The Avengers-Too many Christmas trees

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1965 in the UK, wasn’t shown until August 1966 in the US.

We all wish we had dreams on dark landscapes with odd Christmas trees, bizarre presents and a very creepy Santa. Wait, actually we don’t. However John Steed keeps having these dreams. He informs his work partner Emma Peel and she doesn’t think much of it at first. Then they get invited to a Charles Dickens themed party thrown by one of Miss Peel’s friends Jeremy. While there Steed recognizes decorations from his dreams and knows there has to be a connection. These wacko nightmares are actually linked to a wacko plot by you guessed it-wackos. Actually telepathic spies to be precise. However they make the mistake of appearing in Steed’s dreams. When he awakes Steed is strong enough to know who is up to no good and be ready for their not so merry attempts to use him. Steed and Peel get to the bottom of things and end the attempts by these mindreading hooligans. They’ll be getting coal this year for sure. Roll the credits.

This is a classic episode for this show. The leads keep their cool even during a very strange plot. A strange plot it is. I always lover the Emma Peel era of this show because the two characters worked so well together. They also always managed to make sense of the most out there situations and work through them. Definitely a very different Christmas episode, but a good one.

 

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One season shows-The Planet of the apes

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1974

One hour long

Lasted 14 episodes

A spaceship crashes and astronauts Verdon and Burke are the only survivors. They end up finding out they are on a planet dominated by talking apes. Their ship is destroyed and they are on the run. They soon meet up with a chimp named Galen who grudgingly goes off with the humans and becomes a fugitive as well. Together the three try to stay ahead of Dr. Zaius and General Urko while trying to get along with each other and dealing with the problems they run upon.

After five films this series came to the small screen in the fall of 1974, but it didn’t make into 1975. I was four when this came on and I remember it a little. My brother is six years older than me and he got me into Star Trek and was a big Six Million Dollar Man fan back in the 70’s so it’s no wonder he watched the POTA show as well. Yes, I saw this show before I viewed any of the films so it made an impact on me. I saw a few episodes in the 90’s when it was on the Sci-fi channel and I enjoyed it. When it came out on DVD in the early 2000’s I grabbed it. I thought the acting from the two human leads was rough at first, but got better as the show went along. The relationship between the three leads got stronger as the show went along too. Although it could be argued that while the show began with the humans trying to find out what happened in this society that in that became just like the fugitive with the leads running from the law every week. The show was canceled for low ratings. There is often much discussion amongst fans as to how the events of the series do or even could fit in with the timeline established by the previous films. In the first film the astronauts crash on the east coast yet here the astronauts crash on the west coast, but Dr. Zauis is in both places. Roddy McDowell plays characters of different names, but with similar personalities yet he is also on both coasts. Ultimately I always think of the series as an alternate earth’s version of the apes taking over events. I am a big POTA fan so yeah I liked the series and really wished that it had gotten at least a whole year to try and establish itself. If I’d been a teenager watching this when it was first on I would have been hooked. Ultimately it’s a show that tried to put the ideas from the films into a series and put in enough action and story to attract people, but ultimately they just couldn’t pull in enough people.

 

Logans Run-The Crypt

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1977

Logan, Jessica and Rem drive their rover into an old town until they notice a light on a building. They enter and trigger an old recording that details how a war had driven people into the building. Then a plague hit. They chose six people to be frozen until a cure could be found. The ones selected were picked based on their skills to be revived and start a new world. They were place down below in  a chamber. Meanwhile a cure was found and two containers were brought with enough to save the six people. However a mechanical problem with the elevator kept those above from getting to the six below. Thus this message was left for someone down the line to view and perhaps attempt to get below, revive the six and give them the antidote. Rem is able to fix the elevator so it works and they can get below and take the antidote. Down in a  hallway a tremor hits, the antidote falls from Logan’s hands and one of the containers is smashed is smashed- oopsy. They grab the remaining one and move on. Another tremor hits and revives the system holding the six. Logan and the others explain how much time has elapsed (lots) and how there is only enough antidote for three of them (bummer). It’s decided that Logan and Rem will hide the antidote and decide on which three will be cured. There is only two days before the virus revives and kills the six people. Meanwhile one of the six dies by accident, but later Rem reveals evidence that is was murder. Meanwhile our heroes decide that the way to pick who deserves it is to get to know them and decide that way. So Logan and Jessica do that. Rem begins checking tapes to learn more about them. Instead he finds a tape from someone involved with the project who says he has learned that one of the six is an imposter, but does not say who. Rem reveals this finding to everyone and poof the lights go out and pow the robotics scientist of the group has been killed by a gun left next to her. Logan gets the antidote and they all gather in a room. Rem plays Sherlock Holmes and addresses each of the suspects. It can’t be the doctor because she is obviously who she says because she has demonstrated medical knowledge. The ESP guy can’t be a fake because he levitated a vial out of Logan’s hand. The builder is sour but he says he built that building and could show them where every piece is. So that leaves the young computer person who turns out to have been a lower technician than the expert she set herself up as. She wanted to live and falsified her record to get a spot then killed two people in hopes to be cured. She grabs the container and threatens to smash it if she is not saved. Logan gets it from her, the other three use the cure and re-freeze the fake. Back to the ice, lady. Our heroes ride off and roll the credits.

The negatives-Not so much.

The positives-It’s a bit of a downer but it shows more background on what happened in the past. The main characters are thrown into a tough situation that none of them are comfortable with, but it makes for an interesting episode. Logan is pulled on by different people. Jessica finds that people from another time were looking for a better world long ago just like she and Logan are now doing. Rem faces some bigotry from the people the past who do not see him as an equal because there were no sophisticated androids in there days. Yet our heroes hang in there and try to help these people despite murder and some nasty attitudes.

Along with the Judas Goat and Man out of time I consider Crypt to be one of three best episodes of this oh too short lived series.

Logans Run-Judas Goat

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1977

A runner gets killed back at the city of domes-oh, man. Then the sandman that killed him has surgery to look like the slain runner (he also looks like 70’s Peter Parker/Spiderman because he’s Nicholas Hammond). Then with a new face he is given a new mission which is to pretend to be the runner and go out into the wild, find Logan and Jessica, then bring them back for punishment. He must be the greatest tracker ever as he finds our heroes like right away. He is pretending to be Hal and as that runner he once knew Jessica. Logan and the others take him into their big metal rover and off they go. The fake Hal proposes that Jessica and Logan return to the city to tell that their is life beyond the city and that this would help lead a major revolt. Jessica thinks it’s a good idea, but Logan has doubts. Then kapow the rover is stopped by animation and people all wearing skirts even the dudes. They take our main characters to the headquarters to see their leader. The leader turns out to be Matthew (Lance LeGault who you may recognize from A-team, Magnum P.I., Werewolf, Coma or one of his other many roles) the first runner-oh wow can I have your autograph? Anyways Jessica knew him and respects him. However he has become a bit of a paranoid wacko and uses these former farmers as skirted security guards to protect him. Hal keeps pushing at Jessica and Logan and even Matthew to get them back to the city. Logan is becoming suspicious of Hal and his intentions. Rem meanwhile can make computer adjustments at the building to help Matthew and his followers. He decides to stay and do this while Logan, Jessica and Hal will go back to the city. However paranoid Matthew is setting them up and tries to kill them after they leave his area. Rem stops Matthew but has to kill him to do so. Rem fixes the computer. The followers now act lost without Matthew, but our heroes advise them to live and grow things and take their own direction. Their leader Garth (Spencer Milligan not far from removed from playing the dad on The Land of the lost at this point) agrees and seems hopeful. Now Logan, Jessica, Rem and shifty Hal head back to the city. Hal acts too eager and Logan knows something is up. Hal caves and tries to attack Logan, but has his weapon knocked away and flees with Logan in pursuit. They are within sight of the city and a patrol of two sandmen sees them and comes over. Remember Hal who is really a sandman is dressed as a runner and Logan who is a runner is dressed as a sandman. So who do the scouting sandmen shoot? Yes, take that evil Hal. Logan hides head knowing the sandmen may recognize him and he knocks out the scouts when they get close enough. Then he runs back to his friends and they high tail it away from the city. Roll the credits.

The negatives-The only one I can think of is that Hal was far too obvious is his effort to persuade Logan. It only seemed to work because Jessica had faith in the Hal she knew and thought this was still him.

The positives- I like this episode a lot. I think they took two main ideas – Hal’s plot and Matthew’s crazy transformation and blended them together fairly well in an episode that really tested our heroes. The fake Hal represented the ruling powers desire to crush out their opposition and Matthew showed how a once noble cause could go wrong if it became about protecting yourself instead of helping others. Rem’s guilt at going against his programming and taking a life was well played as well. The supporting cast was solid. The animated beams were lame, but the city shot was decent and they used an exterior of a real building with some futuristic qualities to serve as the headquarters.