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The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries

Hardy Boys Nancy Drew 70s nostalgia

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#21 Virgil Vox

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Posted 28 June 2017 - 07:50 PM

The Creature Who Came On Sunday

This episode was effective in keeping me guessing as to what was truly going on. Frank and Joe make a detour on their way to Las Vegas to help a woman they know from Bayport. She says that her boyfriend has gone missing, and that the locals are claiming he never existed. Not only that, but there seems to be an area in the woods that is off limits and may have something to do with UFOs.

There’s certainly a lot going on in this episode. Obviously I knew aliens weren’t going to be involved, but I couldn’t figure out what exactly was going on. The government seemed to be involved, and there were shady characters stalking about the place but I never guessed what was really happening.

Something I liked is that the brothers were at odds. Not really fighting, but Joe didn’t think there was really a case because the woman was known to be something of a flake and unreliable and he mainly just wanted to get to Las Vegas. Frank was the one who kept pushing to figure out what was going on.

The brothers were put in jeopardy here as they were held at gunpoint and split up. It made the episode more riveting.

The Strange Fate of Flight 608

This episode went against the norm, as it allowed the viewers in on what was going on even while Frank and Joe were left in the dark. Right from the start viewers know that diamonds, both real and fake, are involved and that one of the stewardesses is involved as well. Also, a lot of the episode is focused on the boys trying to stay alive, first in an out of control airplane and then later on a deserted island.

The boys and their father were working a case out of the country and then taking a well deserved vacation when Joe decides he wants to fly home to catch a sports game. Frank goes with them, and they get spots on a special flight that is carrying nothing but young, attractive stewardesses-in-training. Naturally, the boys think they’ve died and gone to heaven.

That feeling quickly goes away when all the pilots are incapacitated in the middle of a giant storm. Frank and Joe, who have some skills as pilots, take over and manage to land the plane in the ocean. Everyone gets on life rafts and head to an island. There they try to survive until rescue, not knowing that the people responsible for downing the plane are headed their way to make sure no survivors are found.

I really liked this episode because it did take a different approach. Sure, I love the mysteries and like trying to solve them but it was fun for once knowing what was going on before hand and watching the boys try to figure it out. I also liked that the episode put the boys in peril more than they usually are. The plane crash sequence was done well. Just a really enjoyable episode.

Acapulco Spies

Fenton is in Acapulco on a case when he phones the boys and asks for their help. He says they need to come to Acapulco and that someone will meet them with a code phrase and give them the files they need. After this he is captured. The boys arrive in the city and are greeted by two young American women who give them the code phrase. Unbeknownst to the boys, the women aren’t their contact. Instead, they’re two women who had all of their money and passports stolen and hope the brothers can help get them back to the States.

I didn’t need to see yet another episode with Fenton being captured and the brothers racing to the rescue but the complication with the two women added some spice to the plot. The brothers just want the files while the women think that they have a ticket home. In one funny exchange Joe tells one of the women that they know what he and Frank want and that they want it sooner rather than later. They might be young but they are experienced. The woman of course takes this to mean that Joe and Frank want sex in exchange for helping the women get back to the States and storms off in a huff.

There was really nothing wrong with this episode but it did feel like re-heated leftovers. It was similar to other episodes and didn’t really bring anything new to the table. I didn’t hate it but it didn’t wow me either.
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#22 RJDiogenes

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Posted 29 June 2017 - 05:00 PM

UFOs and deserted islands. They're still using the classic tropes. I probably would have paid a lot more attention to this show back in the 70s if not for the actors.  :lol:
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#23 Virgil Vox

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Posted 08 January 2018 - 01:01 AM

I know I haven't updated this thread in a while but I promise I'm going to be better about it from now on. I think I will also expand it to include other mystery shows, like Murder, She Wrote and Hart to Hart. Not every episode, mind you, but some. I might throw in episode reviews from other random shows as well.

Nancy Drew’s Love Match

This is Nancy’s first solo outing of the season and its okay. Not the best Nancy Drew episode but there was enough here to keep me watching.

In this episode Nancy has to keep an old friend, tennis player Karen, from stealing valuable items at a high stakes tennis tournament. It turns out that Karen has been under a lot of stress and has developed kleptomania and isn’t even aware of it. When items start to go missing, Nancy has to discover if it is her client doing the stealing or if there’s another thief on the premises.

To complicate matters, a private detective named Bender is after Karen. He used to work for Karen’s father and kept her out of trouble but he has been fired and is now looking for revenge.

Something that annoyed me is that they re-cast George. It is a new actress in the role. She isn’t bad by any means but I liked the original actress better. I just don’t see why they needed to bring in a new actress.

In a fairly amusing sub-plot Nancy has to pretend to be the girlfriend of a star tennis player, only he doesn’t realize they’re an item. Nancy has to keep yelling at him and slapping him as a way of keeping Karen and the others from asking Nancy to introduce them to the tennis star.

I will say that the episode does a good job of making you wonder if Karen is the real culprit or not.

I’m finding myself with not a lot to say about this episode. It wasn’t a dud but it didn’t stand out, either.

The Mystery of the Silent Scream

Frank and Joe are on their way to Las Vegas when they are almost run off the road (twice) by the same car. When they arrive in the city they confront the two women who were in the car, Alicia and Sally. Alicia is deaf, and she read the lips of a man in a pay phone who said he had planted bombs in hotel casinos in Las Vegas. While the authorities don’t take her seriously, the brothers do.

I enjoyed this episode. It had a good plot, some tense moments, and a nice little romance for Joe.

From the start we know the identity of one of the bad guys. He is a comedian working for a hotel/casino and is in a lot of debt. We don’t know the identity of his accomplice though it’s not hard to guess. He actually came up with a good plan. The comedian and his accomplice are extorting the casinos by threatening to detonate the bombs if they don’t “win” a certain amount of money at the gambling tables. It’s more or less a foolproof plan aside from the fact that Alicia “overheard” his plans and has a vague idea what he looks like. The comedian knows he will have to kill Alicia if he is to get away with it.

The brothers discover that the comedian, Jesse, is responsible but have no hard proof on him. The stakes are raised when Alicia is kidnapped. Frank and Joe split up, with Frank trying to stop the comedian and Joe going to rescue Alicia.

Joe and Alicia strike up a romance and it’s handled quite well. It’s more like puppy love. Alicia teaches Joe sign language which he slowly picks up. Normally the romances the brothers have don’t do anything for me but this one worked quite well.

Will the Real Santa Claus…?

Let me get this out of the way first. They re-cast Ned. Here he is played by Rick Springfield. Not only that, but this episode is basically a reboot. Here Nancy meets Ned for the first time. Here he works for the Boston DA’s office and is here to help Mr. Drew. Now, a young Rick Springfield is certainly a hunk but I liked the previous actor and I don’t like all those adventures just being tossed out like this.

On the positive side, the romance between Nancy and Ned is turned up in this episode. The two have a love/hate relationship going on mainly due to the fact that Ned thinks that since Nancy isn’t a woman she isn’t capable of doing, well, a lot of things. Nancy proves him wrong, of course.

There are two mysteries in this episode. One revolves around a thief dressed as Santa Clause breaking into houses in River Heights. The second is an older gentleman who is on the run from two men who want to kill him. He claims he really is Santa Clause, though he asks to be called Griffin.

The two mysteries converge when the Santa thief frames Griffin as the real thief. Nancy believes Griffin and works to exonerate him. She also discovers that two men are after Griffin and tries to find out why and how to stop them.

This was a really fun episode. Much better than Nancy Drew’s Love Match. The two mysteries were good and while I don’t like them replacing Ned I can’t deny that Nancy and New Ned have chemistry with each other.

There’s also some supernatural aspects to the episode, as it shows that Griffin is Santa Clause, or at least someone who special powers that can see events happening far away, disappear from crowds without being noticed, take down two thugs with ease, and get away from a roof on a sleigh apparently being led by reindeer.

This does make me sad that there’s only one more Pamela Sue Martin Nancy Drew episode and just one more solo Nancy Drew episode. I don’t really know why the creators decided to move away from Nancy Drew episodes but it is a shame.
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#24 Christopher

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Posted 08 January 2018 - 09:20 AM

I was 8-10 during the run of this show, so I remember watching it, but I don't remember much about it. My sister was probably a bigger fan than I was, since she was 10-12 at the time, old enough to go ga-ga over the Hardy Boys. I remember her reading the kind of teen idol magazines that would've had Cassidy and Stevenson on their covers. Still, this is always the first thing I think of when I think of Cassidy, Stevenson, or Martin.


View PostRJDiogenes, on 02 May 2017 - 05:16 PM, said:

I watched this show sporadically when it was on the air. I liked the idea of a classic mystery show-- the closest thing to a real mystery show at the time was Columbo, and the identity of the killer was only a mystery to the detective, not the audience

Surely there were some other TV mysteries on at the time. THB/NDM did overlap briefly with McCloud and McMillan and Wife, and was on during the same time as Quincy, M.E., which started as a mystery before it evolved into a preachy, socially-conscious drama. And there were probably others.


View PostVirgil Vox, on 02 May 2017 - 10:38 PM, said:

I especially like that Nancy is really assertive and doesn't listen to others when they say she should stay out of danger simply because she's a girl.

The '70s were a pretty good time for female-led adventure shows, with things like The Bionic Woman, Wonder Woman, and Isis. It seems we get a spate of those every 20 years, but then the pendulum swings back for a while.



View PostNiko, on 04 May 2017 - 06:58 PM, said:

I really miss Netflix for that reason.  The whole reason I signed up for Netflix was as a way to watch these sorts of older shows again without having to pay for a whole season set, but once their focused moved to streaming, they stopped getting replacement disks and it seemed like more and more shows were becoming unavailable, one disk at a time.  And streaming is so hit-and-miss for whether studios bother to make them available on streaming, it's not worth it to me.

I get my DVDs from the library now.


View PostVirgil Vox, on 12 June 2017 - 04:01 PM, said:

The episode also has a message about if Africa is losing part of its identity as it transitions away from the old ways and into modern times. Doing away with hunting safaris (and the hunters like Masters who led them) to attract tourists who just want to take pictures might make better sense economically, but some believe that Africa loses part of its mystique and way of life.

Just sounds like trading one flavor of white colonialist condescension/exploitation for another. Neither has anything to do with actual African civilization. Safaris were invented by an Englishman in 1836.



View PostVirgil Vox, on 08 January 2018 - 01:01 AM, said:

This does make me sad that there’s only one more Pamela Sue Martin Nancy Drew episode and just one more solo Nancy Drew episode. I don’t really know why the creators decided to move away from Nancy Drew episodes but it is a shame.

Wikipedia says the second season's cast and format changes were motivated largely by budget considerations, letting cast members go to save money. Apparently they had "creative differences" with Pamela Sue Martin (sounds like she didn't like losing her supporting cast and being reduced to a guest star in Hardy Boys episodes), leading to the recasting of Nancy, but the new Nancy was poorly received, so they just dropped the character.
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#25 RJDiogenes

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Posted 08 January 2018 - 06:22 PM

View PostVirgil Vox, on 08 January 2018 - 01:01 AM, said:

I know I haven't updated this thread in a while but I promise I'm going to be better about it from now on. I think I will also expand it to include other mystery shows, like Murder, She Wrote and Hart to Hart. Not every episode, mind you, but some. I might throw in episode reviews from other random shows as well.  
That sounds like a good idea. I never saw Murder, She Wrote, but I liked [i]Hart To Hart[/ii]. I mean, the Girl From Uncle and Lionel Stander?  And, of course, Robert Wagner is in the dictionary next to "Cool."  :cool:

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In this episode Nancy has to keep an old friend, tennis player Karen, from stealing valuable items at a high stakes tennis tournament. It turns out that Karen has been under a lot of stress and has developed kleptomania and isn’t even aware of it. When items start to go missing, Nancy has to discover if it is her client doing the stealing or if there’s another thief on the premises.  
That's a nice little offbeat plot.

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To complicate matters, a private detective named Bender is after Karen.  
I'm sure he doesn't really look like how I'm picturing him.

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Let me get this out of the way first. They re-cast Ned. Here he is played by Rick Springfield. Not only that, but this episode is basically a reboot.  
That kind of thing annoys me.  Just make up a new character, guys.

Quote

There’s also some supernatural aspects to the episode, as it shows that Griffin is Santa Clause, or at least someone who special powers that can see events happening far away, disappear from crowds without being noticed, take down two thugs with ease, and get away from a roof on a sleigh apparently being led by reindeer.  
Interesting.....
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#26 Virgil Vox

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Posted 16 January 2018 - 11:41 PM

Quote

I was 8-10 during the run of this show, so I remember watching it, but I don't remember much about it. My sister was probably a bigger fan than I was, since she was 10-12 at the time, old enough to go ga-ga over the Hardy Boys. I remember her reading the kind of teen idol magazines that would've had Cassidy and Stevenson on their covers. Still, this is always the first thing I think of when I think of Cassidy, Stevenson, or Martin.

I don't think I've seen any of the actors in anything else, honestly.

Quote

Just sounds like trading one flavor of white colonialist condescension/exploitation for another. Neither has anything to do with actual African civilization. Safaris were invented by an Englishman in 1836.

True, but I liked that the episode attempted to make a more broad statement about the current state of Africa. Also, IIRC, they didn't exactly paint the old ways with hunting safaris as glamorous and great for Africa.

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Wikipedia says the second season's cast and format changes were motivated largely by budget considerations, letting cast members go to save money. Apparently they had "creative differences" with Pamela Sue Martin (sounds like she didn't like losing her supporting cast and being reduced to a guest star in Hardy Boys episodes), leading to the recasting of Nancy, but the new Nancy was poorly received, so they just dropped the character.

Those are good reasons for Pamela Sue Martin to leave. It's just annoying she had to leave in the first place.

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That sounds like a good idea. I never saw Murder, She Wrote, but I liked [i]Hart To Hart[/ii]. I mean, the Girl From Uncle and Lionel Stander?  And, of course, Robert Wagner is in the dictionary next to "Cool."  :cool:

Murder, She Wrote is a really good show. If you get the Hallmark Murder and Mystery channel they play four episodes every night.

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I'm sure he doesn't really look like how I'm picturing him.

If you're thinking of Bender from Futurama I can say that he is not how you are picturing him. :)

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That kind of thing annoys me.  Just make up a new character, guys.

They really should have, especially since in the first season they never went the romantic route with Nancy and Ned so it's not like introducing a new love interest would complicate matters.

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Interesting.....

It is a little jarring at first but it's a Christmas special so I just went with it.

Hart to Hart Pilot Movie

I was rather disappointed in this pilot, truth be told. I’ve been waiting to see it for a while now. It hasn’t aired on TV as far as I’m aware so when I got the Hart to Hart Complete Series box set for Christmas one of the first things I did was pop in the DVD.

The main problem comes from the fact that Jonathan and Jennifer are kept apart for a good chunk of this movie’s running time. Heck, Jennifer doesn’t even make an appearance until about 20 to 30 minutes in.

The plot then serves to keep the two separate. They are investigating a spa retreat that may have led one of Jonathan’s friends to commit suicide. The couple goes undercover but pretend not to know each other. In fact, they pretend to hate each other. It takes a little bit for the couple to actually get together and, you know, act like a couple.

There’s nothing wrong with that, but what makes the show work is the chemistry between Robert Wagner and Stefanie Powers. It is easy to buy them as a real couple in love. The two just gel, and their double entendres are always fun. Having that chemistry missing for a good chunk of the pilot was not a good idea.

It also doesn’t help that the mystery here is less than half baked. The two owners of the spa blackmail rich clients and then hypnotize them and send them to their deaths. There’s really no mystery here to solve, at least not for the viewers.

It’s not all bad. Once Jennifer and Jonathan are together the fun is upped somewhat. Max is also there, sneaking onto the spa grounds to bring his employers greasy fast food. The dynamic between these three really is astounding.

(In a side-note, I watched all the 90s TV movies when they were aired on Hallmark Movies and Mysteries. Lionel Stander died after the 5th TV movie, and the 6th dealt with his death. I have to say it was hard getting through the first part of that movie. The grief on display from both Wagner and Powers was palpable).
Of course, in the end the Harts are victorious and stop the evil doers and everyone ends up happy.

I liked how the beginning of the episode established that Jonathan has very little to do with the day to day running of his company. It explains why he has so much time to go on vacations and solve crimes. It also establishes that the Harts have solved a crime or two before this one as well.

While this wasn’t the slam dunk I wanted it to be it wasn’t a waste of my time. There’s some good stuff in here. It does at least set up the formula and introduce the main characters.

Murder, She Wrote – The Murder of Sherlock Holmes

That is a pretty provocative title for the first episode of this series, but the episode more than merits it. Heck, so does the series since it lasted 12 seasons and an on-going book series.

This two hour pilot movie does a tremendous job of introducing us to Jessica Fletcher, a widow in her 50s who lives in the quaint town of Cabot Cove (which just happens to be the murder capital of America) and who writes a murder mystery novel to help fill the time since she lost her husband. Through a series of events the novel gets published and becomes a best seller, leading Mrs. Fletcher to travel to New York for a series of promotional pieces. She also gets tangled up in a murder mystery.

This was a really good pilot. It does everything it needs to and gives us a really good mystery to solve. A lot of the credit goes to Angela Lansbury, who was born to play this role. Her Jessica Fletcher is a sweet woman who can summon up nerves of steel when the situation calls for it.

The murder happens at a party being thrown by Preston Giles, the publisher responsible for Jessica’s book. Guests have to dress up as literary characters. One guest comes as Sherlock Holmes, and it is he (or at least another guest who takes his costume) who ends up getting killed. This gives us a good list of suspects because the question becomes was the killer trying to murder the original man in the costume or the man who put the costume on later?

Jessica becomes involved in the case when her nephew Grady is accused of being the murderer. Grady is Jessica’s favorite nephew though he would probably have been wise to stay clear of her since it seems like every time they meet up he ends up accused of murder.

There are a lot of red herrings and some good twists and turns. Jessica does a good job of tracking them down and eliminating suspects one by one.

I didn’t suspect the identity of the killer and when it was revealed it was something of a gut punch. The killer wasn’t your typical evil doer and he had valid reasons for committing the murder. It doesn't make killing the guy the right decision, mind you, but he had a motive that wasn't about greed or jealousy or anything like that. Plus the killer's identity had personal stakes for Jessica.

I highly recommend this pilot movie. It works well as a stand-alone mystery as well as a launching pad for the series proper.
"You will give the people an ideal to strive towards. They will race behind you. They will stumble. They will fall. But in time, they will join you in the sun. In time, you will help them accomplish wonders."
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It's a recession when your neighbor loses his job: it's a depression when you lose yours.
-- Harry S. Truman

#27 Christopher

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Posted 17 January 2018 - 08:12 AM

View PostVirgil Vox, on 16 January 2018 - 11:41 PM, said:

I don't think I've seen any of the actors in anything else, honestly.


Let's see, after Hardy Boys, the main thing I know Parker Stevenson from is Probe, a short-lived '80s SF show co-created by Isaac Asimov and William Link. He played a reclusive scientific genius who got lured into solving scientific mysteries with a female sidekick who tried to help him connect to the rest of humanity -- sort of a forerunner of Monk crossed with a bit of Doctor Who.

I know Shaun Cassidy mainly from his later work as a TV producer, of shows like the 1995 American Gothic (which my father loved), Roar, and Cold Case. I don't think I've seen much of Pamela Sue Martin since Nancy Drew.


Quote

Murder, She Wrote – The Murder of Sherlock Holmes
...
I highly recommend this pilot movie. It works well as a stand-alone mystery as well as a launching pad for the series proper.

Honestly, it's the sort of concept that's a lot more plausible as a single, unique event than as the template for an ongoing pattern. A mystery writer happening to stumble upon a real murder and figuring out the solution is believable once, but when it starts to happen two dozen times a year, it quickly grows ridiculous. Hence the popular "Jessica Fletcher is really a brilliant serial killer" joke that many people (myself included) have independently thought up over the years.

Edited by Christopher, 17 January 2018 - 08:13 AM.

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#28 RJDiogenes

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Posted 17 January 2018 - 06:28 PM

View PostVirgil Vox, on 16 January 2018 - 11:41 PM, said:

If you're thinking of Bender from Futurama I can say that he is not how you are picturing him. :)  
That's exactly what I was thinking.  :D

Quote

I was rather disappointed in this pilot, truth be told. I’ve been waiting to see it for a while now. It hasn’t aired on TV as far as I’m aware so when I got the Hart to Hart Complete Series box set for Christmas one of the first things I did was pop in the DVD.  

It's been a long time since I've seen it, but I remember liking it. Really, the only details I can dredge up from memory at the moment are Jonathan's line at the beginning, "Are you doing a good job?  Keep up the good work." and the punchline, "I always like to carry a spare."  at the end. I do have the first season on DVD, so maybe I'll try to watch it again if I can find the time.

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There’s nothing wrong with that, but what makes the show work is the chemistry between Robert Wagner and Stefanie Powers. It is easy to buy them as a real couple in love. The two just gel, and their double entendres are always fun. Having that chemistry missing for a good chunk of the pilot was not a good idea.  

That does seem odd in retrospect, but an interesting fun fact about Hart To Hart is that it was originally a movie script by Sidney Sheldon, and later became Hart To Hart after some rewrites (I think it was called Double Twist). So he was probably thinking more in terms of a one-shot plot structure than in setting up a series.

Quote

It’s not all bad. Once Jennifer and Jonathan are together the fun is upped somewhat. Max is also there, sneaking onto the spa grounds to bring his employers greasy fast food. The dynamic between these three really is astounding.  

Honestly, the show was really a standard Spelling crime drama of the period, but the real pleasure was watching Wagner, Powers, and Stander at work-- individually, they are all wonderful, but talk about synergy.

Quote

(In a side-note, I watched all the 90s TV movies when they were aired on Hallmark Movies and Mysteries. Lionel Stander died after the 5th TV movie, and the 6th dealt with his death. I have to say it was hard getting through the first part of that movie. The grief on display from both Wagner and Powers was palpable).  

I can imagine. How can you not love Max and Lionel Stander?
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#29 Virgil Vox

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Posted 26 February 2018 - 01:11 PM

Quote

Honestly, it's the sort of concept that's a lot more plausible as a single, unique event than as the template for an ongoing pattern. A mystery writer happening to stumble upon a real murder and figuring out the solution is believable once, but when it starts to happen two dozen times a year, it quickly grows ridiculous. Hence the popular "Jessica Fletcher is really a brilliant serial killer" joke that many people (myself included) have independently thought up over the years.

Well, yes, the concept really is only plausible for Jess solving one real murder, not the hundreds that she eventually did. However, the same can be said for a lot of these amateur sleuth shows. I still maintain that the pilot did a good job of showing Jessica's intelligence, her doggedness, and her curiosity that keeps leading her to get involved in these murder cases.

I won't lie. It would be awesome if they did one more Murder, She Wrote TV movie and exposed Jessica Fletcher as a diabolical serial killer.

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It's been a long time since I've seen it, but I remember liking it. Really, the only details I can dredge up from memory at the moment are Jonathan's line at the beginning, "Are you doing a good job?  Keep up the good work." and the punchline, "I always like to carry a spare."  at the end. I do have the first season on DVD, so maybe I'll try to watch it again if I can find the time.

It is possible that I went in with too high expectations. Even taking that into account I still wouldn't have liked the villains or the mystery all that much.

Quote

Honestly, the show was really a standard Spelling crime drama of the period, but the real pleasure was watching Wagner, Powers, and Stander at work-- individually, they are all wonderful, but talk about synergy.

Yeah, they lucked out with all three leads. Those three made the show.

The Lady on Thursday at Ten

This was a strong episode to end the Pamela Sue Martin era of Nancy Drew. I’d rank it up there with the better installments of both Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew episodes.

The mystery starts with Nancy hitting a man with her car and then wrecking her car. She is told by two police officers that the man escaped from the Tombs. They take her to her hotel. The next morning she goes to the police station only to find that no one escaped. She goes to where she had her wreck but all evidence has been covered up, including the damage to her car. She eventually discovers that everything revolves around a boxer named Rocky and how he was privy to the last words of a dying man.

There’s a palpable sense of danger in this episode with Nancy being stalked for a good portion of its run time. She is alone in New York City and isn’t sure she can trust the police since they’re hunting her and since the villains disguised themselves as police officers.

I liked the partnership between Nancy and Rocky. It had an older brother/little sister vibe going for it. The episode made Rocky a likeable character. I wouldn’t have minded if he had become a recurring character.

Other than a brief cameo by her dad, none of the other Nancy Drew regulars showed up. It’s just as well since they were all re-cast. I do wonder if they’ll make an appearance in the team-up episodes still to come.

It’s sad that this was the last Pamela Sue Martin episode, and the last solo Nancy Drew episode, but if it had to end at least it went out on top.

Oh Say Can You Sing

The Hardy Boys go to a small town to celebrate the 4th of July and so Joe can sing with a band that he used to sing with in their hometown. When they get there they find that the lead singer, Harriet, is acting strange. Pretty soon she is arrested for a hit and run involving an investigative reporter that the brothers know. Harriet maintains her innocence and says that she witnessed a car deliberately strike the reporter.

This episode has Frank narrating throughout which was a little odd. It also starts in media res, with the boys visiting Harriet in jail and then jumping back in time to fill in the blanks.

Joe makes Frank promise to actually stay and watch his performance and once again Frank has to leave during it. I like this running joke they’re doing about Frank constantly missing Joe’s performances.

The mystery is okay. We aren’t really given much to go on as to why someone would run over the reporter and frame Harriet. All we know is that the reporter has been traveling the country following a big case.

It’s eventually revealed that the case has to do with a narcotics ring that has been using bands as roving distribution centers. The reporter figured this out and was close to breaking the story.

I didn’t dislike the episode, but it didn’t wow me either. It was a middle of the road episode. It probably won’t be one I just randomly watch.
"You will give the people an ideal to strive towards. They will race behind you. They will stumble. They will fall. But in time, they will join you in the sun. In time, you will help them accomplish wonders."
--Jor-El


It's a recession when your neighbor loses his job: it's a depression when you lose yours.
-- Harry S. Truman

#30 RJDiogenes

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Posted 26 February 2018 - 06:23 PM

View PostVirgil Vox, on 26 February 2018 - 01:11 PM, said:

I won't lie. It would be awesome if they did one more Murder, She Wrote TV movie and exposed Jessica Fletcher as a diabolical serial killer.
They'll never do it with Jessica Fletcher, but it would be a fun concept for a book or novel starring a pastiche of her or Miss Marple.
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#31 Norville

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Posted 26 February 2018 - 06:26 PM

View PostVirgil Vox, on 12 June 2017 - 04:01 PM, said:

Quote

I guess I don't even need to ask if there was any real vampire activity. I don't think this is the show for that.

They do hint, in a scene played more for laughs, that the man pretending to be a vampire might be an actual vampire. Joe looks into a mirror and sees himself and a police officer but not the culprit even though he should. He tries to get Frank's attention but Frank is too busy talking to Nancy and Fenton.

Right. I remember that bit. This is an episode (or, as a two-parter, these are episodes) I've been intending to rewatch someday, as I only saw it by accident once, so many years ago, and kept watching because of Lorne Greene playing an alleged vampire. (So, yes, I came into this thread to see if you'd said anything about that ep.) I liked that actor (due to Bonanza and the original Battlestar Galactica), what can I say. He probably wasn't even all that good, but had presence with that voice of his. hahaha *slinking away again, slightly embarrassed*
"The dew has fallen with a particularly sickening thud this morning."
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Rules for Surviving an Autocracy
Rule#1: Believe the Autocrat.
Rule#2: Do not be taken in by small signs of normality.
Rule#3: Institutions will not save you.
Rule#4: Be outraged.
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#32 RJDiogenes

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Posted 27 February 2018 - 06:59 PM

Oh, Lorne Greene definitely had presence.  :lol:
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#33 Virgil Vox

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Posted 25 March 2018 - 09:59 AM

Quote

Right. I remember that bit. This is an episode (or, as a two-parter, these are episodes) I've been intending to rewatch someday, as I only saw it by accident once, so many years ago, and kept watching because of Lorne Greene playing an alleged vampire. (So, yes, I came into this thread to see if you'd said anything about that ep.) I liked that actor (due to Bonanza and the original Battlestar Galactica), what can I say. He probably wasn't even all that good, but had presence with that voice of his. hahaha *slinking away again, slightly embarrassed*

I thought he did good in the role. I'll admit I didn't recognize him at first. I knew I had seen him on another show but it wasn't until a while later that I could remember where.

The episodes themselves are pretty good. In fact, on the whole I've liked the show a lot more than I originally thought I would.

Hart to Hart 1x04 – Death in the Slow Lane

This was a gloriously cheesy and ridiculous episode and I loved every minute of it.

Jonathan is in London and decides to buy an antique car as a present for Jennifer on her birthday. He is almost outbid by a British couple but they can’t match the $80,000 that Jonathan offers. Jennifer is less than thrilled with her present, but decides to keep it when she and Jonathan become suspicious of the British couple when they show up in America and keep making outrageous offers to buy the car back.

There are a lot of funny gags in this episode. When Jonathan is bidding for the car he is bidding in American dollars whereas the British couple is bidding using pounds. The broker is confused at first with the different currencies. I’m not explaining it well but it works within the context of the episode.

Later, the Harts take their car to an antique car picnic where everyone dresses up in turn of the century clothing. The British couple shows up as well in an old Model-T and try to divide and conquer the Harts. The woman, Louisa, offers herself up to Hart in exchange for the car.

This leads to a car chase that can barely be described as a car chase. The couple takes off in their Model-T with the Harts chasing in their antique car. Both are barely going 20 miles an hour, especially once they hit an incline. Jonathan actually gets out of the car and chases the couple on foot, going faster than either car. It is a ridiculous and funny sequence.

I honestly had no idea what was so special about the car. When they do finally reveal why everyone seems to be interested in the car it’s so preposterous that I don’t think anyone could have guessed the reason. I won’t spoil it here in case anyone wants to watch the episode.

This was a very enjoyable episode. The chemistry between the Harts is perfect, the quips and one-liners work, and the gags involving the car are good.

Hart to Hart 1x06 – Murder Between Friends

The Harts are on their way to a dinner party hosted by a famous divorce attorney. A married couple, Mike and Gail, are also in attendance. Max is performing the cooking and serving because the divorce attorney fired his butler. When the Harts get there they discover the attorney dead, with Max, Mike, and Gail the prime suspects.

Obviously Max isn’t the killer and he is cleared fairly quickly. From there the Harts set out to prove that their friends are innocent, though Jonathan believes Mike is innocent while Jennifer believes Gail is innocent. Things take a turn when the fired butler shows up dead, and the car owned by Mike and Gail is seen fleeing the crime scene.

This was a pleasant episode. The mystery was nice and it really could have been either Mike or Gail who committed the murder. Both of them had reason to. I also liked the fact that Jonathan and Jennifer were slightly at odds with each other and pursuing their own leads in the investigation. Of course they still remain a happily married couple.

There was a twist to the mystery that I saw coming a mile away but it still elevated the episode a little and there were nice clues planted throughout the episode as to the identity of the murderer.

Whitechapel: The Ripper Returns Part 1

Whitechapel was a police procedural that started out being about modern day police dealing with copycat killers and then evolved in the last two seasons to having the police use historical murders to inform their current investigations.

This first season (or mini-series since it is only 3 episodes) sees a Jack the Ripper copycat killing women in Whitechapel.

DI Joseph Chandler is assigned to the first murder because his boss, Commander Anderson, believes it will be an open and shut case that will help Chandler move up in his career. The Whitechapel squad he is assigned to don’t like him, thinking he’s a paper policeman, i.e. he doesn’t have a clue as to what he’s doing. They scoff at him at first when he suggests that the killing is a Jack the Ripper copycat but by the end of the first episode another woman is murdered and they realize he was right.

I’m a big fan of this series. I watched it on Hulu and loved it so much I bought all four seasons on DVD.

This first episode introduces us to a decent sized cast but I’m going to focus on four of them because these four are the only ones who stay with the show all four seasons.

The first is DI Chandler. His father was a big deal policeman before he died, and Chandler is looking to following in his footsteps. He wants to have a murder investigation under his belt because it furthers his career goals. He is OCD and doesn’t know the best way to be an effective leader. He comes to believe that they are dealing with a copycat and sticks to his guns even when everyone else is telling him he’s wrong. He is rich and always dressed to the nines.

DS Miles has more or less been in charge of the Whitechapel squad for a while since they seem to have a revolving door when it comes to D.I.s. He’s a career cop who has seen a lot and doesn’t have the patience to put up with Chandler. He keeps undermining Chandler with the men. While Miles and Chandler start out as antagonists their relationship evolves to one of friendship and even has semblance of a father/son relationship.

Edward Buchan is a Ripperologist. He has written a book about the killer and conducts nightly tours of all the important Ripper sites. He is the one who first notices that the new murder is staged exactly like a Ripper murder and brings it to Chandler’s attention. He wants to be an investigator like the police and gives advice to Chandler throughout the episode and the series. He has a good heart even if he makes mistakes at times.

Emmerson Kent is the rookie on the squad. He’s the youngest, nicest, and is way less crude than his fellow officers. It’s also hinted that he’s gay and in love with Chandler. This gets more obvious as the series progresses. Kent is eager to please and wants to be taken seriously.

The rest of the squad members are more or less interchangeable, at least in this first episode. They start to develop better in the next few episodes and in season 2.

There is gore here but honestly I’ve seen worse on Bones. They usually do quick cuts whenever we see one of the dead women or shots that are strategically placed to show the gore but not be completely horrific about it.

Only one suspect is introduced in this episode and he seems to be cleared rather quickly, leaving the team baffled as to who the murderer truly is. It doesn’t help that Chandler is the only one who truly believes there is a copycat killer out there. The rest think they are dealing with a random murderer.

There are some shady politics going on as well. Chandler informs Commander Anderson about his theory. Anderson tells him to keep it to himself because if he’s wrong it will ruin his career. Chandler is shocked by that, wanting to know what will happen if he’s right and there’s another murder. Anderson tells him if that happens he will deny Chandler ever told him his copycat theory.

The first episode does a splendid job of setting up the characters and conflicts and also setting a dark mood. It accomplishes a lot in a relatively little amount of time. It hooked me from the get-go when I first watched it.
"You will give the people an ideal to strive towards. They will race behind you. They will stumble. They will fall. But in time, they will join you in the sun. In time, you will help them accomplish wonders."
--Jor-El


It's a recession when your neighbor loses his job: it's a depression when you lose yours.
-- Harry S. Truman

#34 RJDiogenes

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Posted 25 March 2018 - 06:23 PM

View PostVirgil Vox, on 25 March 2018 - 09:59 AM, said:

This leads to a car chase that can barely be described as a car chase. The couple takes off in their Model-T with the Harts chasing in their antique car. Both are barely going 20 miles an hour, especially once they hit an incline. Jonathan actually gets out of the car and chases the couple on foot, going faster than either car. It is a ridiculous and funny sequence.  

I remember that.  :lol:

Quote

This was a very enjoyable episode. The chemistry between the Harts is perfect, the quips and one-liners work, and the gags involving the car are good.  
That pretty much sums up the appeal of Hart To Hart.
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#35 Virgil Vox

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Posted 10 April 2018 - 09:09 AM

The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries - The House on Possessed Hill

This is another supernatural themed episode, revolving around a supposedly haunted house in a town called Circle Hills.

Joe is driving to the alone (Frank is meeting him later) when he sees a young woman being chased by a mob. He picks her up and learns that some of the townspeople think she is a witch because she gets psychic flashes. She told a man that his daughter would be in a car wreck and it came true. The father now believes that the woman, Stacey, caused the wreck and wants to drive her out of town.

Stacey has Joe drive her to a dilapidated house on a hill. The two run inside. The mob chases them there but refuses to go inside, fearful of the supposedly angry spirits that inhabit the house.

Later, Frank arrives in town and hears about the trouble his younger brother has gotten involved with. He heads up to the house to lend a hand.

This was an enjoyable episode. The haunted house clichés were out in force, but I didn’t mind that. The lights go on and off on their own; doors open and close by themselves; cobwebs hang from every piece of furniture; a storm is raging outside; sobbing can be heard from upstairs, etc. Heck, the house has a long and very sordid past since every family that has lived in it has died terrible deaths or gone insane. It has even haunted two continents, since it was originally built in England before being bought and moved to America.

Interestingly, the brothers have no problem believing Stacey’s claim that she is clairvoyant. They treat it like an everyday occurrence and even tell her that what she has is a gift, not a curse. Not once in the episode does anyone question her abilities.

The main mystery revolves around Stacey’s connection to the house. Something happened to her inside the house when she was very young and ever since then she has been drawn to the house even though she can’t remember what so traumatized her.

Much like the episodes “The Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew Meet Dracula” this episode leaves it up in the air if supernatural events actually took place. Frank has a reasonable explanation for everything in the house, but at the end of the episode Joe spots what looks like a ghost of the house’s original owner.

This was definitely a much better episode than the last one, and I think one of the better episodes of the season. I just felt like everything clicked in the episode.

Quote

I remember that.  :lol:

It really was the highlight of the episode. It was just so unexpected.
"You will give the people an ideal to strive towards. They will race behind you. They will stumble. They will fall. But in time, they will join you in the sun. In time, you will help them accomplish wonders."
--Jor-El


It's a recession when your neighbor loses his job: it's a depression when you lose yours.
-- Harry S. Truman

#36 RJDiogenes

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Posted 10 April 2018 - 05:21 PM

View PostVirgil Vox, on 10 April 2018 - 09:09 AM, said:

This was an enjoyable episode. The haunted house clichés were out in force, but I didn’t mind that. The lights go on and off on their own; doors open and close by themselves; cobwebs hang from every piece of furniture; a storm is raging outside; sobbing can be heard from upstairs, etc. Heck, the house has a long and very sordid past since every family that has lived in it has died terrible deaths or gone insane. It has even haunted two continents, since it was originally built in England before being bought and moved to America.
That about covers all the bases.  They really went all out in their homages on this show.  :D
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#37 Virgil Vox

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Posted 19 May 2018 - 06:49 PM

Father Dowling Mysteries – Fatal Confession

This is the TV movie that kicked off the three season mystery show. It held my attention and had solid mystery that came together quite well.

Father Dowling is a priest in a parish in Chicago. He is also an amateur detective, apparently having solved several cases before this with the help of his police lieutenant nephew Phil.

Dowling’s Watson is a streetwise nun named Steve. She apparently had a harsh life and acquired a love of gambling until she decided to change her life for the better by becoming a nun. She aids Dowling in the investigation quite a bit and also drives him around since he can’t drive, much like Jessica Fletcher.

The mystery revolves around a young man named Andy who committed suicide by throwing himself off a building while Dowling was trying to talk him off the ledge. Andy was adopted, and he has been searching for his birth parents. This was his last ditch effort to find them.

Dowling is wracked with guilt because he thinks that he didn’t do enough to save Andy. When he sees news footage of Andy’s suicide he comes to believe that Andy was shot. The only problem with that theory is the fact that the police found no bullet.

What makes this TV movie work are the two leads. Tom Bosley is perfect as Dowling. He comes across as a likeable, down to earth priest that just happens to be an amazing detective as well. Even when he is accusing people of doing terrible things he never raises his voice or gets angry. He keeps an even keel.

Tracy Nelson as Sister Stephanie, or Steve as she prefers, is just as good in her role. Whereas Dowling is calm and collected, Steve is brash and loud. She has no problem playing pool in a dive bar or sneaking into a mob owned apartment if it helps her and Dowling find the truth.

Other notable characters are Marie, the housekeeper at the parish who preferred the previous parish priest and has no qualms about letting Dowling know that. She is played by Mary Wickes, who also played a nun in both Sister Act movies. Leslie Nielsen portrays a Senator who is targeting organize crime in the city. Peter Scolari plays the business partner of Andy’s who wants to find the truth about Andy’s parents.

I was impressed with the mystery here. It seems as if Andy’s death will tie in to who his birth parents are why he was put up for adoption. Dowling uncovers the fact that the previous parish priest was involved with the adoption and that it may have involved the mob and the Senator.

While all those facts play a role, the killer and his motives are a little left of center of the adoption. While I had suspected this character before, I didn’t think he was truly the killer and thought that it had be mob-related. Heck, I figured Leslie Nielsen would be the killer.

The TV movie was surprisingly good with a nice mystery and entertaining leads. Hopefully the show will continue this level of excellence.

Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries – Sole Survivor

This was another terrific episode. Joe wakes up in a Hong Kong hospital and is told that he has been in a coma for a year. Not only that, but his father and brother were killed eleven months ago when an operation they were on went bad. Joe is told by a U.S. agent that the man who contacted Fenton about the job, Kline, betrayed them.

Joe eventually starts to suspect that things are not what they seem, and he eventually learns that the people keeping him in the hospital are East German agents who want to stop the defection of a Chinese citizen. Joe has inadvertently given the bad guys all the details they needed to capture the defector and kill his father and brother.

I thought this was a superb episode. Well directed and acted with a good Cold War plot. Not only that, but there are good callbacks to prior episodes. Oh, and Diana Muldaur (Dr. Pulaski from TNG) plays one of the East German agents.

The first half of the episode is spent with just Joe as he wakes up in the hospital and learns that his family is dead. He slowly starts to figure out that he wasn’t in a coma for a year, aided by a candy striper named Kim who has figured out that the East German agent spies aren’t who they claim to be.

This first half works because Shaun Cassidy sells the grief Joe is feeling at learning that Fenton and Frank are dead.

Also, while we as viewers know there is no way that Fenton and Frank are really dead and that a year has passed the episode plays it more or less straight and only offers up a few clues that things aren’t what they seem. The dialogue between the agents is sinister in context, but at first glance seems to be what a doctor and nurse would be saying about a patient who has been in a coma for a year.

Heck, they even have letters supposedly written by friends and relatives to give to Joe, including one written by Nancy. They even tape their own fake news broadcasts for Joe to watch in the hospital.

The second half is where Fenton and Frank make an appearance, dealing with their own grief. The Germans made it look like Joe died in a car crash. Fenton and Frank stay in Hong Kong to finish the mission but both are simply going through the motions.

Like I wrote earlier, there are a few nice callbacks to previous episodes. Joe mentions how one of Fenton’s old spy buddies betrayed him in the episode “Acapulco Spies.” Frank tells his father that he feels bad about giving Joe grief over believing that the murder in “The Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew Meet Dracula” was a real vampire. Aunt Gertrude, not seen since season 1, even gets a mention.

This was just an enjoyable episode with good acting and a more or less riveting plot. The only downside is Kim, who is pretty superfluous to the plot. She doesn’t really bring anything to the episode. Still, it isn’t enough to detract from the episode.

Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries – Voodoo Doll Part 1

The Hardy Boys are not having a fun vacation in New Orleans during Mardi Gras. Their reservation in a swanky hotel is given away to make room for an African ambassador so they have to grab a room in a rundown hotel. To make matters worse, the previous occupant of the room was murdered and a mysterious voodoo priest named Dr. Dove wants the boys out of the room as well. The boys get their wallets stolen and are given numerous warnings to leave New Orleans or suffer a terrible fate.

This is the episode that introduces Janet Louise Johnson as Nancy Drew. It is hard to get a read on her because she is barely in the episode. She does seem more passive than Pamela Sue Martin, but that could be because the script has her laying coy and not revealing to the brothers what the case is she is working on. Hopefully her part will be expanded in the next episode.

I liked the episode, but so far it hasn’t been as good the previous team-up episodes. It has a slower pace and there’s really no teaming up here anyways. The Hardy Boys only share two scenes with Nancy in the entire episode.

The mystery revolves around Dr. Dove and a woman who worked for him named Josette who is now missing. Then there is also the mystery as to why he wants that hotel room and is willing to kill for it.

The Hardy Boys are aided by Dr. Thatcher, an English professor who studies occult practices like voodoo. He is in New Orleans to do more research. When the brothers find voodoo dolls in their hotel room they ask him for help.

Kim Cattrall is in the episode as Marie Claire, a woman working for Dr. Dove. It turns out that she is the sister to Josette, who has come to New Orleans to discover what has happened to her sister.

There are some nice moments in the episode. The camaraderie between the brothers is great as always. The scene where they find the voodoo dolls is funny because they are trying to convince themselves that they don’t take voodoo seriously, unless they do. The second scene between the brothers and Nancy was good, especially since it played up the flirting aspect of Frank and Nancy’s relationship.

I also liked the scene where Frank and Joe are discussing their plans for when they reach New Orleans. Joe wants to live it up in Mardi Gras with the debauchery and women whereas Frank simply wants to rest and get a lot of sleep.

Joe mentions high inflation and the rising costs of, well, everything. Nice little 1978 moment.

The episode does end on a good cliffhanger as Joe and Frank return to their hotel room only to find a coffin with the dead body of Dr. Thatcher inside.

Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries – Voodoo Doll Part 2

The conclusion to the third Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew cross-over has arrived, and it is okay. It isn’t as good as the previous two cross-overs but there is a lot to like here.

Nancy is in the episode more, but she spends the majority of the episode locked up in a warehouse with Marie Claire and Josette. Janet Louise Johnson does well with the part but there isn’t much to the character in this episode. She does show some resourcefulness but mainly just waits around to be freed.

Joe and Frank get on the bad side of the police when the coffin containing Dr. Thatcher disappears. It gets worse when Thatcher shows up alive with no knowledge of being in a coffin. The brothers are given until sundown to leave the city.

The mystery here is rather weak as well. It turns out that Thatcher is the real villain and Dr. Dove is his henchman. Thatcher has industrial concerns in the country represented by the African ambassador who is in the city to attend a summit. Thatcher is using laser technology to make the ambassador sick, hoping to drive him out of the city so the ambassador’s second can take over. The second in command is in Thatcher’s pocket and would make sure the summit profited Thatcher.

It is a muddled motive and revealed in drips and drabs. I’m not even sure if they say what country the ambassador is from, or how exactly Thatcher intends to profit.

It does lead to a callback to the “Mystery of the African Safari” episode as the boys use that case to gain an audience with the ambassador.

Something that bugged me is we saw in the first episode that Thatcher and Dove had no problem murdering someone to get what they wanted. That makes their decision to keep Josette, Marie Claire, and Nancy alive in captivity absurd since they don’t need anything from any of the women. The same goes for the brothers. Why try to frighten them from the room when they killed the previous occupant to gain access to it?

I will say that Thatcher made for a convincing villain. He also introduces a touch of the supernatural as well since he claims to be a voodoo high priest and possibly turns himself into a snake at the end of the episode. It reminded me of when Joe saw that the fake vampire in the Dracula episode had no reflection.

Overall, the Voodoo Doll two parter was good but it wasn’t as good as the previous two cross-overs. Nancy either didn’t get a lot of screen time or was relegated to being a damsel in distress. The motives behind the mystery were weak. There wasn’t enough interaction between the brothers and Nancy.

There are still two more episodes where the Hardy Boys team up with Nancy so maybe they can do the new Nancy justice.
"You will give the people an ideal to strive towards. They will race behind you. They will stumble. They will fall. But in time, they will join you in the sun. In time, you will help them accomplish wonders."
--Jor-El


It's a recession when your neighbor loses his job: it's a depression when you lose yours.
-- Harry S. Truman

#38 Virgil Vox

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Posted 11 June 2018 - 05:43 PM

Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries –Mystery on the Avalanche Express

This was another team-up episode between the Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew. That caught me by surprise because I thought Nancy Drew was dropped after the Voodoo Doll episodes.

The teen sleuths are in Budapest on vacation. They are boarding a train headed to Austria to see a ski competition. Right before boarding the train, Nancy gets her bag switched with another woman’s. Once on the train, men come up to her and threaten her life if she doesn’t give them what they want. The detectives have to figure out just what in the woman’s bag could be worth murdering over.

I like mysteries set on a train (or in some secluded location that the characters can’t leave) so I figured this episode would be right up my alley.

This episode did a better job of showing off the new Nancy and making me like her more than the previous two episodes did. It helps that she isn’t kept away from the main action like she was in the Voodoo Doll episodes. Here she and Frank work together to figure out the mystery. She takes the initiative and figures out a lot of the mystery for herself. A damsel in distress she isn’t.

While they do that, Joe has his own B-plot. A Hungarian skier wants to defect to the West, and he knows that Fenton Hardy can help him. He asks Joe to contact his father and see if they can make it work. Fenton sets it up but the skier will have to make it into Switzerland at a set time. If he is caught, he will probably be killed.

Honestly, I felt that the B-plot was rather redundant. It wasn’t a mystery and didn’t have any real impact on the episode. It felt shoe-horned in.

Thankfully the main plot more than makes up for the shortcomings of the B-plot. Frank, Nancy, and George know that there is something in the woman’s (her name is Gina) bag that is valuable. However, all of the contents seem rather pedestrian. When they finally find Gina she says she doesn’t know either. She was contacted by her older brother who she hadn’t talked to in years and he told her people were after him and to come to Budapest.

In hindsight, the episode clues you in on what is valuable right from the get go. It is a coin. The camera makes sure to focus on the coins several times. It seems that Gina’s brother, along with several other men, became mercenaries for hire during Vietnam and amassed quite a fortune. Gina’s brother ran off with it, and eventually bought a rare coin valued at over $250,000 to make it easy to hide and transport the money.

The train setting is put to good use, I thought. Most of the episode is set on the train. The episode even works it where Gina, Joe, and one of the bad guys end up on the roof of the train in a fight that eventually causes an accident.

The episode culminates in a chase sequence on the ski slopes. For the most part it is expertly executed. However, any time the camera cuts to a close up of one of the actors it is extremely easy to see that they are just standing behind a background of a ski slope and moving as if they were skiing. Well, some of them. The bad guys barely move, and Joe just looks bored. It actually makes what is supposed to be a tense sequence unintentionally funny.

All in all, an impressive outing for the new Nancy Drew that is marred only by a dumb B-plot and some bad acting during the skiing sequence.

Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries – Death Surf

The brothers are in Hawaii relaxing when they get caught up in a mystery, but not a typical one. Frank is surfing when he spies a beautiful young woman fall off her surf board. She doesn’t surface. He leaps into the ocean to try and save her but she is nowhere to be seen.

The woman was Marianne, and her father arrives soon after she drowns. He hadn’t been in touch with his daughter in a long time, and he asks Frank and Joe to investigate her life and find out what kind of woman she had become. Along the way, Frank ends up falling in love with the memory of Marianne, much to Joe’s dismay.

This was a pretty atypical episode. It didn’t follow the normal episodic beats but that works in its favor. For a good chunk of the episode the boys are just investigating someone’s life and not a crime, though obviously a crime does come into play. This is Hardy Boys, after all.

I did find Frank falling in love with Marianne, or at least the small fragments that he learns about Marianne, a little hard to swallow. It doesn’t really fit with his character as we know it. At the same time the episode does try to justify by having Frank experience guilt over not being able to save Marianne and by making Marianne out to be a perfect woman with the soul of a saint.

The crime comes in the form of a man named Don who claims that Marianne worked for him in his investment office and that she embezzled $100,000 from him. He tracked her to Hawaii to try and get the money back. Frank and Joe aren’t sure if they believe him.

I knew there was a twist coming with Marianne. Either she was dead but was murdered somehow, or she faked her death. It turns out she faked her death because the money wasn’t embezzled; it was robbed from a bank by Don. Marianne was dating him at the time and fled with the money because she wanted to find a way to return it without looking like an accomplice.

The camp and comedy were kept to a minimum in this episode but there was still some snappy dialogue. My favorite was when a waitress was hitting on Joe and just talking a mile a minute. She asks Joe what his sign is and he replies with “Yield.” I laughed.

While I prefer the more camp episodes set in haunted houses or involving ridiculous plot twists this episode was a nice break from the norm and stands out because of it. It is a more serious effort and kept me engaged.
"You will give the people an ideal to strive towards. They will race behind you. They will stumble. They will fall. But in time, they will join you in the sun. In time, you will help them accomplish wonders."
--Jor-El


It's a recession when your neighbor loses his job: it's a depression when you lose yours.
-- Harry S. Truman

#39 RJDiogenes

RJDiogenes

    Idealistic Cynic

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Posted 12 June 2018 - 05:07 PM

View PostVirgil Vox, on 11 June 2018 - 05:43 PM, said:

I like mysteries set on a train (or in some secluded location that the characters can’t leave)
Me, too. It's a classic trope.

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It seems that Gina’s brother, along with several other men, became mercenaries for hire during Vietnam and amassed quite a fortune. Gina’s brother ran off with it, and eventually bought a rare coin valued at over $250,000 to make it easy to hide and transport the money.  
Nice setup.

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Death Surf
Lame title of the year.  :lol:

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He hadn’t been in touch with his daughter in a long time, and he asks Frank and Joe to investigate her life and find out what kind of woman she had become.
Was this estrangement ever explained?

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At the same time the episode does try to justify by having Frank experience guilt over not being able to save Marianne
I can see that happening.

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Marianne was dating him at the time and fled with the money because she wanted to find a way to return it without looking like an accomplice.  
Wow, she really is a saint, despite her bad taste in men.  :lol:
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#40 Virgil Vox

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Posted 27 June 2018 - 11:48 AM

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Me, too. It's a classic trope.

It really is, and if pulled off well it never comes across as derivative or cliche.

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Lame title of the year.  :lol:

You don't love that title? I am shocked. Shocked, I tell you.

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Was this estrangement ever explained?

It was a combination of factors. Apparently Marianne's mother died and that created a rift between her and her father. She also rejected the suburban, 9 to 5 values that her father espoused and wanted to live a different type of life.
"You will give the people an ideal to strive towards. They will race behind you. They will stumble. They will fall. But in time, they will join you in the sun. In time, you will help them accomplish wonders."
--Jor-El


It's a recession when your neighbor loses his job: it's a depression when you lose yours.
-- Harry S. Truman



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