The Way We Were

I remember when the DVD boxed set of UFO came out. I couldn’t wait to watch it. Not only that, I couldn’t wait to show my friends. Unfortunately, I did both at the same time…bringing the DVD into the office to show them during lunch. What a mistake. The series I thought was so unbelievably cool when I was a kid turned out to be an inane bore. UFO looked slick and Barry Gray’s score was still incredible, but everything else sucked — the  acting was leaden, the writing was terrible, and the direction was limp.  The Onion reports on someone who had the same sad experience when the DVD of  LAND OF THE LOST didn’t live up to his childhood memories.

I was pleased to discover, however, that KOLCHAK THE NIGHT STALKER was every bit as good as I remembered it to be… though obviously cheap looking by today’s production standards, which is true when watching any old classics (from STAR TREK to THE ROCKFORD FILES, GUNSMOKE to MAN FROM UNCLE).  Mark Evanier, though, can’t get past the  el-cheapo production values when he watches HAWAII FIVE-O.

It’s great that so many old classics are coming out on DVD…but how many will live up to our fond memories and changed expectations?

8 thoughts on “The Way We Were”

  1. I have felt the same way with a couple shows I got on DVD. But for the most part I’ve been happy. Especially with the ones I remembered as having cheesy effects for great stories/characters. Those, fortunately, held true.

  2. I watched a couple of the UFO DVD’s, but I expected it to be unbelievably bad, so I wasn’t disappointed.
    That said, mentioning it on the blog has produced the most bizarre Google search hits, like, “Gabriella Drake nude”.

  3. Alas, so true. When I was a kid, I adored “Battlestar Galactica.” You could even count me amongst the rabid fans who were horrified at the changes they made in the remake (Starbuck as a woman? Egads!!). Then I got the DVD set (thank God I borrowed it from the library, rather than dropping a hundred bucks on it) and actually watched the thing again. Ack. Evidently I was not a terribly discerning child *wry grin*. I vastly prefer the remade version.

  4. The show whose production values most disappointed me when I saw it as an adult was “The Green Hornet.” When I saw it as a kid (which must have been in syndicated reruns, since I was only two when it was cancelled in 1967), it seemed like the coolest, slickest film noir ever shot — like a cross between “Miami Vice” and “Crime Story,” with Bruce Lee. When I saw it as an adult, it still had some great action sequences, and the stock shots were pretty well done. But the night-for-day photography drove me nuts. In one episode, the Black Beauty is driving down PCH at what is obviously high noon. Cut to the interior of the BB, with blacked-out windows and Van Williams deadpanning (he deadpanned everything) to Bruce Lee, “It’s almost midnight, Kato.” But, hell, I still love me that damned show.

  5. I like UFO. The trick is to think of it as Supermarionation with live actors. Gloriously vacant. Eerily banal. This show is hilarious when in an altered state.

  6. When I was 11, I loved the show “Alias Smith and Jones.” I thought it was fanatastic. One of the cable station started showing them and I can’t believe how awful it is!


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