Although it was before my time, it seemed to be the kewlest show of all time…
I am referring to…
Of the few episodes of “77 Sunset Strip” (television’s very first hour-long private eye drama) I have seen, my favorite was The Fanatics, filmed long before anybody ever heard the words Al-Qaeda or ISIS.
The premise was about a group of terrorists from the Middle East who plant a bomb that will blow up their enemy… plus a number of innocent civilians… in a hospital while their enemy undergoes surgery.
The bomb… which looked more like a Radio Shack transistor radio than an explosive device (this was, after all, the 1960’s), was strapped to the waist of the terrorist Kemal’s fiancéé (portrayed by a very young Marlo Thomas before her star-making role in That Girl).
Marlo’s character in the Sunset Strip episode was deceived into thinking she should blow herself up for the cause. Interesting that terrorists have been using women and children for suicide bombing attacks recently. Hopefully, they weren’t inspired by American television.
While Kemal commiserates over his love being blown up, his mentor says that her death will be for the glory of their cause. After the good guys find and defuse the bomb, we find that Kemal’s mentor is full of khara. Kemal and his woman see the light and go on to live happily ever after (this was, after all, the 1960’s).
Despite the laughable casting of actors like Bert Convy as Kemal and Joe DeSantis as Mustafa Caleb (this was, after all, the 1960’s), it was interesting to see that the more things change, the more things stay the same.