Since we started this project in 2006 there were two things that were conspicuously missing...the first was a decent-quality copy of the original unaired version of the pilot film, and the second was the 26th filmed episode BLACKMAIL. Well, we are now pleased to announce that these are no longer "missing in action" as we have located them and they are now in-hand and being cleaned up and readied to join all of the other episodes in our archive for release later this year on DVD.
Here is an NBC publicity photo from BLACKMAIL (click photos to enlarge):
#9230-57 Tamara Cooper (Narda Onyx) displays her terror over blackmailer to her husband Lt. Cooper (Bill DuFrene), Police Chief Hagedorn (Ted de Corsia) and Lt. Col. Steve Canyon (Dean Fredericks) in the Steve Canyon episode, "BLACKMAIL". (From official NBC press release)
This unaired version of the pilot is the only episode to feature the distinctive logo from the sunday editions of the Steve Canyon newspaper comic strip. (see frame blowup above). This version also features different beginning and end titles and a full 2 minutes of footage never before seen on television!
This NBC publicity photo is from a shot that is only seen in the unaired pilot! Seen below is the official press release that accompanied this photo:
Here's a frame blowup from the same sequence, featuring (from left to right), Lt. Col. Steve Canyon (Dean Fredericks), Capt. "Bullets" McVay (Dan Barton), RAF Maj. Durkel (Paul Frees) and Maj. "Tex" Berry (Morgan Woodward). What makes this sequence interesting is that this wasn't shot on an airfield, but was in fact shot on the rear-projection "Process-Photography" Stage indoors at the Hal Roach Studios in Culver City, California (where the pilot was shot and produced). The actors are standing in front of a translucent screen and the planes and ground-crew are on motion picture film being projected from behind. After the pilot was completed (and the series "sold" to NBC and Chesterfield cigarettes, the sponsor) they moved the production to the more modern Universal International Studios.
The full story of locating the shows and our restoration effort will be told on the full-series STEVE CANYON DVD set coming later this year, so STAY TUNED!
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