Friday, October 21, 2016

Captain's Theatre THE GREEN HORNET "Beautiful Dreamer" Part 1

Since The Green Hornet was a weekly show, rather than twice-a-week like Batman, the producers avoided two-part or continued stories.
However, whether the original concept was to do an hour-long show, or the story editors were unaware of the edict when they solicited scripts, there were several shows that ran an hour, broken into two parts.
This was the first two-parter.
Peter Eden is a criminal posing as the owner of a health spa to the rich and famous called The Vale of Eden.
Using subliminal motivation via "sleep teaching" to make his clients steal from their own companies and families, turn the loot over to him, and then forget all about it, he's created the perfect method to commit crimes and let others take the blame.
The Hornet (as Britt Reid) and trusty Girl Friday Lenore Case go "undercover" to investigate the spa. Eden becomes suspicious of them, and "programs" Casey during her spa treatment to shoot Reid.
When Casey tries to carry out her programming, only Kato's quick action saves Reid from being killed by his own secretary.

This is the only episode written (actually co-written) by one of the Batman tv series writers.
The basic concept of a spa being a cover for a criminal operation hypnotizing/programming innocents to commit crimes was also used in the movie In Like Flint and the final Batman tv series episode "Minerva, Mayhem and Millionaires"
There's no "teaser" for part 2 at the end of part 1 on teh video, indicatiing it's derived from the Encore Action run of the show several years ago.
It does exist, and both SyFy and MeTV have included it when they run the episodes.
From October 21, 1966..."Beautiful Dreamer" Part 1!
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Friday, October 14, 2016

Captain's Theatre THE GREEN HORNET "Eat, Drink and Be Dead!"

Continuing our weekly feature "Video Friday"...
In a plotline probably based on one of the original radio show's scripts, the Hornet and Kato take on liquor bootleggers operating out of a local dairy, using it's pasturizing equipment to ferment booze on a massive scale! (Why, in 1966, bars would even need illegally-produced liquor is not explained.)
In an interesting modern twist, the criminals use a helicopter to bomb any who oppose or betray them.
Effective, and leaves no ballistics!
When The Daily Sentinel begins a series exposing the racket, the gangsters grab reporter Mike Axford, threatening to kill him if any further articles are printed.
To save Mike, The Green Hornet cuts himself in on the racket, agreeing to turn Sentinel publisher Britt Reid (aka The Hornet) over to them in exchange for a percentage of profits.
Once inside, Reid sabotages the operation, rescues Mike, and defeats the helicopter bombing-baddies!

Side notes:
The Green Hornet series did quite a bit of location shooting during it's run.
Last week it was a marina.
In this episode, a huge local dairy.

The Green Hornet likes to make use of darkness to make dramatic entrances.
He does it twice in this episode!

Another "cold opening" where we see the criminals in action and no appearance by either Britt Reid or the Green Hornet!

Another on-screen costume change as Britt Reid changes in the back seat of Black Beauty, this time donning his Hornet garb.

Lots of play for The Black Beauty as more of its' gimmicks are introed, including built-in loudspeakers (with tape player so The Green Hornet and Britt Reid can seem to be in two places at once), rear smoke screen projectors, and the (rare for the time) mobile telephone.
Plus, both the flying Hornet Scanner and the car's rocket launchers get a healthy workout!

This is the only episode where the villain's lair is blown up, James Bond style! (And, no, they didn't blow up the actual dairy!)

From October 14th, 1966..."Eat, Drink and Be Dead!"
Next Week: the first two-part episode!
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Friday, October 7, 2016

Captain's Theatre THE GREEN HORNET "Frog is a Deadly Weapon"

 The Green Hornet faces off against The Shadow!
Well, sorta...
The villain of this episode, gangster Glen Connors, is played by Victor Jory, who portrayed The Shadow in the 1940 movie serial based on both the pulp magazine and radio show!
Connors is impersonating millionaire recluse Charles Delaclare, and slowly draining the dead millionaire's assets.
Britt Reid wants to expose Connors/Delaclare, not only because Connors evaded the law by faking his own death and replacing Delaclare, but Connors was part of a conspiracy that framed Reid's father years ago!
Side notes:
The frame-up of Reid's father is never pursued beyond this episode.
Was dear old Dad the 1940s Green Hornet? We'll never know...

The concept of the villain replacing a reclusive millionaire and utilizing the the deceased Plutarch's empire for evil is later used in the film version of Diamonds are Forever.

The idea of fighting a flock of frogmen (say that five times fast) was probably inspired by the box-office success of the then-current James Bond flick Thunderball!
You'll also note the Hornet performing gymnastics like swinging on poles for the only time in the series.

(It is more difficult to do that stuff in an overcoat than in leotards...) 

Lenore "Casey" Case, played by the lovely Wende Wagner, finally gets serious screen time in this episode as she does some investigating for Reid, but gets caught by Connors' henchmen. As clever as she is beautiful, she keeps herself alive by bluffing the criminals until The Hornet can rescue her!

For the first time we see The Hornet change from his costume to civilian garb in the back seat of the Black Beauty.
He does this several times during the show's run (or from civilian garb to costume) to appear as both Reid and The Hornet to criminals within a short time-frame.

This is the first appearance of Barbara Babcock (Hill Street Blues) as Elaine Carey, a competitor with Casey for Britt Reid's affections.
Barbara performed on the original Star Trek five times (twice on-screen, three times doing voiceovers), each time as a different character!
From October 7th, 1966...."The Frog is a Deadly Weapon"!
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Friday, September 30, 2016

Captain's Theatre THE GREEN HORNET "Crime Wave"

It's a 1960s version of cybercrime as The Green Hornet faces a computer that can predict his crimes! (A neat trick since The Hornet is just pretending to be a criminal!)
There's double-crossing, a couple of elaborately-planned robberies, and a kool all-out fight scene at the climax as The Hornet and Kato both go hand-to-hand and use the Black Beauty's gas-guns for the first time to take on a group of foes!
Trivia notes:
Despite being computer whizzes, the criminals in this episode can't construct a pistol-sized gas gun like The Hornet, and have to lug a huge canister of knockout gas around with them!
The use (by criminals) of the Green Hornet's stickers (or clever counterfeits) to frame him for crimes dates back to the radio show, where he was constantly leaving them at locations where he had just set up criminals
There's a costume party scene with a number of outfits containing elements (helmets, tunics, sidearms) from various Irwin Allen shows (Lost in Space, Time Tunnel, Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea)!
From September 30, 1966..."Crime Wave"!
Next week: The Green Hornet meets...The Shadow! (No lie!)
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