Tuesday, May 12, 2015

What Might've Been: The Shadow (1954)

Some years back, I acquired a VHS tape containing some lost, unsold pilots. Several months back, we took a look at Harry Ackerman's take on Archie, and, eventually, we'll get around to The Phantom.

This time, though, it's The Shadow. The legendary hero of pulps & radio was brought to television in 1954 by radio writer Peter Barry. Unfortunately, what worked on radio didn't translate into television. Specifically, the Shadow's ability to cloud men's minds by making himself invisible. Today, with improvements in technology, the special effects would make this even more effective. Not so 61 years ago. As much as I am a fan of the Shadow, and have been since the 70's, even I could see that this was, well, risky business.

Unlike radio contemporaries like Sgt. Preston of the Yukon, Dragnet, & The Lone Ranger, The Shadow, at least in the 50's, just wasn't ready for television, and I'm sure even the Dark Avenger himself would attest to that.

Rating: C.

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