Q & A: Outdoor Adventure Club; The Veil

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. Every now and then I like to dig through my inbox and pull out a few choice e-mails to answer here at Television Obscurities for everyone to read. Keep reading for today’s questions and answers.

Back about 1956/1957 there was a LOCAL program on in Connecticut, I believe it was on WNHC, from New Haven, CT. The name of the show was either: Brace Gilson’s Outdoor Adventure Club or Brace Gilson’s Outdoor Club. Has anyone ever heard of this show?

I can confirm that a program titled Outdoor Adventure Club aired on WNHC in Connecticut during the mid-1950s and that Brace Gilson worked for the station but otherwise I know nothing about the show. Does anyone out there remember watching it?

I was reading in a catalog for old radio shows believe or not and they were selling a DVD collection of a show called THE VEIL starring Boris Karloff, can you tell me about the show?
Cee Jay

I’ve seen The Veil referred to as an “unsold series” given that it reportedly never saw the light of day on television (at least not in the United States). Hal Roach Studios announced on August 18th, 1958 that 39 episodes of the series would be produced; National Telefilm Associates would syndicate the series [1]. As the story goes financing fell through and only ten episodes were filmed, not nearly enough to distribute.

An outfit called Sinister Cinema released eight of the episodes on VHS in February of 1990 (four episodes were tape at $19 a tape) and in September of 2001 all ten episodes came out on DVD courtesy of Image Entertainment.

Works Cited:

1 Godbout, Oscar. “Hal Roach Studio Plans 20 Movies.” New York Times. 19 Aug. 1958: 23.
2 “Rare fright flicks now available.” Washington Times. 22 Feb. 1990: M23.

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10 Replies to “Q & A: Outdoor Adventure Club; The Veil”

  1. I believe “THE VEIL” was supposed to be a part of the “NTA Film Network” schedule National Telefilm Associates was trying to establish with its “affiliates” and its flagship station, WNTA in Newark/New York [Channel 13, a commercial station in those days]. Among the series NTA co-produced between 1957 and ’59 were “HOW TO MARRY A MILLIONAIRE” (with 20th Century-Fox), “THIS IS ALICE” (their deal with Desilu) and “THE THIRD MAN” (in partnership with Fox and the BBC). If Hal Roach Jr. hadn’t been such a terrible businessman, the projected 39 episodes WOULD have been produced [in England]; in fact, his sense of business acumen was such that the studio that bore his father’s name was sold to other interests by 1960, and torn down in 1963. But, then again, NTA wasn’t financially secure either by 1960, shutting down WNTA in 1961 while waiting for the right buyer to take it off their hands. Educational Broadcasting Corporation “won” the bidding war for the station, and it’s been a “public TV” station since September 1962.

    Several episodes of “THE VEIL” were also re-edited into a feature film or two during the ’60s. But the entire series, as ‘RGJ’ noted, was finally issued on DVD several years ago- and often sold in supermarkets for about $10.

  2. I think each area had a show like ‘Outdoor Adventure Club’ because in Cleveland where I live there was a show called ‘Jim Doney’s Adventure Road’

    I believe it ran from the mid 60s to the early 70s and was on in the afternoon between the networks soap operas and the local news.

    The show was basically film of the host in exotic locales like jungles and deserts and the like. It was on when local channels made their own shows to put on the schedule and syndication was in it’s infancy (God I miss those days)

  3. Cee Jay, it’s certainly possible that the format was shopped around locally by a production company. Or else it was just a popular format that a lot of stations came up with on their own (or borrowed).

  4. i am trying to find where i can buy the videos to “Adventure Road” series. I have a friend who is related to Jim Doney and I’d like to buy these as a gift for her family.
    I look forward to hearing from you.
    beverly lettko
    bishop hubbard senior apts.
    54 katherine dr., apt 203
    clifton park, ny 12065

    1. I too am looking to buy the Adventure Road Series.
      I remember Dan Cooper and his logging camp adventures.
      Please let me know if you had any luck.
      Ron Bartosch
      Amherst, Ohio
      [email protected]

  5. Outdoor Adventure Club was indeed on after school during the fiftie’s. Brace Gilson was like a ranger who lived in a cabin and showed cartoons like Crusader Rabbit. My brother Dan and I were on the show once when we were in Grammar School, having won a contest sponsored by Roessler’s Hot Dogs.

  6. I don’t remember Outdoor Adventure Club, but Gilson, who lived not far from us in Wallingford, hosted a weekly dance program for area couples that was sponsored by the Diamond bottling company, a regional manufacturer and distributor of carbonated beverages. Apropriately enough, it was called “Diamond Dance Party” or something along those lines. Attendees presumably signed up and recruited other couples to appear on the show as a group. I recall watching one such episode because all of the participants, including some of my friends’ parents, were from Wallingford.

    As I recall, Gilson was perfect for the job, feigning oleaginous familiarity with his guests and chatting them up between dance numbers about their not so fascinating lives while the guests somehow managed to smile almost continuously, probably on pain of death if they betrayed the boredom which they almost surely must have felt after the first five of their fifteen minutes of fame.

    When he lived in our neighborhood, Gilson tooled around in a 1957 or 1958 Corvette, a sweet automobile if ever there was one. I recall that he was rumored to have been injured in a shooting at that time. Suspicion pointed possibly to a disgruntled husband whose wife fell prey to his charms, basement target practice gone wrong, or perhaps to Mrs. Gilson, who may or may not have been motivated by suspicions of marital infidelity. We will never know.

  7. This evening, for the first time in about sixty years, the following quote came to mind: “A good sport today makes a better American tomorrow.” I think I heard this on a TV program in Connecticut, back in the late 1950s or early 1960s. And the name Sid Jaffe also comes to mind. Does this ring a bell for anyone?

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