Sunday, May 3, 2009

“I'm rich! I'm wealthy! I'm independent! I'm socially secure!”

Okay…I’m not that well-off. But I am surprised that the eBay auction produced lucrative dividends—who would have guessed that those Avengers box sets I bought not more than a year-and-a-half ago would be such sought-after collectors’ items? I particularly want to thank a pair of individuals who helped out—faithful Thrilling Days of Yesteryear reader Mike G. in Michigan, and Vince “He Walks by Night” Keenan, who explained that he was doing his part to “stimulate the economy.” Many, many thanks to all.

I’m doing my darndest to keep up with the posting here at TDOY, but I’ll admit that since I’ve heard the siren song of Facebook it hasn’t been easy. That thing is like crack cocaine. It’s always miles and away better than MySpace, primarily because it’s a lot easier finding people that you’re either chums with right now or individuals from your past (high school, former jobs, etc.). I always get a kick out of reading the “news feed,” because it will say: “Ivan G. Shreve, Jr. and so-and-so are now friends” and I’ll think: “Okay, maybe I don’t keep in touch as closely as I could—but I thought we were already friends.”

There are a few TV-on-DVD announcements for some classic favorites that I thought I’d get out of the way (courtesy of the go-to site for television on digital versatile disc, Infinity/Roxbury Entertainment has pushed up the release date for their newest Route 66 release (Route 66: Season Three, Volume 1) to June 30th (unfortunately, there’s no box set art yet available), but the good news is that Volume 2 is not far behind, with a scheduled release date of August 25th. The company also plans to “bundle” their previous Suspense releases into one big honkin’ collection to be released May 19th…and if you’re thinking: “Gosh, Iv—you went out and bought all three collections separately…ain’tcha kinda pissed off?” then you clearly do not know me as well as you may have previously thought. (I’ve been dicked by so many of these companies that I now view these acts of prime weaselness with an almost Zen-like acceptance.)

Infinity is also going to roll out Sergeant Preston of the Yukon: Complete Season 2 on June 16th, and even though this comes from the Department of Redundancy Department (starting a new week, I guess) I’m pointing out this blurb only because TDOY’s own “Master of His (Public) Domain,” Bob Huggins, gets credit for pointing it out to Messrs. Lacey and Lambert. (By “Redundancy,” I mean that Critic’s Choice has already released the complete series run of Preston—but if you missed out on that one I certainly won’t blame you for making sure you don’t miss this opportunity.)

Even though all six series of the falling-down funny Britcom One Foot in the Grave have been released on this side of the pond by BBC/Warner, they’ve still got a few shows up their sleeve—namely the 1996 Christmas special “Starbound” and the 1997 Yuletide treat “Endgame,” which will be the content of a September 8th release, One Foot in the Grave: The 1996 and 1997 Christmas Specials. If you’ve got all the previous releases this one should complete your collection—but if you haven’t made the investment yet, you’ll be interested to know that on that same day BBC/Warner will release One Foot in the Grave: The Complete Series, which will contain both the new disc and the six series in toto. (The details on pricing and box art have not been forthcoming as of this post, but I’ll be willing to bet you might be able to save a bit o’cash buying the whole enchilada.)

I received two e-mails in the past couple of days, one from Arny Schorr of S’more Entertainment touting a Cagney & Lacey release due out August 25th entitled (and I wish I were making this up) Cagney & Lacey: The Menopause Years—which will contain the four TV movies produced after the crime-drama’s successful 1982-88 run on CBS. I’m not a producer of a DVD company (though I did appear in a TV pilot as one) but there’s something about that title that makes me think someone could have come up with a better one. We shall see.

The other e-mail came from VCI, who will be releasing a 70th-anniversary edition of the Universal serial Buck Rogers (1939), “remastered and restored to a quality no one has ever seen before” and “packed with more special features than Buck Rogers’ ray gun.” Sounds like a worthy candidate for the dusty TDOY archives, but in the meantime if you’re wandering around the VCI website and see something that catches your eye (or something for Mom or Dad—Mother’s Day and Father’s Day are just around the corner) you’ll be happy to know that you can take 35% off any VCI item by using the secret password “swordfish.” No, hang on a sec—I’m thinking of something else. The VCI code is “PHANTOM” (without the quotation marks). But act soon—this promo expires May 7 at 11:59pm CDT.


Mike Donovan said...

Ivan, I am very familiar with the Suspense radio series and have hundreds of episodes. But I have to admit to being in the dark on the TV series. It was a decade or so before my time and it didn't really have much of a syndication life (I don't think). So, they're largely unknown to me. What do you think of the series? Were the production values decent? Did they recycle the radio scripts ala Gunsmoke? I can think of several questions, but I'll just ask if you can give a quick review of the TV series for me. Thanks and I LOVE your blog!

Ivan G. Shreve, Jr. said...


The TV version of Suspense was produced at a time when the tube was still in its infancy, and for fans of the radio series it rarely rises beyond curio status (at least, that's my take on it). Nevertheless, it's novel enough to maintain a bit of interest--you'll see a lot of actors and actresses on the cusp of stardom, and occasionally the series will do an adaptation of one of the radio episodes ("Post Mortem," "Dead Ernest," "On a Country Road," "Alibi Me," etc.) If you keep all that in mind I think you'll be entertained by it.

Mike Donovan said...

Thanks! You mentioned one of my fave Suspense radio episodes (On A Country Road). I think I'll give the Suspense TV DVDs a chance. Thanks again, Ivan.