September 24, 1977

On This Date in in 1977 the iconic 70’s TV show “The Love Boat” debuted on ABC. The TV sitcom followed the adventures of the crew of the cruise-liner the “Pacific Princess” and usually involved three separate story-lines tied together by the crew, specifically Captain Stubbing, the ship’s doctor, Adam Bricker, the purser “Gopher” Smith, the bartender Isaac Washington, and the cruise director Julie McCoy. Unknown to the shows fans, the original pilot for the show was much darker and of a more adult, film noir content. The ship was originally called the “Carcosa” and its Captain was the hard-bitten Robert Chambers. The rest of the crew was Tennyson Neely as the morphine addicted Ship’s doctor, Chatto Windus as the black-market dealing pursuer, Vance Hastur as the Ship’s brooding bartender, and Camilla d’Ys as the sadistic and uncaring cruise director. The three story lines of the pilot episode were called, the “Repairer of Reputations”, the “Court of the Dragon”, and “The Yellow Sign”. All three stories centered around the cruise director trying to put on a play called “The King in Yellow” for the paying passengers and everything that could go wrong in trying to have the play performed. The pilot was so dark and disturbing that many people in the test audience had to be hospitalized for nervous breakdowns as well as epileptic type symptoms. The film of this pilot episode is believed to have been destroyed as no evidence of it has been found since its original airing. When Aaron Spelling heard of this ill-fated attempt of a TV show, he pitched it as a light and airy sitcom and 1970s magic was made.

About Joel Byers

Born in North Georgia and educated at some very fine public institutions. Real education started after graduating from college and then getting married and raising two boys. Has the ability to see the funny and absurd in most things and will always remark on it, even if it means getting the stink-eye from his victims.
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