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TV

My Mother the Car (NBC 1965-1966, Jerry Van Dyke, Maggie Pierce)

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“Hello Davey, it’s your Mother.”

Sometimes, they come back. And sometimes they come back as the thing they loved most when they were alive. Case in point: fictional TV-land car lover Agnes Crabtree passed away in 1947, and when she came back years later, she came back as a disembodied voice that emanated from a car. A 1928 Porter, to be precise. And there, folks, is the sitcom premise of My Mother The Car.

It could be worse, you know—it could have been that Agnes liked shoes, or fancy cheese, and seeing Jerry Van Dyke talk to any of those things would have been downright uncomfortable. Television devotees love to bash this NBC curiosity, but in its defense, there were plenty of show premises that forced a viewer to scratch his head in the mid-1960’s. Martians, witches, ghosts, angels, and a slew of talking animals turned up on the small screen. So why not a talking car?

When it was time to buy a new car, his family wanted a practical station wagon, but lawyer Dave Crabtree (Van Dyke) couldn’t help himself—there was just something about that old Porter at the used car lot. And when he got in and turned on the radio, he figured out why—the voice of his late mother was transmitting from the radio. When he tried to convince his family that the car wasn’t just a car, they thought he was absolutely nuts, because of course his car/mother only talked when the others weren’t around. Maggie Pierce played Dave’s long-suffering wife Barbara, and the bad guy (because what ‘dead mom is talking from the car again’ sitcom is complete without one?) was automobile aficionado Mancini, who just had to have that Porter for his collection.

My Mother The Car

Plenty of TV pundits are surprised that My Mother the Car lasted a whole season—which meant more than thirty episodes back in those days. But NBC put it in a timeslot where the other networks were running adult dramas, and the goal was to nab the attention of the younger viewers. Suffice it to say, when there’s a show about a mother who is reincarnated as a voice in her grown son’s fixer-upper jalopy, attention definitely is garnered, for better or worse.

production details
USA / NBC – United Artists – Cottage Industries / 30×25 minute episodes / Broadcast 14 September 1965 – 6 September 1966

cast
Jerry Van Dyke as Dave Crabtree
Maggie Pierce as Barbara Crabtree
Cindy Eilbacher as Cindy Crabtree
Randy Whipple as Randy Crabtree
Avery Schreiber as Captain Manzini
Ann Sothern as Voice of Gladys, Dave’s mother

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TV

Clochmerle (BBC-2 1972, Cyril Cusack, Roy Dotrice)

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Clochmerle BBC 1972

Period sitcom, based on a novel by Gabriel Chevallier that was adapted by Ray Galton and Alan Simpson, that saw the French villagers of Clochmerle kick up a fuss over plans to install a new toilet.

cast
CYRIL CUSACK as Major Piechut
ROY DOTRICE as Ponosse
KENNETH GRIFFITH as Ernest Tafardel
WENDY HILLER as Justine Putet
HUGH GRIFFITH as Alexandre Bourdillat
BERNARD BRESSLAW as Nicholas the Beadle
MADELINE SMITH as Hortase Girodet
GEORGINA MOON as Rose Biraque
PETER USTINOV as Narrator

crew details
Writers: Ray Galton, Alan Simpson
Novel: Gabriel Chevallier
Producer: Michael Mills

production details
Country: UK
Network and Production Companies: BBC Two – Bavaria
Duration: 9×30 minute episodes
Aired From: 18 February – 14 April 1972 Fridays at 10.05pm

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TV

Clairvoyant, The (BBC-2 1986, Roy Kinnear, Sandra Dickinson)

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BBC 2 Logo

In Roy Clarke penned sitcom The Clairvoyant used car salesman Arnold Bristow is knocked down in a car accident and suddenly finds himself with psychic powers – or so he believes. There was a pilot broadcast 27 Nov 1984.

cast
ROY KINNEAR as Arnold Bristow
SANDRA DICKINSON as Lily
HUGH LLOYD as Burma
SHAUN CURRY as Newton
GLYNIS BROOKS as Dawn
CARMEL CRYAN as Carmen

crew details
Writer: Roy Clarke
Producer and Director: Alan J.W. Bell

production details
Country: UK
Network and Production Companies: BBC-2
Duration: 6×30 minute episodes
Aired From: Pilot – 27 November 1984 and Series – 15 May – 19 June 1986

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TV

Christmas Princess (UP 2017, Nicole Munoz, Zak Santiago)

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Christmas Princess Nicole Munoz

Christmas Princess is the true story of Donaly Marquez who, through a childhood of neglect and abuse, achieved her dream of becoming a rose bowl princess. An inspirational story of resilience, strength and finding a family to call your own.

cast
Nicole Muñoz as Donaly Marquez
Rosa Blasi as Sara
Zak Santiago as Ignacio Marquez
Olivia Steele Falconer as Emily Marquez
Jaedon Siewert as Abraham Marquez
Lina Renna as Young Donaly
Paloma Kwiatkowski as Chloe
Ty Wood as Trent
Pendo Muema as Monique
Kalyn Miles as Maria
Kaaren de Zilva as Roberta
Garfield Wilson as Dr. Miller
Clay St. Thomas as Judge #1
Patti Allan as Judge #2
Natalie von Rotsburg as Judge #3

crew details
Director: Allan Harmon
Writer: Tracy Andreen

production details
Country: Canada
Network and Production Companies: UP
Duration: 1×120 minute episode
Aired From: Sunday 10 December 2017

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