1950s/60s TV Shows That Were Truly Ahead Of Their Time

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1950s/60s TV Shows That Were Truly Ahead Of Their Time

Postby JD Spydo » Thu May 30, 2019 9:34 pm

IN some ways I'm kind of bummed out that I'm over 60 and feel a bit detached from this present era but in many, many other ways I feel like I'm one of the most privileged people on the planet. Oh please don't get me wrong I'm darn glad I'm still alive and thank the man above each passing day. But I do miss a lot of the stuff I loved in my past. One advantage that I feel my "Baby Boomer" generation had was the true GOLDEN ERA of TV Shows and many of them way ahead of their time. I just read a post on another Forum I frequent and one Brother over there mentioned the old 1960s TV show called "The Invaders" which was launched in the fall of 1966 I think. There was also another great science fiction show that I feel was way ahead of it's time which was called "The Time Tunnel".

I was also privileged to be able to see the original "Twilight Zone" and "Outer Limits" which were truly masterful shows that projected a lot of scenarios that were way into the future>> even though I was pretty young with much of that was playing I still loved it. Another one I remember on Sunday nights was "Land Of The Giants" on the ABC tv network. To me in this present era I view most TV shows as truly vile, despicable trash. Whereas the true artists like Rod Serling, Irwin Allen and Harlan Ellison among many others were true artists that didn't have to rely on indecent, vulgar shock factor to get the attention of an audience. No they did it with intrigue and raw talent.

Other shows of that era that left an indelible mark on my psyche were the original Star Trek ( William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy) that was created by the late, great Gene Roddenberry. Who else among us enjoyed the great 1960s/50s science fiction and horror shows that were on our national prime time TV lineup? Name off some of the shows of that era that really captivated your intrigue and/or imagination? Even for those of you who are in a younger generation I'm sure you all have been exposed to some of these great older TV Shows and some movies. OK let's talk original SCI FI and even Horror that was a big part of the TV networks in that era and for that matter and I would like to keep it confined to the 1950s/60s era. You can include movies if you like but no later than like 75 or so.

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Re: 1950s/60s TV Shows That Were Truly Ahead Of Their Time

Postby SpyderEdgeForever » Thu May 30, 2019 10:42 pm

Great topic, JD.

I was and still am a Star Trek fan in ways but what I do not agree with all of the views/beliefs/ideas and ideals portrayed on Star Trek. I believe many of the episodes, especially the Original Series and the Next Generation, were "ahead of their time" or did tackle heavy-duty issues in society.

One of my favorites was the episode "Let That Be Your Last Battlefield" in which the Enterprise crew finds two men who are trying to destroy each other, both are half black and half white, literally; but on each the black and white are reversed. This showed how insane hating and attacking each other based on racism are.

One of my long-time fantasies is to live in a world where the society is peaceful and very much like "Mayberry" in "The Andy Griffith Show" but with the technology of Star Trek and with no "aliens", just human beings.

Rod Sterling of The Twilight Zone as you mentioned was also very much "ahead of his time" and made good points.

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Re: 1950s/60s TV Shows That Were Truly Ahead Of Their Time

Postby JD Spydo » Fri May 31, 2019 1:28 am

SpyderEdgeForever wrote:
Thu May 30, 2019 10:42 pm
One of my long-time fantasies is to live in a world where the society is peaceful and very much like "Mayberry" in "The Andy Griffith Show" but with the technology of Star Trek and with no "aliens", just human beings.

Rod Sterling of The Twilight Zone as you mentioned was also very much "ahead of his time" and made good points.
I had heard recently that the Sci Fi Channel had paid huge money for the rights to the Twilight Zone episodes. However they only mostly show them in marathons on holidays. I also find it very intriguing that many young people still consider the early 1960s Twilight Zone episodes a favorite show to watch. A local Kansas City TV station has gotten the "ME TV" franchise which show reruns of Alfred Hitchcock's original 1960s TV Show>> that was one horror/mystery type shows that really gave me nightmares when I was a kid but yet I still couldn't resist watching every episode.

The "Outer Limit's" as I mentioned earlier are also on that "Me TV" channel. It was another networks attempt to compete head to head with the Twilight Zone but the "Outer Limits" was truly a completely different format all together. It was great but never gained the cult following that the Twilight Zone did. All of those Shows were even great by today's high standards>> actually I still think they were all better than anything we have now on Network Prime Time TV.

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Re: 1950s/60s TV Shows That Were Truly Ahead Of Their Time

Postby James Y » Fri May 31, 2019 1:30 am

I remember several shows from back then, even though I was only a little kid. Twilight Zone, Star Trek, Lost in Space, The Flying Nun, Perticoat Junction, My Three Sons, The Beveraly Hillbillies, Land of the Giants, and others. The main thing I remembered about Petticoat Junction was the train and the girls in the water tower in the opening sequence. I was obsessed with 3 things as a kid: Dinosaurs, steam trains, and girls (yeah, I liked girls early on :) ). That intro hit 2 out of 3.

My two favorite Twilight Zone episodes were 'The Dummy' (which scared me as a toddler) and 'He's Alive' (starring Dennis Hopper as an American neo-Nazi, an episode I didn't see 'til years later, but which was WAY ahead of its time, and is still very relevant today.

I loved Star Trek, which was my favorite, and my favorite episodes of that were the one where Kirk fought the Gorn/lizard man, and also this episode, in which I remember this scene had me and my cousins laughing so hard we could barely breathe at the time:

https://youtu.be/UhQA-06kSLU

Jim

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Re: 1950s/60s TV Shows That Were Truly Ahead Of Their Time

Postby JD Spydo » Fri May 31, 2019 1:45 am

Interesting you mention the "Beverly Hillbillies" even though I was focusing on Sci Fi and Horror for the most part but I'm still glad you brought up that show. It was genuinely funny and it truly made me laugh every time I watched and I still laugh to this very day when I watch the reruns. And they didn't have to say the "F" word every other word and they didn't have to do "X" rated crap to entertain an audience.

Most of the funniest shows I ever saw were in the older eras. The Marx Brothers, The 3 Stooges, Laurel & Hardy and other stuff like Francis The Talking Mule were truly shows that really made me laugh a lot. There were some other funny shows in the 60s like Rowan & Martin's Laugh In and the very earliest versions of Saturday Night Live.

But getting back to the "Invaders" That was the first of many Sci Fi classics that started in the fall of 66 and it was way ahead of it's time. And that was way before this whole idea of space aliens ever became as popular as it is now. Others were the Time Tunnel, Land Of The Giants as you mentioned, The original STar TRek. The Time Tunnel was I believe about Irwin Allen's best ever TV Show. That MeTV channel was showing reruns of it for a while and I wish they would put them back on. It would have been a great show in todays era.

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Re: 1950s/60s TV Shows That Were Truly Ahead Of Their Time

Postby Naperville » Fri May 31, 2019 2:03 am

I did like the Twilight Zone. A ton of mind benders! I recall some of those shows and they were really hard hitting, frightening even.

Star Trek and their technologies are still a dream, and some seem hundreds of years off if ever. My big dream in Jr High and H.S. was to become a pilot, maybe involved in commercial flight or aircraft maintenance and I took steps to do that, but those dreams died.

YES, there were some excellent shows, and I cannot even begin to name them all. Even though the US had problems, everything seemed more pure, and everyone less "hustled," more time available for free thought, and now things seem so dark. The Marx Brothers, The 3 Stooges, Laurel & Hardy, Gilligans Island, Maxwell Smart, Green Acres, The Munsters...totally inane. But that silliness was part of everyday society. Now every program is trying to rewrite history or pick a cultural battle.

It does not seem like the 60's and 70's brought us any civility that had a lasting effect, and nobody knows how to laugh anymore. When was the last time you laughed at something being produced now? Maybe you laughed for the first season, but then the stars of the program let on how they thought politically...and robbed us of our innocence.

I see errors in many of OUR ideals, and I'm not about to begin listing faults, but it seems like things were destined not to work out. Too many competing interests, and it looks like big money and a thousand groups with a bone to pick won out. Now the globe is interconnected and for some reason they feel like we owe them something, and any wrongs from 100 or 1000 years ago must be settled now.
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Re: 1950s/60s TV Shows That Were Truly Ahead Of Their Time

Postby James Y » Fri May 31, 2019 2:05 am

Joe, do you recall a show called The Prisoner? I haven't seen it since around 1969 or 70 or so, but I distinctly recall a scene where a giant rubber balloon or bubble is pursuing the main character and accidentally suffocates some bad guy to death.

I also watched The Avengers (with Emma Peel) and Wild, Wild West.

And for a Saturday morning cartoon, the original Johnny Quest combined sci-fi, horror, mystery and action all in one. In spite of the fact that I now realize the show contained many stereotypes, the themes presented were way ahead of their time, many of which would be considered inappropriate for children nowadays:

https://youtu.be/UfRs3MLNEMY

Jim

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Re: 1950s/60s TV Shows That Were Truly Ahead Of Their Time

Postby Evil D » Fri May 31, 2019 2:36 am

I don't think I'd go so far as to call myself a Trekkie but I love the original Star Trek series and The Next Generation. I never got the whole Star Trek vs Star Wars drama, I think they're both awesome and so different that it makes little sense to compare the two, especially to the point of arguing over which is better.

And I dunno about ahead of their time, but I always loved The Munsters and The Adams Family. I mean, how can you not love the Dragula?

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Re: 1950s/60s TV Shows That Were Truly Ahead Of Their Time

Postby Bloke » Fri May 31, 2019 3:28 am

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Re: 1950s/60s TV Shows That Were Truly Ahead Of Their Time

Postby JD Spydo » Fri May 31, 2019 8:18 am

James Y wrote:
Fri May 31, 2019 2:05 am
Joe, do you recall a show called The Prisoner? I haven't seen it since around 1969 or 70 or so, but I distinctly recall a scene where a giant rubber balloon or bubble is pursuing the main character and accidentally suffocates some bad guy to death.

I also watched The Avengers (with Emma Peel) and Wild, Wild West.

And for a Saturday morning cartoon, the original Johnny Quest combined sci-fi, horror, mystery and action all in one.
The Wild, Wild West with good ol' Dr, Miguelitto Loveless :D Who could forget Robert Conrad aka James West and his good ol' assistant sidekick Artemus Gordon. I hardly ever missed an episode of the Wild, Wild West. And that program was ahead of it's time in many ways. Who would have thought of a high-tech Western???
Not only Johnny Quest but all of the Hanna-Barbara cartoons were good. OH sure the Flintstones were a bit corny but still far above many of the trashy cartoon shows they have now a days.
And for sure I remember Emma Peel and her male sidekick in the "Avengers" It was like that network's answer to the Man From U.N.C.L.E. which I also thought was a genius TV show slightly ahead of it's time. and I rarely missed an episode of Napoleon Solo and Illya Kuryakin in the Man From U.N.C.L.E. There was also a lady detective show after The Man From U.N.C.L.E. known as "Honey West" that I thought was entertaining as well.

And NO I don't recall "The Prisoner" there were shows that were sort of popular that we just didn't get here in Kansas City,Mo for some strange reason. I could name about 3 more of them too. I had heard of that show but never saw it.

Robert Conrad had another TV Show in that era called "Ba Ba Blacksheep" which was a great Air Force show. He was a superb actor a quite the lady's man too.

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Re: 1950s/60s TV Shows That Were Truly Ahead Of Their Time

Postby JD Spydo » Fri May 31, 2019 8:32 am

Bloke wrote:
Fri May 31, 2019 3:28 am
Well BLOKE that's really sort of Ironic that you bring up "Land Of The Giants" because I've heard that you folks from down under truly loved Irwin Allen's "Lost In Space" and it became quite an icon in your country :)
Heck I thought that the "Robot" was the best character in the whole show :D And Billy Mumy sure played a good part in that show. I had heard that you guys down under even used to have "Lost In Space" Reunions down there in Sydney and Jonathan Harris ( the guy that played the evil Dr. Smith :D ) was extremely popular in your home town of Sydney. I actually watched a TV show in the early 90s broadcast from Australia showing one of those "Lost In Space Reunions">> and I'm sure you and your ol' buddy Dr. Smith hit the pubs later that night :eek: :D . Heck you might even be related to him for all I know :rolleyes: :D

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Re: 1950s/60s TV Shows That Were Truly Ahead Of Their Time

Postby James Y » Fri May 31, 2019 9:42 am

There were a ton of great adventure cartoons in the '60s, by both Hanna-Barbera, Lou Scheimer/Norm Prescott and other companies (even some Japanese anime cartoons). Cartoons such as:

Sinbad Jr. And His Magic Belt
Fantastic Four
The Herculoids
Frankenstein Jr.
Young Samson
Moby Dick and Mighty Mightor
Space Ghost
The Banana Splits show (and its cartoons)
Journey to the Center Of The Earth
Batman, Superman, All
The Fantastic Voyage
Gigantor
Tabor The 8th Man
King Kong
Spider-man

And those are only the action cartoons. I feel sorry for the kids that never got to experience that sense of adventure.

Jim

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Re: 1950s/60s TV Shows That Were Truly Ahead Of Their Time

Postby JD Spydo » Fri May 31, 2019 9:59 am

James Y wrote:
Fri May 31, 2019 9:42 am
There were a ton of great adventure cartoons in the '60s, by both Hanna-Barbera, Lou Scheimer/Norm Prescott and other companies (even some Japanese anime cartoons). Cartoons such as:

Sinbad Jr. And His Magic Belt
Fantastic Four
The Herculoids
Frankenstein Jr.
Young Samson
Moby Dick and Mighty Mightor
Space Ghost
The Banana Splits show (and its cartoons)
Journey to the Center Of The Earth
Batman, Superman, All
The Fantastic Voyage
Gigantor
Tabor The 8th Man
King Kong
Spider-man

And those are only the action cartoons. I feel sorry for the kids that never got to experience that sense of adventure.

Jim
Yeah I saw quite a few of those listed. But I also liked the goofy/funny ones too. I just loved all the Bugs Bunny and other LuneyToons characters. Whenever I get slightly depressed or down I'll pull up some of the older episodes of Tom & Jerry, Popeye, Woody Woodpecker, Wally Gator and they still make me laugh>> especially when Bugs Bunny picks on Elmer Fudd :D and of course Bugs comes out with the upper hand everytime. I just saw one two days ago with Bugs tormenting his old adversary "Yosemite Sam" :D And of course Bugs got the best of that deal :D I never saw a LuneyToon cartoon that didn't make me laugh. I think those types of cartoons are healthy for kids but this new crap is nothing but pure garbage IMO.

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Re: 1950s/60s TV Shows That Were Truly Ahead Of Their Time

Postby James Y » Fri May 31, 2019 10:14 am

Yeah, I also watched the Bugs Bunny/Road Runner show. My favorite Bugs Bunny antagonist was always Yosemite Sam. I knew a kid who, when he threw temper tantrums, reminded me exactly of him. It was hilarious. But my favorite of those was The Road Runner. And I loved Daffy Duck, especially the older cartoons. At the 1976 Comic Con, I met Mel Blanc, who voiced all the Warner Brothers characters, as well as Barney Rubble.

Yogi Bear, Huckleberry Hound, Quick Draw McGraw, etc., were pretty funny. Then there was Cool McCool, Rocky and Bullwinkle, George of the Jungle, Go Go Gophers, etc.

Jim

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Re: 1950s/60s TV Shows That Were Truly Ahead Of Their Time

Postby JD Spydo » Fri May 31, 2019 7:29 pm

James Y wrote:
Fri May 31, 2019 10:14 am
Yeah, I also watched the Bugs Bunny/Road Runner show. My favorite Bugs Bunny antagonist was always Yosemite Sam. I knew a kid who, when he threw temper tantrums, reminded me exactly of him. It was hilarious. But my favorite of those was The Road Runner. And I loved Daffy Duck, especially the older cartoons. At the 1976 Comic Con, I met Mel Blanc, who voiced all the Warner Brothers characters, as well as Barney Rubble.

Yogi Bear, Huckleberry Hound, Quick Draw McGraw, etc., were pretty funny. Then there was Cool McCool, Rocky and Bullwinkle, George of the Jungle, Go Go Gophers, etc.
You are so right about that time being the ultimate era of cartoons. IN Rocky & Bullwinkle I loved the evil characters Boris and Natasha :D But Rocket J. Squirrel was always on to them :D

There were so many TV shows and movies during that time dealing with "secret Agents". And Johnny Rivers made that song with that title super popular at that time. "The Man From U.N.C.L.E. even had a type of cell phone in that show which back then really freaked me out. Also the Avengers had a few high tech toys too. And of course there was a really big secret agent show called "Mission Impossible" which they later made a modern movie based on that old show.
There was also a really entertaining western back then that most people forgot about but it was one of my favorites. I'm speaking of the 1960s Western called "Laredo". It was about 3 Texas Rangers and their boss Captain Parmalee >> I laughed at every episode of that show. It was the most unusual western I ever saw.

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Re: 1950s/60s TV Shows That Were Truly Ahead Of Their Time

Postby JD Spydo » Sun Jun 02, 2019 5:37 pm

Evil D wrote:
Fri May 31, 2019 2:36 am
I don't think I'd go so far as to call myself a Trekkie but I love the original Star Trek series and The Next Generation. I never got the whole Star Trek vs Star Wars drama, I think they're both awesome and so different that it makes little sense to compare the two, especially to the point of arguing over which is better.

And I dunno about ahead of their time, but I always loved The Munsters and The Adams Family. I mean, how can you not love the Dragula?

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You see it's really shows like this that most people appreciate far more than this garbage you see on TV now. It's been a really long time since any new or modern sitcom ever made me laugh at all. But almost every episode of the Munsters here pictured made me laugh. I couldn't watch 5 minutes of the Beverly Hillbillies without laughing a lot.

Even with the old Green Acres Show with Arnold the Pig, Fred Ziffle, Sam Drucker and all the other characters truly were funny. There's even a guy here on the Forum who took Arnold's name >> he goes by Arnold Ziffle. Even the original Addams family were truly funny. There are far more classic TV shows that they've done reruns of out of the 1960s decade than any other I can remember.

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Re: 1950s/60s TV Shows That Were Truly Ahead Of Their Time

Postby Crux » Sun Jun 02, 2019 8:57 pm

The Jetsons and Star Trek. Everything else just skimmed the surface at best.
Can you find it and can it cut? :eek:

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Re: 1950s/60s TV Shows That Were Truly Ahead Of Their Time

Postby Doc Dan » Sun Jun 02, 2019 11:39 pm

I love Star Trek TOS. The new show is a load of camel dung (sorry to be so blunt). TOS picked up on the space race and imagined scenarios based on that, and dealt with social issues along the way. Who wouldn't want to kiss Uhura?

Before Star Trek was the movie Forbidden Planet and the movie The Fly, both from the '50's. They had space ships, energy weapons, science, psychology, transporters, and etc. long before Star Trek.
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Re: 1950s/60s TV Shows That Were Truly Ahead Of Their Time

Postby JD Spydo » Mon Jun 03, 2019 4:15 am

Doc Dan wrote:
Sun Jun 02, 2019 11:39 pm
I love Star Trek TOS. The new show is a load of camel dung (sorry to be so blunt). TOS picked up on the space race and imagined scenarios based on that, and dealt with social issues along the way. Who wouldn't want to kiss Uhura?

Before Star Trek was the movie Forbidden Planet and the movie The Fly, both from the '50's. They had space ships, energy weapons, science, psychology, transporters, and etc. long before Star Trek.
I tend to agree with you DOC the more they re-make Star Trek the more they botch it up. Just like the Outer Limits trying to either replicate or outperform the Twilight Zone>> and it just can't be done. There is always so much to be said for the original.

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Re: 1950s/60s TV Shows That Were Truly Ahead Of Their Time

Postby James Y » Mon Jun 03, 2019 7:51 am

Doc Dan wrote:
Sun Jun 02, 2019 11:39 pm
I love Star Trek TOS. The new show is a load of camel dung (sorry to be so blunt). TOS picked up on the space race and imagined scenarios based on that, and dealt with social issues along the way. Who wouldn't want to kiss Uhura?

Before Star Trek was the movie Forbidden Planet and the movie The Fly, both from the '50's. They had space ships, energy weapons, science, psychology, transporters, and etc. long before Star Trek.
Forbidden Planet was indeed ahead of its time. I especially enjoyed the lion-like 'mind monster'. Plus, Robert Kinoshita, who designed Robbie the Robot, also designed the robot in Lost in Space.

As for Star Trek, I only ever watched the original. I never could get into The Next Generation, much less the later spinoffs. And I never cared much for the Star Trek movies, either. I don't know why. For me, there was something about the original series that made only it special for me.

In Star Trek, didn't they use a communication device that looked remarkably like a flip phone?

Jim
Last edited by James Y on Mon Jun 03, 2019 8:38 am, edited 1 time in total.


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