Friday, November 19, 2010

Retro TV Friday

Well, just because we're in Chicago doesn't mean we can't celebrate Retro TV Friday, right?

This week, if you're looking for gritty cop drama - the opening and closing credits to the 1961 series 87th Precinct, starring Robert Lansing, are for you. Don't know if the series itself was any good, but that music (written by Morton Stevens) means business, doesn't it?

The description from

Police drama based on a series of detective novels by Ed McBain that featured Detective Steve Carella (played by Robert Lansing) who worked at the 87th Precinct in the fictional city of Isola, along with a line-up of typical police detectives, such as the rookie and the seasoned old-timer. His… More deaf-mute wife Teddy (played by Gena Rowlands) added a personal side to the stories. Ron Harper, Gregory Walcott, and future Three's Company star Norman Fell played other detectives who worked out of the 87th.

That it's based on McBain's 87th Precinct series is a good sign.  That it stars Lansing is another one.  Unfortunately, this series isn't available on commercial DVD - the only way you can get it is through an "unauthorized" (read: bootleg) distributor.  Now, I would never encourage anyone to buy a product in this manner, even if we're talking about something that isn't available commercially and thus wouldn't be infringing on royalties in the same way that one would if one were purchasing something that was, in fact, available commercially (albeit for a higher price). 
Nonetheless, YouTube is a wonderful thing, full of clips (and the occasional full episode) of old TV shows that otherwise wouldn't see the light of day.  It's a wonderful way to spend an hour or three or seven.
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