Retro Fan #22 September 2022 (magazine review).

As you can tell from the cover, this latest ‘Retro Fan’ has a look at the 60s beach movie craze and how TV followed it for a time. From a British perspective and because there wasn’t any surfing over here, as I recall, we tended to see it as an American thing. Mark Voger’s piece on the subject fills in on a lot of gaps I didn’t know at the time, especially about the Frankie Avalon and Annette Funicello beach movie films.

Mark Ellis looks at ‘The Wild, Wild West’ TV series (1965-69) and fills you in on things you might not know. From the British perspective, I can’t recall the TV series being shown over here although I do think one of the TV movies did. It’s quite interesting to note that Robert Conrad wasn’t the first choice for Jim West but the 17th, whereas Ross Martin as Artemus Gordon was always the only choice.

Leading on from this, Scott Saavedra looks at the career of actor Michael Dunn who was in the series. I think I can answer the reason for his name change from his original Gary Miller as there was a singer with that name, very familiar to us folk because he sung ‘Aqua Marina’ for the end credits to the puppet series ‘Stingray’. I didn’t realise Dunn only appeared ten times in ‘The Wild, Wild West’ but was more aware of him for his appearance in Star Trek’s ‘Plato’s Stepchildren’.

Scott Shaw!’s look at car humour magazines is also very much an American thing and an element of the market that never hit the UK. I did some analysis years ago and with such a big population the USA has, a minority interest could still have nearly at least million earnest people following, enough to cater for any field. It was also an area where Shaw! had some interest and added his exclamation mark to his surname. I would say that he should also have looked for other types of glue to stick models together. There are actually some safe ones like the T-8000 these days.

Oddly, none of comedy scriptwriter Norman Lear’s TV series developed much of a following over here. A few episodes of ‘All In The Family’ were shown but we tended to think ours, ‘’Till Death Do Us Part’, more relevant to our society. Even so, Paula Finn’s interview with him, extracted from her book ‘Sitcom Writers Talk Shop’, has a likable dry wit.

Andy Mangels’ look at ‘Zorro’ covers all his history, especially that of his time in animation and how they got around him not killing anyone with a sword, let alone marking them with a Z. Perhaps the best note is Zorro becoming a culture icon for South Americans.

Lastly, Will Murray looks at the ‘He-Man And Masters Of The Universe’ franchise, where toy manufacturer meets animation company. The only question it doesn’t answer is their silly names. There is some reflection on complainers about the series even before it got on the air but it didn’t deter its success with children.

As you’ll probably note by now, I’m reacting to what I’ve read as much as telling you about the content. Any magazine that will make you think, even about early shows and merchandise is a sure bet for an intelligent or at least nostalgic read. Don’t forget your surfboard.

GF Willmetts

September 2022

(pub: TwoMorrows Publishing. 82 page magazine. Price: $10.95. (US). ISSN: 2576-7224. Direct from them, you can get it for $10.95 (US))

check out website: www.TwoMorrows.com and  https://twomorrows.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=98_152&products_id=1676


Geoff Willmetts has been editor at SFCrowsnest for some 21 plus years now, showing a versatility and knowledge in not only Science Fiction, but also the sciences and arts, all of which has been displayed here through editorials, reviews, articles and stories. With the latter, he has been running a short story series under the title of ‘Psi-Kicks’ If you want to contribute to SFCrowsnest, read the guidelines and show him what you can do. If it isn’t usable, he spends as much time telling you what the problems is as he would with material he accepts. This is largely how he got called an Uncle, as in Dutch Uncle. He’s not actually Dutch but hails from the west country in the UK.

2 thoughts on “Retro Fan #22 September 2022 (magazine review).

  • I believe that ITV showed The Wild Wild West from May 5 1968. I seem to recall seeing some episodes – not in 1968, I think. As wikipdia puts it: ‘It was reasonably popular, but has not been seen on British terrestrial television since the early 1980s.’ I don’t know if all episodes were shown…

    • Hello Jullian
      The way our ITV channels are set up, it doesn’t necessarily follow that all of them had ‘The Wild, Wild West’. 3 seasons worth and I’m sure I would have spotted it on my local channel in the UK. You were in New Zealand back then, weren’t you??


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.