Sunday, April 6, 2014

Various Perry thoughts

Well, alas, Perry lost to The Twilight Zone. I really figured that would happen, but it was still sad to see it happen. The finals are The Twilight Zone versus Star Trek, so I’ve thrown my support to The Twilight Zone. A very strange and eerie show, but a very intelligent show that has a lot of good morals in their episodes. Star Trek is likewise, but since I’m more familiar with the movies and The Next Generation series, I voted for the show I know better.

The past week was a bit oddball, as I missed most of Monday night’s episode and there were two out-of-town episodes. I felt like I was suffering from Hamilton withdrawal! So I watched Saturday’s episode on my local station. They’ve been running seasons 1 and 2 for some time on Saturdays, and I haven’t devoted much time to watching the Saturday night sessions for some time, since I’ve seen those episodes more than some others. But I greatly enjoyed seeing the characters this Saturday, so I may get back into the habit of watching then as well as on weekday nights.

It was interesting watching the out-of-town episodes, however. I always like catching A Place Called Midnight, since it’s so unique. Not only is Perry in Europe for the duration of the case, there are no court scenes. The mystery is resolved out of court. And I always get a kick out of Werner Klemperer playing the police lieutenant and working with Perry to solve the case. I think I saw that episode uncut just once, and I would like to do so again.

The other out-of-town episode, The Reckless Rockhound, I don’t recall ever seeing before. I wasn’t fully sure what to make of the Reba character. She could be so cold and hard, even with some people who were her friends. But then she would occasionally open up and show this other side of her personality and she was quite likable. I also found it interesting to see the actor who played the nutcase Dan Morgan in The Misguided Missile playing a good guy here. I found it sweet how much he cared about Reba and how he knew her secret about the diamonds already being spent, but covered the loans himself. And I was actually fairly surprised by the murderer. I was afraid it was going to be him, but then it was his young assistant instead. I hadn’t suspected him at all.

Something very bizarre I’ve noticed is how stations seem to have more than one print of certain episodes, with each print different and both prints getting airtime. Recently I mentioned MeTV airing a differently cut print of The Ugly Duckling. I’ve also seen my local station air two cuts of The Stand-In Sister. Now I’ve seen MeTV air another print of The Missing Button!

This time the report is positive, as one of the things I was most upset about was their prior cut of that episode, which eliminated almost all of the scene where Perry and Paul find Button on the boat and see that she’s safe. Instead it went right to Perry bidding Button farewell, which really looked preposterous since the last thing shown was that she had apparently been kidnapped. But the print that MeTV just aired restored the rest of that scene. I can’t tell whether they have two separate prints that they air or if people wrote in upset about the cut scene and MeTV got the other print then.

I wonder why stations have two different prints anyway. If they had one, wouldn’t they always air that one? How do they end up airing the other one? Is it an accident or on purpose?

Generally, when I see two different prints of an episode, it’s at two different airing times. The uncut Stand-In Sister aired on Saturday night on my local station, with the cut version airing on a weekday. The print of The Ugly Duckling with William Boyett’s scene aired in the morning on MeTV, as did the print of The Missing Button with most of the boat scene eliminated. The other prints of those episodes aired at night. I don’t know if the different airing times have anything to do with the truth of why the different prints exist, but it’s interesting to note, at least.

Also, of particular note is that I am very happy to learn that what I wondered about in the Perry movie The Heartbroken Bride isn’t true. It wasn’t intended to have any double-meaning remarks about the daughter, according to a recent commenter. From emails to director Christian Nyby II and one of the scriptwriters, Perry was meant to be exactly what the script said, a dear friend of the family and a surrogate uncle, not the girl’s real father. The crew said that they wouldn’t have had Perry do anything scurrilous. Very happy to hear that. Thank you, commenter!

Speaking of Perry movies, another will air this coming Friday. Looking forward to seeing what’s happening in that one. While the movies are not the series, and never could be with only two original cast members, I find them a lot more enjoyable and fun to watch than I ever thought they would be. I think they basically do an excellent job adapting the Perry format to the (relative) present day.

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