September 10, 2018 at 12:59 am #23399
I have, in the past, covered an ultra-obscure ABC series called “Future Cop”, which aired in 1976 and got the network sued because it virtually copied a series concept pitched by a couple of writers named Ben Bova and Harlan Ellison. It was a drama-with-comedy-elements concerning a veteran police officer (played by the late, great Ernest Borgnine) paired with a rookie cop who turns out to be an android.
Strangely, ABC had a comedy running at nearly the same time with nearly the same premise, called Holmes & Yoyo, starring Richard B. Shull and John Schuck (yes, that John Schuck – the Star Trek movies’ blowhard Klingon ambassador proclaiming that there shall be no peace while Kirk lives, as well as the rejuvenated form of the Minbari who takes over the Great Machine on the planet orbited by Babylon 5). It’s a 30-minute sitcom that ran for 13 episodes – longer than Future Cop, I might add – before getting axed and vanishing from TV history.
Well, from the TV history of the country from which it came, I should point out. Apparently across Europe it was quite popular! Witness here the bizarre and absolutely real sight of the UK 1978 “Holmes & Yoyo Annual” (cashing in on the audience that watched it on the BBC), and the fact that the only way to get it on DVD is from France…and, unlike the French DVDs of shows like Sixth Sense and Whiz Kids, the French DVD of “Holmes et Yoyo” provides neither English language subtitles nor the original audio tracks.
Here’s the catch. I have a little podcast coming up in which I want to thoroughly discuss and dissect genre TV in the 1970s, and Holmes & Yoyo would be conspicuous by its absence if not discussed, especially given the odd collision of subject matter with its ABC stablemate, Future Cop. I have the French DVDs on my Amazon wish list…with absolutely no expectation that I would be able to follow what’s being said, because while I might be able to suss out written French, spoken French at full speed just loses me completely.
Looking under a few rocks that might be considered, shall we say, less than strictly speaking legal out of sheer desperation yielded watchable versions of the first and third episodes in English. Well, it’s a start…but there are 11 other episodes.
Then I turned to Youtube and discovered that someone’s posted rips of the French DVD set with French closed captioning. And Youtube can, at least on paper, translate the French CC on-the-fly to English.
Well…sort of. Okay, not really. I’m having to do a lot of facial expression and body language watching, with a healthy understanding of the context of what’s likely to be said or done in genre TV of that era. The Youtube translation of the French CC is…problematic. If not utterly nonsensical. At one point in the second episode (which didn’t air second in the U.S.), the translated captioning refers repeatedly to Windows 7.
I am, however, highly motivated to stick this out, add all the episodes to the LogBook, and discuss them on the podcast as needed. Even IMDb doesn’t fully cover the show, even though the French DVD retains the English credits, and if there’s one thing I love doing with the LogBook, it’s outdoing IMDb.
Just another example of how far I’ll go to try to better the site and provide it and its podcast offspring with unique stuff that no one else is discussing or remembering. So… Holmes et Yoyo it is. Vive la France!
September 10, 2018 at 1:26 pm #23404
Update: I got through my first mechanically-traslated-to-hell-and-back episode okay. There was some completely unintended computer-generated hilarity, as seen above, but I was able to discern the plot and the humor just fine. It’ll do.
“Translation services by Rugal Sizzler”
September 22, 2018 at 4:23 am #23466September 22, 2018 at 4:40 am #23468September 23, 2018 at 4:59 am #23543Steve WParticipant
I think I saw an episode or two of this show back in the day. That chestplate opening with a computer inside (more like a calculator with a cassette deck next to it) looks incredibly familiar. Does it open by adjusting his tie? If so, I did see it. Couldn’t tell you a single thing about the content of the show though.September 23, 2018 at 6:03 am #23582
That chestplate opening with a computer inside (more like a calculator with a cassette deck next to it) looks incredibly familiar. Does it open by adjusting his tie? If so, I did see it.
Bingo. That’s our Yoyo.
November 15, 2019 at 1:08 am #26332
Three more episodes in English have been posted on Youtube by…the show’s former film editor. He had three of them on 3/4″ tape! Behold the unmitigated goofiness that is Holmes and/or Yoyo.
In the comments for one of the episodes, however, the aforementioned film editor reveals that the original, edited films – in English – may no longer exist, because there was never any demand for Universal to syndicate the series in the English-speaking world – therefore, he says, the only extant copies are the un-subtitled French DVD episodes. That’s astounding. We’re talking about material that’s nearly a decade more recent than the latest-airing Doctor Who B&W episode to be “deleted”. Produced by a Hollywood studio that undoubtedly has film vaults dwarfing the size of real estate that the BBC could ever hope to devote to film and video holdings. And it’s lost forever?
However, since that wouldn’t stop a studio’s legal department from sending out DMCA notices, I have taken the step of downloading these and dropping them into my media server. Someone’s gotta preserve the damn things.
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