Do you remember how fun it was, when you were a kid, to be excited, and worried, and, every so often, a little frightened by what you saw on TV?

I sure do, and my older kids, now teenagers, certainly do as well.

I was born in 1971, which put me at ground zero for all sorts of Saturday morning mayhem, syndicated afternoon fisticuffs, and imported Japanese destruction. These were revealed, in the cold light of adulthood, to be more than a little phony. Captain Marvel never once fought Mr. Mind’s Monster Society of Evil, because he was too busy reminding Timmy not to go whitewater rafting on a full stomach. The Sleestak had these crossbows which were slightly less threatening than a Nerf gun. Steve Austin and Jaime Sommers did indeed fight Bigfoot and the Fembots once or twice, but they spent most of their time driving around Burbank looking for counterfeiters in turtleneck sweaters. Batman only got a third season by cutting the budget by two-thirds and double-banking episodes to turn into feature films for South America. Goldar, Silvar, and Gam fought the same monster for four episodes running because the producers couldn’t afford that many monster costumes.

But a funny thing happened. I maintained my nostalgia for these shows regardless, collected them as best I could back in the heady, ridiculous days of VHS tape trading, and dumped them on my children in the early 2000s and watched them eat them up. Sometimes literally. Those tapes were kind of fragile, it turned out. Eventually, when they were a little older, and these old shows started coming out on DVD, we started watching them together with a little more structure, and added one or two similar programs that excited, thrilled, and occasionally traumatized British audiences in the mid-to-late 1970s to our rotation.

The result was some of the happiest experiences of parenthood. Whether watching my boy get so excited that a beloved arch-villain had returned that he started weeping, or my girl look at her toys and her inflatable chair in abject horror, convinced that they were now about to come to life and eat her, we can and do look back with smiles and laughter. There’s something about the shared experience of watching classic adventure TV as a family that turns the mediocre into magic, and the low-budget into life-fulfilling.

The above paragraphs will hint at what we’re going to enjoy together as my toddler son turns four. I don’t wish to be too specific about what horrors and adventure await him, but we’ll be watching a pretty wide range of family-friendly adventure shows from about 1966 through the present day. Some of them have stood the test of time and are, sensibly, considered classics. Some of them were awful then and nostalgia hasn’t improved them one bit. Some we’ll watch the full run, or just about, and some I’m sure we’ll cut off after just a few episodes.

In each entry, I’ll try to keep things simple and short. I’ll mention a little bit about the production, if I know it, what Daniel thought of it, especially if he’s sharing anything I’ll want to remember, and whether I have any memories of the episode either from my own childhood or when I saw the show with my older kids a decade back.

I hope that he enjoys everything, and that you out there reading this will remember how much you enjoyed the TV of your yesteryears as well. Please feel free to share and to comment, but please remember this is a family-friendly blog. We do not allow negativity in the comments; polite disagreements are welcome, even about politics, but the only person allowed to be a jerk in these pages is the author.

A Note on Sources

I wish to set a good example for my son about piracy and artist’s rights, and so, wherever possible, we will use legitimate sources – DVDs that somebody has purchased – for the shows that we watch. On rare occasions, but only if the disks are out of print and unavailable for reasonable prices, we may use YouTube for limited samples of the program. Examples for this include The Bugaloos and Lidsville. If the show has never been released legitimately in the English language on DVD, then we will not feature it at this blog. I hope that favorite shows like Horror Hotel, The Space Giants, and Salvage-1 are released in English, and soon, so that we may enjoy them again.

If you would like to support this blog, you can buy us a DVD of a movie that we’d like to watch one day. We’ll be happy to give you a shout-out and link to the site of your choice when we write about it. Here’s our wishlist!

If you were inspired, excited, or horrified by something from TV or the movies when you were a kid, we’d love to hear from you! Share your terror in a comment below!

24 responses to “About

  1. Grant! Great stuff here! If you get a chance, look at my blog and give me some suggestions! -Interphase TGREEN

  2. Destin

    The Fembot episodes of The Bionic Woman scared me out of my wits as a kid. I hope your son has a good couch to hide behind if you watch those!

  3. Andy Brinkley

    The TV show that scared me the most was TALES FROM THE DARKSIDE. That creepy imagery of the opening credits was enough to spark nightmares!

    • That was a good one for scares, I think. I was never a fan myself, but I remember people telling me it scared them silly. Thanks for sharing!

      • Fiona Harris

        There’s an episode of Tales from the Darkside where a teenage girl in a blue nightdress crawls through the house to a closet, and in the closet there’s a white monster baby with a mouth full of jagged teeth. It jumps on her back and starts clawing her. I had bad dreams every night for a month.

      • Gyah! That sounds hideous!!

  4. Chris

    It took me forever to find the name of the movie that scared me so badly, but it might have been The House That Wouldn’t Die. It had Barbara Stanwyck and her family was possessed by an old general’s family. I saw it when I was six and it scared me for weeks!

    • I hadn’t heard of that one. Sounds like a classic ABC horror film – the director, John Llewellyn Moxey, made The Night Stalker for ABC a couple of years later. Thanks for sharing!

  5. Evan B.

    Tim Curry as Pennywise the Clown in IT is the scariest.

  6. Brenda

    I was in middle school when I saw a TV movie of Bridge to Terabithia on public television. That just destroyed me. I think that I understood that death was something that happened only in hospitals, and suddenly every one of my friends was certain to be killed in an awful and grisly accident every time they went home, or were out of my sight. I think that I spent about three weeks in complete misery, crying because every time I said goodbye to anybody that it would be the last time.

    • Wow! I’m not familiar with that movie version, although I read the book years ago and can believe that it must’ve been incredibly heavy to watch. Thanks for sharing that!

  7. Brian S.

    How about the movie version of Something Wicked This Way Comes? Jonathan Pryce’s Mr. Dark is incredibly creepy and will certainly frighten your son… maybe when he’s a little older, though.

  8. Mortise

    I was two when I saw “Pontoffel Pock, Where Are You” on TV. It didn’t really scare me so much, but I had the tune stuck in my head for the next thirty-six years. I finally found out what it was last year…

  9. This is great! It’s like finding out that I’m not the only eccentric in the room. My kids are a boy and a girl of 11 and 8 respectively. We live in France and we watch older films and tv shows to help towards keeping a balance (cultural references) in their otherwise French lives. It began, though, when my son was just five and school finished for the summer. He called me at work, saying “Daddy, can we go to the graveyard tonight?” When I asked why, he replied that he wanted to see where the dead lived. He was trying to sort stuff out. I was concerned that he’d end up being scared of ghosts and having nightmares, so I bought a copy of Johnny and the Dead by Terry Pratchett and I looked out Randal and Hopkirk Hopkirk (Deceased) on YouTube. Randall and Hiokirk was a wild sucess (he’s never had a nightmare about ghosts that he can remember) and so on we went. Dr Who to Fawlty Towers, they are discovering another exciting world and plagueing me for more. I shall use your posts as inspiration! Thanks for doing this!

    • I’m so glad you’re enjoying this and hope I come up with some good ideas for you to share. Randall & Hopkirk is definitely on the horizon here, when our son is eight or so.

  10. One of the scariest movies I ever saw when I was young was Burnt Offerings, which was released in 1976. I saw it when I was a kid on television in the mid-1980s and it terrified me. Years later as an adult I re-watched it, and I still found it incredibly scary! So you might want to wait at least a couple more years if you decide to show that one to your son.

  11. Keith

    I have been watching old episodes of The Six Million Dollar Man on Cozi Tv and found your blog while searching for information on the episodes.I was around 10 or 11 when these shows aired and some I probably haven’t seen since they first aired.Keep up the good work

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