Media with Murphy: Throwback shows from the ’60s to ’80s

By Murphy Obershaw, A&E Editor

These days, when people think of throwback TV shows, they think of something from the ’90s or even the early 2000s. But there are some quality shows from the late ’60s to early ’80s that deserve a shout out. Among them:

“The Hardy Boys/ Nancy Drew Mysteries”

This 1977-1979 show is loosely based on the Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew book series. Nancy Drew as well as Frank and Joe Hardy are always getting involved with mysteries, especially when they are told to stay out of it.

There are some throwback shows that embody their time period so well that you can feel it in your soul. You can definitely feel the ’70s just by looking at their cars, long hair and outfits, especially their bell-bottom pants. Everyone knows the mystery machine from ScoobyDoo, but the van the Hardy Boys drive is the superior mystery machine.

Joe Hardy is played by Shawn Cassidy, a teen heart throb in the ’70s, and he performs some of his songs throughout the course of the series.

The episodes usually just focus on Nancy Drew or the Hardy Boys instead of having all of them in together. There are some epic crossover events where they are all present though.

This show is great, but there are some cringy laughable moments, like when they try to use ’70s technology and acting to simulate skiing down a hill or their super low-budget episode where they inserted a couple clips from a previous episode and a clip from a different show. While not an indication of what normally happens during an episode, these were very laughable moments.

“The Hardy Boys/ Nancy Drew Mysteries” are usually available at local libraries.


Even though it comes from a serious and dark comic, this show is nothing of the sort. The 1966-1968 show featuring Adam West as Batman and Burt Ward as Robin is a light-hearted version of the Dynamic Duo.

This campy show has ridiculous villains. Each villain has his/her pack of goons with code names relating to the villain they work for printed on their shirt.

Every episode, one of these villains commits a crime, and Commissioner Gordan and Chief O'Hara call Batman for help on the bat-phone. They call Batman all the time and occasionally run into Bruce Wyane, but they nor anyone else ever find out his true identity.

Batman and Robin always go investigate and get trapped in some deadly snare. They escape with the help of something from the bat-utility belt after the villain leaves the room.

The villains are shocked that they escaped, and they have a fight scene where onomatopoeias like “BAM” and “KAPOW” flash in colorful letters across the entire screen every time someone lands a punch. Then the villain is defeated and the day is saved, thanks to Batman and Robin.

In season three, Batgirl shows up to help Batman and Robin, but even they have no idea she is secretly Barbra Gordan, Commissioner Gordan’s daughter.

Episodes of this series are available for purchase on YouTube and are available at your local library.

“Doctor Who”

“Doctor Who” is about an alien who travels throughout space and time with his companions. When the Doctor dies, he/she regenerates and receives a new body that could be male or female.

This show has been around for years, but one of the most popular and most memorable regenerations of the Doctor was Tom Baker, who was the fourth person to play the Doctor and portrayed him from 1974 to 1981, which is longer than anyone else with the role.

The fourth Doctor traveled with great characters, such as Sarah Jane Smith, Leela, Romana, Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart and K-9 the robotic dog.

The Doctor and his companies fight aliens, like Daleks and Zygons, all over space and time, but spend a lot of time in England in the 1970s.

This Doctor is known for his iconic long multicolored scarf, curly hair, yo-yo and habit of offering people Jelly Babies.

The special effects and alien costumes may come across as a little corny these days, but they were still well done. The corniness almost adds to the enjoyment of the series because it seems more like a throwback sci-fi show.

This show is also available at your local library.

PHOTO: Murphy Obershaw, A&E Editor