Category Archives: Television

Blu-Ray News #327: Blondie – The Complete 1957 TV Series.

Arthur Lake was put on this earth to play Dagwood Bumstead from Chip Young’s Blondie comic strip. That’s an absolute fact. And he did it marvelously in 28 features from 1938 to 1950 — and again in a TV series in 1957. And that series is coming to Blu-Ray from ClassicFlix in April, transferred from original 35mm elements of all 26 episodes.

Blondie is played by Pamela Britton, who many of us know from My Favorite Martian. (Penny Singleton played Blondie in the movies.) The show perfectly captures the spirit of the strip, with many episodes directed by Paul Landres. Funny stuff, easy to recommend!

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Filed under 1957, ClassicFlix, DVD/Blu-ray News, Paul Landres, Television

RIP, Stuart Margolin.

Stuart Margolin
(January 31, 1940 – December 12, 2022)

One of my favorite character actors — who played one of my favorite characters, Stuart Margolin has passed away at 82.

He’s wonderful in all kinds of things, Kelly’s Heroes (1970) for one, but he will forever be Angel, James Garner’s shifty friend from San Quentin on The Rockford Files. Of course, Rockford is a strong contender for The Greatest TV Show Of All Time. (Margolin’s seen with Garner up top, riding in Rockford’s Firebird.)

Margolin was also a successful TV director. He did a few Rockford episodes, among many other things. He will certainly be missed.

We talked about Mr. Margolin and Angel in a recent discussion of The Rockford Files

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Filed under James Garner, Television

Why The Rockford Files Is Great.

What a good time I had yesterday morning. I was honored to be part of a discussion of The Rockford Files, in my opinion a strong contender for the Greatest TV Show Of All Time. You can read an old post I did on the Blu-Ray set here.)

Thanks to host Dan Schneider for the invite. (The only part I didn’t like was where I had to talk about myself.) Oh, and we all need to look into Kevin Burton Smith’s stuff online. He’s an expert on PI, crime, noir and all that great stuff.

Click on Rockford’s trailer to listen in. Warning: you can see us, too.


Filed under James Garner, Podcasts, Television

Blu-Ray News #309: The Abbott & Costello Show, Season 2 (1953-54).

The Abbott & Costello Show, Season 1 Blu-Ray set from The 3-D Film Archive and ClassicFlix was really something to see. It blew everybody away. Well, now they’re getting started with Season 2. The Kickstarter campaign has begun, and I encourage you to get in on it. The restorations/transfers (from the camera negatives) and extras will be incredible, as we’ve come to expect from these folks. Highly, highly recommended.

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Filed under 1953, 1954, Abbott & Costello, ClassicFlix, DVD/Blu-ray News, Television, The 3-D Film Archive

RIP, Nichelle Nichols.

Nichelle Nichols
(December 28, 1932 – July 30, 2022)

Nichelle Nichols has passed away at 89. Much will be made of the fact that her role on Star Trek as Lt. Uhura, communications officer on the USS Enterprise, was one of TV’s first major roles for a black actress. (They say Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. noted this and convinced her to stay on when she was thinking about leaving the show.)

In a way, something like that just checks a box and discounts how good she was. What I love is the Howard Hawks vibe Ms. Nichols brought to the show. She was a perfect “Hawksian” (hate that phrase) heroine. You know, pretty, professional, part of the team and levelheaded when things get rough. (A sharp contrast to Scotty in the engine room.) Those have always been the women’s parts that appealed to me — and she was one of the best at it. All that, plus a red miniskirt and that cool thing she stuck in her ear.

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Filed under Television

Happy Birthday, George Jetson.

George Jetson
July 31, 2022

Buried deep in the episodes, comics or whatever related to The Jetsons, is buried the “fact” that George Jetson was born today, July 31, 2022. That, of course, was way in the future back when the show began.

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Filed under Cartoons, Hanna-Barbera, Television

DVD/Blu-Ray News #377: Nineteen Eighty-Four (1954).

Directed by Rudolph Cartier
Written by Nigel Kneale, based on the George Orwell novel
Starring Peter Cushing, André Morell, Yvonne Mitchell, Donald Pleasence

Boy, was I excited to hear about this one. BFI is bringing the 1954 BBC adaptation of Nineteen Eight-Four to DVD and Blu-Ray. It stars the great Peter Cushing as Winston Smith. It’s coming in April, restored from film elements from the BBC. Highly recommended — and a bit too timely for comfort.

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Filed under 1954, Donald Pleasence, DVD/Blu-ray News, Peter Cushing, Television

“I will not be pushed, filed, stamped, indexed, briefed, debriefed or numbered. My life is my own.”

It’d been years since I’d seen an episode of The Prisoner. Happened upon one the other night, and not only was it even better than I remembered, but it now seems downright prophetic.

From constant surveillance to being afraid of saying the wrong thing to the horrors of bureaucracy, McGoohan and company had a creepy, cryptic feel for where we were headed. This isn’t meant to be political, just an observation.

Can’t wait to revisit the rest. Be seeing you, Number Six!

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Filed under 1967, Patrick McGoohan, Television

The Abbott & Costello Show, Season 1.

I’m hesitant to actually review a DVD or Blu-Ray title that I have something to do with. But I have to say something about this one.

It was a real honor to provide a commentary for an episode (“The Western”) of new The Abbott & Costello Show, Season 1 Blu-Ray set from The 3-D Film Archive and ClassicFlix. The restorations/transfers (from the camera negatives) are incredible and the package is first-class.

Of course, the series itself is terrific, one of my all-time favorite TV shows. So if you’re a fan of it, this set is an absolute must.

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Filed under 1952, 1953, Abbott & Costello, ClassicFlix, DVD/Blu-ray News, Hillary Brooke, Television, The 3-D Film Archive

RIP, Shaaron Claridge.

Shaaron Claridge
October 1, 1938 – September 15, 2021

“One Adam-12, one Adam-12, 211 in progress…”

Shaaron Claridge was a police radio dispatcher with the Los Angeles Police Department, and her voice graced Adam-12 on TV. She appeared in one episode.

You can hear her in all but three episodes of Adam-12, along with episodes of Dragnet, Lou Grant and Columbo — and in the movie Blue Thunder (1983).

She retired in 1990 and passed away September 15.

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Filed under Jack Webb, Kent McCord, Martin Milner, Television