In this day of the internet, it is easy to think you know everything about everything, especially about CD and DVD releases. It sort of takes the fun out of shopping since there are no surprises any more.
Okay, so I hate shopping these days anyway but I do remember the days of going into a record shop or video shop and finding gems that I didn’t know had been released. That’s how we did it back then.
The Judge and I were in a specialist DVD shop in Melbourne recently and my eyes were drawn to this DVD called Honey West starring none other than the incomparable Anne Francis of “Forbidden Planet” fame. I loved the retro look and the name. The blurb on the back about a female private eye had me intrigued. Plus it was driving me nuts that I had never ever heard of this show.
The normal thing to do would have been to note the title, check out Wikipedia, watch clips on Youtube, come to a dcision, check prices and buy it online from the cheapest online store.
But where is the fun in that?!?
We left the store and were in the middle of Myer when I decided to take a chance. We went back and I bought it on the spot. Okay, it was a little bit expensive, especially for something that I had no idea what it was like. But we all have to take chances some time. This one paid off. I love the show.
Honey West is a private investigator with a snazzy sports car, gadgets galore and a pet ocelot called Bruce. Based on a series of books, the TV show ran for just one season – 30 black and white episodes between 1965 and 1966.
Unheard of on American TV was a female lead who could hold her own. She dashed about in catsuits, knew karate and could beat up the bad guys. She might sound a bit like Cathy Gale or Emma Peel from “The Avengers” and producer Aaron Spelling admitted to getting the inspiration from seeing “The Avengers” on a trip to the UK. But Honey as played by Anne Francis was still pretty unique. She led the way for stronger portrayals of women in television.
Honey West had a team behind her. Apart from Bruce, there was her partner Sam Bolt (played by the hunky John Ericson) and the witty and wise Aunt Meg. Although I have watched 10 episodes so far, I still haven’t worked out exactly what Aunt Meg does but she’s still pretty cool.
Honey West has a funky title sequence and someone has uploaded it to Youtube. Watch out for Bruce’s sudden appearance at about 0:27. For some reason, the Judge and I fall about laughing whenever that happens. And then Bruce morphs into Honey, long before morphing wizardry.
It is criminal that the show only lasted one season. Some of the reasons for its cancellation included the network buying “The Avengers” and not wanting two such female roles on air. Also, it was up against some tough ratings competition in the form of “Gomer Pyle”. A shame since I’m sure that given a bit more time and a better time slot, it could have been a huge hit.
Ooh, I just found that there is a “Honey West” soundtrack CD. I just have to have that!