Unusual TV Fan Clubs
Followers of the campy, comedic, sci-fi and everything in between
There are TV fan clubs everyone knows about, like Star Trek‘s and The Honeymooners‘. Then there are ones that are a breed apart: Would you believe a fan club for Mr. Ed? Marginal or not, these organizations offer one great perk to devotees of vintage shows or stars: access to rare video of the adored in action.
BACK TO THE WILD, WILD WEST * The Show: The Wild, Wild West * The Newsletter: Includes info about appearances of star Robert Conrad as well as stories from costar Ross Martin’s widow and sister. * Video Bonuses: Editor Ann Teipen says that local stations never rerun the first year’s episodes (shot in black and white) and often chop up the aired versions to make room for more commercials. The newsletter puts fans in touch with each other so they can trade for better copies. * Address: 618 Martin St., Indianapolis, IN 46227-1132
MARTIN LANDAU AFICIONADOS AND BARBARA BAIN INTERNATIONAL * The Shows: Mission Impossible, Space: 1999 * The Newsletter: After the couple divorced, it split into two editions that come out in alternate months. * Video Bonuses: Only four of the 48 episodes of Space: 1999 were released on video legitimately, so collectors try to acquire the others through classifieds in the newsletter. Landau and Bain appeared in the first 78 episodes of Mission Impossible, none of which have been released. * Address: 603 N. Clark St., River Falls, WI 54022
RICHARD ANDERSON FAN CLUB * The Shows: The Six Million Dollar Man, The Bionic Woman (playing Oscar Goldman in both) * The Newsletter: Twice-yearly. * Video Bonuses: Members can acquire copies of Anderson’s numerous guest spots by advertising in the newsletter. * Address: 15264 Park Bowes Landing, Watervliet, MI 49098
SIX OF ONE—THE PRISONER APPRECIATION SOCIETY * The Show: The Prisoner * The Newsletter: Number Six, a four-color quarterly. * Video Bonuses: All 17 episodes have been released on tape. The club has English-made documentaries on tape, but they’re in PAL, the British broadcast standard. For a fee, Bruce Clark, the president of the club’s American branch, will make a copy in the U.S. standard. * Address: 871 Clover Dr., North Wales, PA 19454
Additional sources: The Fan Club Directory (P.O. Box 7487, Burbank, CA 91510) lists clubs and tells how to start one; The TV Collector is a magazine about vintage TV (P.O. Box 1088, Easton, MA 02334).