The Sixties were the Space Era, when astronauts were all anyone was talking about, except for dirty hippies and their loud music.
TV was eager to jump on the bandwagon. Unfortunately, TV-series production wasn't as high-budget or sophisticated as it is today, so the results could be somewhat....tacky? Disappointing? Incredibly stupid-looking?
All of the above?
Some of these shows live on in fond memories; others have blessedly been forgotten. Here are six, with some leniency on the whole "sixties" thing, that you may be amazed to discover attracted viewers.
Created by the guy who gave usGilligan's Island
, this wastotally
different from that series because here it was only two people stranded, and they were astronauts.
What's wrong with this intro:
1) Capsule lands on solid ground without a parachute, minimal damage. NASA specs would indicate other outcomes.
2) "Starring Frank Aletter." Wrong on so many levels.
3) This episode above was directed by Richard Donner, who went on to direct Superman, Lethal Weapon and the Goonies. We'd say "that's just not right," but he did also direct several episodes of The Banana Splits.
No footage of the actual opening seems to be readily available on the Web, so here's one guy sprucing it up for modern viewers, beginning at about the one-minute mark.
There's not really a lot to spruce up, since it seems to consist wholly of a room-service plate and cover floating against an incredibly cheap background with tacky lettering for the credits. (Mostly the passing stars get a bit brighter.)
This intro, back in the day, should have served as a loud warning that the special-effects budget for the series was smaller than the catering budget.
Things to note here:
1. The classic Quinn-Martin take-no-shit government-issue narration that starts things off.
2. The need to point out in the intro the lead character is an architect. "Ooooh, now I'll watch!!"
3. Jay-sus, tv-show intros were long back then. Okay, a guy -- sorry, an architect -- sees aliens. Do we have to know he was lost looking for a shortcut and ended up at "an abandoned diner"?
Amazing fact: The people who put this together had never seenMission Impossible
. They came up with the opening to theUFO
title song all by themselves.
Luckily, we are informed that this 1970 series takes place in the far-off future of 1980, otherwise viewers would be totally baffled by the ultramodern technology, jumpsuits and cheap sets.
Some not-awful attempts at spacecraft design here, although that pointed ship with the retro rocket on its side seems a tad unstable.
And, like Francis Ford Coppola with Apocalypse Now, they shot some big damn explosions so they're going to use them at the end, dammit.
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We don't think that flight plan from Mars to Earth is optimal.