the mid-1960's BATMAN virus
- 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
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.
--- In probe_control@y..., "Geoff Willmetts" wrote:
> Hello Don H
> The very early UNCLEs were probably a little too serious for the
> 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.
>against all your
> As to other possible Probe agents. The problem working
> 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
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 therecos 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 washttp://explorer.msn.com/intl.asp.
> part-financing. It's all the way the apples fall from the trees.
> Gotta go
> Geoff Willmetts
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