|Index||4 reviews in total|
Add this series to the list of TV series that deserved more than one season on air. Though loosely based on the movie of the same title that starred Jack Lemmon and Rick Nelson, this show had it's own near perfect cast with one of Jack Warden's finest characterizations, Mike Kellin reprising his role as "the Chief" from the movie, a letter perfect "crew" of young actors and comedians, and some of the nicest looking actresses of the day in continuing roles as the men's love interests. There was excellent writing all around, the seriousness of the war, the humor of the crew, and the constant good natured struggle for authority between Major Butcher and Lieutenant "Rip" Riddle. It was, like The Rogues the year before, another one season gem starring David Niven, Charles Boyer, Gig Young, and Robert Coote, canceled because it was beat out by the CBS powerhouse of Candid Camera and What's My Line who owned the time slot for many years. I was barely a teenager when this show came out, but I still remember being crushed when it was canceled, and to this day still bear a little bit of a grudge against CBS and the aforementioned shows!
Does anyone know if this show is on DVD? With all the old shows being dubbed to DVD now Ithink this one would be great to watch from episode 1 all the way to the end on DVD. As a kid I and my brothers loved this show! I remember that this show had a funny side to it but also a serious side that kept you on edge. I remember that the "Chief" engineer character who tried to keep the ship going even though it had suffered damage from gunfire or engine damage was an ongoing plot as were the seemingly impossible WWII Pacific Theatre missions the crew was sent to complete. As much as I remember about the show I am somewhat shocked to find out 40 some years later it was only on for one season during 1965 and 1966. I also remember there was an ongoing storyline where the old grizzled lead character had to show the young "officer" in charge how to lead the crew and be successful despite the dangerous conditions.
As much as I liked the movie, I liked the TV series a lot better. Jack Warden really adds something that the movie lacked. I really do wish it was available on VHS or DVD (even in PAL format). I would love to see those episodes again. While "Echo" was apparently the name of the real ship, I liked the name "Kiwi". Somehow it was just a better fit. Also with the series, you got to know the crew better and watched the relationships develop. I can still see, in the first episode, Jack Warden (as Maj. Butcher) seeing the Kiwi for the first time, ordering his driver to turn around and go back to the office. The last episode was mindful of "The African Queen", when the Kiwi was used as a floating bomb to destroy an enemy ship.
Throwing my two cents in, and giving away my age. I was a young teen
when this show came out, and my brother and I loved it. A great mix of
humor and serious drama. Writing was very good and the cast was great.
My first recollection of Jack Warden, and I was forever after a fan.
Definitely didn't stay on long enough. The premise, the writing, and
the cast deserved a good 6-8 year run. It would be great if some
network would pick this up and make a new version of the show.
As I recall, to maintain their cover, they were typically sailing under another flag, but for the life of me I can't remember what country. Switzerland maybe?
I can still remember the line when an enemy plane flies over, "Prepare to wave and smile!", followed by "Commence waving and smiling!".
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