Monday, November 26, 2012

Geek TV: The Green Hornet!

greenhornet1Concept: It's the old radio character brought up to date (for the time) on the small screen, by the producers of Batman! Newspaper publisher fights crime with his chauffeur!


Total Episodes: 26

Original Air Dates: September 9, 1966 – March 17, 1967

Original Network: ABC

Geek Factor: 8

Characters:

GreenHornet2Britt Reid/The Green Hornet (Van Williams): Owner-publisher of The Daily Sentinel, and a masked vigilante. Uses a device called the Hornet's Sting, which uses ultrasonics for opening locked doors, set fires, and threaten criminals. He also uses a Hornet gas gun.


Kato (Bruce Lee): Britt Reid's chauffeur and sidekick to the Green Hornet, a master of martial arts, and driver of the Black Beauty, the Hornet's customized car.

Lenore “Casey” Case (Wende Wagner): Britt's secretary at The Daily Sentinel, aware of his dual identity.

Mike Axford (Lloyd Gough): Police reporter for The Daily Sentinel, bound and determined to expose the Hornet's secret identity.

District Attorney Frank P. Scanlon (Walter Brooke): Works with the Hornet.

Geek Guest-Stars:

Gary Owens played a TV reporter in multiple episodes. Of course, you'll recall him from Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In, as well as the voice of Space Ghost, and lots of other credits. I'll cover his career in more detail in a future posting. Larry D. Mann guested in a few episodes, and he was Capn' Scuttlebutt and Flub-a-Dub on Howdy Doody, voiced Foxy Q. Fibble on The New Adventures of Pinocchio, the Tin Man on Tales of the Wizard of Oz as well as in Return to Oz, and voiced Yukon Cornelius in Rudolph, the Red Nosed Reindeer. He also had on-screen guest shots on My Favorite Martian, Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, Honey West, Get Smart, Captain Nice, and The Man From UNCLE, and later appeared in five episodes of Bewitched (as different characters), voiced Batso, Bonapart and others on Sabrina and the Groovie Goolies, and many other roles.

greenhornet3
Pamela Curran appeared in one two-parter, she'd previously appeared as “Smooching Teenager” in The Blob, had a small part in an episode of My Favorite Martian, played Lt. Connie Engstrom in Mutiny in Outer Space, appeared as Princes Fatima in an episode of I Dream of Jeannie, and then later guested in two episodes of The Man From UNCLE, and an episode of The Invaders. Linda Gaye Scott has quite a few geek guest-starring roles, appearing in single episodes of My Living Doll, My Favroite Martian, The Man From UNCLE, Batman (actually, a two-parter playing “Moth”) and Bewitched. She later appeared in a Lost in Space episode, and played Arlette in Westworld.


Maurice Manson had played Dr. Borg in The Creature Walks Among Us, Mr. Lansing in The Three Stooges in Orbit, had a recurring role as Mr. Timberlake on Dennis the Menace (1960-1963), and guested on a Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea and The Munsters. Arthur Batanides was a regular castmember of Rod Brown of the Rocket Rangers, guested in an episode of Zorro, played Jerry in The Leech Woman, appeared in two Twilight Zone episodes, an Outer Limits, a Honey West, a Get Smart, episodes of The Man From UNCLE and The Time Tunnel, later guesting on Lost In Space, several episodes of I Spy, a Land of the Giants, several Wild Wild West episodes, a half-dozen Mission: Impossibles, two New Adventures of Wonder Woman, a Galactica 1980, a Knight Rider, and then finished his career playing Mr. Kirkland in the Police Academy movies.

greenhornet4Cesare Danova played Harry Holt in the 1959 version of Tarzan, The Ape Man, Count Elmo Mancini in Viva Las Vegas, and guested on Honey West and The Girl From UNCLE prior to playing Felix Garth in two episodes. He later guested on The Man From UNCLE, Night Gallery, played John Corey in Tentacles, played Mayor Carmine DePasto in Animal House, and appeared in an episode of the 1989 Mission: Impossible. Barbara Babcock guested in an episode of The Munsters before playing Elaine Carey in a two-parter... but did you know she had five roles in the original Star Trek? She was the voice of Trelane's mother in “The Squire of Gothos,” played Mea 3 in “A Taste of Armageddon,” the voice of the Beta 5 Computer in “Assignment Earth,” the voice of Commander Loskene in “The Tholian Web,” and was Philana in “Plato's Stepchildren” (the only role I recognized her from).

Christopher Dark had appeared in two episodes of The Lone Ranger, played Henry “Hank” Jaffe in World Without End, appeared in three Science Fiction Theater episodes, guested in Man Into Space, and later guested on Mr. Terrific and Land of the Giants. Dick Dial is best known for his stunt work, but he appeared in two separate episodes of the show, and also had small parts in episodes of Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, The Man From UNCLE, The Time Tunnel, Mission: Impossible, and Star Trek (he was Sam in “Devil in the Dark,” Kaplan in “The Apple,” and a security guard in “And The Children Shall Lead”).

Troy Melton appeared in two episodes of Science Fiction Theatre, an episode of The Twilight Zone, a small part in The Day Mars Invaded Earth, appeared in an Outer Limits episode, played Tracer #2 in Cyborg 2087, played Chill in two episodes of Batman (“Instant Freeze”/”Rats Like Cheese” in 1966), and later guested on The Wild Wild West, The Invaders, Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, Mission: Impossible, Kolchak: The Night Stalker, The Six Million Dollar Man, and played a lobby hotel guard in I Wanna Hold Your Hand.

Chuck Hicks appeared in minor roles in Francis Goes to West Point, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, Around the World in Eighty Days, guested in episodes of The Man From UNCLE, The Wild Wild West, and appeared as King Tut's man in episodes of Batman. Among his other minor geek roles, he played a military officer in the first episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation. His most famous geek role may be playing The Brow in Dick Tracy, but I should also note that he was in an episode of The Flash.

Geek Pedigree: Of course, you've got all the Batman guys who worked on this show, like Lorenzo Semple, Jr. and William Dozier. Of the cast members, only Lloyd Gough (who appeared in an Outer Limits) and Walter Brooke (who played Gen. Samuel T. Merritt in Conquest of Space, and had roles on Inner Sanctum, Tales of Tomorrow, Twilight Zone, Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, and The Munsters) had any geek-related roles. Pretty much all of the major cast did other geek guest-starring roles afterwards, though!

DVD Release: It appears the full series has been released on DVD, although it was apparently 12 years ago.

Website: http://greenhornet.wikia.com/wiki/The_Green_Hornet_%28TV_series%29 appears to be a fan site, but it's just a duplicate of the information on Wikipedia.

Notes: Of course, you'll recall that the Green Hornet and Kato had a cameo in a wall-walking sequence on Batman, and then later appeared in a two-parter. 

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