Q & A: Can You Identify These Shows, Part 3

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.

This new feature has turned out to be both more popular and more productive than I had hoped. All the questions that stumped me have been answered by visitors. Here are two more questions, both relatively recent, that I hope someone can answer because I sure couldn’t.

For the past five years, I’ve been searching the net, asking friends, and racking my brain, but I haven’t been able to figure out the title of this show I saw when I was a kid. I’m pretty sure it was from Britain, due to the style of production, and it was broadcast in the U.S. in the mid-to-late 80’s. I’m pretty sure I saw it on PBS, too. It was about these three kids who went into a cave one night, and they found a wall they could walk through, but once they walked through, they couldn’t go back the way they came. So each episode, they had to find a wall to pass through to get to a different section of the cave, while trying to find the exit. In each section of the cave were people who had been trapped there, complete with furniture and the like. I don’t remember much else, other than this show captivated me as a kid. Help me out?

I was born in the late 80s but I still remember watching TV from the early 90s. There is one animated show or movie from TV that I seem to remember only a snippet of, and nothing else. I remember towards the end of the show/movie, a girl goes back to the past or a future and can’t remember anything from her past life. In a shop, she sees the boy that has been in her past adventures. And the movie ends. I seem to think that it is a clock making shop and that the girl had long reddish hair. I’m sorry that there is no other information. Thanks whether you can help or not.

Do either of these sound familiar to anyone?

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2 Replies to “Q & A: Can You Identify These Shows, Part 3”

  1. Interesting that you bring up the first one because I just had a discussion about that show with someone from England about it and they were amazed we ever saw it here in the US.

    I explained that in its early days, Nickelodeon used to be commercial-free and programmed alot of English and Canadian shows. The one in question, “INTO THE LABYRINTH” starred Ron Moody and a some unknown child actors in a tale that is so convoluted that onlyTHE TOMORROW PEOPLE could probably sort it out!

    However, the basic premise was that the kids were in the caves and it was a labyrinth and they were supposed to walk through the walls and go into different time periods and collect objects that would combine into a power source for these wizards to do battle with one another.

    Ron Moody had just finished “HART OF THE YARD” aka “NOBODY’S PERFECT” which was absolutely NOT well-received. In fact, it ranks as one of the few series to be cancelled BEFORE it was even aired! It was listed in the 1979 TV Guide Fall Preview but yanked from the schedule after it went to press.

    “INTO THE LABYRINTH” ran for three series. The budget apparently was less than even the cheapest episode of Doctor Who back in the 70’s. According to my English friend, it was embarassingly bad.

  2. ‘Nobody’s Perfect’ got bumped by a nervous ABC from the Saturday at 8:30 pm timeslot on the fall 1979 sked by ‘Detective School, One Flight Up’, which had been a surprising hit during the 1979 summer season, averaging a 20.1HH for its 3-episode summer season run on Tuesdays at 8:30 pm out of ‘Happy Days’ encores.

    The Alphabet network, who was nervous about the darker comedic overtones within ‘Nobody’s Perfect’, extended their 4-episode order of ‘Detective School’ to 13-episodes and rushed the series back into production, and gave it the Saturday slot behind ‘The Ropers’ (a late switch that missed the press deadlines for all the fall preview television listings).

    On Saturday nights, ‘Detective School’ did OK numbers, averaging a 13.0HH for its 10-episode run behind ‘The Ropers’ 14.3HH during the 1979-80 fall season, but it was ultimately replaced by ‘A New Kind of Family’ in December, which did worse (11.6HH). ABC then re-jigged again, moving ‘The Ropers’ to Saturdays at 8:30 pm out of ‘One in a Million’ where it did a 14.7 average, and then in the spring, ABC tried out ‘Goodtime Girls’ on Saturdays at 8:30 pm (11.3HH) out of ‘Angie’ (10.3HH).

    In the summer of 1980, ABC gave the Saturday 8-9 pm slot over to ‘240-Robert’ which averaged a 10.6HH for its summer run.

    When ABC finally got around to burning off their 8-episode order of ‘Nobody’s Perfect’ in the summer of 1980 (Thursdays at 9:30 pm from June 26 to August 28 out of ‘Barney Miller’ at 9 pm), the series averaged a 13.8HH, ranking in the upper quartile of series that got a summer tryout that season, edging out ‘Semi Tough’ (13.7HH) which it replaced in the Thursday 9:30 pm slot.

    This is a long way of saying that ABC’s misgivings about the series were not shared by viewers as ‘Nobody’s Perfect’ out-rated all of its Saturday replacements (except ‘The Ropers’), and it seems to be better remembered than its replacements too (again, excepting ‘The Ropers’). I was a big fan of ‘Barney Miller’, and enjoyed ‘Nobody’s Perfect’ too, remembering its very off-beat Inspector Clouseau-ish brand of humour and the quirky comedy of Mr. Ron Moody.

    It is one series truly worthy of a DVD release someday.

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