Saturday, April 04, 2009

Off-season TV, before the Internet

The digital age is here, but there was a time when you couldn't see your favorite shows on demand. What was a loyal fan to do between seasons? The answer was ages old... the answer was PAPER!

Here are a few recent finds in our collection:
  • Dark Shadows "Barnabas, Quentin & the Magic Potion"
  • "Land of the Giants" & "Unknown Danger" by Murray Leinster
  • "Man from Atlantis 1" starred everyone's favorite resurrected prime-time soapster (Bobby Ewing in "Dallas"), Patrick Duffy.
  • "The Night Gallery 2" from Twilight Zone's Rod Serling was a darker tinted version of his unique visions. The paintings at the beginning of each show scared me silly as a little kid.
  • The Partridge Family toured in print in "The Haunted Hall", "Terror by Night", and "Marked for Terror" and more. Who knew they're lives could be worse than having to put up with Danny and Ruben Kincaid?
  • When an atomic explosion sends Earth's moon out of orbit on a rogue trajectory through the galaxy the inhabitants of Moon Base Alpha survive as best they can, finding help and horrors as they encounter alien beings along the way, in "Space: 1999". "Breakaway", "Moon Odyssey", "The Space Guardians", "Collision Course", "Lunar Attack", and "Alien Seed" chronicle a few of their adventures.
  • The original "Battlestar Galactica" always had it's pros and cons but there never would have been a new BSG without it. Read how it all began in "Battlestar Galactica", "The Cylon Death Machine", "The Young Warriors", and a recent flashback book "Saga of a Star World".
  • "Knight Rider", like BSG, was created by Glen A. Larson. The Knight 2000 was the first true super car of the computer age, spawning a remake as well as one-offs like "Viper".
  • "Cyborg" was the in-print title of Martin Caidin's adventures of "The Six-Million Dollar Man". Colonel Steve Austin is a name that still holds some measure of respect in the world of past TV heroes. Other shows have become targets of ridicule but there remains something intriguing about TVs first real cyborg.
  • And let's not forget Jaime Summers, "The Bionic Woman"!
  • David Carradine's portrayal of Kwai Chang Caine in "Kung Fu" remains a zenith of American television. "The Way of the Tiger, The Sign of the Dragon" brought young Grasshopper into the paperback world.
  • Known as "Danger Man" in the U.K. and "Secret Agent" in the U.S., Patrick McGoohan brought world-class spying to our living rooms. In "Storm Over Rockall" John Drake must infiltrate a group trying to sabotage a scientific project of National importance. You might also remember Patrick McGoohan as Number Six from the British mini-series "The Prisoner", an astounding programme that has achieved cult status and been re-run many times since, most notably on PBS, A&E, and BBC America. Look for a an updated take on "The Prisoner" starring Jim Caviezel and Ian McKellan on AMC, in production now.
  • Finally, my favorite, "Star Trek". A show that has inspired and originated far too much to address in this post. The original still holds up despite it's flaws and the voyage continues today. Look for the new movie, re-inventing the universe with the earliest adventure of Kirk, Spock, McCoy, Uhura, Sulu, Scotty, and... Chekov(?) coming out May 8th!
Today, most of us turn to a wide array of internet sites to check out old TV and recent episodes of shows we may have missed. Just four years ago the big thing was 'TV on DVD' because broadband access was not so widespread. But still, there is TV in Print.

Coming soon, selections of TV in Print from the dial-up era of computing.

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