It has been said the formative years of a person are the most important, and the same would hold true for writers. Those films, television programs and books have an impact on how writers perceive their creation of fiction stories.
When I watched television during my formative years, the programs were adventure, police, western, historical, or a combination of horror and science fiction. Following is a partial selection of the programs I watched, often with one or more of my brothers, learning in the process what amused or interested them:
The Cisco Kid which ran from 1950-56 was based on the fictional Western character created by O. Henry in his short story "The Caballero's Way", published in 1907 in the collection Heart of the West. Films and television depicted the Cisco Kid as a heroic Mexican caballero, although in O. Henry's original story, he was a non-Hispanic character and a cruel outlaw. Excerpt here
Dragnet, also known as L.A. Dragnet and syndicated as Badge 714, was a long-running radio and television crime drama about the cases of a dedicated Los Angeles police detective, Sergeant Joe Friday, and his partners.
In this 1954 partial episode a young Leonard Nimoy makes an appearance. Excerpt here
The Adventures of Robin Hood was a popular British television series comprising 143 half-hour, black and white episodes starring Richard Greene as the outlaw Robin Hood and Alan Wheatley as his nemesis the Sheriff of Nottingham. The show aired between 1955 and 1960 on ITV in the UK, and between 1955 and 1959 on CBS in the US. The show followed the legendary character Robin Hood and his band of merry men in Sherwood Forest and the surrounding vicinity. A partial episode from 1955 is here .
The Rebel with Nick Adams is about the adventures of a young Confederate Army veteran Johnny Yuma. Haunted by his memories of the war, Yuma roams the American West in search of inner peace. Yuma keeps a journal of his adventures and fights justice where he finds it with the help of a double-barreled shotgun having a sawed-off stock and barrel. Excerpt here.
The Rawhide series ran from 1959-66 was the continuing saga of ranch hands from Texas taking a herd of 3,000 head of cattle north to market. The show starred Eric Fleming and launched the career of Clint Eastwood. Excerpt here.
Thierry La Fronde (1960s) (a French Robin Hood during the Hundred Years War in France ), it was dubbed in English. Excerpt here.
Stingray was the first Supermarionation show to be filmed in colour, and also the first in which marionettes had interchangeable heads with different facial expressions in 1964. Excerpt here.
The Rat Patrol aired on ABC during the 1966-1968 seasons. The show followed the exploits of four (three American and one British) Allied soldiers who were part of a long range desert patrol group in the North African campaign during World War II. Their mission: "to attack, harass and wreak havoc on Field Marshal Rommel's vaunted Afrika Korps". Excerpt here.
The Man From U.N.C.L.E.’s creation was contributed to by Ian Fleming. The book The James Bond Films reveals that Fleming's TV concept had two characters: Napoleon Solo and April Dancer (The Girl from U.N.C.L.E.). ("Mr. Solo" was originally the name of a crime boss in Fleming's Goldfinger.) The trailer is here.
Robert Culp earned an international reputation for his role as Kelly Robinson on I Spy (1965-1968), the espionage series, where he and co-star Bill Cosby played a pair of secret agents (Cosby played the role of Alexander Scott.) An excerpt here.
The Avengers was a British television series featuring secret agent storylines with science fiction elements. The 1965-68 season had Diana Rigg, of which the excerpt is from.
An Interview with Eric Campbell
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