthor is, he could've done well for himself by human standards, yes, but he couldn't stand the fact that Superman would always surpass him no matter what he achieved. So his criminal career was motivated by the need to defeat Superman. If Superman had been a criminal, Luthor would probably have become the world's greatest crimefighter. (Hey, I wonder if they ever did that as an "imaginary story.")

    Then, of course, there's the classic panel:
  17. RJDiogenes

    RJDiogenes Idealistic Cynic and Canon Champion Premium Member

    Jun 11, 2003
    RJDiogenes of Boston

    I'll try to watch a couple. I like being transported back to the 60s and 70s (especially these days).

    I remember that so well. :rommie:

    The clone storyline would have come to a head if the show had lasted one more season.

    Caine represented Hippiedom.

    The pouch is lined with special Chinese herbs that absorb distress.
  18. The Old Mixer

    The Old Mixer I am the modman, goo goo goo joob Moderator

    Feb 4, 2002
    Sitting in a nutmeg garden waiting for the sun
    I dunno know about that in this context. The '60s counterculture wasn't big on gender equality...women's lib came along in the next decade.


    Kung Fu

    "Blood of the Dragon"
    PC 166257 & 166258
    Originally aired September 14, 1974
    (The description is mistaken in one's a story point that Grandpa Caine had traveled back to California from his home in Lordsburg.)

    Having watched this, I'm definitely of the impression that however much of a mess the general airing order may have been this season, this installment was meant to be viewed as the season opener. It's a double-sized event episode that provides a more dramatic re-ignition of the Fugitive Premise and Brother Quest, which includes the use of flashbacks to key origin beats. Also, if this episode has to be moved in front of "The Vanishing Image" as reported, it makes dramatic sense for there to be more space between the appearances of the Order of the Avenging Dragon assassins. From what I've seen of the season so far, I'd say that one should watch this installment first, then go with production order for the rest of the season.

    Another recurring guest, Clyde Kusatsu, is back as the point man of the Order's contingent who come to America to hunt down Caine. How convenient for them that Caine happens to be hanging out on the coast this episode!

    The hooded head of the order with his bits of narration was a little OTT. And Kusatu's character and Flashback Llama give us by and far the most demonstrative examples of mysticism on the show to date. Caine fighting an evil manifestation of himself was pretty cool, though.

    There's a flashback to the scene of Grandpa Caine giving Kwai Chang his family looks like the one that belonged to Caine's father was a ring. In the reused flashback of the events surrounding Master Po's death, they edited out my favorite Po moment, when he hears and recognizes Grasshopper's footsteps in a crowd of people.

    The syndication episode break is pretty can tell that the first episode is just quitting in the middle of a scene that wasn't edited to be split.

    I'm divided about Patricia Neal's character...she has some gravitas and makes a good antagonist for Caine, but her methodically paced scenery chewing seems designed to fill time.

    Trivia points: An episode in which Caine dons his bitchin' gold fighting togs; and according to the tombstones in the coda, it's 1874 at this point in the show.

    I didn't spot any noteworthy TOS guests, but we got this...
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2017
  19. RJDiogenes

    RJDiogenes Idealistic Cynic and Canon Champion Premium Member

    Jun 11, 2003
    RJDiogenes of Boston
    About ten years earlier, actually. The Women's Lib movement can be traced in large part to the introduction of the pill, and was named sometime in the mid to late 60s.
  20. The Old Mixer

    The Old Mixer I am the modman, goo goo goo joob Moderator

    Feb 4, 2002
    Sitting in a nutmeg garden waiting for the sun
    It had its roots in the '60s, but hippie men didn't seem to be much for it...they expected their "old ladies" to cook and have babies.


    Mission: Impossible

    "Zubrovnik's Ghost"
    Originally aired November 26, 1966

    Briggs gets this assignment from a dictation machine in a hospital room, with pictures hung on the X-ray viewing box.
    So he puts the disk in the sink and pours acid, I presume, over it--That's not the usual manner! The usual manner is a furnace! Well, maybe there's a usual manner for each type of recording. They need to simplify this system....

    This story had the potential to be what we've previously discussed, a mission to expose somebody else's scheme. (Indeed, Christopher 2010 had the same idea.) But the IMF operation plays as solving a mystery, not a heist scheme. The silly bit of business with the projected head comes off as an afterthought to add a distinctly M:I touch to the story, and doesn't work, getting upstaged by an improvised con on the part of Ariana (the IMF spiritualist), combined with what we're led to believe are actual supernatural occurrences...!

    It's certainly a novel angle to have a spiritualist on the IMF team. I guess that fact that her powers were a sham explain why the initially skeptical Rollin starts buying into her insights a little quickly...they're just informed intuitions, and he quickly catches on to what she does.

    The stock stormy night backdrop is a bit cliche. They could have played the atmosphere a bit more straightforwardly suspenseful and less "Monkees spending the night in a haunted house".

    Originally aired December 3, 1966
    Lloyd Bridges doesn't strike me as the drug kingpin type..but it's too bad he didn't return for the Peter Graves seasons. Looks like he picked the wrong year to stop doing Mission: Impossible!

    Briggs gets his mission via a small reel-to-reel tape at a rooftop pigeon coop.
    Well that's a little open-ended, isn't it? Also, it's unusual for Dan to listen to a recording within earshot of a contact.

    They're back to including main title regulars in the portfolio scene (something they haven't done for a few episodes)...though that could easily be a vagary of airing vs. production order.

    Well, it's not every episode that a baddie winds up at the mercy of a polar bear!

    Barney was pretty busy in this one. Had Willy been in the episode, sign-excavation duty would have been right up his alley! Not to mention the cartoon-style sign-turning, which was handled by a recruit in the field!

    In the climax, it seemed that the IMF had been working directly with the Chagueo authorities.

    Those three missing M:I episodes recorded on schedule today, so I'll be able to roll right over into the last two episodes of Season 1 after I've watched the last two episodes that aired in 1966.


    This Week's 50th Anniversary Viewing


    Dark Shadows

    Episode 296
    Originally aired August 14, 1967

    I assume that it broadcast in color, it's a kinescoper.

    Grayson Hall is on narration again.

    Continuing from last week's climax, Doc Woodard grills Maggie about what she remembers of recent events, and Maggie seems to have become more upset about her amnesia. Woodard establishes that her disappearance was only over a month ago...that seems a bit too short of a time frame for the abduction storyline and its aftermath. Sam comes into Woodard's office to share a scene with his daughter after so long. Woodard shares his bewilderment at Maggie's sudden loss of memory with Dr. Hoffman, blind to the fact that she was responsible. Hoffman wants Maggie to return to Windcliff, but between the two of them, Sam and Woodard have enough of a spine to stand up to her for once.

    Back home at last, Maggie is acting very jumpy when Joe visits. As part of their reunion, the two share a long, romantic kiss. Funny, I can't remember having seen anyone kissing like that in all the episodes I've seen. It is a soap opera, after all.

    At the Old House, Barnabas is acting fretful when Hoffman comes by and reports her success in burying Maggie's memory. Hoffman insists that Barnabas not try to harm Maggie, or she'll expose him. After Hoffman's left and the crowing of the cock has signaled that it's too late to squeeze any further activities into this night, Barnabas promises out loud that he'll deal with Maggie nonetheless the following night.

    In her room, Maggie awakes to find Sarah's doll on her nightstand, which she doesn't recognize.

    During Hoffman's conversation with Barnabas at the Old House, I got a giggle when she pulled out a cigarette and lit it on a candle!

    Episode 297
    Originally aired August 15, 1967

    IMDb confirms that it was Kathryn Leigh Scott on narration this time. Her narration voice is almost unrecognizable compared to her performance as Maggie.

    At the Evans home, Sam and Joe discuss Maggie's safety given that her unknown abductor is still on the loose. The new color makes the afghan on the couch a bit of a distraction. Maggie seems a lot more chipper after what must have been a good night's sleep for once...but Sam has to go and burst her all-too-brief bubble by telling her about her kidnapping and its aftermath.

    Back in her room, Maggie is still wondering about the doll when Sarah comes in through the open French doors. Maggie doesn't remember the little girl, but is happy to play with her. Even singing "London Bridge" doesn't bring any memories to the fore, despite its use as an ominous music cue throughout the captivity storyline. Maggie's amnesia triggers the sort of abandonment issues that you can only have if you're a small child who's been dead for going on 200 years, so Sarah takes her doll and leaves.

    Looking at his sketch of Sarah, Maggie questions her father about the girl. After Maggie leaves the room, Barnabas drops by for a social call via the front door, and proceeds to pump Sam for info about what Maggie remembers of her ordeal. Barnabas tests Maggie's memory by asking to see her, and for the first time in too long, Maggie doesn't have a traumatic reaction to him, but acts as she did when she first met him at the coffee shop. Maggie is passing her test splendidly when she brings up her encounter with Sarah, mentioning her by name. This time, Barnabas makes it clear to the audience that he knows who and what the strange little girl that he's been hearing about really is.

    Unfortunately, his way of dealing with this news is to make an uninvited visit through the French doors while Maggie's sleeping. He's approaching her with a pillow (not a particularly vampirish method) when the sound of Sarah singing "London Bridge" literally spooks him, causing him to back out of the house while whispering questions about Sarah's motives that she doesn't answer.

    Episode 298
    Originally aired August 16, 1967
    The stained glass in the Great House really pops in color.

    Carolyn tells Elizabeth that she has a feeling that something terrible is going to happen very soon. Burke comes by to offer to buy the Seaview property from Liz...which is the first that we learn the name of Vicki's dream house, that it belongs to Liz, and that it's a few miles up the beach from Collinwood....despite Burke's previous implication that hopping on a jet would be a practical way to get there! If it were only a few years later, I might give him the benefit of the doubt and assume that he'd been talking about jet ski travel...!

    Anthony George seems to be doing something different with his voice...he sounds less whiny in color. Actually, the audio in this episode seemed lower-quality than usual, so I suppose that was working in his favor.

    Burke, Liz, and Carolyn go to survey the house. At the Evans home, Victoria describes the night that she stayed with Maggie for the benefit of the amnesiac girl and forgetful audience members, and also mentions having glimpsed Maggie in the cemetery. The mention of Josette Collins seems to be triggering Maggie's memory when Undercover Hoffman comes by, ostensibly to see Sam, and overhears Vicki pressing Maggie to remember more. Hoffman interrupts to show Maggie her hypnotic medallion, and puts it to use after Vicki leaves the room.

    Episode 299
    Originally aired August 17, 1967
    Vicki is admiring the night from a Collinwood terrace set that I haven't seen before when Barnabas startles her. In the conversation that ensues, he tests the water regarding how she'd feel about existing only at night. He tries to set a date for her to come over and look at family histories, but gets cock-blocked by her plans with Burke. Undercover Hoffman tag-teams with Vicki and pointedly questions Barnabas about his intentions toward Miss Winters, stoking the flames of his jealously of Burke along the way.

    Hoffman visits Vicki in her room to find her picking out a dress for her date. The undercover doctor tries to warn Vicki off of accepting invitations from Barnabas while framing his interest in Vicki in terms that don't spill the beans about his true nature.

    Zzzzzzzzzz...whu--huh? Oh, are Vicki and Burke done talking about their respective childhood caregivers? Their tender, moonlight conversation moves on to subjects like his desire for revenge against the Collins clan, while a concerned Barnabas eavesdrops on them. More romantic kissing ensues...a memo must have gone around to the writing staff recently. After the couple are done saying goodnight, Burke takes the opportunity to have a private conversation with Hoffman about not encouraging Vicki to focus on the past...a reminder that he has his own jealousy angle.

    At 3 a.m., Barnabas sneaks into Vicki's room from the inside of the house and does the whole "I should give her one of my special hickeys, but I--I can't!" routine yet again. So he opens the music box instead while she slumbers on. I feel like I've seen all of this before, but it wasn't in color then.

    Episode 300
    Originally aired August 18, 1967
    Speaking of color--not today, we've got another kinescope episode.

    At Collinwood, Vicki relates to Hoffman how she felt that somebody was in her room, and must have opened her music box while she slept. Odd how she always senses people being in her room while she's asleep, but it never, y'know, wakes her up. Hoffman convinces Vicki that she opened the music box herself. Liz comes to Vicki to report that the selling of the Seaview estate to Burke is going smoothly, and seems very happy about it, even though he's sworn to destroy her clan and all of that.

    At the Old House, Barnabas take a report from Willie, who's been spying on Burke and Vicki for him. Later, Hoffman reports to Barnabas that her treatment seems to be working on him. (And it wasn't just me, the folks at Dark Shadows Before I Die also seem surprised to learn that he has a heartbeat.) She uses her leverage over him to take him to task for breaking his word to her about Vicki.

    Burke's a man of means...why is every date with Vicki on the Collinwood terrace? She seems surprised when he reveals that he's buying the house for her, and oh yeah, the proposal thing. She says that she loves him, but is very hesitant to accept his offer, scrounging for excuses not to. As she finally seems to warm to the idea (while not yet formally accepting), we see that Willie has been eavesdropping. He bettah get outta theah!

    Inside, Barnabas is paying a social call on Liz, and we learn that he still claims to be thinking of starting a shipbuilding business. He presses his host for information about Burke's purchase of Seaview, and seems genuinely surprised when Liz suggests that Burke plans to marry Vicki.

    Back at the Old House, Willie reports that Burke did in fact take Vicki to a restaurant off-camera, and oh yeah, the proposal thing.
    No, he really said that.


    50 years ago this coming week:

    New on the charts:

    "Purple Haze," The Jimi Hendrix Experience

    (#65 US; #3 UK; #17 on Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Songs of All Time)

    "Twelve Thirty (Young Girls Are Coming to the Canyon)," The Mamas & the Papas

    (#20 US)

    "Gettin' Together," Tommy James & The Shondells

    (#18 US; this week's song at 3:47+)

    "Never My Love," The Association

    (#2 US)

    And new on the boob tube:
    • The Fugitive, "The Judgment: Part I" (review to come the following week)
    • Dark Shadows, episodes 301-305
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2017