Category Archives: Classic Television
“One Toke Over the Line” was released in 1970. The title refers to exactly what you think it does. That didn’t stop Lawrence Welk from introducing the song as a “modern spiritual.” He was either hopelessly clueless or knew exactly what he was doing. As a bonus, Richard Nixon’s vice president, Spiro Agnew, hated the song because he felt it was subversive.
Game shows are my second favorite genre. There’s nothing quite like a contestants spontaneous response. Most of the time, contestant’s give normal answers. However, every once in a while you get responses that are either a joke or one that makes the contestant realize that yes, they did say that out loud. Here is a list of my favorites.
5. Jeopardy! – Ho
Since it’s Thanksgiving, we figure you could use a break from trying not to burn your house down because Uncle Bob decided to fry the turkey this year. If you have 7 minutes to spare, enjoy this delightful clip of Johnny Carson and Doc Severinsen reading kids’ letters on how to cook a turkey for Thanksgiving.
I am writing this post from beyond the grave, because Doctor Who‘s 50th anniversary special killed me dead.
Yeah, I’ll admit it: I was pessimistic during the build-up to this most auspicious occasion. I grumbled for months about the trailer for “The Day of the Doctor” being released late (still grumbling in fact), and despite the staggering celebration line-up announced in October, I felt the classic Doctors were being quietly nudged aside. I quelled my fangirl jitters on the grounds that the special just wouldn’t live up to my expectations.
I’m so happy to have been proven wrong.
“The Day of the Doctor” is one humdinger of an adventure, equal parts playful historical jaunt, sobering backstory, and squee-worthy fanservice. On the outside, it resembles any other madcap episode — the Doctor (Matt Smith) and companion Clara (Jenna Coleman) are enlisted to stop Earth from falling into the slimy, suction-y hands of the Zygons, a villainous race making its first appearance since the classic series. But weaved throughout that predictable A-plot is easily the darkest B-plot the show has tackled since its return: the Doctor’s involvement in the Time War, where he was forced to wipe out his home planet of Gallifrey to end the violence. Loaded with snappy dialogue and peppered with more than a few surprises for the devoted Whovian, this was an anniversary to end all anniversaries.
For the past few years, it seems that every new television season brings at least four remakes of older television series. While the practice of remaking shows may have made sense in an era where no one could re-watch the old version, nowadays, it doesn’t make sense. Do you really want someone to reinterpret an old favorite when you could easily watch the original in reruns, on DVD, on Netflix, or through less legitimate services on the internet? Probably not.
To be fair, there are a few successful remakes. The most unlikely was Hawaii 5-0. No one, except CBS saw it being successful, yet it averages around 10 million viewers. Dallas is successful because it is just the Ewing clan 20 years later, so it’s more like a continuation than a remake. Out of all the remakes in the last 10 years, Battlestar Gallactica, which took the original concept and made it darker, was probably the most successful. However, the success of all three shows is the exception to the failure of most modern remakes.
As a twentysomething American, my exposure to Sir David Frost is limited to little more than the Frost/Nixon movie. Since nothing I write will do the man justice, I’ll let BBC News do things properly. You can watch one of the interviews, where they talk about the Watergate scandal, that inspired Frost/Nixon below.
Whenever Salvador Dali is around, things take a turn toward the strange. While What’s My Line?‘s master of ceremonies, John Charles Daly, often finds himself tied by the limitedness of the “yes and no” question format, Dali’s appearance makes matters worse because Dali wants to say “yes” to everything. Then again, you wouldn’t expect anything less from a man who considered himself to be drugs.
Everyone knows James Bond as a suave, debonair, British fellow, who likes his martini’s shaken, not stirred. However, that wasn’t always the case when it came to screen adaptations of Ian Fleming’s novels. In 1954, CBS bought the rights to adapt Casino Royale for television. On October 1954 of the same year, this adaptation of Fleming’s first Bond novel aired live as part of CBS’s Climax!, later renamed Climax Mystery Theater, anthology series. For some reason, CBS decided to make James Bond, played by Barry Nelson, an American, who works for a fictional counterpart to the CIA.
Since 2005, the BBC’s Doctor Who has gained a legion of rabid fans, transitioning from a cult classic to a full-on mainstream hit. The eponymous Doctor is a time-travelling alien who regenerates his body when he’s close to death, meaning that sooner or later, a new actor takes over the part. Current Doctor Matt Smith revealed in June that he was hanging up his bow tie, and from there, speculation on the identity of Twelve has run rampant. As of Sunday, however, this particular rumor mill has ceased production.
Whovians, join me in welcoming Peter Capaldi as the Twelfth Doctor!