Q & A: Can You Identify These Shows, Part 1

I get a lot of e-mails from people asking me about television shows, made-for-TV movies or miniseries they remember from years or decades past. I try to answer each question as best I can but often recollections are hazy at best and thus impossible to identify, despite my best efforts. Hopefully, by posting these questions here at Television Obscurities for everyone to read someone will come up with the answer. Keep reading for today’s unidentified shows.

To kick off this new Q & A feature, in which I’ll post questions I’ve received that I haven’t been able to answer, here’s a series of e-mails from several years back demonstrating how vague recollections make it difficult to try to track down the name of a program from decades past.

I hope you can help me, I am trying to find out the name of a television series, from the 1960s, I think. It was black and white, if I remember right, and it always started with spooky music and in a fair ground, which showed a roller coaster, I think, with no one on it.
Les

That’s not much to go on, is it? I couldn’t think of any shows off the top of my head that started with a roller coaster. Knowing that it was from the 1960s and aired in black and white wasn’t all that much help. I replied asking if Les could remember anything else.

All I can remember about the series was the deserted fair ground/roller coaster and there was a turnstile. [It was] in black and white maybe [in] the late 1960s [with] creepy music. Not a lot to go on, I know; [I] am sure it was American series shown here.
Les

So now Les thinks it might have been the late 1960s. And it was a program from the United States. I still didn’t have enough to do any research. Luckily, in this case, Les was able to find the name of the show himself.

I have just found out the television series, it was by Hammer Film Productions and called Journey to the Unknown (1968/1969). I had to go to Action TV to find it and it rung a bell as soon as I saw the titles. Then [I] went to the Classic TV Archive to confirm it was the right one. I hope this is of some good to you.
Les

Journey to the Unknown was produced in Britain and first aired in the United States on ABC during the 1968-1969 season and later premiered in Britain in April of 1969. So the late 1960s was correct. It was filmed in color but those with black and white sets would obviously have seen it in black and white. Les isn’t the only person to contact me asking about Journey into the Unknown. I wasn’t able to answer his question but I did answer another in a Q & A back in July 2009.

Here’s another relatively vague question:

There was a show in the late 80’s I think, that features an old white guy that was a ninja. His pupil was a young Asian boy. I would love the name and any info you have on this show.
Jed

Old white guy that was a ninja? That sounds like The Master, which ran on NBC from January to August of 1984. It starred Lee Van Cleef as an old white guy who was a ninja. But his pupil/sidekick was a younger white guy played by Timothy Van Patten. Then there’s Sidekicks, which aired on ABC during the 1986-1987 season, and starred an old white guy (Gil Gerard) tasked with looking after a young Asian boy (Ernie Reyes, Jr.). But the old white guy wasn’t a ninja, he was a police officer. So neither of these shows fit–especially The Master–but it is likely that Sidekicks is the show Jed is remembering.

So, here are two questions I haven’t been able to answer. Can you identify the shows in question?

There was a show in either late 1960’s or 1970’s it may have been on only 1 year, so long ago now, but it was about some people I think 3, 2 guys and a girl maybe that their plane crashed and they were removed from the plane and operated on (I think it looked like gold or something) and they sewed them back up, they lived and had some kind of extra sensitive or communication. I remember the three people standing in the beginning with a waterfall behind them. It was like a two name show – THE _________??. If you figure it out I would appreciate it – as the years go by my memory of it is fading. Thanks again.
Caroline

I am looking for a show or miniseries that was on late 70’s early 80’s about a sunken ship where people survived and lived below, somehow a crew of divers (?) finds then and realizes that there are people living on the bottom of the ocean. I think like the lead male character even falls in love with a women living on the bottom of the sea. If anyone has any info on it, it would be great. Thanks.
Carrie

Good luck!


8 Comments

  • Ivan G. says:

    Caroline’s query sounds a lot like The Champions, a 1968 British spy-adventure series that starred Stuart Damon, Alexandra Bastedo and William Gaunt.

  • Chuck Collins says:

    The last question is most definitely the miniseries, “GOLIATH AWAITS”, starring Mark Harmon as the lead male who falls in love with Emma Samms (how could anyone not?). The villain was played by the forever-lasting Christopher Lee.

    “GOLIATH AWAITS” was one of the fabled Operation Prime Time productions that was also the producer of such TV classics as “THE BASTARD” and “A WOMAN CALLED GOLDA”. The most famous of these are the beloved music series, “SOLID GOLD” and the longest running entertainment news program, “ENTERTAINMENT TONIGHT.”

  • pBOB says:

    Didn’t Lee Majors star in a Ninja series on CBS a year or two after the Fall Guy was cancelled on ABC?

  • Chuck Collins says:

    More than a couple of years later. 1992 in the short-lived series, “RAVEN.” He was the second-banana comic relief character to Jeffrey Meek’s occidental ninja. His bionics apparently had worn out by then.

  • RGJ says:

    This is terrific. With a question like Carrie’s, about the sunken ship and the people living under the ocean, if you had not seen or were familiar with the miniseries Goliath Awaits there really would have been no way to search for the answer. No actors, no network, nothing. Maybe, if you were lucky, someone would have used the same key phrases/words at a website and you might find that.

    And Caroline’s question wasn’t much better, unfortunately, with only a vague time frame. So thank you, Ivan and Chuck. Two “mysteries” solved.

  • C W says:

    Ivan G was right about the stars of The Champions, and if I remember correctly the first episode showed how they became Champions, following a plane crash in the Himilayas, similar to Shangri La.

  • David says:

    Did someone do a cheap rip-off of Goliath awaits where instead of a boat a submerged jumbo jet is home to an underwater society?

  • Anna says:

    Hi out there, I hope someone can help with my query. I am asking about the same old black & white tv series that opened with a roller coaster, as mentioned at the top of this page dated Jan 4, 2010. It was NOT however Journey Into the Unknown. I have these series on dvd. They are in color and British. The one I’m thinking of sounds similar, but is older and maybe from the U.S and in B & W. I probably watched it in the late 60s (maybe early 70s) in Melbourne, Australia. The episode I remember was of a lady sunbathing by a swimming pool. Through the loudspeakers numbers would be called out. When this lady’s number was called, she refused to go, but was forced to go through the turnstile. She found herself on a long deserted road that stretched out forever. Then she eventually stumbled onto a scene of a car accident. That meant that when her number was called, she had died. Can anyone out there remember this episode, and from which tv series. It was on every week. They were spooky series, very enjoyable! Thanks so much, Anna.

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