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Cathy Lane, teen-aged daughter of a globe-trotting journalist, comes to live at the home of her uncle, a newspaper editor in New York City. Curiously, Cathy is the spitting image of her uncle's daughter, Patty. Appearances aside, however, the urbane Cathy is nothing like her cousin Patty, who is the typical American teenager. Written by
Stewart M. Clamen <firstname.lastname@example.org>
WE ARE ALL familiar with that oft used standard plot which has been labeled "the Evil Twin" threat. In it, a double for some character suddenly appears and does awful and ungodly acts; which are in turn blamed on the innocent hero/heroine.
AND IT DOESN'T matter that the "twin" is not a true twin or even any Blood Relative at all. There are only two qualifications necessary:
1) That the perpetrator of bad deeds looks like the protagonist.
2) That the double be evil.
IN THE CASE of this series, THE PATTY DUKE SHOW, the "Evil TWIN" idea is turned on its ear.* Instead of being anti-social and harmful, the double is benevolent and helpful. In taking the whole premise to an even higher level, the "Double", Brit, Cathy Lane, is a refined and highly sophisticated lady. "Cousin", Patty Lane is a quintessential example of what the World views as a typical American airhead.
AS WELL WE all know, both characters are portrayed by the very talented Miss Patty Duke; with a little help from split screen photographic special effects and a stand in for rear view photography. But, photographic tricks not withstanding, it is Miss Duke's ability to become another on screen person that makes the whole thing work.
JOINING IN AND offering the best of support are the other principal players: the solid, dependable William Shallert (Martin Lane-Father), lovely & statuesque, Jean Byron (Natalie Lane-Mother)and Paul O'Keefe (little brother, Ross).
ALTHOUGH THIS PARTICULAR series was not one of our favourites, it was watched regularly and we did find it to be more than just a trifle amusing. Some of the episodes even approached that favored comedy genre of the 1930s,known as "Screwball."
NOTE: This same format was reworked into the two future series: DOUBLE TROUBLE and SISTER, SISTER; but in both cases, real life identical twins were featured.
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