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April Cult TV blog update

Apr. 13th, 2016 | 11:06 pm
posted by: dfordoom in cult_tv_lounge

April Cult TV blog update:

The Professionals, season 1 (1977) - gritty British espionage series which I'm liking more now than I used to.

Zodiac (1974) - quirky but rather appealing British detective series combining humour, romance, astrology and crime.

The Twilight Zone - The Invaders (1961) - perhaps the best episode of the entire series.

Rivals of Sherlock Holmes - The Case of the Mirror of Portugal and The Duchess of Wiltshire's Diamonds - two excellent 1971 episodes featuring villainous Victorian private detectives.

Columbo - Dagger of the Mind and Requiem for a Falling Star (both 1972) - Columbo investigates murder in the worlds of the theatre and Hollywood. Great fun.

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doubles in 60s television

Mar. 15th, 2016 | 11:48 pm
posted by: dfordoom in cult_tv_lounge

I’m just watching an episode of Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea in which the villain creates an evil double of Admiral Nelson. This surely has to be the single most used plot device in 1960s television. It seems like every spy series and every science fiction series of that era used it at least once. Some used it more than once. Some used it again and again!

So what is your favourite 1960s television use of the evil double plot device?

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Sad news

Feb. 29th, 2016 | 12:29 pm
posted by: mystic_scribe in cult_tv_lounge

I just learned today that actor Humbert Allen Astredo died earlier this month. Though not a known name, he was active in American soap operas and theater, including touring with Elizabeth Tayor in a production of The Little Foxes in the 1980's. He's best known for the cult soap Dark Shadows, where he played the devilishly urbane warlock, Nicholas Blair, as well as the Satan worshiping, black-magic practicing lawyer Evan Hanley. He was one of my favorite actors on the show and could recite evil incantations like he meant it! His character, Nicholas Blair, became a nemesis of the beautiful witch, Angelique. Upon meeting again unexpectedly after she threw him under the bus with their "Master" (Satan), he had a great line; "At the risk of sounding banal...it's a small world, isn't it?" Such panache.

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February Cult TV blog updates

Feb. 29th, 2016 | 11:48 pm
posted by: dfordoom in cult_tv_lounge

February Cult TV blog updates:

Man in a Suitcase (1967-68) - superb and surprisingly gritty ITC crime/espionage action adventure series.

Burke’s Law, season one (1963) - debonair playboy millionaire cop Amos Burke solves crimes among the rich and famous. One of my all-time favourites. Great stuff.

Dynasty (1981-89) - yes it's trash but it's fun trash. Plus Joan Collins!

Public Eye, season 5 (1971) - magnificent British series featuring television’s least glamorous private eye.

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Strange Paradise

Jan. 29th, 2016 | 02:48 pm
posted by: mystic_scribe in cult_tv_lounge

I was wondering if anyone has seen the old Canadian supernatural soap opera Strange Paradise? It only ran for about a year between 1969-1970. Initially set on a Carribbean island, it follows the Desmond family and involves deals with the devil, resurrecting the dead, possession, voodoo and other supernatural goings-on. I've found someone who's selling the entire series on DVD-R, but can't decide if I should invest or not. I'm a fan of Dark Shadows and this is, obviously, similar (the DS producer jumped ship to SP, along with a couple of writers). It could be a blast. Should I take the plunge?

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Star Trek - A Piece of the Action

Jan. 28th, 2016 | 01:50 am
posted by: dfordoom in cult_tv_lounge

I've just been watching A Piece of the Action, from season two of the original Star Trek. It really is great fun seeing William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy doing the hardboiled gangster thing! Star Trek at times veered perilously in the direction of silliness but sometimes the silliness worked remarkably well, as it does in this episode. I loved this one!

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cult TV blog updates January 2016

Jan. 27th, 2016 | 09:43 pm
posted by: dfordoom in cult_tv_lounge

Cult TV blog updates January 2016

Fantasy Island, season one (1977) - De plane! De Plane!” Lots of nostalgia here, and the first two TV movies are surprisingly very good.

Ghost Squad, season 2 (1962-63) - surprisingly excellent and quite hard-edged ITC crime/spy series.

Dead of Night (1972) - judging by the three surviving episodes this is a bitterly disappointing BBC horror anthology series.

The Adventures of Sir Lancelot (1956) - enjoyable ITC kids' action adventure series with William Russell buckling his swash in fine style. I believe this was the first ever British TV series filmed in colour (or at least some episodes were in colour).

Lord Peter Wimsey - Five Red Herrings (1975) - Ian Carmichael in fine form plus a pleasingly devious plot.

The Sweeney, season 1 (1975) - simply the best TV cop show ever made.

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my cult TV highlights of 2015

Jan. 1st, 2016 | 10:47 pm
posted by: dfordoom in cult_tv_lounge

I watched a lot of cult television in 2015. In fact 383 episodes’ worth, dating from 1956 to 1976. So what were the particular highlights? It’s not easy to chose from so many episodes but here’s my attempt. They’re in chronological order - I couldn’t possibly attempt to put them in order of merit.

First up was the Killer in Town episode of M Squad from 1957, one of the great 50s crime series and Lee Marvin’s only television series. Despite incredible shooting schedules (they shot each episode in two days) the overall quality of this series was remarkably high. It also had some definite hints of film noir.

Next is A Chorus of Frogs from 1963, universally recognised as the best of the Venus Smith episodes of The Avengers and a very fine episode by any standard.

Colony Three was perhaps the most ambitious of the one-hour Danger Man episodes and was a kind of dry run for The Prisoner.

The Night the Wizard Shook the Earth was the episode that really put The Wild Wild West on its feet after a shaky start.

The Bishop Rides Again was the pilot for one of the most unjustly neglected British comedies of the 60s, All Gas and Gaiters.

The offbeat 1967 British detective series Mr Rose has been one of my most exciting discoveries of the year. Picking a standout episode is almost impossible but if pressed I’ll go for The Jolly Swagman or The Tin God.

All Done With Mirrors may well be the best of all the Tara King episodes of The Avengers but my particular favourite is Look - (stop me if you've heard this one) But There Were These Two Fellers...

This year I rediscovered The Persuaders, and great fun it is too. A Death in the Family, with Roger Moore playing multiple roles, is hard to beat.

Public Eye is an old favourite of mine and Who Wants to Be Told Bad News? sums up the quirkiness of this series extremely well.

I’ve always had a soft spot for The New Avengers. The later Canadian episodes have a poor reputation but Forward Base is actually superb, and it’s classic Avengers stuff - an outrageous plot, bizarre characters and more than a hint of the surreal. The slow-motion swan boat chase is a wonderful touch.

Another major discovery this year has been Paul Temple, a series I will definitely be posting about in the neat future. Cue Murder! is an especially fine episode.

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Christmas with Steed and Mrs Peel

Dec. 25th, 2015 | 05:00 pm
posted by: dfordoom in cult_tv_lounge

I suppose one should make an effort to get into the seasonal spirit, and sharing Christmas with Steed and Mrs Peel seemed like a pretty good way to do just that. In other words I have just revisited one of the most-loved of all episodes of The Avengers, Too Many Christmas Trees, which first went to air in Britain exactly 50 years ago.

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another cult TV blog update

Nov. 25th, 2015 | 06:31 pm
posted by: dfordoom in cult_tv_lounge

another cult TV blog update:

The Samurai, season 3 - Iga Ninjas (1963) - the Japanese cult action adventure series that became a pop culture phenomenon in Australia.

The Saint - The Ex-King of Diamonds (1969) - the episode that served as an unofficial pilot for The Persuaders! And great fun it is.

Charlie's Angels, season one (1976) - plenty of silly fun.

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