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September 16, 2014, 04:49:23 AM
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Badmovies.org Forum  |  Other Topics  |  Television  |  Recent TV Episode Viewings « previous next »
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Author Topic: Recent TV Episode Viewings  (Read 964 times)
JaseSF
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« on: May 22, 2014, 01:16:18 PM »

Since we already have a "Recent Viewings" thread over in the Good Movies section, I don't see why we shouldn't have a recent TV episode viewing thread where one can discuss an interesting TV episode one recently watched and wants to have somewhere to talk about it. If so, have at it. I watch a lot of classic and some newer TV episodes and it doesn't really feel quite right grouping talk about TV shows in with films. They are two very different things in so many ways. TV, especially classic TV, had many limitations that film did not in terms of censorship, what was appropriate for TV airing, budget, time limitations, getting stars to appear, and sometimes the challenges of performing live...

Last night, I watched two episodes from the classic anthology series The Star and the Story. I found this on a cheap public domain DVD release from Cascadia Entertainment. Two episodes were included. The DVD case incorrectly listed one episode as being from Four Star Playhouse. These episodes were:

The Thin Line: This story, which first aired March 17, 1956, stars David Niven as Johnny, a former jazz musician who now finds himself committed to a mental hospital and with very little memory as to why he's even in there. As a chance at a possible release becomes possible for him, he struggles to remember (having had memory lapses and blackouts dating back to an old injury he received in war). As was usually the case with these stories, there's an unexpected turn our story takes in the end. Niven is quite good in this one and look for a young Chuck Connors as a friendly hospital attendant. Joan Camden plays Johnny's tormented wife Kathy. Not bad overall but not truly a great episode either - sort of average I guess. (Season 2, Episode 19)

The Dark Stranger: This was actually the first episode of The Star and the Story which aired on January 8, 1955. It stars Edmond O' Brien as a writer named Ray Ericson who is shocked when he sees one of the characters from his most recent novel, a female victim named Jill Andrews (Joanne Woodward), in the flesh in front of him. Fearing for her safety knowing that in his plot, he'd written her demise, he tries to find a ways to save her only to discover himself falling in love with her and unexpectedly playing the part of one of the characters in his very own novel himself?!

This was a fascinating little story, kind of like a blending of desperate 1950s style film noir with a dash of The Twilight Zone (before the Twilight Zone) thrown in. O'Brien gives a fine performance here and Woodward is lovely in the role of Jill even if she does seem just a bit too young as a potential love interest for Ray. Also look for classic Universal star Evelyn Ankers in a small supporting role. A good episode. (Season 1, Episode 1)

It's fascinating watching these classic anthologies, they often feel like adaptations of the type of stories that might have appeared in pulp fiction novels and magazines from that era. I love finding these episodes wherever they are available. Also interesting to see how stories were adapted to TV in the period, etc.
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« Reply #1 on: May 22, 2014, 04:52:38 PM »

We're watching the Relic Hunter series on DVD, for about the third or fourth time.  It's sort of an Indiana Jones type thing (much lower budget of course) starring Tia Carrere as college history professor Sydney Fox, who barely spends any time at school because she's so busy running around to the four corners of the globe finding ancient (and sometimes not-so-ancient) artifacts.  She's assisted by Christien Anholt who plays her brainy yet cowardly sidekick Nigel.  The other main character is the secretary in their office (played by Lindy Booth) who is always teasing Nigel about something.

My family and I all love this show, it's fun, funny, with great characters and plenty of interesting plots.

Yesterday we watched the episode "The Last Knight", which has Sydney and Nigel jetting off to Paris in search of a lost sword that belonged to the Knights Templar.  They meet up with a local expert who's less than anxious to help them, but eventually they come together to locate the sword.  A very good ep in my opinion, with some funny stuff, a bit of cloak and dagger skullduggery, and fun performances from the cast.
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JaseSF
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« Reply #2 on: May 23, 2014, 04:25:56 PM »

Relic Hunter used to air on Space: The Imagination Station at one point. Never really got into it, saw bits and pieces of it where it did look like it might be a fun show. Recall Tia Carrere for Wayne's World and being Kevin Sorbo's love interest gone wrong in Kull the Conqueror.
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« Reply #3 on: May 24, 2014, 05:18:27 AM »

Currently I'm plowing my way through Sergeant Frog before its duration on Hulu expires. It could be best described as a Japanese equivalent of Pinky and the Brain, except that the would-be world conquerors are frog-like aliens instead of gengineered mice and there's a recurring supporting cast.
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« Reply #4 on: May 24, 2014, 05:50:09 AM »

Relic Hunter used to air on Space: The Imagination Station at one point. Never really got into it, saw bits and pieces of it where it did look like it might be a fun show. Recall Tia Carrere for Wayne's World and being Kevin Sorbo's love interest gone wrong in Kull the Conqueror.

Yeah Tia's been in a lot of stuff.  I remember her playing a model in an episode of Married With Children way back when.  I love her in Relic Hunter, she's a very capable Indiana Jones type but she's got this charming sense of humor too.
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« Reply #5 on: June 12, 2014, 12:35:31 PM »

Watched an episode of Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H.. This seems to be a fun and light-hearted series with a lot of humor. The episode I saw was entitled The Collector and features a powerful alien named the Collector whisking away heroes so he could store them away in packaging (rather like many comic book and toy collecting fans) but he rejects both the Hulk and guest star Spider-Man because J. Jonah Jameson has declared them both menaces. Despite this, his collection seems to include every hero in the Marvel universe even the X-Men and perhaps the biggest surprise of all - Howard the Duck! Spidey makes a joke at Wolverine's expense and eventually our heroes manage to free the agents of S.M.A.S.H. (who are all gamma variant versions of the Hulk it seems, yes this includes the She Hulk) who work to try and stop the Collector who's bent on blowing up the Earth to make his collection of heroes all the more rare and valuable. Fun little episode although it's dominated by the Hulk and Spider-Man.
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« Reply #6 on: June 18, 2014, 10:41:12 PM »

Watched several episodes of You Bet Your Life. Groucho Marx is so funny especially in his conversations with the contestants...

This episode was particularly funny...Esther Bradley was a hoot!

You Bet Your Life #55-19 Esther Bradley, country singing ex-factory worker ('Foot', Feb 2, 1956) Small | Large
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« Reply #7 on: June 19, 2014, 07:56:50 PM »

I just got my Gilligan's Island DVD set of the complete series today. I'm happy...

Starting from episode 1 again... I'm now on Episode 2 Home Sweet Hut.


I also highly recommend this DVD set.
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JaseSF
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« Reply #8 on: June 20, 2014, 11:33:29 PM »

Watched three episodes of Tales of Tomorrow. These included:

The Crystal Egg: Based on a story by H.G. Wells, this details the events of one Professor Vaneck (Thomas Mitchell) who unexpectedly becomes obsessed with what he sees in a seemingly worthless crystal egg brought to him by an antiques dealer named Mr. Cave (Edgar Stehli) who wants to learn its true value. Vaneck believes he can see another world through the glass but soon enough, Mr. Cave comes back searching for it as he's had an offer from a mysterious buyer he cannot refuse. Murder and intrigue follows.

While a bit set bound and talky and shows its limited budget, this has some good chilling moments towards the end. I especially like the surprise reveal at one point. People nowadays will have trouble buying into the Martian landscape much more so than when this originally aired on October 12, 1951. Not bad, perhaps even slightly better than average, for what it is but doesn't quite work as well as some other series episodes. (Season 1, Episode 9)

Test Flight: Wayne Crowder (Lee J. Cobb) is a megalomaniacal businessman who becomes obsessed with the idea of building a spaceship and becoming the first man into space and is willing to spend and steal millions and use numerous valuable resources to achieve his goal however possible. The scientist named Wilkins (Harry Townes) who can build a spaceship capable of successful flight into space however has an ulterior purpose all his own.

The story here, which originally aired October 26, 1951 was pretty solid and I enjoyed the twist ending quite a bit. Townes, an actor I always enjoy watching, was quite good here in his short role. Cobb however was much more hit and miss. It doesn't help of course that his character isn't particularly sympathetic. A good episode but the Crowder character can be a bit much. (Season 1, Episode 10)

Verdict From Space: Gordon Kent (Lon McCallister), the inventor of a new powerful blowtorch, finds himself on trial for the murder of a highly regarded scientist named Professor Sykes (Martin Brandt). Through flashback, we learn the wild story of how Kent ended up in this dire position, how Sykes came to help to get his help via his new powerful torch to open a mysterious door to a cave that the professor claims houses a mysterious machine capable of recording all events on Earth throughout history up to today (something Sykes claims to have witnessed when the door had previously been mysteriously left open). Kent makes an even more startling discovery in the cave, something that might endanger all humankind.

I liked the way this first episode, which originally aired August 3, 1951, of the series ended. The problem with it is it tells us far more than it ever shows. The lack of a adequate, convincing set and even an attempt at cheap special FX for the end hurts this episode. It's definitely far too talky and set bound which was a common problem for this TV series. The story is pretty good though, it just never really is as convincing as one would like. With a better budget, this would have been a better episode. Still a nice little introduction that definitely helps set the tone of the series that followed. (Season 1, Episode 1)

Also watched an episode of General Electric Theater which was entitled:

Let it Rain: A New York writer named Laren McCall (Ronald Reagan) makes a stop at a small town in the South where he meets and is soon taken with a beautiful young woman named Lea Beth (Cloris Leachman). McCall soon learns the story and town legend about a Confederate soldier who left a sword in a tree and of his great love for a local girl, a relative of Lea Beth, who it is said he never returned to after heading for the battlefield. McCall sets out to debunk the town legend and try and bring his new beau Lea Beth into the real world but is reality really better than the dream or is it the other way around?

This was alright. The acting was quite good with Reagan and Leachman having surprisingly good chemistry together here. It is a bit dreamlike although there's nothing truly fantastic about this story despite it being on a Mill Creek Sci-Fi set of TV episodes I own. Actually, I was personally more fascinated with a segment done by General Electric in between the Acts of the story/play where they traced the history of the invention of the television from a 3 inch screen in 1927 & 1928 up to the 1950s. This episode originally aired on December 18, 1955. (Season 4, Episode 12)


« Last Edit: June 20, 2014, 11:35:43 PM by JaseSF » Logged

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JaseSF
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« Reply #9 on: June 22, 2014, 06:58:39 PM »

Caught 3 episodes of One Step Beyond last night. These included:

Night of April 14th: Grace (Barbara Lord), a soon to be newlywed is tormented by recurring nightmares of death at sea. We soon learn that she and her soon to be husband Eric Farley (Patrick Macnee) plan to spending their honeymoon sailing to New York on the maiden voyage of the Titanic.

This was pretty good. The acting was good and it did successfully bring up some odd coincidences surrounding the sinking of the Titanic. Of course, it's not really enough to convince one it was any more than that really. Particularly pointed out by our host John Newland are the similarities between the events in the 1898 novella Futility (Wreck of the Titan) and what happened fourteen years later. Enjoyable if somewhat predictable episode that originally aired January 27, 1959. (Season 1, Episode 2)

Encounter: Following the mysterious disappearance of a pilot who claimed something the size of the side of a mountain suddenly came at him out of nowhere, pilots working for a construction crew search for the wreckage. Some suspect the involvement of UFOs while foreman Paul McCord (Robert Douglas) denies this possibility. Even he though has to wonder at the events that unfold before this episode ends.

This was a really good episode from host/director John Newland. It really brings a lot of surprising focus on the UFO story for a TV show from the early 1960s. Many of the elements described here as still subscribed to the UFO mystery and we get glimpses of things like "angel hair" and talk of proposed kidnappings. It only really gets sidetracked with a side story about McCord's ill feeling towards the missing pilot Rand as they both courted Rand's current wife. This episode originally aired April 12, 1960. (Season 2, Episode 29)

The House of the Dead: British Lieutenant Harry Fraser (Mario Alcalde) frantically searches for his would-be Chinese fiancee Mai Ling (Laya Raki) who seemingly has gotten cold feet and mysteriously took off just hours before the pair are scheduled to return to England. Fraser seeks out the help of a Chinese fortune teller who guides Fraser to search for a House of the Dead.

Despite the seeming macabre title and death playing a big part in this episode, it's actually one of the series' lighter stories. I enjoyed it for what it was although the Chinese accent of German born Raki's Mai Ling doesn't seem right. Nice surprise twist ending I really did not see coming. Some may enjoy it less than other series episodes as it lacks some of the darker, supernatural edge or bite other episodes have. Hosted and directed by John Newland, this episode originally aired June 7, 1960. (Season 2, Episode 37)
« Last Edit: June 22, 2014, 07:00:57 PM by JaseSF » Logged

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« Reply #10 on: June 29, 2014, 09:27:25 AM »

The Invaders(1967): The Spores- Gene Hackman is an alient agent with a suitcase full of bizarre alien crystals that can remove oxygen from the atmosphere. The aliens want to cultivate this to change Earth's atmosphere and annihilate mankind. The case is stolen by teenagers and goes from one person to another with Hackman chasing it down, in turn being pursued by Roy Thinnes, who is trying to stop the aliens.

Doctor Who: The Ice Warriors(1967)- The Doctor and his companions land in the midst of the Second Ice Age. Glaciers are covering the Earth and only the Ionizer Bases on every continent are holding back the ice from destroying what is left of civilization. At the Brittanicus Base, surveyors have discovered an alien frozen in the glacier...Varga, leader of a group of warriors from Mars. His spaceship and crew are frozen inside the glacier and when Varga is accidently thawed out, he begins a mission to revive them and remove his ship from the ice. Armed with sonic weapons, the warriors attack the base in order to use the ionizer to melt their ship from the ice, but the Doctor theorizes that if the ship is atomic powered, using the ionizer will cause a massive explosion that will contaminate the whole continent..

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JaseSF
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« Reply #11 on: June 29, 2014, 01:00:31 PM »

Watched an episode of the 90s Outer Limits:

Rite of Passage: Within a small commune located in a wooded area, a group of humans are seemingly looked after and protected by a group of alien caretakers. However young Brav (James Marsden) and Shal (Emmanuelle Vaugier) begin to suspect something is amiss when Shal's newborn child is taken away from her. Brav and Shal decide to defy the alien authorities and try to break out of the protective zone in search of their child. There they discover the remains of what appears to be the human race destroyed in some type of apocalypse and begin the suspect the aliens might have been responsible. Making matters even worse is they are being pursued by nasty snakes with dragon heads that leave devastating stingers that burrow deep into the skin. In the end, the truth proves even stranger than they expected.

This was alright. I've seen better episodes but it still builds up the suspense nicely and has a neat twist ending (even if I could see the reveal coming). The snake critters are particularly nasty in this so horror fans will probably like that element.  (Season 4, Episode 8, originally aired March 13, 1998)
« Last Edit: June 29, 2014, 01:02:52 PM by JaseSF » Logged

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« Reply #12 on: June 29, 2014, 01:18:57 PM »

Started watching Painkiller Jane a few days ago.  It stars Kristanna Loken as a detective working for a secret organization that hunts down people with psychic powers who are using them for bad purposes (for instance in one episode a guy can steal other people's memories, so he steals the memory of a surgeon and becomes a medical expert himself, leaving the doctor with no knowledge and no way to earn a living).  Jane is also unkillable - in the first episode she gets pushed out of a 40th story window, seems to be killed on impact, but wakes up later. 

It's pretty decent, nice sci-fi plots and as we get further into the series, the characters are developing a bit of depth and chemistry together.  Loken's character is kind of a neat anti-hero with a sense of humor and she's a bit weird - which I like.
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« Reply #13 on: July 03, 2014, 02:51:49 PM »

Relic Hunter used to air on Space: The Imagination Station at one point. Never really got into it, saw bits and pieces of it where it did look like it might be a fun show. Recall Tia Carrere for Wayne's World and being Kevin Sorbo's love interest gone wrong in Kull the Conqueror.

Yeah Tia's been in a lot of stuff.  I remember her playing a model in an episode of Married With Children way back when.  I love her in Relic Hunter, she's a very capable Indiana Jones type but she's got this charming sense of humor too.

Not to mention being drop dead gorgeous...I've never seen an Asian lady like her before...  as far as her early career, two of her first movies (or perhaps her very first two movies) were Showdown In Little Tokyo with Brandon Lee and Dolph Lundgren, and Zombie Nightmarewhich may have been aorund the same time.   I've also seen her name in the credits for Johnny Bravo as the voice for some of the girls Johnny tries to get.
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JaseSF
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« Reply #14 on: July 21, 2014, 06:56:22 PM »

Tales of Tomorrow: The Window: Our story starts out as usual adapting a little Sci-Fi short entitled The Lost Planet. However, something goes wrong during the show's transmission. Somehow the signal is interrupted by a scene inside an apartment building of a cheating couple plotting to do in the wife's estranged, abusive husband. The crew of Tales of Tomorrow works against time hoping to prevent a murder but can they discover the location of this broadcast in time?

This was a very clever episode of the series. It was really thinking outside the box which was pretty rare for live television in the early 1950s. Initially we do feel a sense of sympathy for the abused wife and her lover (played by a young Rod Steiger), their eventual decision to go to extreme measures makes us feel a bit less sympathetic towards them. The characters in this story feel like dark, real people in desperation which ultimately doesn't make them feel all that likable which proves a problem here. It is kind of neat to get a behind the scenes glimpse of Tales of Tomorrow though and this deserves major credit for attempting something so rarely tried back in this time. (Season 2, Episode 10, originally aired November 7, 1952)

Ulysses 31: "Vengeance of the Gods": In the 31st century, Ulysses and his crew are threatened by a mysterious planet of people who worship a mechanical Cyclops god and sacrifice children to give it energy in return for which it provides the planet's inhabitants with light and sight. However, when Ulysses's son Telemacus is kidnapped by the aliens for this purpose, Ulysses sets out to bring the Cyclops down. His actions however do provoke the wrath of the ancient Greek gods of Olympus.

This futuristic cartoon series is pretty cool with some startling visuals. It's a combined French/Japanese effort which makes it seem all the more unusual. For a cartoon show, the story here seems surprisingly complex yet is enjoyable and sets everything neatly into place to launch the cartoon series that followed. Fun and unusual cartoon from the 80s. (Season 1, Episode 1, originally aired October 10, 1981)
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