Among the tried and true TV formulas, located on the same list that discloses the value of characters like the wisecracking neighbor and the lisping little sister, lies the following directive: stories about children and their preciously-named, loyal animals are a very, very good thing.
The television show My Friend Flicka was based, originally, on Mary O’ Hara’s children’s book of the same name, which was published in 1941 and made into a 1943 movie starring Roddy McDowall. The TV version was a half-hour Western—a children’s Western, we should say—and the first TV series to ever come out of the 20th Century Fox gates. Thirty-nine episodes were filmed in color, but were initially shown in black and white on CBS before the show moved to ABC, where it was finally broadcast in all its multi-hued glory.
My Friend Flicka (Flicka means little girl in Swedish) was set at the Goose Bar Ranch in Montana, and many of young lead character Ken’s adventures were based on those of book author O’Hara, who also grew up on a ranch among equine friends. The dynamic pitted the imaginative Ken, played by child star Johnny Washbrook, against his sternly practical father, played by popular Western actor Gene Evans. Though Ken’s mother tried to make peace between the two, the thing that finally did it was horse Flicka. This chestnut wonder taught Ken the lessons about responsibility and growing up that his father had trouble conveying, and everything—as they say in the animal husbandry trade—was just ducky after that.
There were other horse shows to come—chatty horses and plenty of heroic horse sidekicks—but none of these equine wonders were as wholesome as good old Flicka. She was a horse to call friend.
USA / CBS – TCF / 39×25 minute episodes / Broadcast 10 February 1956 – 1 February 1957
Johnny Washbrook as Ken McLaughlin
Gene Evans as Rob McLaughlin
Anita Louise as Nell McLaughlin
Frank Ferguson as Gus
and this just in
Masquerade (ABC 1983-1984, Rod Taylor, Kirstie Alley)
Spy drama series. When they run out of normal agents the National Intelligence Agency decide to recruit ordinary citizens into...
The Bad News Bears (CBS 1979-1980, Jack Warden, Catherine Hicks)
The Bad News Bears was a surprise hit film for Paramount Pictures in 1976. Written by Bill Laner and directed...
Hatfields and McCoys (History 2012, Kevin Costner, Bill Paxton)
Hatfields and McCoys is the story of a clash of clans that evoked great passion, vengeance, courage, sacrifice, crimes and...
Juliet Bravo (BBC-1 1980-1985, Stephanie Turner, Anna Carteret)
Rural in tone, Juliet Bravo was a crime drama series that had a big point of difference from your standard...
Shirley (BBC-2 2011, Ruth Negga, Charlie Creed-Miles)
Shirley is an intimate and revealing drama that looks at the life of Dame Shirley Bassey – one of the...
The Voice: The Knockouts Premiere (S15EP11 NBC Mon 29 Oct 2018)
The Knocksout: The Knockout Round begins with coaches Kelly Clarkson, Jennifer Hudson, Adam Levine, Blake Shelton, and the key advisor...
Happy Together: Like Father, Like Son (S1EP5 CBS Mon 29 Oct 2018)
Like Father, Like Son: Art Imitates Life as Damon Wayans Guest Stars as Mike, Jake’s Father. When Jake’s father, Mike,...
9-1-1: Haunted (S2EP7 FOX Mon 29 Oct 2018, with Devin Kelley)
Haunted: Halloween finds the first responders racing to the rescue at a cemetery, a haunted hayride and a spooky Hollywood...
5,000 Fingers of Dr. T., The (1953, Tommy Rettig, Hans Conreid)
A rare chance to see a unique cinematic oddity – a live action musical based on an idea by one...
Inside Out (1975, Telly Savalas, James Mason)
Telly Savalas, Robert Culp and James Mason star in Peter Duffell’s thriller caper as three crooks who join together to...
Life as a House (2001, Kevin Kline, Kristin Scott Thomas)
Two events shock George (Kevin Kline) from his middle-aged apathy. The first is his sacking by the architects for whom...