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Monday, January 24, 2011

Perry Mason (TV Audio)

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Perry Mason is an American legal drama produced by Paisano Productions that ran from September 1957 to May 1966 on CBS. The title character, portrayed by Raymond Burr, is a fictional Los Angeles defense attorney who originally appeared in detective fiction by Erle Stanley Gardner. At one time, the show was "television's most successful and longest-running lawyer series."[3] Another series starring Monte Markham as Mason ran from 1973 to 1974, and Burr returned as Mason in thirty made-for-TV movies that aired from 1985 to 1995.


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Sky King

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Sky King is a 1940s and 1950s American radio and television adventure series. The title character is Arizona rancher and aircraft pilot Schuyler (or Skyler) "Sky" King. The series was likely based on a true-life person, Jack Cones, the Flying Constable of Twentynine Palms during the 1930s.

The radio show, based on a radio story by Roy Winsor, was the brainchild of Robert Morris Burtt and Wilfred Gibbs Moore, who also created Captain Midnight, first aired in 1946. Several actors played the part of Sky, including Earl Nightingale and John Reed King.

Like many radio shows of the day there were many "radio premiums" offered to listeners. On November 2, 1947 in the episode titled "Mountain Detour" the Sky King Secret Signalscope was used. Listeners were advised to get their own for only 15 cents and the inner seal from a jar of Peter Pan Peanut Butter (produced by sponsor Derby Foods). The Signalscope included a glow-in-the-dark signaling device, whistle, magnifying glass and Sky King's private code. With the Signalscope you could also see around corners and trees.[1] The premiums were innovative, such as the Sky King Spy-Detecto Writer, which had a "decoder" (cipher disk), magnifying glass, measuring scale, and printing mechanism in a single package slightly over 2 inches long. Other notable premiums included the Magni-Glo Writing Ring, which had a luminous element, a secret compartment, a magnifier, and a ballpoint pen all in the crownpiece of a "fits any finger" ring. The radio show ran until 1954, being aired simultaneously with the television version.

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Television

The television version stars Kirby Grant as Sky King and Gloria Winters as his teen-aged niece Penny. Other regular characters included his nephew Clipper, played by Ron Hagerthy, and Mitch the sheriff, played by Ewing Mitchell. Unlike many "lawman-acquaintance" characters on other shows, Mitch was competent, intelligent and skilled. He was always coming to Sky for help, due to friendship and recognizing the utility of Sky's flying skills. Other recurring characters included Jim Bell, the ranch foreman, played by Chubby Johnson as well as Sheriff Hollister played by Monte Blue and Bob Carey played by Norman Ollestad.

Many of the storylines would parallel those used in such dramatic potboilers as Adventures of Superman with the supporting cast repeatedly finding themselves in near death situations and the hero rescuing them with seconds to spare. Penny was particularly adroit at falling into the hands of spies, bank robbers (the best place to hide stolen loot was apparently in the Arizona desert) and other n'er-do-wells.

Like most TV cowboy heroes of the time, Sky never killed the bad guys, even though one episode had him shooting a machine gun into his own stolen plane.

Largely a show for kids, although it sometimes aired in primetime, Sky King became an icon in the aviation community. Many pilots (including American astronauts) who grew up watching Sky King name him as an influence.

Though plot lines were often simplistic, Grant was able to bring a casual, natural treatment of technical details which led to a level of believability not found in other TV series involving aviation or life in the American West. Likewise, villains and other characters were usually shown as intelligent and believable, rather than as two-dimensional. The writing was generally well above the standard for contemporary half-hour programs, though sometimes the acting was not.

The later episodes of the television show were notable for the dramatic opening with an air-to-air shot of the sleek, second Songbird banking sharply away from the camera and its engines roaring, while the announcer proclaimed "Out of the blue of the Western sky comes . . . Sky King!" The short credit roll which followed was equally dramatic, with the Songbird swooping at the camera across El Mirage Dry Lake, California, then pulling up into a steep climb as it went away. The end title featured a musical theme, with the credits superimposed over an air-to-air shot of the Songbird, cruising at altitude for several moments then banking to the left and turning away (similar to the opening shot).

The show also featured low-level flying, especially with the later Songbird. Many shots showed the Cessna "down amongst the rocks and the trees," a way to show the speed of the plane as the desert flashed by in the background.








Sky King episode 1.mp4

Sky King episode 2.mp4

Sky King episode 3.mp4
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Sunday, January 23, 2011

Dad's Army (BBC)

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Dad's Army is a British sitcom about the Home Guard during the Second World War. It was written by Jimmy Perry and David Croft and broadcast on BBC television between 1968 and 1977. The series ran for 9 series and 80 episodes in total, plus a radio series, a feature film and a stage show. The series regularly gained audiences of 18 million viewers and is still repeated world wide.

The Home Guard consisted of local volunteers otherwise ineligible for military service, usually owing to age, and as such the series starred several veterans of British film, television and stage, including Arthur Lowe, John Le Mesurier, Arnold Ridley and John Laurie. Relative youngsters in the regular cast were Ian Lavender, Clive Dunn (who was made-up to play the elderly Jones), Frank Williams, James Beck (who died suddenly during production of the programme's sixth series, despite being one of the youngest cast members) and Colin Bean.


In 2004, Dad's Army was voted into fourth place in a BBC poll to find Britain's Best Sitcom. Previously, in a list of the 100 Greatest British Television Programmes drawn up by the British Film Institute in 2000, voted for by industry professionals, it was placed thirteenth. The series has had a profound influence on popular culture in the United Kingdom, with the series' catchphrases and characters well known. It is also credited with having highlighted a hitherto forgotten aspect of defence during the Second World War. The Radio Times magazine listed Captain Mainwaring's "You stupid boy!" among the 25 greatest put-downs on TV.


Originally intended to be called The Fighting Tigers, Dad’s Army was based partly on co-writer and creator Jimmy Perry’s real-life experiences in the Local Defence Volunteers (later known as the Home Guard). Perry had been 17 years old when he joined the 10th Hertfordshire Battalion and with a mother who did not like him being out at night and fearing he might catch cold, he bore more than a passing resemblance to the character of Frank Pike. An elderly lance corporal in the outfit often referred to fighting under Kitchener against the "Fuzzy Wuzzies" and proved to be a perfect model for Jones. Other influences were the film Whisky Galore!, and the work of comedians such as Will Hay whose film Oh, Mr Porter! featured a pompous ass, an old man and a young man which gave him Mainwaring, Godfrey and Pike. Another influence was the Lancastrian comedian Robb Wilton, who portrayed a work-shy husband who joined the Home Guard in numerous comic sketches during WW2.


Perry wrote the first script and gave it to David Croft while working as a minor actor in the Croft-produced sitcom Hugh and I, originally intending the role of the spiv, Walker, to be his own. Croft was impressed and sent the script to Michael Mills, Head of Comedy at the BBC. After addressing initial concerns that the programme was making fun of the efforts of the Home Guard, the series was commissioned.




In his book, Dad's Army, Graham McCann explained that the show owes a lot to Michael Mills. It was he who renamed the show Dad's Army. He did not like Brightsea-on-Sea so the location was changed to Walmington-on-Sea. He was happy with the names for the characters Mainwaring, Godfrey and Pike but not with other names and he made suggestions: Private Jim Duck became Frazer, Joe Fish became Joe Walker and Jim Jones became Jack Jones. He also suggested adding a Scot to the mix. Jimmy Perry had produced the original idea but was in need of an experienced man to see it through. Mills suggested David Croft and so the successful partnership began.

The show was set in the fictional seaside town of Walmington-on-Sea, on the south coast of England (the exterior scenes were mostly filmed in and around Thetford, Norfolk). Thus, the Home Guard were on the front line in the eventuality of an invasion by the enemy forces across the English Channel, which formed a backdrop to the series. The first series had a loose narrative thread, with Captain Mainwaring’s platoon being formed and equipped—initially with wooden guns and LDV armbands, and later on full army uniforms; the platoon were part of the The Queen's Own Royal West Kent Regiment.


RADIO

Parsley Sidings (BBC)

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Parsley Sidings was a BBC Radio sitcom created by Jim Eldridge. It starred Arthur Lowe and Ian Lavender (who were also starring in the television wartime sitcom Dad's Army at that time), together with Kenneth Connor from the Carry On films.

The scripts are by Jim Eldridge (who would later go on to write for many more series, the most successful being the BBC's King Street Junior). The show is set in a sleepy out of the way railway station on the main line between London and Birmingham, in the Midlands.

The main characters are the station master, Mr Horace Hepplewhite (played by Arthur Lowe); his son, Bertram (Ian Lavender); station porter Percy Valentine (Kenneth Connor); Mr Bradshaw, the signalman (also played by Kenneth Connor); and station tanoy announcer Gloria Simpkins (Liz Fraser, who was also in the Carry On films, and appeared in the Dad's Army feature film). The guest cast in some episodes included Bill Pertwee and Roger Delgado. The announcer for the programme was Keith Skues.

The series was produced by Edward Taylor, and was broadcast on BBC Radio 2. Due to the BBC's former practice of wiping tapes after the broadcast of a show, only a minority of the 21 episodes produced are still in their archives - Goodbye, Parsley Sidings and The Entente Cordial are aired on BBC 7 occasionally and have always been in the BBC archives, while A Night Out, A Bird in the Hand and The Secret Agent were recovered between 2001 and 2003 as off-air recordings from members of the public. These episodes too have been aired, in early 2007, on BBC 7. Other episodes are known to exist in private hands.

In 2008, more episodes were discovered, including the pilot. Only one episode, "The New Level Crossing", is still missing. It is not yet known whether these other episodes will be repeated.



COSMOS

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Carl Edward Sagan (English pronunciation: /ˈseɪɡən/) (November 9, 1934 – December 20, 1996) was an American astronomer, astrophysicist, cosmologist, author and science popularizer and science communicator in the space and natural sciences. During his lifetime, he published more than 600 scientific papers and popular articles and was author, co-author, or editor of more than 20 books. In his works, he advocated skeptical inquiry and the scientific method. He pioneered exobiology and promoted the Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence (SETI).

Sagan became world-famous for his popular science books and for the award-winning 1980 series Cosmos: A Personal Voyage, which he narrated and co-wrote.

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Times Past has no affiliation with Old Time Radio Researchers. Any related content is provided here as a convenience to our visitors and to make OTRR's work more widely known.

References: Old Time Radio Researchers Group, Wikipedia, Frank Passage & Others OTR Logs, Archive.org, Encyclopedia of Old-Time Radio by John Dunning, Australian Old Time Radio Group



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