I wasn’t absolutely positive of this until I saw that the schedule had for sure been changed tonight, but MeTV is preempting the Perry movie they already had planned for Friday night in order to marathon the show that won the poll (Star Trek). I’m so sorry to anyone who was looking forward to the movie. I was too. Hopefully they’ll reschedule it soon, but I’m not sure I’m that confident. It seems like a lot of times when stations change their minds, they don’t get around to airing what they preempted for a long time.
What MeTV should have done was to set aside a specific time in advance to marathon whatever show won, instead of waiting for the end of the poll and then getting rid of something that had already been planned and scheduled. I’m debating whether to write and complain to them about the schedule change. Not that it would do any good for this particular time, but possibly if a lot of people wrote it would let them know they need to plan things better in the future.
I was thinking about the number of times a character has traveled outside of the North American continent. It’s something that never happens too often; trips outside the continental United States to Mexico are a little more frequent, but actually leaving the continent behind is such a rare thing that I think it’s only occurred five times, most of those in the later seasons.
Offhand, the first time I can recall it happening and being shown is when Perry goes off to Europe in season 4’s The Nine Dolls. Then I don’t recall it happening for anyone until Paul ventures to South America looking for a doctor in season 7’s The Deadly Verdict.
(The Floating Stones contains some scenes in Hong Kong, but if I remember right, it’s only with the guest-starring cast and none of the main characters are over there.)
Neither of those trips involves staying overseas for the duration of the episode. But with season 8 came something new: episodes that either took place entirely away from North America or else mostly took place overseas.
The first instance was in A Place Called Midnight. Perry was said to be in Europe in the prior episode, Mike Connors’ The Bullied Bowler; A Place Called Midnight features Perry still over there and having another, unplanned adventure before coming home. He’s still there by the episode’s end, going to talk with the Inspector about another puzzling case.
About halfway through the season, Perry and Paul decide to visit Hawaii. The Feather Cloak takes place entirely on the Hawaiian Islands. Too bad Hawaii 5-O hadn’t started by then and the shows could have crossed over! It would have been interesting to see how Steve McGarrett and Perry would react to each other.
In season 9, The Fugitive Fraulein has a few Los Angeles scenes, but the majority of the action is all in Berlin. It’s perhaps the most topical episode the show ever did, with an intense plot revolving around trying to free a couple’s granddaughter from the Communists’ grasp. The courtroom scene, where Perry fights in vain against the Communist court system, is very different from anything else the show did. How he gets around that, frees the defendant, catches the true murderer, and saves the granddaughter make for one of the most intriguing adventures ever.
I’m wondering if The Substitute Face from season 1 would count as an episode that’s partially away from North America, since some of it involves the cruise Perry and Della take. By that logic, there are a couple of other episodes involving ship scenes (The Malicious Mariner and The Wrongful Writ), but as I recall, the main characters aren’t on those ships while the ships are in the middle of the ocean.
Either way, that’s still very few episodes that take place away from North America. If the show had continued, I wonder if there would have been several other overseas adventures? And why was it that overseas adventures became more prominent only later on? Was it that they wanted to try something new, after so many seasons of episodes taking place solely in the continental United States?
They could have also explored other areas of the North American continent. I wonder what an episode entirely set in Mexico would have been like. Or Canada; I don't think they went there at all.
The fact that the majority of the episodes are centered in North America, and generally parts of California, is interesting. I can't help thinking of a common theme for detective shows is that the detective is a globe-trotter. Many series feature adventures in many states and countries.
Then again, what with how workaholic Perry is, it probably makes the most sense for most episodes to take place in North America. He rarely gets to travel. And when he does, most of the time something seems to go wrong and he ends up involved in another case.
On the other hand, though, a lot of out-of-town episodes are out-of-town episodes because Perry has a friend or two in other towns who are calling for his help. If the series had wanted to expand to more overseas adventures, some of those could have involved other friends of Perry's. No matter how busy Perry is in Los Angeles, he always tries to make time for people who need his help, wherever they are.
I also wonder how the books stack up in this regard. Were there any books taking place overseas? It would be interesting to find out.