Greetings, and welcome to CLASSICS ON THE TUBE. Here you'll find capsule reviews of vintage TV series episodes from the early days of television through the 1970s, with a special emphasis on sci-fi, horror, and mystery series. Be sure to check out the Pages links, where you can find an index of episodes reviewed for each television series.

I also cover vintage movies at my sister site, VIEWING THE CLASSICS, so please feel free to check that out as well.

Thanks for visiting!

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

DARK SHADOWS: Episodes 25-28

Starring Alexandra Moltke, Joan Bennett, Louis Edmonds, David Henesy, Nancy Barrett
Guest Stars:  Mitchell Ryan, Michael Currie, Barnard Hughes, Kathryn Leigh Scott
Directed by Lela Swift
(actor & director credits courtesy

After Victoria discovers the missing bleeder valve from Roger's car in David's room, she and Elizabeth are ready to question him, but the valve disappears, and so does David.

Young David is finally suspected of causing his father's accident, although the proof against him vanishes, while at the same time we learn that it was Elizabeth who chose Victoria for her position, but she seems determined to cover up that truth for unknown reasons.  While Roger tries to pressure the sheriff to arrest Burke Devlin, we also find out that Devlin has been trying to identify all the Collins' family assets, and is very intent on keeping that secret.  Finally, Maggie spills the beans to Devlin about her father being sought by Roger Collins on the day he found out about Devlin's return to Collinsport.  After a four episode break, Swift returns as director, and balances the goings on admirably as a number of secrets are exposed.

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

THE OUTER LIMITS: The Children Of Spider County

Guest Stars:  Lee Kinsolving, Kent Smith, John Milford, Crahan Denton, Bennye Gatteys
Directed by Leonard Horn
(actor & director credits courtesy

An alien being returns to Earth to retrieve the five children creatures like him fathered, who have now grown up enough to survive the trip to his planet.

The story by Anthony Lawrence is something of an offshoot of John Wyndham's The Midwich Cuckoos, made into the film Village Of The Damned, about a cosmic force that impregnates the women in a small village, whose children grow up manifesting psychic powers.  The difference this time is the children have fully grown into young adults, and we follow the travails of the alien, played by Smith, trying to convince one of them, his own son, to go back with him.  Although I think Wyndham should have gotten a story credit, it's a fine premise to explore, but I think it falls apart near the end.  Rather than explore the abilities of the young men, or what life is like on the planet they're heading for, the focus is on Smith making intricate speeches while helping his son flee from the police, who are after him on a murder charge, that's never really satisfactorily explained.  The makeup of the alien's true self is well done, and there are some worthwhile moments in the efficiently directed police chase, but I thought there were far more interesting tangents the story could have ventured down.  

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

DARK SHADOWS: Episodes 21-24

Starring Alexandra Moltke, Joan Bennett, Mitchell Ryan, Nancy Barrett, Louis Edmonds
Guest Stars:  Frank Schofield, Mark Allen, Kathryn Leigh Scott, David Henesy, Michael Currie
Directed by John Sedwick
(actor & director credits courtesy

Roger is ready to bring criminal charges against Burke Devlin for his accident, but the constable isn't sure his story is the correct one, and David is worried the police may come for him.

The aftermath from Roger's car accident continues, and we learn that only Roger and Sam Evans know who was really responsible for the crime Devlin was incarcerated for.  Devlin also comes to see Sam, but only seems interested in posing for the artist to paint.  However that will force Devlin to extend his stay in Collinsport past the few days he originally planned for, while he's being investigated by the constable.  This batch of episodes also introduced Michael Currie as Collinsport's constable, whose performance I enjoyed, as a definite small-town policeman, but treating his investigation very seriously.  No time for any ghosts in these episodes, but has the supernatural played a role in the goings on?

Tuesday, January 15, 2019


Starring William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy
Guest Stars:  Kim Darby, Michael J. Pollard, DeForest Kelley, Grace Lee Whitney, Keith Taylor
Directed by Vincent McEveety
(actor & director credits courtesy

The Enterprise follows a distress signal to an Earth-like planet where the discover a plague has killed all the adults, and only the children remain.

This isn't one of my favorite episodes, but there's moments of quality to be gleaned, notably from True Grit's Kim Darby delivering a good performance as the eldest of the children who develops a crush on Captain Kirk.  The script by Adrian Spies comes up with a fairly clever concept for the plague which has doomed the planet and infects the Enterprise landing party, and the makeups are well done.  However, there are a bunch of plot holes in the teleplay, and save for Miri, most of the children come off as one-dimensional.  I think Spies was probably trying to spin a story off of Peter Pan, the boy who never grew up, and tie in the fears children have of reaching adulthood, and perhaps the regrets adults do, but it never quite comes together for me.  This was Grace Lee Whitney's last appearance as Yeoman Rand, and a number of the children in the episode are related to the cast & crew, including Shatner's two daughters.

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

DARK SHADOWS: Episodes 17-20

Starring Alexandra Moltke, Joan Bennett, Louis Edmonds, David Henesy, Nancy Barrett
Guest Stars:  Mitchell Ryan, Frank Schofield, Mark Allen, Joel Crothers, Kathryn Leigh Scott
Directed by Lela Swift
(actor & director credits courtesy

After being released from the hospital, Roger learns his brakes were tampered with, and becomes convinced Burke Devlin tried to kill him.

At this point it seems David is really responsible for his father's accident, although it still appears evident that Devlin has a secret agenda, and could be at least partially involved due to his presence by the car before he left Collinwood.  That's the narrative thrust of this batch of episodes, although there's some other revelations, hinting that Sam Evans has as much to fear from Devlin as Roger does, that Devlin asserts he was unfairly imprisoned, and his dismissal of the past may just be an act. The fact that David really planned the murder of his father seems a little too disturbing and hard to believe he could have done this on his own, but there may be more to the story than it seems- will have to wait for further revelations in the next batch of episodes!

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

LIGHTS OUT: The Man With The Watch

Narrated by Frank Gallop
Guest Stars:  Francis L. Sullivan, Peter Capell, Peggy French, Gordon B. Clarke, Jack Sheehan
Directed by William Corrigan
(actor & director credits courtesy

A detective is stymied by an increasing number of missing persons, whose only clue to their disappearances is the fact they all dreamed about a fat man wearing an unusual watch.

Sullivan, a veteran character actor in films such as Great Expectations, Oliver Twist, and Joan of Arc is the headliner here, and brings a distinguished presence to the character of Ludovic Altimus, who we discover has been sending his victims to somewhere quite far away, but is far from easy to conventionally arrest.  This episode has the feel of a radio play, and may possibly have originally been one, with no special effects utilized onscreen, and much of the plot unfolding in conversations between Sullivan and Capell as the frustrated detective.

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

DARK SHADOWS: Episodes 13-16

Starring Alexandra Moltke, Nancy Barrett, Joan Bennett, Mitchell Ryan, Louis Edmonds
Guest Stars:  George Mitchell, Joel Crothers, David Henesy, Pat Lysinger, Bob O'Connell
Directed by Lela Swift
(actor & director credits courtesy

After talking with Burke Devlin, Roger is suspicious of his motives, and later has a car accident when someone tampers with his brakes- but was it Burke Devlin or his son David?

13 episodes in, Roger Collins and Burke Devlin finally come face to face, and though Burke protests that he's not wanting any revenge, Roger and Elizabeth are doubtful, especially after we finally learn that Burke was sent to jail based on Roger's testimony.  The tension between Victoria and young David finally starts to melt a little, but he's still contemptful of his father, and his possession of a screw makes us wonder who's to blame for Roger's car accident.  On top of all this, Carolyn is showing too much interest in Devlin, much more than an upset Joe Haskell.  I'm glad they didn't stretch out the confrontation between Roger and Burke any longer, as it was about time for them to encounter each other.  It was also good to see a scene involving the supposed ghosts of Collinwood, opening and then shutting a door that had been locked for fifty years.  I'm still following all the subplots although there are very many, a tribute to the writers and everyone else behind the scenes.