Have you ever noticed how many 60s TV series have been turned into films in recent years? They certainly provide a rich source of material for today’s producers, and you’ve probably seen some of the movie versions. But if you haven’t checked out the originals, you really should give some of them a try. Here are some fun 60s TV series to watch …
1. The Saint
This is one of my own favourite 60s TV series. There have been several film and TV versions, all of which I’ve enjoyed (well, except for the Val Kilmer movie, which is best forgotten). So watch the debonair Simon Templar, a kind of Robin Hood figure, right wrongs – played by Roger Moore in his pre-Bond days.
2. The Avengers
Forget the recent movie that goes by the same title, and the dreadful 1998 remake; the name “The Avengers” belongs to this Sixties spy series. Honor Blackman and Diana Rigg show that women can be action heroes just as much as men can. They are perfectly matched with Patrick MacNee as the bowler-hatted Steed.
3. Get Smart
Yes, here we have yet another 60s series turned into a recent film. Steve Carrell wasn’t a bad choice as the big screen version, but the original Maxwell Smart really can’t be beaten. Smart was the hopelessly bumbling spy that makes Johnny English look like Bond.
Batman is arguably the most famous 60s TV series. There can’t be anyone alive who hasn’t seen it! Batman has to be loved and appreciated for its cheesiness and the Biff! Pow! Bang! Titles. The movie remakes have been interesting in showing Batman’s dark side, but the series is still a great deal of fun and worth watching for sheer entertainment.
5. The Man from U.N.C.L.E
The Sixties saw a lot of spy series on TV, perhaps as a response to the Cold War. This series may not be so well known now, but I still recommend it if you like a light-hearted spy series. It falls somewhere between Bond and Get Smart, being not entirely serious but also not as daft as the latter series.
6. The Outer Limits
We’re pretty much immune to horror these days, and it takes a lot to scare us, but back in the Sixties, series like the Outer Limits and the Twilight Zone were about as scary as it got. A mixture of science fiction and horror, the series pulled in some pretty big names of the time (interestingly, you can spot a pre-Star Trek William Shatner in one episode).
7. The Munsters
Now we have humorous horror with the Munsters. They might have looked rather freaky, but the point about the Munsters was that whatever their appearance, they were a loving and close-knit family. Is there a message there? I don’t know, but Grandpa Munster was pretty cool!
8. Mission Impossible
Before Tom Cruise and the movie franchise, there was the original 60s series. Everyone must surely recognise the theme tune and the opening titles! Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to watch a few episodes of the original version and see what you think …
Many TV series from the Sixties have dated somewhat, unsurprisingly, but they are still a lot of fun to watch. Lots of them are available on DVD, so why not watch some with your parents (or grandparents!)? It’ll be interesting to see the original versions of some of your movie favourites. Are there any 60s TV series that you would love to see brought up to date?
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