Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Big Video Wednesday - The Horn

Sliding in under the wire to throw down another Big Video Wednesday episode of Tales of Tomorrow. You may remember, back in the Big Audio Wednesday days, I tried embedding an episode of this show before, titled "The Window." This time, the show is "The Horn," but really, it's not so much the show I'm interested in. I've watched six or seven episodes, and every one has been crap.

Now, you could say, "Well, it's live TV in the 50's, what do you expect?" And you'd be right. But that's just the soft bigotry of low expectations, isn't it?

I mainly had two reasons to post this. Number one, I love the opening titles, when the mad scientist glove throws the death ray switch (followed by the title card at top). Love those completely superfluous metal rings down the back of the glove. Oh, and the artwork for those titles was apparently done by Arthur Rankin Jr., later to achieve fame and fortune as one-half of Rankin-Bass, who produced a ton of animated holiday specials like Rudolph, the Red Nosed Reindeer and Santa Claus Is Coming to Town, as well as the Tolkien specials The Hobbit and The Return of the King. His work as Director of Graphic Art on Tales of Tomorrow was his first credit in show business, according to IMDB.

And number two, I noticed this credit tonight. The show was produced in cooperation with these guys.

Who were they? Not much evidence to go on, at least not online. But there is this description of a piece of Heinlein correspondence, about science fiction writer Theodore Sturgeon working with a guy named Mort Abrahams (who is credited as producer on Tales of Tomorrow) to organize a group of SF writers to script a TV series titled "Tomorrow is Yours." And then in Dancing Naked, William Tenn describes the group as a cooperative who would be the exclusive writers for the show (ht: Bill Spangler in this comment thread on IROSF). Does that mean Theodore Sturgeon scripted some of the episodes?

I'll hunt around a little more and see if I can find anything interesting. In the meantime, if you want to see some very early, very primitive sci-fi live TV, here's "The Horn."

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