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[ Season 1: 1968/69 ]
Doris Martin, who is the recently widowed mother of two sons Billy and Toby, moves in with her father Buck Webb on his farm.


 

Doris Day

 

Doris Martin

Denver Pyle

Buck Webb

 

Fran Ryan

 

Aggie Thompson

James Hampton

Leroy B. Simpson

 

Philip Brown

 

Billy Martin

Todd Starke

Toby Martin

 

Naomi Stevens

 

Juanita

Nelson (dog)

Lord Nelson



 

DVD Set Review
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[ Click here to read this site's original news article on this release. ]


From being the top female box-office movie star at the beginning of the 60’s to ultimately entering the world of television sitcom by its end, must have seemed worlds’ apart for Doris Day. Having been signed to such a contract without prior knowledge by her husband/agent/manager Marty Melcher, he had unfortunately died in the meantime leaving Doris to switch gears into the small-screen-media she had not previously considered. However, having always overcome personal knocks, Doris soon knuckled down to THE DORIS DAY SHOW which launched in 1968; bouncing into the show’s family-friendly cheerfulness with her usual effortless charm and vitality. Playing an attractive widow, Doris Martin, who had left the city and a career to take care of two kids at her father’s farm, the rural setting seemed the ideal vehicle for the sunny star.

Truth to tell Doris was far from happy with this premise which beyond the allocated twenty-eight episodes really had nowhere to go in terms of plot development. Hence the second year series dumped this formula in favour of a career in San Francisco (a big city return is hinted at in programme 11) to allow for more scope for romantic entanglements and a touch of sophistication so typical of her latter-day movies.

Following its surprise but welcome release on DVD in the States, the first box-set has now reached the UK where later episodes of the show originally only reached the small screen via certain British regional TV companies in the early 70’s, with episodes from this first series airing on Bravo satellite channel around twelve years ago. Viewing these episodes thirty-five years on, is a nostalgic and fascinating experience with Doris looking great and probably far too glamorous for the farm setting, but I’m sure her fans would not want it any other way! As an on-screen mother her natural believability carries over to the kids (Philip Brown and Todd Starke) who are not brats in the Hollywood sense and inter-act in a totally convincing way. Described by VARIETY as “Charming and unpretentious” the plot-bound need to retain mild wholesome rural corn does mean the episodes are uneven in quality; having to rely on the humour of the characters with the grizzled, gruff kind-hearted father, Buck (Denver Pyle) and likeable but accident-prone handyman, Leroy B. Simpson (James Hampton) on hand, assisted by the housekeeper Aggie (Fran Ryan who was superseded without explanation after the first ten episodes by Naomi Stevens as the soft-hearted Juanita). Doris’ character occasionally gets involved in mild romance and even occasional bursts of song but generally the tone involves the functional family unit immersed temporarily in misunderstandings with the world outside, with a suitably conveniently contrived solution found before each episode’s end. Even the baddies turn out to be likeable as played by some well-known character actors in various episodes and in one episode there’s a very young Jodie Foster on hand well before she cracked fame in the movies! Emotions range from slapstick humour to heartbreak and sentimentality which of course allows Doris to utilise her unaffected acting ability. In other words it’s a warm-hearted wholesome show which has lost none of its special magic despite the passing years and as nostalgia will enthral all Doris Day admirers as well as everyone else in the family from youngsters to granny and maiden aunt!

The DVD set comprises six discs in a slip case (unlike the US release which managed with just four) and each DVD is available separately. However, I recommend purchasing the box-set, particularly as it is the cheaper option. The final disc also contains indispensable extras; some quirky video messages from Doris promoting the show in 1968 ], two entertaining 1950s Day appearances on WHAT’S MY LINE?, and interviews with then-child-actor Philip Brown plus James Hampton. The remastering is faultless with excellent colour definition and sound quality; the laughter track is for real and not synchronized; and Doris’ biggest hit song, QUE SERA, SERA (WHATEVER WILL BE, WILL BE) tops and tails each episode. Total running time: approximately 13 hours.

Review by Allen Pollock

 

 

Season 1 - Episode Guide:


 

"Dinner For Mom" This site's rating for this episode!
[ US Transmission Date: 24 September 1968 ]

Toby and Billy take Doris out to dinner for her birthday with money they've earned, but aren't prepared for the size of the check.

bullet Guest starring Norm Alden, Leonard Stone
bullet Written by Dick Bensfield, Perry Grant
bullet Directed by Bob Sweeney


 


 

"The Uniform" This site's rating for this episode!
[ US Transmission Date: 1 October 1968 ]

Envious of Billy's Little League uniform, Toby announces that he has a uniform as well, referring to a choir robe, despite the fact that try-outs for the choir haven't yet taken place.

bullet Guest starring Woodrow Parfrey, Scott Crawford
bullet Written by Sid Morse
bullet Directed by Bruce Bilson


 


 

"The Friend" This site's rating for this episode!
[ US Transmission Date: 8 October 1968 ]

Doris agrees to pose in a "family" photo for a milk promotion with her kids. Two of Toby's friends join the shoot to play his sisters. A problem occurs when the company discover one of the girls is black.

bullet Guest starring Woodrow Parfrey, Peggy Rea, George Morgan, Lisa Gerritsen, Raymond Mark, Cheri Grace, Raymond Kark, R.G. Armstrong
bullet Written by E. Duke Vincent, Bruce Johnson
bullet Directed by Bob Sweeney


 


 

"The Matchmakers" This site's rating for this episode!
[ US Transmission Date: 22 October 1968 ]

The boys try to play cupid for Doris. They set their sights on the local Deputy Sheriff who happens to be the town wolf and local sports hero.

bullet Guest starring Frank Maxwell, Carl Byrd, Noam Pitlik
bullet Written by Richard Baer
bullet Directed by Bruce Bilson


 


 

"The Songwriter" This site's rating for this episode!
[ US Transmission Date: 29 October 1968 ]

Doris saves Leroy from losing his money by exposing a phoney song publishing racket. [Doris notably sings in this episode!]

bullet Guest starring Jerry Hausner
bullet Written by Joseph Bonaduce
bullet Directed by Gary Nelson


 


 

"The Antique" This site's rating for this episode!
[ US Transmission Date: 12 November 1968 ]

Two old ladies con the kids out of a valuable antique which is Buck's pride and joy. Doris then has to plot a way to get it back. [Doris again sings in this episode!]

bullet Guest starring Estelle Winwood, Maudie Prickett
bullet Written by Dorothy Cooper Foote
bullet Directed by Bob Sweeney


 


 

"Leroy B. Simpson" This site's rating for this episode!
[ US Transmission Date: 19 November 1968 ]

In this story Leroy is introduced to the cast. He is found hiding in the pump house and being fed by the boys. The problem is Buck suspects he's just a chicken-stealing tramp.

bullet Written by Sid Morse
bullet Directed by Bob Sweeney


 


 

"The Black Eye" This site's rating for this episode!
[ US Transmission Date: 26 November 1968 ]

Billy comes home from school with two black eyes and admits that he didn't fight back. Buck is convinced that the boy is a coward. [This is the very first episode made of the show.]

bullet Guest starring Lisa Gerritsen, Woodrow Parfrey
bullet Written by Ray Singer
bullet Directed by Bob Sweeney


 


 

"The Librarian" This site's rating for this episode!
[ US Transmission Date: 3 December 1968 ]

Leroy poses as an expert on poetry to impress the local librarian. He then finds himself in a bind when she asks him to recite a poem in front of her poetry group.

bullet Guest starring Ryan MacDonald, Kelly Jean Peters, Keith Taylor
bullet Written by Harry Winkler
bullet Directed by Bruce Bilson


 


 

"The Camping Trip" This site's rating for this episode!
[ US Transmission Date: 10 December 1968 ]

Buck takes the boys on a camping trip with an old Indian friend. He then becomes jealous when the boys become enthralled with the Indian's tales of prowess.

bullet Guest starring Henry Corden
bullet Written by Jerry DeVine
bullet Directed by Bruce Bilson


 


 

"The Job" This site's rating for this episode!
[ US Transmission Date: 17 December 1968 ]

Doris agrees to go back to New York for a week to help out her former employer. The employer then returns with Doris determined to convince her family to let Doris come back to the big city for good.

bullet Guest starring Linda Watkins, Jo Miya
bullet Written by James L. Brooks
bullet Directed by Bob Sweeney


 


 

"Buck's Girl" This site's rating for this episode!
[ US Transmission Date: 31 December 1968 ]

Buck and the local veterinarian both fall for the new manicurist.

bullet Guest starring Walter Sande, Kay Stewart, Paul Barselow
bullet Written by Carl Kelinschmitt
bullet Directed by Gary Nelson


 


 

"Love A Duck" This site's rating for this episode!
[ US Transmission Date: 7 January 1969 ]

A local rascal is suspected of poaching ducks on the Martin ranch. Doris sets out to catch him.

bullet Guest starring Strother Martin
bullet Written by Jerry Devine
bullet Directed by Gary Nelson


 


 

"Let Them Out Of The Nest" This site's rating for this episode!
[ US Transmission Date: 21 January 1969 ]

The boys get a job delivering eggs but Doris gives them too much assistance and soon finds herself carrying the entire load.

bullet Guest starring Hal Smith, Raymond Kark, Barbara Pepper, Robert Graham, Keith Huntley
bullet Written by Peggy Elliott, Ed Scharlach
bullet Directed by Bruce Bilson


 


 

"The Clock" This site's rating for this episode!
[ US Transmission Date: 28 January 1969 ]

Leroy is conned into purchasing an antique clock as a gift for Doris. This backfires when the clock bongs so loudly that Doris can't make up the sleep she's been losing while helping with the delivery of a new calf.

bullet Guest starring Strother Martin, Peggy Rea
bullet Written by Joe Bonaduce
bullet Directed by Bruce Bilson


 


 

"The Buddy" This site's rating for this episode!
[ US Transmission Date: 4 February 1969 ]

An old marine "buddy", a female major, comes to visit while Doris is out of town. She then puts the household on a military regimen.

bullet Guest starring Mary Wickes, Willis Bouchey
bullet Written by Harry Winkler
bullet Directed by Gary Nelson


 


 

"The Fly Boy" This site's rating for this episode!
[ US Transmission Date: 11 February 1969 ]

Doris is wooed by an Air Force colonel who has been sent to the farm to pay for damages caused by sonic booms from his jets nearby.

bullet Guest starring Frank Aletter, Tom Curry, Al Travis, James Truesdell, Tom Falk
bullet Written by Howard Leeds
bullet Directed by Gary Nelson  


 


 

"The Tournament" This site's rating for this episode!
[ US Transmission Date: 18 February 1969 ]

Leroy is recruited to replace Buck's injured partner in the annual horseshoe tournament.

bullet Guest starring Walter Sande
bullet Written by Perry Grant, Dick Bensfield
bullet Directed by Bruce Bilson


 


 

"Love Thy Neighbor" This site's rating for this episode!
[ US Transmission Date: 4 March 1969 ]

A local deadbeat plots for his son to marry Doris in order to avoid paying an old debt.

bullet Guest starring J. Pat O'Malley, Read Morgan
bullet Written by Sid Morse
bullet Directed by Harry Falk


 


 

"The Con Man" This site's rating for this episode!
[ US Transmission Date: 11 March 1969 ]

Doris falls for an architect who turns out to be a con man whilst she fundraises for a new convention centre.

bullet Guest starring Joseph Campanella, Madge Blake, James Millhollin, Peter Brocco, Bard Stevens, Kay Stewart, Evelyn King, Dodie Warren
bullet Written by Si Rose
bullet Directed by Bruce Bilson  


 


 

"The Musical" This site's rating for this episode!
[ US Transmission Date: 18 March 1969 ]

Buck volunteers Doris to direct the school musical. He and the school principal however are appalled at the modern way the kids are dancing.

bullet Guest starring Ray Teal, Gary Dubin, Michele Tobin
bullet Written by Sid Morse
bullet Directed by Bruce Bilson


 


 

"The Baby Sitter" This site's rating for this episode!
[ US Transmission Date: 25 March 1969 ]

Doris spends the night sitting for some unruly children while their parents are at the hospital for the arrival of another sibling. [Hollywood actress Jodie Foster notably makes her film debut here.]

bullet Guest starring Paul Smith, Peggy Rea, Jodie Foster, Julie Reese, Ted Foulkes, Lynnel Atkins
bullet Written by Bruce Howard
bullet Directed by Harry Falk


 


 

"The Still" This site's rating for this episode!
[ US Transmission Date: 1 April 1969 ]

In order to keep some mischievous old ladies out of jail Doris confiscates the goods they have been using to produce moonshine. Doris then suffers a flat on her way to dispose of the evidence.

bullet Guest starring Barney Phillips, Jesslyn Fax, Florence Lake, Jeff DeBenning, Tom Falk
bullet Written by Lloyd Turner, Whitey Mitchell
bullet Directed by Gary Nelson


 


 

"The Gift" This site's rating for this episode!
[ US Transmission Date: 8 April 1969 ]

As a present the family plan to send Leroy on a trip to see his grandmother. Everyone pitches in to handle his chores while Leroy is  away but he misreads the preparations and thinks he is going to be fired.

bullet Written by Arthur Alsberg, Don Nelson
bullet Directed by Harry Falk


 


 

"The Tiger" This site's rating for this episode!
[ US Transmission Date: 15 April 1969 ]

A friendly tiger escaped from a circus van stows away in Doris' truck.

bullet Guest starring Barney Phillips, Bard Stevens
bullet Written by Norman Katkov
bullet Directed by Gary Nelson


 


 

"The Date" This site's rating for this episode!
[ US Transmission Date: 22 April 1969 ]

Doris arranges a date between Juanita and the owner of the local sporting goods store. Buck scares off the man with marriage talk.

bullet Guest starring Joe De Santis
bullet Written by E. Duke Vincent, Bruce Johnson
bullet Directed by Bruce Bilson


 


 

"The Five Dollar Bill" This site's rating for this episode!
[ US Transmission Date: 29 April 1969 ]

Billy returns a lost wallet but is accused of stealing $5 from it.

bullet Guest starring Shirley Mitchell, Stuart Lee, Jerry Hausner
bullet Written by John McGreevey
bullet Directed by Gary Nelson


 


 

"The Relatives" This site's rating for this episode!
[ US Transmission Date: 6 May 1969 ]

Doris sets out to teach Buck a thing about "man's work" by painting and wallpapering part of the house while he is away for the weekend. Her plans are foiled when three of Leroy's cousins show up and try to help.

bullet Guest starring Alan Sues, Dennis Fimple, Robert Easton, J.P [Patrick] Cranshaw, Bard Stevens
bullet Written by Bruce Howard
bullet Directed by Harry Falk


 

 


Production Credits:

 

Executive Producer

 

Doris Day

Producer

Richard Dorso

 

Producer

 

Jack Elinson

Producer

Edward H. Feldman

 

Executive Producer

 

Don Genson

Associate Producer

Jerry London

 

Executive Producer

 

Terry Melcher

Producer

Norman Paul

 

Producer

 

Bob Sweeney

Associate Producer

George Turpin

 

 

Theme Song

 

Que Sera, Sera Real Audio Clip
by Jay Livingston & Ray Evans

Set Decorator

 

James Hassinger

 

Makeup

 

Harry Maret

Hair Stylist

 

Barbara Lampson

 

Miss Day's Costimer

 

Connie Edney

Women's Costumer

Joy Tierney

 

Men's Costumer

 

Leonard F. Mann

Propmaker foreman

Lloyd R. Apperson

 

Sound editor

 

Jim Bullock

       


 

 

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