Saturday, August 30, 2008
The Magician starred Bill Bixby as Anthony Blake, a playboy philanthropist and professional stage magician who used his skills to solve crimes and help the helpless.
Blake had been unjustly imprisoned in an unnamed South American country years before the events of the series. He discovered a way to escape with his cellmate, which began his interest in escapology.
The cellmate died and left him a fortune. The escape led to a career in stage magic which made him famous. Never forgetting his imprisonment, it motivates him to seek justice for others.
What was cool about this show was that during the series, Bill Bixby did all the magic on camera as seen. Trick photography and post production special effects were not used.
This show makes me think of CBS's upcoming new series, The Mentalist.
Friday, August 22, 2008
Space: 1999 was a British import that was syndicated on American television. Martin Landau and Barbara Bain were married at the time and coasting on their popularity from Mission: Impossible. In the second season, the alien Maya was added to the cast as sort of a female shape-shifting version of Spock. The Moonbase Alpha crew was on a traveling moon and faced aliens and weird situations every week.
Lots of behind the scenes production problems plagued season two. Cast members would come and go with no explanation. Episodes were often shown out of order, especially in the syndicated foreign markets, which added to viewer confusion. 48 episodes were produced in all; the series abruptly ended with the final episode of season two and did not return.
The series has had several packaged media releases that are currently available.
Space:1999 on Amazon
Saturday, August 9, 2008
The first animated Spider-Man series aired on ABC Saturday morning TV in 1967. Particularly remembered by many for it's funky 60's theme song and repeated use of stock footage, the series ran for 52 episodes and was endlessly rerun in the 70s on afternoon TV syndication.
It's popularity paved the way for several additional animated series, including one currently airing on Saturday mornings on the CW network.
There was a DVD set released in 2004 which is now incredibly expensive on the secondary market.