The week of October 26th, 1986: 1986 A.T. (after “Thriller”) is upon us again, with spooky foes and even spookier friends, unearthly threats and the unexplained, and so many shows no one could complain. Join us now to watch aliens on the run, a shrinking family, Ewoks not having fun, travel through time, though time’s standing still, it might be Halloween forever, so feel the chill! (65:18)
The weeks of July 25th and August 1st, 1971: As Apollo 15’s crew unfurls the first lunar rover on the surface of the moon, the opening story of the UK telefantasy series Ace Of Wands is being broadcast for the first – and maybe last – time. This Retrogram recaps and reviews these two “orphaned” episodes – the only genre shows that aired in their respective weeks – and completes the story whose first part was examined in Retrogram #7129. (25:08)This Retrogram first appeared in July 2019 as a patron exclusive. I had planned to keep it on hold until early 2020, but my recording schedule has been thrown off by some real-life demands, so consider it a taster of one of the show’s Patreon perks. Retrogram will be back on schedule soon!
The week of September 1st, 1974: A man prepares to fire himself across a quarter-mile-wide canyon in a rocket-powered motorcycle. A man and his children dodge dinosaurs. A man lies dying in sick bay, his only chance for survival hijacked by space pirates. A young man out joy-riding with friends in a stolen car could be driven to his death. One of these stories is true. The rest…are the stuff of Saturday morning TV legends. (46:00)
The week of December 30th, 1979: For a podcast that covers genre TV from 1970-1990, this is the exact midpoint: the first week of 1980. A week of classic space heroes, mistaken identities, and people in tights wearing bull heads…and maybe a tip-of-the-iceberg sighting of Hollywood’s propensity for recycling. (71:16)
The week of July 10th, 1988: The shuttle’s still grounded, the climate is changing, the needles are washing up on the Jersey shore, and the scares are syndicated. Retrogram delivers a double dose of televised terror from the blistering summer of 1988. Just don’t make a sound. Or smoke. (38:28)
The week of December 10th, 1974: As the moon hangs over the horizon, and the crew of Apollo 17 hangs out at the moon – the last time humans would go there in the 20th century – gather around the TV campfire for three terrifying tales of levitating furniture, vicious dogs, and petrifying premonitions of things yet to come. As the final Apollo crew walked on the surface of the moon…this is what our imaginations fixated on. (53:10)
The week of February 24th, 1974: Daleks, telekinesis, nukes, O. Henry, and overwrought mission controllers, oh my! There wasn’t a mission to the moon in progress during this week in 1974…but there were a lot of shows…and a few of them were good. There was also the first-ever attempt to dramatize the Apollo 13 mission for television…which was less good. Warning: listeners will be subjected to double doses of Gary Collins and Harve Bennett in this Retrogram. (83:02)
The week of July 18th, 1971: As the crew of Apollo 15 prepared to go to the moon, it was a dead week for American genre TV…but still a lively one across the pond. Meet a magician named Tarot, and an alien-fighter named Colonel Ed Straker. One will face a new foe whose magic may be even stronger than his…and the other will face “you-foes” who have already made a backup copy of him. Oh, and one of these shows can’t be seen anymore, anywhere – it might as well be on the moon. (48:13)
The week of July 5th, 1987: A week picked by followers of theLogBook.com’s Facebook page! A week of orbital law enforcement, lycanthropy, astro-archaeology, and maybe even the devil himself. Travel back in prime time with us to the summer of ’87. (75:43) This episode has dropped early so it’s available for your holiday weekend road trip!
A Great Big Fan Love Letter To Paul Darrow: Breaking the normal “one week” format of the show already seemed like a thing that had to be done to bid a fond farewell to one of the stars of Blake’s 7, and a memorable presence in so many other genre shows. Whether you’re a longtime fan or have never heard of the man, raise a glass to the man (and his utterly unmistakable voice) who was Kerr Avon on our screens. (93:11)