Category: tv history

Nick Hammond, the first live action TV Spider-Man. 

If you grew up between 1947 to the 1970s, you’re probably familiar with the RCA Indian head test pattern. 

It was transmitted at the end of the broadcast day and at regular intervals during the day, so TV owners could calibrate their sets, and broadcasters could check their signals. Each part of the transmission had a function. 

William Daniels starred in a Batman clone series from the pop-art 1960s called Captain Nice. 

Where you primarily know William Daniels from is almost a generational test. 

  • If you know him mostly from St. Elsewhere, you’re a boomer;
  • If you know him as the patrician voice of the talking car KITT in Knight Rider, you’re Generation X;
  • If you mostly know him as the wise Mr. Pheeny in Boy Meets World, you’re a Millennial. 

William Daniels starred in a Batman clone series from the pop-art 1960s called Captain Nice. 

Where you primarily know William Daniels from is almost a generational test. 

  • If you know him mostly from St. Elsewhere, you’re a boomer;
  • If you know him as the patrician voice of the talking car KITT in Knight Rider, you’re Generation X;
  • If you mostly know him as the wise Mr. Feeny in Boy Meets World, you’re a Millennial. 

Fandom is still saying this, but Star Trek absolutely did not have the first interracial kiss on American TV ever in “Plato’s Stepchildren.” Many others predated it, and hell, it wasn’t even the first interracial kiss on Star Trek, much less American TV. 

Star Trek had an interracial kiss a full year prior in Season 2 on “Mirror, Mirror” between Shatner and actress Barbara Luna, who was of mixed race.

The first kiss between a black and a white person on American television was in Movin with Nancy between Nancy Sinatra and Sammy Davis Jr. in 1967, a full year prior to “Plato’s Stepchildren.” (The first kiss on British TV that we know of predated it, in 1964.)

I think the reason fandom still says this was the first interracial kiss was to make Star Trek, a show that aired on NBC in prime time in between ads for deodorant and dishwashing liquid, sound more edgy and progressive than a corporate product like it actually was. And while there’s nothing wrong with enjoying media and TV – I’d be the last person to say that, heck, I just had a post blow up that was just remembering how cool Six Million Dollar Man action figures were – at the end of the day, politics is something you do, not something you buy or watch. 

Farrah Fawcett.

The seldom seen “Lost in Space” animated special, 1973, intended as the first episode of a new show. Jonathan Harris was the only returning cast member.

The uniforms for the 50s space series “Space Patrol” were a bit different at the beginning of the show (top image) than they were at the end (bottom image). 

Once, someone asked me which of the 50s low budget space shows were any good, and I’ve told them the only one that’s really worth a rewatch at all is “Tom Corbett, Space Cadet.” It had a human element and people with real personalities, set around the camaraderie of young men who had a lot to learn. And Tom Corbett actually featured realistic science. One episode mentioned that you had to spend energy to decelerate in space, which, honestly…is better than most scifi shows today!

Susan O’Hanlon on “Jason of Star Command”

Bruce Lee and James Franciscus in “Longstreet,” about a blind insurance investigator, with Bruce Lee as his martial arts instructor.