Rare TV: T.H.E. Cat

T.H.E. Cat

The show was dark and moody, fitting the character, and was one of the first to use martial arts in a realistic way. (The other was The Green Hornet, which premiered on ABC the same year.) This was unknown on TV at that time and rarely seen even in films (an exception was The Manchurian Candidate, the first Hollywood movie to show martial arts in realistic fashion instead of the ‘judo chops’ usually depicted). The series also featured a number of highly gifted guest stars and relied heavily on the film noir school to set the tone of the series.

This is a very difficult TV series to search for on YouTube due to the periods in its title. I managed to trip across an episode there and it was even better than my dim memories of it.

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Robert Loggia was all over TV in supporting or guest roles. I didn’t know he was the star of this series. He was suave with nerves of steel and ice in his veins.

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I think this was the first guy in a TV series as a regular who wore an earring:

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Boris Sagal’s direction poured it on, making it like a movie:

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This should grab you from the opening notes of Lalo Schifrin’s badass score.

And now, in three parts, the very, very rare episode. See it before it gets DMCAed away. This is complete with the commercials of its time (marvel at how few there were in a half hour!).

This is the kind of series that should be remastered for digital and put on Hulu — as well as DVDs. It’s better than most of the series on TV today.

8 Comments

Filed under TV, Video

8 responses to “Rare TV: T.H.E. Cat

  1. Thanks. There is less advertising in there than what you get on YouTube these days!

  2. That brings back memories! Saw bits of the series in ’67 via a friend who was doing graduate film work at USC and had some interesting access. I thought it good, but didn’t have much to compare it with — my TV experiences prior to that had been brief exposure in London and Rome; most of my youth was spent in places where TV did not exist.

    Also you reference to The Green Hornet – a few years after grad work in California I ended up in Hong Kong and got to know the guys who started Golden Harvest (Ray Chow and Len Ho), and via them some of the Cantonese Chinese actors, including a very upset Bruce Lee who moved to HK after being passed over for lead roles in US production.

    And yes, the ads and audio were a lot less annoying!

    • mikecane

      I keep wondering what the series Kung Fu would have been like with Lee instead of Carradine in the lead.

  3. Bette

    thanks for the memories.

  4. Oh, I and I forgot to ask. The announcer’s voice was so familiar. Do you know who it was?

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