It’s February, 2020, and my youngest kid has seen a lot of great TV and movies.

Do you remember how fun it was, when you were young, 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 adults, probably 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. The Space Giants fought the same monster for four episodes in a row because the producers couldn’t afford a new monster costume every week.

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.

This blog began shortly after my youngest son turned four. Since 2015, we’ve been 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. We’ve looked at programs that I loved as a child as well as shows from the UK that I really would have loved had they been shown here. I’ve picked up several shows on a whim and we’ve investigated them together. Along the way, we’ve been introducing him to a few classic science fiction and monster movies, usually on Sunday mornings, and even a thriller or two that’s been a little outside his wheelhouse.

I started this blog hoping that he enjoyed everything. He certainly hasn’t; The Clifton House Mystery and King of the Castle really tried his patience, but the recurring gag at this time is the Doug McClure-William Shatner spy/western series Barbary Coast, which was a punch line in the first place, and which he really loathed. I thought it was pretty good, myself, far better than its reputation suggests, but I’m probably the only one.

Anyway, I hope 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, artist’s rights, and ownership, 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 (before I landed a copy) and Lidsville. If the TV series 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.

An Additional Note on Not Being a Content-Stealing Jerk

As noted at the bottom of each page, I create the illustrations for each post. I don’t claim copyright over screenshots – that would get stupid in a hurry – but if you’re going to use my screenshots, please don’t be a dick. Taking it with credit and a link is absolutely fine. Passing it off as your own work is pathetic. I credit other people when I use their stuff; I bet you can as well.

If you would like to support this blog, you can buy us a DVD of a movie or series 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 and memories in a comment below!

30 thoughts on “About

  1. 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!

  2. 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!

      1. 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.

  3. 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!

    1. 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!

      1. The movie of Pet Sematary didn’t do the book justice. That book scared me more than any Stephen King movie, so that one must be the top of all scares.

  4. 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.

    1. 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!

  5. 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.

  6. 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…

    1. I had never heard of that before, but now that I’ve watched it… I think I’ll have that tune stuck in my head for the next few decades. Gee, thanks!

  7. 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!

    1. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. Hi Grant,
    I searched long and hard on your blog for a ‘contact’ button as I preferred to have this conversation privately, but as I could not locate one we’ll do it here, as you did with your recent post on my blog.

    First, I added a credit and a link to your blog on my most recent piece – and I deleted your post because it was rude.

    We are all working within the gray area of fair use and copyright on our blogs. The only entity that can claim ownership in this particular case would be the Kroffts or Getty – and neither of us is about to start paying them $400 a photo on blogs that we don’t charge people to read, and that don’t earn us any money.

    So I hate to break it to you, but if I’m a “content-stealing jerk,” you are as well. We’re just stealing from different sources. I use Bing and Google for photo searches, and when they identify a source they are not identifying who ‘owns’ that photo, but where they found it. Using a photo from a screenshot gives you no more ownership over it than if I played a few bars of “Feelings” on the piano and claimed I wrote the song.

    I’ve had interactions with dozens of bloggers over the years, and you are the only one who chooses to make this an issue. So, in future, I will make every effort to either avoid using anything you “created,” or credit you. If in my haste to get a piece up I fail to do either, please email me at DaveHof@cox.net and I will rectify the situation.

    1. 1. Apologies shouldn’t come with justifications.

      2. I have never claimed ownership of any images. I did, however, take the time to make each one. It is my work. If I am capable of crediting other people when I don’t put in the work, then you are as well. And to be blunt, I’m frankly amazed that you write with such blinders that it has never occurred to you, in all of your interactions with dozens of bloggers, to drop any of them a line and ask whether they’d mind sharing.

  11. somebody (Grant) had to go through the trouble of selecting the image, taking the screen shot, sizing it correctly for web viewing, and uploading it. If somebody else wants to use that image, the least – the very least – they can do is say “thanks to (insert name of source) for the image!” That’s it, a thank you, the barest of nods to the person making that image available to you. Sorry to hear it’s so much trouble for some.

  12. Thank you for remembering ‘Isis’ – that was my go-to She-ro as a ’70’s rug mite. Hope you minded what your daughter watched as much as your son. When I came across the UK show ‘Into the Night’…now – that – was straight horror made for kids! In comparison, ‘Children of the Stones’ was more psychologically scary which is what made it so great. Kudos to your wonderful blog.

  13. “[Kolchak the Night Stalker episode] ‘Legacy of Terror’ probably isn’t anybody’s favorite episode of Kolchak…”

    We got both the Kolchak movie and series DVDs in 2007 and the kids watched them endlessly. My youngest (6 at the time) declared her absolute favorite episode was what she called “The Chicken Monster” episode. With creepy hotel basement and empty stadium as locales, and enthusiastic performances from guest cast Pippa Scott, Sorell Booke, Ramon Bieri and Erik Estrada, it’s a solid episode. DVDs don’t wear out but we burnt through at least a couple of DVD players watching those episodes together.

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