Thu 13 Feb 2014
by Michael Shonk
When it comes to watching lost or forgotten television series not available on official DVD YouTube has become an alternative to dealing with the collectors market. Below are just a few series without DVD that as of February 2014 can be seen on YouTube.
MARKHAM – CBS -“Vendetta in Venice” (6/27/59)
Written by Jonathan Latimer. Directed by Robert Florey. Produced by Warren Duff and Joseph Sistrom. Cast: Ray Milland. Guest Cast: Paula Raymond and Robert Lowery. Markham Production. Revue Studio-MCA-TV.
When a woman confronts her blackmailer she is surprised to find him dead. She turns to world famous detective Roy Markham (Ray Milland) to prove she didn’t kill him. Production values are laughable but the cast and Jonathan Latimer’s script makes this episode worth watching.
PHILIP MARLOWE – ABC – “Ugly Duckling” (10/6/59)
Written and Produced by Gene Wang. Directed by Robert Ellis Miller. Cast: Philip Carey and William Schallert. Guest Cast: Virginia Gregg, Barbara Bain and Rhys Williams. Mark Goodman and Bill Todman Production in association with California National Production.
Bain makes a great femme fatale who is involved with a rich man’s son-in-law. The wife refuses to divorce her cheating husband so the rich father hires Marlowe to deliver a payoff to the bad girl. Check out Marlowe’s home, a place Peter Gunn would have approved, but I doubt Chandler would have.
EDITORIAL NOTE: Well, it didn’t take long. Here it is the same day that Michael’s post appeared, and the video that was linked to has already been removed. Wish us luck that the rest of the episodes will stay online longer than this!
THE NEW BREED –ABC – “Compulsion to Confess” (10/31/61)
Written by David Z. Goodman. Directed and Produced by Walter E. Grauman. Guest Cast: Telly Savalas and Sidney Pollack.
Followed by “The Deadlier Sex” (3/20/62)
Teleplay by Don Brinkley, from novel by Genevieve Manceron. Directed and Produced by Joseph Pevney Guest Cast: Paula Raymond and James Doohan.
Cast: Leslie Nielsen, John Beradino, John Clarke and Greg Roman. Narrator: Art Gilmore.
Created by Hank Searls. Executive produced by Quinn Martin. Quinn Martin Production in association with Selmur Production Inc.
These two episodes are different but both good examples of the QM production style that would prove popular during the 60s and 70s. Stars Leslie Nielsen as Lt. Price Adams, the head of a four-man special police unit called the Metropolitan Squad. The first story deals with how psychiatry can be used as a tool for the police to solve crimes such as the murder of a man working on a government project. The second is a story of a robbery gone wrong. The noir tale highlights include an evil femme fatale and thieves betraying each other with fatal consequences. The second episode begins around the 49:40 mark.
CORONET BLUE – CBS – “Saturday” (7/31/67)
Written by Alvin Sargent. Directed by David Greene. Produced by Edgar Lansbury. Executive Produced by Herbert Brodkin. Created by Larry Cohen. CAST: Frank Converse, Joe Silver. Guest Cast: Charles Randall, Neve Patterson, David Hartman and Andrew Duncan. (Plautus Production. CBS Production – credits clipped, source: IMdb.com)
While mysterious men try to kill “Michael” (Frank Converse), he spends time with a young boy trying to deal with his father’s recent death.
TOMA – ABC – “50% of Normal” (1/18/74)
Teleplay by Zekia Marko. Story by Peter Salerno and Jane Sparkes. Directed by Jeannott Szwarc. Produced by Stephen J. Cannell. Created by Edward Hume. Executive Produced by Roy Huggins. Cast: Tony Musante, Susan Strasberg and Simon Oakland. Theme by Mike Post and Pete Carpenter. Guest Cast: Steven Keats, Louise Troy and David Toma as Doorman 1. Public Arts Inc and Universal TV
Toma is searching for a rapist when an old friend, who is having mental issues due to his service in the Vietnam War, returns home. The show deals with social issues more than mystery and now forty years later can be heavy handed, but the last act is a good example why fans still miss this series. After star Musante left the series it would evolve into BARETTA.
NAKIA – ABC – “No Place to Hide” (10/19/74)
Written by Jim Byrnes. Directed by Nicholas Colasanto, Executive Produced by Charles Larson. Created by Christopher Trumbo and Michael Butler. Developed for TV by Sy Salkowitz. Cast: Robert Forster, Arthur Kennedy and Gloria DeHaven Guest Cast: Gabe Dell, Ray Dalton and Marc Singer. David Gerber Production, Inc in associations with (Columbia Pictures Television: credit clipped off video, source IMdb.com)
Deputy Nakia Parker (Forster) befriends an on the run accountant for the mob. A weak generic script that could have fit almost any cop show makes no use of the native heritage of Nakia (you know the premise of the series). Filmed on location.
FEATHER AND FATHER GANG – ABC – “Never Con a Killer” (5/13/77)
Written by William Driskill. Directed and Produced by Buzz Kulik. Executive Produced by Larry White. Produced by Bill Driskell & Robert Mintz. Cast: Stefanie Powers, Harold Gould, Joan Shawlee and Frank Delfino. Guest Cast: John Forsythe, Marc Singer, Bettye Ackerman, and Jim Backus. Larry White Production in association with Columbia Pictures Television.
The lips are out of sync in this video but beyond that (and how awful the two-hour episode is) it is watchable. Yet one more 70s detective who uses the con to trap the bad guy, brilliant female lawyer Toni “Feather” Danton (Stefanie Powers) who is honest and by the book and her con man turned PI father Harry (Harold Gould) who uses his skills and old friends to con killers into revealing themselves. We know the killer from the beginning and the action centers around the con.
OUTLAWS – CBS – TV Movie Pilot (12/28/86)
Written and Executive Produced by Nicholas Corea. Directed by Peter Werner. Produced by Stephen F. Caldwell. Cast: Rod Taylor, William Lucking, Charles Napier, Patrick Houser, Richard Roundtree and Christina Belford. Guest Cast: Lewis VanBergen and Windy Girard. (Mad Dog Productions. Universal Television: credits clipped, source: IMdb.com)
The video is a direct dub from the TV Movie’s original airing complete with commercials and promos of most of the 1986 CBS TV series lineup. Better than average TV movie. It is 1899 Houston, a gang of four bank robbers were running from their former leader, now Sheriff, who leads a posse to catch them. The five have a face off in an ancient Indian burial grounds during a thunderstorm. Lightning strikes the five and sends them into present day Houston (1986). There they struggle to adapt until they come together in the end and form the Double Eagle Ranch Detective agency. The weekly episodes are also available (at the moment) on YouTube.
OVER MY DEAD BODY – CBS – TV Movie Pilot (10/26/90)
Teleplay by David Chisholm. Television Story by David Chisholm and William Link. Suggested by Motion Picture LADY ON A TRAIN. Screenplay by Edmund Beloin & Robert O’Brien. Story by Leslie Charteris. Directed by Bradford May. Created and Executive Produced by William Link and David Chisholm. Consulting Producer Shaun Cassidy. Produced by Ken Topolsky. Cast: Edward Woodward and Jessica Lundry. Guest cast: Edward Winter, Ivory Ocean and Dan Ferro. Universal TV.
Included for William Link fans (COLUMBO). Nikki Page (Jessica Lundry) was the obit writer for a San Francisco newspaper who sees a woman murdered in the apartment across from hers. Before the cops arrive the killer takes the body and no one believe Nikki. So she turns to her favorite mystery writer, ex-Scotland Yard Inspector Maxwell Beckett (Edward Woodward). He refuses to help until she finally convinces him. Two of television’s most annoying characters join up and solve the crime.
THE HANDLER –CBS – “Street Boss” (9/26/03)
Written, Created and Executive Produced by Chris Haddock. Directed and Produced by Mick Jackson. Co-Produced by Larry Rapaport. Produced by Sean Ryerson. Cast: Joe Pantoliani, Anna Belknap, Lola Glaudini, Tanya Wright and Hill Harper. Guest Cast: Harry Lennix, Mary Mara, James Macdonald and Pruitt Taylor Vince. (Haddock Entertainment. Viacom Productions: credits clipped, source: IMdb.com).
It is a busy time for Joe Renato (Joe Pantoliani) who trains and handles FBI undercover agents. It’s the first night for a new female agent, one of his agents undercover in the Russian mob wants out, the local police need the FBI help finding someone new to go undercover in a possible murder investigation, and Joe’s brother is just out of prison. The episode is a dark drama with a fast pace, interesting characters and some nice twists.