The Six Million Dollar Man

Voice #1: It looks good at NASA One
Voice #2: Roger
Voice #1: B.C.S. Arm switch is on
Steve Austin: Okay, Victor
Voice #2: Lighting rods are armed. Switch is on. Here comes the throttle
Circuit breakers in
Steve Austin: We have separation
Voice #2: Roger
Voice #1: Inboard and outboards are on. I’m comin’ forward with the side stick
Voice #2: Looks good
Voice #1: Uh, Roger
Steve Austin: I’ve got a blow-out in Damper Three!
Voice #2: Get your pitch to zero
Steve Austin: Pitch is out! I can’t hold altitude!
Voice #1: Correction, Alpha Hold is off. Turn selectors–Emergency!
Steve Austin: Flight Com, I can’t hold it! She’s breaking up! She’s break–
(Impact)
Rudy Wells: Steve Austin, astronaut–a man barely alive
Oscar Goldman: Gentlemen, we can rebuild him. We have the technology. We
Have the capability to make the world’s first bionic man. Steve Austin will be that man
Rudy Wells and Steve Austin: Will be that man
Oscar Goldman: Better than he was before: better, stronger, faster

So began one of the biggest television shows of the mid-seventies. Steve Austin, astronaut (Lee Majors) was in a terrible accident in an experimental aircraft. He was near death and operated on and he had parts replaced such as two bionic legs, bionic eye, and a bionic arm.  Steve Austin was essentially a superhero. He could lift and toss around almost anything, he had an eye with super focus and night vision and he could run up to 60 mph and jump 2-3 stories. He worked for the Office of Scientific Intelligence (OSI) with Oscar Goldman as his boss. The Oscar character was popular also.

Oscar Goldman

Image result for oscar goldman

The series was on for 5 seasons (99 episodes) 1974-1978 with 6 TV movies…with the last one coming in 1994.

The show had a huge impact on kids. We would imitate him at school and with kids in the neighborhood. We would also imitate the noise that was made when he did some terrific stunt (da da da da da da da). Back in the seventies, some of us kids thought this would really work.

Merchandising was huge for the show. Everything from lunch boxes and running shoes to children’s eyeglasses through to jigsaws, coloring books, comic books, trash cans, slide viewers, board games and bedsheets.  I don’t have the statistics on the most merchandised tv show in the 1970s but this show has to be near the top. A little later on Star Wars would take merchandising it to another level.

Image result for six million dollar man toy merchandiseImage result for six million dollar man toy merchandiseRelated image

The merchandising didn’t stop with Steve Austin either. Lindsey Wagner (Jamie Sommers) stared as the Bionic Woman and out came the merchandise again. Jamie was Steve’s girlfriend and they went skydiving and Jamie’s parachute malfunctioned and Steve asked Oscar Goldman to use bionic parts on her to save her. Her body rejected them but she pulled through and ended up and working for the OSI also.

lindseywagner.jpgImage result for bionic woman 70s merchandiseRelated image

The Bionic Woman lasted three seasons with 58 episodes airing from 1976 – 1978. In the final season, a bionic dog was introduced named Maximillian. There was a thought of another spinoff show with Maximillian but it did not happen. The dog could run 90 mph and bite through steel…Maybe it was good they drew the line.

maximillian.jpg

In the 1994 TV Movie, “Bionic Ever After” Steve and Jame ties the knot.

Bev wedding

The Intro

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Six_Million_Dollar_Man

 

70s Saturday Mornings – Ark II

Opening Narration

For millions of years, Earth was fertile and rich; then pollution and waste began to take their toll. Civilization fell into ruin. This is the world of the Twenty-Fifth Century; only a handful of scientists remain, men who have vowed to rebuild what has been destroyed. This is their achievement: ARK II, a mobile storehouse of scientific knowledge, manned by a highly trained crew of young people. Their mission: To bring the hope of a new future to mankind.

Ark II was a television program produced by Filmation as part of their Saturday Morning live-action children’s block on the CBS network in The ’70s, along with Shazam and The Secrets of Isis. It follows the adventures of a group of Science Heroes who travel through post-apocalyptic landscapes in a highly advanced mobile laboratory, trying to rebuild human society after pollution has decimated the world. Fifteen episodes were produced in 1976, though it continued to run in syndication until 1979. (https://www.metv.com/lists/13-super-live-action-saturday-morning-kids-shows-of-the-1970s)

Ark II was another Saturday Morning show that I really liked. This show better writing than some of the other Saturday morning live-action shows. It showed what pollution would do to the earth beyond our generation. The real reason I liked it was because of the mobile ark and the devices and gadgets they used….and Ruth (Jean Marie Hon)!

You had a monkey who could talk, the cool roamer, a jetpack, and a robot in a post-apocalyptic land…and did I mention Ruth?

The Cool Ark                                 Ruth                                                 A Young Helen Hunt

Image result for Ark IIImage result for Jean Marie HonImage result for ark II helen hunt

Image result for Ark II buggy The Roamer…wonder where it is today?

Some Saturday Morning Commercials while we waited for Ark II

 

70s Saturday Mornings – The Secrets of Isis!

Opening Narration

“O my Queen,” said the Royal Sorcerer to Hatshepsut, “with this amulet, you and your descendants are endowed by the Goddess Isis with the powers of the animals and the elements. You will soar as the falcon soars, run with the speed of gazelles, and command the elements of sky and earth.”

3000 years later, a young science teacher dug up this lost treasure, and found she was heir to — The Secrets of Isis!

JoAnna Cameron played the beautiful Andrea Thomas/ Isis. It was hard for an eight-year-old not to like her. Whenever the character Andrea Thomas was in trouble or needed to help someone she would wear the amulet and look up and say “Oh Mighty Isis” and out came the white outfit and Isis.

Like Shazam! it was a low budget show aimed at kids teaching life lessons. Isis was part Wonder Woman and part Bionic Woman. My favorite episodes were the ones that had Captain Marvel and Isis teamed up with each other.

The show aired in 1976-77 and had a total of 22 episodes. It was also part of the Shazam!/Isis Power Hour.

Some seventies Saturday Morning commercials

70s Saturday Mornings – Shazam!

Opening Narration

Chosen from among all others by the immortal elders – Solomon, Hercules, Atlas, Zeus, Achilles, Mercury – Billy Batson and his mentor travel the highways and byways of the land on a neverending mission: to right wrongs, to develop understanding, and to seek justice for all! In time of dire need, young Billy has been granted the power by the immortals to summon awesome forces at the utterance of a single word!

The show aired from 1974 thru 1977 and was on CBS. Captain Marvel seventies style. The series had a grand total of 28 episodes.

I would watch this show right after Land of the Lost (Which I think was the best-written Saturday morning show) A live-action superhero show! I would get up early on a cold Saturday morning and lay on the floor with my blanket over the heating vent and watch Saturday Morning shows.

The show starred  Michael Gray as Billy Batson. He traveled with an older man named “Mentor” played by Les Tremayne. They traveled in their motorhome and helped people in need. when trouble came Billy would say “SHAZAM!” and turn into Captain Marvel and save the day. but not before he talked to the “Elders” Solomon, Hercules, Atlas, Zeus, Achilles, and Mercury.

It was a low-budget show aimed at kids teaching life lessons. You won’t see Captain Marvel taking on super villains but at the time it was a fun fantasy tv show. Between 1975-1977 it was part of the super Shazam/Isis Power Hour.

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Look at The Andy Griffith Show

There has been so much written about this show and the writing will never stop. It was a show about the quirky citizens in a fictional town called Mayberry. The Andy Griffith Show is not just another show. The series will be around long after we are gone and still being discovered by future generations.

Some of the love I have for the show is about escapism. The low pressure of living in Mayberry where you are allowed to live slow and friends are only a few miles away. Nowadays our lives are so full of technology and rush that it would be tempting to walk through the screen.

Mayberry was based on a small North Carolina town called Mount Airey where Andy grew up. Griffith has also said that although the show was in the sixties, Mayberry had a 1930s-1940s feel to it.

Andy Griffith and Don Knotts were a great comedy team. I wish they would have made a few movies together. Knotts wanted to do that but Griffith always backed away from it. You can put them up there with other great comedy teams. Andy was a great straight man and Don played off of him so well.

I’ve seen parents play episodes to their kids for lessons, schools play episodes for students and heard of preachers writing sermons around episodes. The humor wasn’t dirty but it wasn’t sterile either. Most if not all of the first 5 season episodes are classics.

The show offered a little of everything… One of the things I liked was the bluegrass music of The Dillards who appeared on the show as the Darlings. Denver Pyle played Briscoe Darling Jr. and played the jug with the Dillards.

Seasons 1-5 were in Black and White with Don Knotts as Barney Fife. Don’s last season was the 5th season and seasons 6-8 were in color.  I have all of the Griffith Show episodes but I will admit…I don’t really watch the color episodes as much as the black and white ones. Yes, there are some good later episodes but it’s Andy. He walks around Mayberry like he is owed money. Andy later admitted on many of the later episodes he was going through the motions.

He started to get a little tenser on screen in the 5th season but Barney was still there and kept things light. In the 6th season with Barney gone, Andy acted impatient with his fellow odd citizens where at one time he enjoyed them.

It was one of the most successful television shows ever. The Series went out on top and had a successful spinoff called Mayberry RFD.

In the early 70s Mayberry RFD and other shows such as  The Beverly Hillbillies, Green Acres, Mister Ed, Lassie, Petticoat Junction, and Hee Haw were canceled because of the rural purge the network did… everything that had a tree got canceled it seemed.

andy1.jpg

andy2.pngandy4.jpgandy3.jpg

some Leave It To Beaver moments

Last winter I binge watched some Leave It To Beaver episodes. I remember watching them as a child in the afternoons in syndication. My wife and I were watching them and I was thinking to myself it would probably not age too well. I was pleasantly surprised.

The show really had some good writers. They caught kids being kids and it holds up today minus the cell phones, video games, and modern distractions. They do catch how kids think and feel and also parents. Yea sometimes it could be a little too perfect but the writers would surprise me… Eddie Haskell. The name has lived on beyond the show. Everyone knows an Eddie Haskell.

In one episode the boys are playing basketball and June Cleaver is making sandwiches for them all. Eddie tells Mrs.Cleaver that he is allergic to mayonnaise. June doesn’t like Eddie and it’s clear in this episode…what does she do? She loads Eddie’s sandwich up with mayonnaise.

In another episode, the Cleavers get new neighbors and the wife of the neighbor kisses Beaver…Eddie tells him the husband is going to get Beaver back for kissing his wife. Later on, Beaver asks Ward a question about kissing women. This was more for the adults.

Theodore Cleaver: Dad, you’re a married man, aren’t you?
Ward Cleaver: Yeah, I think we’re safe in assuming that.
Theodore Cleaver: And Mom’s a married woman, isn’t she?
Ward Cleaver: Oh, yes.
Theodore Cleaver: Have you ever kissed any other married woman besides Mom?
Ward Cleaver: Well… now, Beaver, why would you ask a question like that?
Theodore Cleaver: I’m just wondering.
Ward Cleaver: Well, actually son, No.
Theodore Cleaver: I guess you were scared to, huh?
Ward Cleaver: Yeah, that’s as good a way as any to sum it up, I guess.
Theodore Cleaver: I guess a guy could get in a lot of trouble doing that, huh?
Ward Cleaver : [a wistful smile crosses Ward’s face]  He sure could.

The Beaver had a great friend in Larry Mondello. Larry was on the show for a few seasons and then left. Larry would sometimes leave Beaver holding the bag but for the most part, he was good to him. On the other hand, his friends Gilbert and Whitey would trick the gullible Beaver. Again we have all known Gilberts and we have all had a Larry Mondello friend.

This show gets made fun of at times but after watching some as an adult…it is a solid and well-written show and the choices they make work for today also.

My favorite episode? In The Soup… Whitey again tricks the Beaver into climbing into the Billboard soup bowl.

in the soup.jpg

 

 

 

Barney Miller

Barny Miller ran for 8 seasons from 1975-1982. The show never was high in the Nielson Ratings. Maybe part of the reason is that it was on ABC who stayed in 3rd place in the major three network race at the time. Maybe it didn’t have enough obvious humor.

One of the best-written sitcoms of any decade.  It centers around the 12th precinct police station. I started to watch this in 1979 and I have been a fan ever since. The show had a core cast that did have changes through the years but the writing was always top notch.

One very interesting part of Barney Miller is they had a bunch of very good character actors pass through the show. They had a very good excuse because usually the guests were either witnesses or they committed some sort of small crime so it was a natural parade of people passing through.

The show was not all about humor. They had stories dealing with domestic abuse, social, and racial tensions and interaction close to real life.

The set really looked like an old run down police station.

The characters were explored so deep and you got to know them…their past, their quirks and inside jokes. They were consistent with their character and the continuity stayed to the end.

The characters were
Barney Miller (Hal Linden) The man that leads with common sense and wisdom over his squad of quirky detectives and officers.

Det. Stan Wojciehowicz..”Wojo”(Max Gail) – An ex-Marine who fought in Vietnam who is sometimes naive and childlike but really looks to Barney as a mentor.Wojo is not always tolerant of people with different views than him but is a good detective but highly emotional.

Det. Ron Harris (Ron Glass) – A well-dressed man who lives beyond his means at times. He wants the finer things in life and can be a little snobbish at times but he is a good guy. As the show continued he was trying to establish a writing career and he wrote the best selling book called “Blood on the Badge” that sometimes disrupted the station but he would stay loyal to Barney even through their differences.

Sgt. Nick Yemana (Jack Soo) – A Japanese Detective that always had an answer, loved gambling and he would call his bookie often… and he made the coffee for the office…and supposedly the worse coffee ever…To me, he was one of the funniest characters on the show. Actor Jack Soo passed away while the show was in its 5th season in January of 1979. During that season the cast did a tribute show speaking as themselves and showed clips of Jack.

Sgt. Arthur Dietrich (Steve Landesberg) – One of a kind character. Dietrich was a know it all…not in the usual way. The guy knew about every statistic on any subject that came up. He was an intellectual but also could have fun with it. One of the funniest and deadpan characters I’ve ever seen on television. He never lost his cool in any situation.

Sgt Philip Fish (Abe Vigoda) – The senior member of the crew who was played by Abe Vigoda always looked older than what he actually was at the time. It was a running joke about him having hemorrhoids, needing to go to the bathroom, being old and delivering many marriage jokes. He would leave the show for a spinoff “Fish” officially in the 4th season. He would come back and make guest star appearances.

Sgt. Chano Amenguale (Gregory Sierra) – He was Puerto Rican and would be very talkative and emotional. Whenever he was really upset he would start speaking Spanish loudly. I really liked Sierra’s character but he left after the second season.

Officer Carl Levitt (Ron Carey) – Levitt was a short overachiever and kept hounding Barney for a promotion. He would not be too subtle to Barney about his hard working habits. The rest of the station would pick on him but all of them respected his hard work. He would fill in when a Detective was out. He finally got promoted at the end of the show’s run.

Deputy Inspector Frank Luger (James Gregory) – A totally old school superior who would drop by “the old one two” to talk with Barney. Luger never even tried to keep up with the times. He would tell Barney of the good old days…sometimes to Barney’s annoyance. Overall Luger was a great character who was brilliantly played by James Gregory.

Elizabeth Miller (Barbara Barrie) She was Barney’s wife who always wanted him to quit the force because she worried about his safety. She was on regularly at first but the show started to concentrate on the station rather than their home. She was involved in a story later on in the series when Elizabeth and Barney separated for a while…they eventually got back together.

LT. Ben Scanlon (George Murdock) – Scanlon worked in Internal Affairs and was the one bad guy in the show. He would try to find trouble when he visited…always wanted to find some wrongdoing to bring down the 12th Precinct because they had a perfect record.

If you haven’t tried watching this show and you want a smart sitcom…watch this. This is not just another sitcom.

This is a great article on the legacy of Barney Miller

https://www.ibtimes.com/barney-miller-forty-years-later-most-intelligent-literate-us-sitcom-ever-1556406

 

104130668-GettyImages-93400582.530x298.jpg

 

max_gail_steve_landesberg_barney_miller_a_l.jpg

hqdefault.jpg

 

Barney_Miller_2x22_001.jpg