On Sept. 15, 1965, the third night of the TV networks' premiere week brought the debut of five iconic shows. Here's how TV critic Jack Gould reviewed each of those shows in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
Lost in Space
Guy Williams, June Lockhart, Mark Goddard, Marta Kristen, Billy Mumy, Angela Cartwright and Jonathan Harris. The Perils of Pauline have been put into a split-level space saucer and "Lost in Space" is a surefire winner for young viewers and probably will amuse senior devotees of science fiction.
There are fantastically super-duper settings and a wonderful futuristic environment to rocket the entire space family Robinson to another planet. The purpose is to ease the population crisis on earth in 1997. Gleaming spacesuits, chambers to freeze astronauts into a state of limbo for five and one-half years and mysterious electronic doodads are part of the exotic gear.
The show is essentially a tour de force of versatile hardware, but there's already a stowaway villain from the enemy country who fouls up the environmental control robot and sends the craft off course.
The trick photography is superb. The show is the first crop of thoroughly professional corn to be reaped from the exploits of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.
Sally Field, Don Porter, Betty "Connor and Lynette Winter. Miss Field, in the title role, radiates a winsome charm as a surf bunny of 15 1/2 years who is prone to crushes, diaries, beachplay and telephoneitis. There were some honest touches in the relationship between Gidget and her father.
The Big Valley
Barbara Stanwyck, Richard Long, Peter Breck, Lee Majors, Linda Evans and Charles Briles. Anything "Bonanza" can do "The Big Valley" would like to do better, which is not too likely. Miss Stanwyck is cast as the matriarch of the Barkley family living in California in the 1870s. The premiere was too crowded with plot about the nasty railroad uprooting settlers in the San Joaquin valley.
Robert Culp and Bill Cosby. The Hong Kong background of the opening installment of "I Spy" was the star of the debut; it showed the use to which color television can be put in enhancing interest in a dramatic series. Otherwise, the maiden excursion into international espionage by agents disguised as a tennis player (Culp) and his companion-trainer (Cosby) wavered indecisively between strained suspense and a light flirtation with the mood of James Bond.
Eddie Albert and Eva Gabor. The hillbillies made it in television by moving to slick suburbia so now It is the turn of city dwellers to try the sticks. Albert is a New York lawyer with a love of the soil and Miss Gabor is his wife with a love of penthouse luxury. The exposition of getting them from Park Avenue to Hooterville was not without some clever touches - the news was narrated by John Daly.
Your viewing guide to the day’s top shows and viral videos.