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Mr Merlin (CBS 1981-1982, Barnard Hughes, Clark Brandon)

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Mr. Merlin’s half-hour episodes presented an intriguing cross between situation comedy and the supernatural. Barnard Hughes portrayed the title character, a 1600-year-old magician who was once in the employ of King Arthur. In the present day he was known as Max Merlin, owner of an auto repair shop in San Francisco. He needed an apprentice to replace him and decided on a neighborhood boy, one Zac Rogers.

Zac at first dismissed Merlin as a crazy old man, but quickly became impressed when he found the old man’s magic was for real. The show chronicled Merlin’s attempts to teach the boy the ways of sorcery and the attempts of Merlin and Zac to restore things to order when Zac would cast the wrong spell or put both of them in danger of being revealed to the mortal world. Also along for the magical ride were Leo, Zac’s best friend, and Alexandra, the lovely sorceress who functioned as the go-between for Merlin and his superiors in the world of magic.

The show lasted one season, ending in September of 1982. Would-be kid magicians were spellbound, but to the non-magically-inclined, Mr. Merlin was a mere TV footnote. To the latter group, we offer a footnote of our own: certain episodes of this series were directed by two former fantasy-themed sitcom stars—Bill Bixby of My Favorite Martian and John Astin of The Addams Family.

production details
USA / CBS – Columbia – Larry Larry Co Prod / 22×25 minute episodes / Broadcast 7 October 1981 – 15 September 1982

Producers: Larry Rosen, Larry Tucker / Theme: Mr. Merlin by Ken Harrison

cast
Barnard Hughes as Max Merlin
Elaine Joyce as Alexandra
Clark Brandon as Zack Rogers
Jonathan Prince as Leo Samuels
Mickie MacKenzie as Laurie
Sandy Rosenberg as Diane Fishman
Betty Garrett as Elizabeth Rogers

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Clochemerle (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 Clochemerle 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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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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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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