Monday, December 24, 2007

Route 66

One of my favorite shows. When I was 12 or so I viewed it thinking "this is deep" but not knowing why. I wished then that I could break away from my mother's apron strings and travel with Todd and Buzz. Now I see it's finally arrived on DVD
from Amazon reviewers
Finally someone is listening! First the Fugitive and now Route 66! Television with meaning. I guess it was well worth the wait for the studios to get all the crap out of their system so they could start releasing the real quintessential jewels of American television. This show was so innovative for its time - It was shot on location around the country. The entire cast and crew literally traveled from one spot to the next and filmed each episode. ...
The story-telling event that made me want to become a writer was the premier of the classic TV show, Route 66. I was 17, doing so-so in high school, lacking plans and ambition, going nowhere. But all that changed at 8:30 p.m. on the first Friday of October in 1960 when a drama about motion gave me a destination. The series was about two young men (brilliantly portrayed by Martin Milner and George Maharis, the latter eventually replaced by Glenn Corbett) who drove a Corvette convertible across the United States in search of America and themselves. Providing a time capsule of 1960-64, every episode was filmed entirely on location–from Poland Springs, Maine, to Huntington Beach, California; from Seattle to St Louis to Tampa and a hundred communities between. Two-thirds of the episodes were written by Stirling Silliphant, who eventually received an Oscar for In the Heat of the Night and whose scripts for ROUTE 66 were an intriguing blend of intense action and philosophic/poetic speeches that sometimes lasted five minutes, with a flavor of Tennessee Williams combined with William Inge and Arthur Miller. As a bonus, the great arranger-composer Nelson Riddle contributed a new musical score every week, often with a jazz flavor. The series so knocked me over that I wrote to Silliphant, explaining my sudden ambition to follow his path. The long letter he sent in return gave me all the advice any writer needs. "Write, write, keep writing, and then write more." That letter is framed next to my desk. Eventually, Silliphant and I became friends and colleagues. In 1989, I was thrilled to see him listed as the executive producer of my NBC miniseries, Brotherhood of the Rose. Twenty-nine years after Route 66 debuted, a circle was completed, even as the road continued. -- David Morrell, New York Times bestselling author of FIRST BLOOD and CREEPERS

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