Tuesday, February 1, 2011

The Sci-Fi Fanatic BIG 50+: Greatest TV Influences

Growing up wasn't always easy, but ladies like Linda Carter in those outfits certainly helped soften those trying, tough times. Thank you Wonder Woman! Dawn Wells! Angela Cartwright! Lindsay Wagner! Elisabeth Sladen! Erin Gray! Janet Waldo! Julie Newmar! Yvonne Craig! And Heather Thomas! And Heather Thomas!... Yes, To All The Girls I've Loved Before.
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This entry took some time [actually much longer than I anticipated], because I got to thinking how my life has been linked through television and film. Of course, those of us generally in love with pop culture generally are connected in this way. Gosh, what I would have missed had I been one of those avid book readers boycotting television. Bless them of course.
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I have those out of body moments when I contemplate the big picture and ponder my life as short and minuscule when considering the grand scheme of things. In the great timeline of life we all try to attempt significance. My efforts here at Musings Of A Sci-Fi Fanatic are in some small way intended to fight that insignificance. I mean, don't we all shoot for relevance on some level to some degree especially as we swim against the tide of that ever ticking clock. We're all here for such a short time. So speaking of short segments of time, my life is marked through a small period of tremendous television. I think we all feel we were born at the right time. Folks, this is my life through television. This is how my life has been influenced by pop culture and speaks to who I am today by marking and charting the evolution of this Sci-Fi Fanatic chronologically. Have fun.
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1. Davey And Goliath [1960; 72 Episodes; Art Clokey; United Lutheran Church In America; viewed in syndication] Bottom line: I loved Davey and Goliath, the talking dog. All of the Christian principles covered in each amazing fifteen minute episode by the man behind Gumby spoke volumes to me. These guys made you feel good on a Sunday morning before being forced out the door to church. I tried telling mom I didn't need church - I had Davey & Goliath!
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2. Mutual Of Omaha's Wild Kingdom [1963-1988; syndication] Bottom line: Marlin Perkins and wild animals. Who wasn't mesmerized by this original Animal Planet?
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3. Gilligan's Island [1964-1967; Three Seasons; 98 Episodes; Sherwood Schwartz; syndication] Bottom line: The uber-sexy Dawn Wells and Tina Louise as Mary Ann and Ginger, respectively, kept my attention right along with all of the on-island antics of Gilligan and the Skipper too. It was impossible to choose one girl over the other, but my friends and I often debated which one was hotter. It was an endless debate with no clear resolution. I was always a Mary Ann guy. She was probably the biggest reason why I watched.
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4. Johnny Quest [1964-1965; 26 Episodes; Hanna-Barbera, syndication] Bottom line: Terrific hand drawn 2D animation, music by Hoyt Curtin, the mischievous dog Bandit, just saying the word Hadji, and the monster of the week lured me back to wherever I could find it.
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5. Thunderbirds [1965-1966; 2 Series; 32 Episodes; Gerry & Sylvia Anderson, syndication] Bottom line: Who could resist the rescue craft housed on luxurious Tracy Island? T1, T2, T3 and T4, and other assorted pod vehicles, were gems of the imagination.
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6. Lost In Space [1965-1968; Three Seasons; 83 Episodes; Irwin Allen, syndication] Bottom line: Creepy black and white to colorfully quirky, this family science fiction drama remains a classic. The cast was pitch perfect top to bottom. Cool men of action, a young boy hero, hot chicks in Penny and Judy, a Robot and the cowardly conniving of Dr. Smith. Oh, and inevitably a man dressed as the monster of the week.
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7. Mighty Mouse [1966-1967; Paul Terry for Terrytoons, syndication] featuring The Mighty Heroes [1966-1967; 21 Episodes; Ralph Bakshi for Terrytoons, syndication] Bottom line: I liked Mighty Mouse fine and Terry's work was unique in its own right, but I tuned just as much to see The Mighty Heroes segment by Bakshi.
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Who didn't love Strong Man, Rope Man, Tornado Man, Cuckoo Man and Diaper Man? Seriously, now that was one goofy-ass superhero team.
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8. Star Trek: The Original Series [1966-1969; Three Seasons; 79 Episodes; Gene Roddenberry, syndication] Bottom line: There's so much about this series that continues to feed my love for it. The characters [Kirk, Spock, Bones and Scotty], the Enterprise herself combined with timeless, thrilling stories and vibrant, beautiful visuals continues to capture my undying appreciation.
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9. Space Ghost [1966-1968; Two Seasons; 20 Episodes; Hanna-Barbera, syndication] Bottom line: The baritone voice of Gary Owens on Space Ghost and a wonderful voice cast, the monkey, the monsters, the ultra-cool tech, the stunning 2D animation by Alex Toth and far out adventures made it a thrill ride worth seeking.
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10. Batman [1966-1968; Three Seasons; 120 Episodes, syndication] Bottom line: Superhero action in full, vivid color with awesome villains, wicked cool camera work in pure comic book style genius. One of the few shows that really got the superhero as comic book formula perfect. Julie Newmar and Yvonne Craig as Cat Woman and Bat Girl, respectively, in spandex or some variation thereof. Gulp!
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11. Young Samson And Goliath [1967; 20 Episodes; Hanna-Barbera; syndication] Bottom line: The 2D hand drawn animation was solid, but more importantly, the dog turned into a powerful lion. How cool was that?
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12. The Herculoids [1967-1968; 18 Episodes; Hanna-Barbera, syndication] Bottom line: Developed around a superhero team format one simply couldn't resist picking their favorite alien savior. Gloop, Gleep, Tundro, Igoo and Zok led by Zandor, Tarra and Dorno. The creatures were beautifully designed by Alex Toth and featured terrific superpowers. It was sci-fi fantasy heaven complete with beautiful 2D hand drawn, terrific animation.
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13. Spider-Man [1967-1970; 52 Episodes; Various including Ralph Bakshi; syndication] Bottom line: I loved the theme song. Could you get enough of that theme song? Damn! The animation- well, I was young.
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14. Family Affair [1966-1971; Five Seasons; 138 Episodes; syndication] Bottom line: I grew up on Buffy [long before the other Buffy] and Jody and Mrs. Beasley. We loved Mr. French and Brian Keith as their Dad. When the actress who played Buffy died at a young age from a drug overdose I remember it was one of the first times I was sad to see someone I watched on television die. It was basically a shock to hear about her and Elvis Presley. One of those moments when you lose a little bit of your innocence.
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15. The Banana Splits [1968-1969; Two Seasons; 31 Episodes; Hanna-Barbera; syndication] Bottom line: A terrific theme track and great costumes made for a terrific kids show for the ages. It was populated by a myriad assortment of cartoon mini-series.
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I particularly loved Danger Island [1968; 3 hour adventure - 36 chapters; Hanna-Barbera] and to this day have no idea what happened to those folks. The live-action Danger Island segment starred Jan Michael Vincent and even featured direction by none other than Richard Donner.
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The all-animated Arabian Nights [1968-1969; 18 Episodes; Hanna-Barbera] was special and I was a huge fan of the donkey, Zazuum.
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The New Adventures Of Huckleberry Finn [1968-1969; 20 Episodes; Hanna-Barbera], a mixture of live action and animation, was another favorite. Remember Injun Joe? Joe was voiced by Ted Cassidy (Space Ghost, Star Trek: The Original Series - What Are Little Girls Made Of?, Six Million Dollar Man - Return Of Bigfoot, Lost In Space - The Thief From Outer Space, The Addams Family and he even provided the opening voice narration of The Incredible Hulk). The young cast placed in danger week after week was also wonderfully entertaining. Would you just love to have all of this stuff on DVD?
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Oh, and don't forget Glum and The Adventures Of Gulliver [1968; 17 Episodes].
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16. The Adventures Of Aquaman [1968-1970; 36 Episodes; Filmation; syndication] Bottom line: Aquaman was ultracool and grossly underrated as DC characters went. Any hero that could summon whales and other aquatic creatures was worth my time especially when animated rings projected from his forehead. I liked that! Yes, definitely the coolest of the Super Friends.
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17. The Mod Squad [1968-1973; Five Seasons; 123 Episodes; Aaron Spelling] Bottom line: A terrific cast. Clarence Williams III's afro and shades were a huge sell for me and the hot Peggy Lipton looked like she just got back from Woodstock. She was a babe.
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18. Hawaii Five-O [1968-1980; Twelve Seasons; 279 Episodes] Bottom line: A killer theme grabbed my attention. I remember the ocean waves and enjoyed the on-location shooting. It may be why I liked Lost so much in the end.
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19. H.R. Pufnstuff [1969-1971; 17 Episodes; Sid & Marty Krofft] Bottom line: For a short-lived series it was particularly memorable. Filled with great characters, costumes, props and color including the positively ridiculous Freddie The Golden Flute. Loved that theme song. Proof that there's nothing better than a terrific theme song. Theme songs are a lost art today wouldn't you agree?
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20. The Courtship Of Eddie's Father [1969-1972; Three Seasons; 73 Episodes] Bottom line: "People let me tell ya 'bout my best friend." The show was the reason I fell in love with Actor Bill Bixby. It was one of two reasons [the other being The Incredible Hulk] I was deeply saddened by his passing in 1993. Bixby was the father you always wanted. I loved my father dearly, but Bixby had all the answers and he was very tender in his love for his son. He was a classic and a tough act to follow. I truly wish it was available on DVD.
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21. The Brady Bunch [1969-1974; Five Seasons; 117 Episodes; Sherwood Schwartz] Bottom line: The best family sitcom of the day. Hysterical and sweet. Infinitely rewatchable. Infinitely quotable. My kids love it! It never gets old. The second major contribution to my world view from Sherwood Schwartz. As of this writing it plays in my living room. I'll be cooking and I get sucked into that Grand Canyon or Hawaii episode every time.
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22. Wait 'Till Your Father Gets Home [1972-1974; Three Seasons; 48 Episodes; Hanna-Barbera] Bottom line: An animated sitcom with a catchy theme song. Tom Bosley was the voice of the father. It was kind of groovy. It wasn't the most memorable, but it was an animated evening sitcom. How cool was that?
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23. Sigmund And The Sea Monsters [1973-1975; 29 Episodes; Sid & Marty Krofft] Bottom line: Sigmund was the goofy best. We loved the clubhouse by the ocean. Oh, and by the way, Johnny and Scott are friends.
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24. Super Friends [1973-1986; Ten Seasons; 109 Episodes; Hanna-Barbera] Bottom line: It was all good. I even landed myself a Super Friends pillow case. "Wonder twin powers activate! Shape of a..." Come on, it ruled! Who wanted to be Jayna as a kid though? Unfortunately, I wasn't big on having to change into something water-based all the time though, unless it was the ice monster - then we could talk. But Zan was always water in Jayna's bucket often carried inside her eagle mouth! Good grief already.
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25. Planet Of The Apes [1974; 14 episodes; Stan Hough] Bottom line: An ephemeral series that I loved as much as the films. Lalo Schifrin serves up some great music to go along with the terrific tales. Roy Harper stars with Roddy McDowall. Does anyone tire of the late character actor Roddy McDowall? I think not and the man was prolific. I miss the guy. I even had the Planet Of The Apes dolls...err rather, action figures. They were often climbing the tall oak in my back yard! Harper would figure prominently in a role for Land Of The Lost Season Three.
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26. Land Of The Lost [1974-1976; Three Seasons; 42 Episodes; Sid & Marty Krofft] Bottom line: Saturday mornings couldn't have been more fulfilling. The theme song played endlessly in my head and still does. The series succeeded despite weak, but considerably good for their time, effects thanks to great writers, a great mythology, a terrific cast, creepy concepts, Big Alice, Grumpy and those nasty, frightening Sleestaks. The expedition was anything but "routine" as we were transported into another pocket dimension. Who didn't love Dopey, the baby Brontosaurus, and admire its ability to eat a strawberry in one massive bite?
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27. Six Million Dollar Man [1974-1978; Five Seasons; 100 Episodes + 6 TV films; Harve Bennett/ Kenneth Johnson] Bottom line: Like any kid I had a voracious appetite for Colonel Steve Austin and all things bionic. Who didn't want to be Lee Majors? Who didn't spend hours in the backyard moving from the sand box to the house stairs in slow motion? Throwing rocks, jumping, moving objects and generally knocking around in the yard. Yankin' about the backyard was never more fun.
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28. Little House On The Prairie [1974-1983; Ten Seasons; 184 Episodes; Michael Landon] Bottom line: I loved Melissa Gilbert! I loved her. Bruce Boxleitner is a lucky man. Nellie and Willie Oleson were the characters you loved to hate. It was so ironic that their father Nels Oleson was such a great guy. I loved Nels! Tough name to live with that poor fellow. Michael Landon ruled to! Great characters, great stories and who didn't love seeing Caroline Ingalls fall down in that field of grass at the start of every episode. Those were the days indeed.
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29. Happy Days [1974-1984; Eleven Seasons; 247 Episodes; Garry Marshall] Bottom line: Heyyyy! I loved the Happy Days gang including Pat Morita. I'd be lying if I didn't say I loved Laverne & Shirley too and Lennie and Squiggy. They should have their own entry, but it was an oversight.
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30. The Lost Saucer [1975-1976; 16 Episodes; Sid & Marty Krofft] Bottom line: A completely stupid show with Jim Nabors [Gomer Pyle- USMC] and Ruth Buzzi, but it was a great way to get lost!
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31. Far Out Space Nuts [1975-1976; 16 Episodes; Sid & Marty Krofft] Bottom line: Bob Denver and Chuck McCann bring on the wacky. The monsters were always good fun in this goofy, far out time.

32. Space:1999 [1975-1978; Two Seasons; 48 Episodes; Gerry & Sylvia Anderson] Bottom line: UFO, the precursor to Space:1999 missed my early development [only discovering it later in life], but the resulting Space:1999 remains one of the most influential science fiction series of my life. Like Star Trek, there is plenty on offer here including a wonderful cast, wonderful characters, amazing visuals and that beautiful creature called The Eagle. Season Two gave us Maya. YES! There is a God indeed!
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33. S.W.A.T. [1975-1976; Two Seasons; 37 Episodes; Aaron Spelling/ Leonard Goldberg] Bottom line: My brother and my cousins and I grabbed black plastic guns and ran around the yard because we watched this show. We even played the theme song whenever possible. We were S.W.A.T.!
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34. Starsky & Hutch [1975-1979; Four Seasons; 93 Episodes; Aaron Spelling/ Leonard Goldberg] Bottom line: My cousin and I played Starsky & Hutch. I was always Starsky. He was always Hutch. I loved being Starsky. We loved the Gran Torino. That was a bad machine! My grandmother had an orange duster with a white stripe and for some odd reason we always thought she was driving the car from our favorite show. She was the epitome of grandmother cool. She was and still is cool at 92. Bless.
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35. Bionic Woman [1976-1978; Three Seasons; 58 Episodes; Kenneth Johnson] Bottom line: Who didn't love Jamie 'babe-o-matic' Sommers? She was bionic. Who didn't want to be with Lindsay Wagner? We were all about the Bionic Woman. Along with Linda Carter as Wonder Woman, they pre-dated the ass-kicking action of Sigourney Weaver in Alien. I think my male hormones kicked in early.
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36. Charlie's Angels [1976-1981; Five Seasons; 110 Episodes; Aaron Spelling/ Leonard Goldberg] Bottom-line: Um, Kate Jackson, Jaclyn Smith and Farrah Fawcett-Majors. Need I say more? One of them was a Majors. Hot babes with guns. The mid-70s was like babe heaven and theses shows that had this little boy's attention.
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37. Doctor Who [Tom Baker] [1974-1981; 172 Episodes] Bottom line: Creepy, weird science fiction stories with a terrific lead in Tom Baker. The companion years featuring Sarah Jane and then Leela were the best. It resulted in mad dashes to the television screen for after school frights. I survived many a schoolyard bully to get there too. I did it all for tinfoil, bubble wrap and a whole host of bad, bad effects, but good writing.
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38. Wonder Woman [1975-1979; Three Seasons; 59 episodes; Various] Bottom line: There wasn't a woman hotter than Linda Carter twirling into action except for Lindsay Wagner. I was all over that. Those tight outfits somehow spoke to me in a way the more naturally-fitted Bionic Woman never could. Hmmm, not sure why?
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39. Man From Atlantis [1977-1978; One Season; 13 episodes + 4 films; Herb Solow] Bottom line: Patrick Duffy had webbed hands and feet. It was the closest thing to live action Aquaman or Sub-Mariner I could get.
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40. Logan's Run [1977-1978; One Season; 14 episodes; Rene Leyva] Bottom line: Who didn't connect to a chase series where people were looking to execute you in the prime of your life? It had a funny-looking hovercraft.
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41. The Amazing Spider-Man [1977-1979; 14 Episodes] Bottom line: Folks, it was live action Spider-Man! Good God, jump back and kiss myself! Nicholas Hammond was cool too. I enjoyed Hammond in the role. It was hard to outdo live action Spider-Man in the 1970s.
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42. Bigfoot And Wildboy [1977-1979; 20 Episodes; Sid & Marty Krofft] Bottom line: Essentially inspired by the appearance of Bigfoot in The Six Million Dollar Man we were delivered more Bigfoot. Heck, who doesn't love Bigfoot? Throw in a little Wildboy and you've got the cleverly titled Bigfoot And Wildboy. Genius. Nuff said!
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43. The Incredible Hulk [1977-1982; Five Seasons; 82 Episodes + 3 TV films; Kenneth Johnson] Bottom line: This series, in a rare feat, somehow transcended the comic book hero I knew. Kenneth Johnson, the man behind The Six Million Dollar Man and The Bionic Woman, managed to strike gold a third time. It was an amazing show with terrific acting and great emotional and psychological complexity. Somehow my tiny little mind appreciated all of these aspects. I guess I was in touch with my emotional reserves early in life. I spent nights trying to record the theme song onto the audio tape of my boom box. It was an obsession. Sure I loved the ripping clothes, the transformation and those mutant-like Bill Bixby eyes, but the character drama was overwhelming in its power. It had it all. Kenneth Johnson at his peak.
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44. CHiPs [1977-1983; Six Seasons; 139 Episodes; Rick Rosner] Bottom line: Ponch and Jon and motorcycles. Did you know Michael Dorn [a.k.a. Worf] was a CHiPs officer? Again, Ponch and Jon and cool glasses.
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45. Love Boat [1977-1986; Nine Seasons; 249 Episodes + 4 TV specials; Aaron Spelling & Various] Bottom line: Crazy stories, stargazing and a catchy theme drew me to the television like a mouse to the Pied Piper or cheese. This was cheese at its finest.
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46. Fantasy Island [1978-1984; Seven Seasons; 158 Epsiodes; Aaron Spelling & Eugene Levitt] Bottom line: "Da plane, Da plane!" I loved that. More strargazing of sexy visitors. It was essentially Love Boat with an edge to it. There was something a little off about Fantasy Island and Ricardo Montalban was the perfect personality as Mr. Roarke to orchestrate the sometimes uneasy, spooky, supernatural proceedings. I was a little freaked out, but I liked it!
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47. Battlestar Galactica [1978-1979; One Season; 24 Episodes; Glen A. Larson] Bottom line: Swashbuckling heroes with laser pistols and cool Vipers to fly. Metallic, shining cylons and the Imperious Leader. Hot babes. A daggit. June Lockhart's daughter. Hell, what more could you ask for? The series sealed my love for space science fiction following Star Trek, Space:1999 and Star Wars. I was a goner.
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48. Buck Rogers In The 25th Century [1979-1981; Two Seasons; 37 Episodes; Glen A. Larson] Bottom line: Science fiction complete with a major hot babe named Wilma Deering played by the spandex-clad Erin Gray. She was the stuff of dreams. A metal robot named Twiki that sounded like Bugs Bunny [because it was the voice of Bugs Bunny] and action hero Buck played with macho fun by Gil Gerard. Sign me up! Larson was on a roll and Buck Rogers was like icing on the cake or the cherry on top at the end of the 1970s.
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49. Starblazers [1979-1984; Three Seasons; 77 Episodes] Bottom line: The Quest for Iscandar offered classic science fiction anime style. Great characters, an epic theme song ["Our Starblazers!"], the Argo and the Wave Motion Gun [they could have fired that thing all episode long] had us clamoring for more. Known as Space Battleship Yamato in Japan, the American edit, Starblazers, remained mostly in tact save for the reduction of WWII references. This was one of two big reasons why Japanese anime has remained apart of this Fanatic's life.
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50. Battle Of The Planets [1978-1985; 85 Episodes; Sandy Frank] Bottom line: A killer theme song from Hoyt Curtain, Mad dashes home to "transmute" and the fiery Phoenix were backed by super cool mech driven by Mark, Jason, Tiny, Keyop and Princess. The series was edited from the 105 episode Japan series Gatchaman. Endless debate on whether or not Zoltar, a cackling male villain with lipstick, was a man or a woman persisted between friends. Casey Kasem was brilliant in the English dub along with the other selected voice actors.
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51. Thundarr The Barbarian [1980-1982; 21 Episodes; Joe Ruby/ Ken Spears] Bottom line: Ookla The Mok and the Sunsword a.k.a. Thundarr's lightsaber. Great Saturday morning animated, apocalyptic fun.
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52. The Greatest American Hero [1981-1983; Three Seasons; 44 Episodes; Stephen J. Cannell] Bottom line: A regular guy becomes a superhero. That suit and the terrific chemistry between William Katt, Robert Culp and Connie Sellecca made it a winner.
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53. Tales Of The Gold Monkey [1982-1983; One Season; 21 Episodes] Bottom line: Raiders Of The Lost Ark-type adventure meets television, but different. There was the plane and that ultra-cool Jack-Russell Terrier.
54. The Fall Guy [1981-1986; 5 Seasons; 113 Episodes; Glen A. Larson] Bottom line: Fans of the Six Million Dollar Man were just thrilled to see Lee Majors back in business. Those fans were now older. Lee Majors and hard body Heather Thomas! And Heather Thomas. And Heather Thomas. Gulp! The Fall Guy quickly became about The Fall Girl. What the hell was happening to me?
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55. Knight Rider [1982-1986; Four Seasons; 90 Episodes; Glen A. Larson] Bottom line: My father loved it because he loved cars and so did I. He always drove a Camaro with a spoiler and Michael Knight's car was the closest thing to a sci-fi ride in a reality-based drama. We were suckers for a sweet ride. The cool car complete with a red cyclon scanner and that terrific voice made it a ball. There was cool theme music too from Stu Phillips [as always].
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56. The A-Team [1983-1987; Five Seasons; 97 Episodes; Stephen J. Cannell] Bottom line: Things go boom- get blown up real good. Seriously, I loved the cast in each of their roles. It was great to see Battlestar Galactica's Dirk Benedict again. He brought me to the party, but everyone else rocked it too. But when people walked away from all of the violence unscathed, including helicopters that plunged into the sides of mountains I pretty much walked away from television. I suppose the allusion was over for me. I could no longer see Totoro.
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I've unfortunately omitted two. Grizzly Adams [1974-1982, Two Seasons, 38 Episodes]. Bottom line: Who didn't love old lovable Dan Haggerty, Big Ben and life in the wilderness?
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Three's Company [1977-1984; Eight Seasons; 172 Episodes] Bottom line: "Come on knock on my door." I loved the theme and this little boy was getting sexual double entendres all day long. But dang I loved that Janet Wood and Chrissy Snow. Speaking of wood, this show was a little boy's dream come true after school. Harmless, great fun. Jack Tripper had severe blue balls living with those girls. Oh the pain.
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At this point, I guess I just moved on to other things, like girls. It's also key to note just how influential syndication became in on our lives thanks to the likes of Star Trek. Everything since these formative years has been experienced through DVD, but the aforementioned shows above were witnessed via the original Cathode ray tube. I'm sure I've missed some. Feel free to fill in some gaps in my memory banks.
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Of course all of this has contributed to the development of a perfectly healthy, happy, normal, regular sci-fi guy. Well, that's how I like to see things anyway.
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One thing is certain looking back, we've come a long way baby. As much as we look to the future many of my fondest, sweetest moments are tied to the colorful past. There's something strengthening internally about it. We never let it go, because it's simply a big part of who we are.

13 comments:

The Angry Lurker said...

Good grief.......memories have come flooding back....Wait 'till your father gets home, The Greatest American Superhero.....some I had never heard of and of course Heather Thomas and Linda Carter and Heather Thomas.

Jedediah said...

That list was fun. I have only seen a few of those, some where not shown on German TV as far as I know and some I only watched as an adult (I'm coming to the end of the Tom Baker Doctor Who years right now).

John Kenneth Muir said...

SFF: Wow! An incredible and thorough list of influences. I think we were separated at birth, indeed, for this tally brings back a flood of great memories, and I remember with fondness and love every selection. Star Blazers, Land of the Lost, Tales of the Gold Monkey, GAH, even Bigfoot and Wildboy. And of course, the prominence of Star Trek, Space:1999, Battlestar Galactica and Buck Rogers.

Fantastic trip down memory lane, my friend. Thank you for a lovely essay, and for the gorgeous pictorial to go with it.

best wishes,
John Kenneth Muir

J.D. said...

I have to echo JKM's amazement. Very impressive list! I certainly am right there with ya re: SPIDER-MAN '67, THUNDARR and STAR BLAZERS - all cartoons that imprinted on me at a very young age. I'm so glad that all three are finally available on DVD and despite some of their limitations either technologically or otherwise, they are all still near and dear to my heart.

Fritz "Doc" Freakenstein said...

That’s quite an amazing list of pop icons, Sci-Fi Fanatic! Although it makes me feel like an old geezer, because I’m old enough to have watched all of those shows when they first aired.

Davey And Goliath – I grew up in a non-religious family, so it took me years to figure out that this program espoused Christian doctrine. Hey! I was only 6 and who didn’t want talking dog?

Gilligan's Island – This and the Three Stooges were the apex of comedy to me at the age of 7!

Johnny Quest – Most people don’t relies this aired in prime-time originaly, so I have fond memories of watching this with my Dad. My Dad was also a big fan of The Jetsons, which you left off your list. H-B released Johnny Quest on DVD in 2004 and it is a must have for animation fans of any age!

Thunderbirds – The best sci-fi show for kids – ever! This was Gerry Anderon’s masterpiece of Supermarionation! However, I do have fond memories of watching Supercar (‘60-‘61), Fireball XL5 (’62) and Stingray (’64). One of the highlights of my childhood was seeing the feature film Thunderbirds are Go! (1966) at the local theater with my friends.

Lost In Space – I l-o-v-e-d this show during its original run. Although even as an 8 year old, I noticed the change in tone from season one to season two. Even then I preferred the less comedic approach.

Star Trek: The Original Series – It goes to show you how good this show was as it is the only program on your list that is still currently in syndication.

Space Ghost – My favorite Saturday morning cartoon of all time! This had the best of everything Sci-Fi! H-B released this on DVD in 2007 and it still holds up to adult eyes, even if the storylines are a bit juvenile.

Batman – I loved this show as well. I watched many of these with my Dad, but I could not understand why he was also laughing at it. That is until I watched it several years later as a teenager.

The Herculoids – Another classic H-B sci-fi Saturday morning cartoon and a favorite as a child. This still hasn’t been released on DVD, which is a shame.

Spider-Man – Yes, the animation was very crude, but the artwork was close to the look of the Marvel comic at the time and the stories were great! This show started my lifelong love affair with comic books!

The Banana Splits – I still remember the first time I watched this show. I went over to my friend’s house to watch it on their new color TV and I laughed so hard at the opening music, that my friend’s mother rushed into the TV room to see if I was alright. Danger Island was my first exposure to the “cliffhanger” and I loved the anticipation of seeing what would happen on next week’s episode.

Happy Days – For the first three or four years of its run, this was must-see-TV for the entire family! What teenager didn’t want to be as cool as “The Fonz”?

Space:1999 – I was getting savvy enough in my science fiction education to relies the absurdity of the basic premise, but I still enjoyed the effects and the fine cast.

Doctor Who – This was first syndicated on PBS in the late ‘70’s. Even though I was busy with college, work and a new girlfriend, I made time to watch this every night!

Man From Atlantis – Not the best as SF, but as a character study it was top notch.

Logan's Run – In many ways this was better SF than the film it was based on.

Thundarr The Barbarian – This was an amazing cartoon for Saturday morning TV. It was created by comic book writer Steve (Howard the Duck) Gerber and had production designs by Jack Kirby and character designs by Alex Toth! I’m going to go order the DVD right now!

Fritz "Doc" Freakenstein said...

Okay,I'm back!

The Amazing Spider-Man – I was still reading the comics at the time and enjoyed this despite the limited effects budjet.

The Incredible Hulk – The best super hero drama ever done on TV. I remember watching the first season with my little sister and we’d have “the green drink” (Mountain Dew) while waiting for Bill to “Hulk-out.”
Battlestar Galactica – I liked this at the time, despite its many flaws, but it was honestly never one of my favorites.

Buck Rogers In The 25th Century – Great corny campy fun, but I had hoped that it could have been done more in the tradition of the 1939 serial.

Tales Of The Gold Monkey – I just finished watching this of DVD and it is just as fun as I remembered it!

The A-Team – One of the all-tine “guilty pleasures”! You knew you were wasting your time with this trash, but you were having so much fun you couldn’t help yourself.

The shows that I left off that I didn’t watch were: Hawaii Five-O, H.R. Pufnstuff, Sigmund And The Sea Monsters, Land Of The Lost, Little House On The Prairie, The Lost Saucer, Far Out Space Nuts, S.W.A.T., Starsky & Hutch, Charlie's Angels, Bigfoot And Wildboy, CHiPs, Love Boat, Fantasy Island, Starblazers, Battle Of The Planets, The Greatest American Hero, Knight Rider, and Three's Company. I didn’t watch any of the Sid and Marty Kroft shows because I was too old by the time they aired. I had my own TV in my bedroom by the mids-70’s, so instead of watching a lot of these popular cop shows and comedies, I was watching old horror, sci-fi and classic movies in my room.

Of the shows that I did watch that you list that I didn’t, it is mainly due to the fact that I don’t have any real fond memories of watching them. I love your list S-F-F and I’m sure it could have been even longer. Just the cartoons on my list I would add Top Cat, The Jetsons, The Flintstones, Milton the Monster, Frankenstein Jr. And the Impossibles, The Bugs Bunny Show, The Fantastic Four (’67), George of the Jungle, The Wacky Races, The Go-Go Gophers, Hot Wheels, Dastardly and Muttley in Their Flying Machines… well… you get the idea. Keep those wicked cool lists coming!

le0pard13 said...

A great post to go down memory lane with, SFF! So many of these were part of my child- and teenhood. It really is a Way Back Machine (WABAC from Rocky & Bullwinkle) in many ways. How about the Japanese imports (anime/manga) of the 60s era? Did ASTRO BOY, GIGANTOR, KIMBA, SPEED RACER or 8TH MAN have an effect on you like it did for me? Many thanks for this fantastic post, my friend.

The Sci-Fi Fanatic said...

Thanks Angry Lurker. I know what you mean. The more I thought about the shows I watched as a kid and the more I jotted them down, the more I was stunned I actually remembered some of them. And Heather Thomas. Aye carumba.

Thank you Jedediah. Gosh, love those Tom Baker years. I'd like to sit through them again and just watch them strictly on a story level- just for fun. Thanks again.

JKM- Thanks my friend. I hope all is going better. Glad everyone seemed to enjoy this. It was a project and a half, but nice to put all this programming in perspective for myself. Thank you as always. Wishing everyone well on your end.

JD.. Thank you my friend. I echo your sentiments. Starblazers is a great example where the animation hasn't exactly aged well, but it has its moments and it certainly remains a special story. All dear to the heart as you said. Cheers.

Doc. Thank you my friend. You are not an old geezer. That remains a number. Let's remember that.

I enjoyed your commentary. Exactly right about Davey, but I loved the messages and, of course, as you pointed out, Goliath! He rocked.

Great point about the Jetsons, but I must admit, never cared much for it so more by design I suppose. I never knew that about Quest.

Thanks for your additional Gerry Anderson memories. I can't comment intelligibly on it, but it's hard to imagine anything better than Thunderbirds when it comes to Anderson's Supermarionation work.

Star Trek had a huge influence on syndication. There's a great article about Star Trek's syndication and its impact in a book called Boarding The Enterprise.

I loved Banana Splits. It was a complete mind trip. Loved Danger Island. Hard to believe that was Richard Donner eh?

Thundarr. Wow. Great point about Jack Kirby and the fact of the matter is you can really see Kirby's influence on soeme of that animation. It's crystal clear! Thank you.

You're point about the Hulk cannot be overstate. I agree with your observation wholeheartedly.

Your comments on Tales Of The Gold Monkey really have me looking forward to opening my DVD box set. Can't wait.

Great observation about the A-Team. The cast made it a hoot of fun!

I loved your cartoon list. I liked many of them. The Flinstones was a good show, but I never loved it. I LOVED TOP CAT. I wish I put that on my list.

I also liked that early The Fantastic Four 67 cartoon. That was definitely something that should have made the list as well. I always tried to fix the rabbit ears for that one so I could see it.

All the best Doc. Thanks for your own personal reflections!

The Sci-Fi Fanatic said...

L13. I know right? A complete memory lane trip.

I liked Rocky & Bullwinkle. Good stuff. I never saw Kimba or some of those earlier anime imports. I'm glad you mentioned them though.

I did, however, purchase an anime DVD that was released years later called Jungle Emperor Leo [a Kimba film] by the studio behind the late Tezuka, the man behind Kimba and it is a beautifully animated film. My kids loved it.

Never did catch Speed Racer.

Thanks so much my friend.
Best to you all, SFF

Ivan said...

What a list! Great job, with lots of crossover into my TV memories.

Now, I won't go on about Dragnet or Adam-12 (done enough of that already at my own blog), but I'm surprised not to see any love for Kolchak: The Night Stalker or David Carradine's Kung Fu (and the fall of 1974, ABC's Friday night line-up was $6m Man, Kung Fu, then Kolchak. That network knew what I liked!).

Ray said...

Blimey, reading that list was a trip down memory lane, I was transferred back to the 70's, me and my brother Lee, getting up early on a Saturday morning to watch the TV. We used to love the Arabian Knights cartoon, which was on the Banana Splits show.
"Memories, Light the corners of my mind, Misty water-colored memories........."

Will said...

Very cool post dude! I'm realizing you are a lot older then me. My list would be so lame compared to yours!

Did you ever see SWAT the movie? I wonder if it was any good or had ANY relation to the show.

Also, did you see CHiPs 2000, an original movie that came out in 2000 reuniting the original cast and adding new people. I don't know if it was a pilot or not but it was kinda fun (but bad in that CHiPs way).

The Sci-Fi Fanatic said...

Dagnabbit Ivan. Hello my friend. Glad you stopped. I'm so thoroughly annoyed with myself because I completely forgot Adam-12. ARRRRGGGGGHHHHH!!!! I loved Adam-12 and Emergency! Those two went hand and hand for awhile with me.

I'm so completely annoyed that I did not show the "love" as you put it to those two classics. Ugh!

Never followed Kung Fu or, believe it or not, Kolchak.

But again, thanks for mentioning Adam-12, which also sparked my memory for Emergency! Two classics that deserved a placement on this list for me. I have to go and inflict pain on myself now. [I thought you'd like that!]. Thanks again Ivan.
Best, SFF

Ray, Cheers for swinging by. I loved Arabian Nights too. I always looked for that on Banana Splits. It was one of my four favorites!

Will. Always good to hear from you my friend, but did you have to rub that age thing in!? Ouch. : )

I did see SWAT the movie and honestly can't remember a single thing about it. Never saw Chips 2000 but I would have loved seeing it. : )

And the Bill Bixby image is my homage to Secure Immaturity moving on to other things. Good luck my friend. All the best, SFF