As I posted a "Television Timeout" once before, I just wanted to extol the virtues of classic television. For Christmas I received the first complete season of TV's classic crime drama, The Untouchables and all three volumes of the great science-fiction anthology series, The Outer Limits.
Christmas evening I watched the pilot episode of The Outer Limits, "The Galaxy Being," starring Cliff Robertson as a man who makes technological contact with--"The Galaxy Being"! Minimalism characterizes this unsettlingly confined, meticulously suspenseful series opener, which primarily finds tension in extended, verbally commodious conversations between Robertson's Alan Maxwell and the impressively alien Galaxy Being as played by William Douglas. The creeping impact from Robertson's faintly monotonous vocal pattern juxtaposed against the Galaxy Being's queries, all directed with aplomb and certitude by series writer and executive producer Leslie Stevens. The allusion to Pandora's Box presents itself with great organic urgency in a most impressively intelligent episode.
Last night I viewed the second episode, "The Hundred Days of the Dragon," about a communist Asian dictator's efforts to overthrow the government of the United States. This intensely political parable serves to play into the fears of Americans, and the possibility of enemy infiltration of their government. Directed by special effects master and 1953 The War of the Worlds director Byron Haskin--for which he will always hold a special place in my heart (he also directed other interesting films, such as a noirish political drama from 1956 called The Boss)--with careful pacing, the episode is a highly intriguing one.
What television shows, classic and contemporary are you watching? The first "Television Timeout" posting proved to be quite a success, measured by the modest standards of Coleman's Corner. I hope people who enjoy watching television, from the past and/or present, help make Part II a worthwhile little blogging event.