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!

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

STAR TREK: The Enemy Within

Starring William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy
Guest Stars:  DeForest Kelley, Grace Lee Whitney, George Takei, James Doohan, Edward Madden
Directed by Leo Penn
(actor & director credits courtesy

An accident with the transporter splits Kirk's good and evil halves into two separate people, and maroons Sulu and other crewmen on a dangerously frigid world.

Writer Richard Matheson, well known for his quality work on The Twilight Zone and books like The Incredible Shrinking Man and I Am Legend, crafts a worthwhile futuristic Jekyll and Hyde tale in as far as I know his only script for a Trek series.  Shatner's performance as the evil Kirk is at times over the top, but entertainingly so, and the scenes with both Kirks are well-filmed and convincing.  This episode also features the first Vulcan nerve-pinch as well as our first indication of romantic feelings between the Captain and Janice Rand, a storyline which would eventually peter out.  It's one of the best of the series' early episodes, with some fine interplay between Kirk, Spock, and McCoy.

Sunday, March 5, 2017

SHERLOCK HOLMES: The Blue Carbuncle

Starring Peter Cushing, Nigel Stock
Guest Stars:  Madge Ryan, James Beck, Richard Butler, Michael Robbins, Frank Middlemass
Directed by Bill Bain
(actor & director credits courtesy

The disappearance of a valued gem belonging to a wealthy lady causes her to seek Holmes' aid, but he declines the case until the jewel is found in the gullet of a Christmas goose.

Per IMDB, this was the last episode of the series, and one of only a handful of episodes from the second season a recording still exists for.  It's not a great one, although Cushing plays probably the largest role in this installment among the surviving productions, making this one still worthwhile in my mind.  The guest cast don't give any particularly memorable performances, but the teleplay offers a fairly literate adaptation of Conan Doyle's original story, with only some minor details changed.  Most notable is a rare display of anger by Cushing's Holmes when the thief is finally cornered by him and Watson, the kind of element that makes it regretful there's not more performances by the fine actor as the great detective to study.