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1954   Unknown  

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(2 episodes, 1954)
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You Simply Had To Have Lived In The Times
4 March 2005 | by (USA) – See all my reviews

They don't have shows like this anymore, and that's quite sad. For they went the way the short story would in the following 20 years.

It should also be pointed out, that the description given is in error. This was not a 30 minute show, it was a 15 minute show; virtually the last of it's type in the mid 1950's.

Like many early television shows of the time it was meant to attract, equally, adolescents as well as adults. For instance, very few people other than avid fans of the early 50's television series, "The Adventures of Superman", know the show was originally conceived as an adult program. "Top Secret" fell into this category.

In retrospect, it was a show just perfect for individuals (like myself) now referred to, by the younger generation, as "geeks." It was not heavy on science, even though science was it's backdrop. But the series did revolve around what was then, in concept, an early Univac computer; though the term computer was not as yet used. And that's how it's opening narrative introduced the show:

"This is the automatic mass integer calculator known to it's friends as AMIC. It can solve a complex mathematical problem in 30 seconds, that would take 100 mathematicians, working continuously around the clock 30 years..." And then of course, they introduced the crew.

Each episode dealt with an adventure set to the theme of a technically driven threat to humanity, or a social crisis solved by scientific application and. of course, the critical resource of AMIC. When it came on in the afternoons after school, I was glued to the TV set.

There were four regulars in the series but, ironically, the two mentioned by the IMDb are also the only ones I remember. In any case, having those two alone was, indeed, quite impressive.

Paul Stewart was a well known and respected supporting actor in film noir of the 1940's, whose career was ebbing a bit at the time. And Gena Rowlands was in the very early phase of what would be a budding film and television career.

At the time of the series, I was a 15 year old Science freak just entering high school. I did go on to become a Scientist. And I think, quite possibly, shows like this little almost forgotten gem from early television, had something to do with that well chosen life's path.


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