Check out this PBS show, featuring several of our perennial favorite science fiction television creators and stars. The show, an episode of season two of Pioneers of Television series about television history, aired earlier this week. It will be showing again tonight (Thursday, January 20th), at least on my local channel and probably on yours, and will likely show at other times in the near future. Check your local listings or favorite on-line television schedule for details.
The focus of the show is on breakout programs of the 60's, including The Twilight Zone, Lost in Space, and of course Star Trek. Interviews with several of the stars of those shows are included, as are posthumous interview clips of Rod Serling. I especially enjoyed the comments from Bill Mumy (of "Lost in Space", "The Twilight Zone", and my personal favorite, "Babylon 5").
At the end of the show, there is an interesting "extra feature", a timeline of key science fiction television milestones of interest, from the fifties through the seventies.
While not All Inclusive, this show is interesting, fun, and respectful, not only of the shows and their creators, but of the challenges of the times. Die hard science fiction historians will probably not make any bold discoveries watching this program, but the show is still well worth watching. Kelsey Grammer's narration is masterfully soft-spoken, unobtrusive and sincere.
You can try playing the TV Guide clip or the original PBS preview play of the show on your browser if you need more convincing to check this out.
- D. E. Helbling