26 June 2010 | coop-16
A True TV Oddity
The more I find out about this short-lived and little remembered series, the more my curiosity is piqued. According to TV.com, it started out as an episode of an anthology series hosted by Fred Astaire(!). The pilot for the series itself was based on, a short story by the critic Lionel Trilling entitled "Of that time, of that place.", which, it must be said, is a pretty high-brow source for a TV show. The array of guest stars was truly incredible. In one episode, there was a Black economist ( played by James Earl Jones) who clashes with a Math Professor played by Agnes Moorehead.In another, Rip Torn played a perpetual graduate student. ( A campus type with whom I am quite familiar, having been one myself). Telly Savalas played a political scientist specializing in international relations. It was one of the first series for Tim Conway, Suzannae Pleshette, Joey Heatherton, and Mary Anne herself, Dawn Wells. I have seen blogs where TV buffs actually list certain of the episodes , such as "A Bang and A Whimper", A Window on the War", and "The Testament of Buddy Crown", as among the hundred best TV episodes of all time. A Bang and A Whimper starred Robert Stephens, who later starred in Billy Wilder's the Private Life of Sherlock Holmes", as a an alcoholic, womanizing Irish celebrity poet( shades of Dylan Thomas.),who has an affair with a married woman played by Susan, "Imitation of Life", Kohner. One last thing. One episode had a a plot line that strangely foreshadowed the events chronicled in In the Belly of The Beast, Professor Howe once befriended a prisoner on Death Row, who wrote passionately about his experiences. Very odd.