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the mid-1960's BATMAN virus

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  • dghprobe3
    Hi Geoff: Always good to hear from you. I knew that the first and last seasons of UNCLE were more serious in tone (thanks also to Jim for reminding me),
    Message 1 of 3 , May 9, 2002
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      Hi Geoff: Always good to hear from you.

      I knew that the first and last seasons of UNCLE were more serious in
      tone (thanks also to Jim for reminding me), however my post was an
      attempt to answer 1972-era TV critics who tried to compare UNCLE to
      SEARCH. While not delving too deeply into it, I pointed out as
      a 'for instance' that SEARCH never had a cartoony villian, something
      UNCLE can't deny.

      The first and last season episodes of UNCLE compare quite favorably
      to SEARCH in tone, but not the campy UNCLE episodes.

      Unfortunately, the BATMAN influence was a heavy one for the mid-
      1960's. "Wild Wild West" was another show that was affected.
      When "West" started in 1965, it was definitely James Bond out west.
      When "Batman" started in January 1966, "West" shifted gears and
      became more fanciful in tone, the villians became more cartoony, etc.

      Similar thing happened to "Lost in Space," which started out fairly
      serious and became more cartoony in their second season. Bill Mumy
      states in interviews that it was BATMAN which basically caused the
      change.

      You are right, though. Somehow "I Spy," "It Takes a Thief,"
      and "Mission Impossible" bucked the BATMAN trend for the most part.
      Probably the producers of those shows had more clout to resist
      copying what they may have seen as a popular but passing fad.

      More later,
      Don H.

      ----------------------------
      --- In probe_control@y..., "Geoff Willmetts" wrote:
      > Hello Don H
      > The very early UNCLEs were probably a little too serious for the
      > networks...
      > I'm not sure I agree about the Batman camp totally approach
      > though. I mean, 'It Takes A Thief', 'Mission: Impossible' & 'I Spy'
      > were around at the same time just about & they share things more in
      > common with Search.
    • kevin_searchprobe
      ... against all your ... That was true of all the PROBE stars. O Brian had Wyatt Earp, McClure had The Virginian, and Franciosa had ... Shelly Winters. But
      Message 2 of 3 , May 12, 2002
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        >
        > As to other possible Probe agents. The problem working
        against all your
        > suggestions is the baggage they'd have carried.

        That was true of all the PROBE stars. O'Brian had Wyatt Earp, McClure
        had The Virginian, and Franciosa had ... Shelly Winters. But
        seriously, that was the point. Each SEARCH star had a greater TV
        success behind them. They were tried TV veterans who had each logged
        in a lot of screen time. Shatner or West might've easily used SEARCH
        in an attempt to try & shake off their 1960's typecasting. Shatner
        appeared in the Western series "The Barbary Coast" with Doug McClure
        almost immediately after SEARCH, btw. I think McClure was chosen
        because of his track record, not because he looked like a beach bum!
        The character of "Grover" was probably developed after McClure had
        signed.


        Shatner's Kirk & West's
        > Batman was still difficult for them to shake off at the time.
        They'd have
        > also been too contemporary to what they needed. McClure was there
        cos he
        > looked younger & a definite contrast & looking like a beach bum -
        were there
        > any other actors who'd have qualified for that part. Franciscosa,
        correct me
        > if I'm wrong, was there cos of studio contract. O'Brian cos he was
        > part-financing. It's all the way the apples fall from the trees.
        >
        > Gotta go
        > Geoff Willmetts
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
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