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Classic Soaps The Doctors to be available on streaming from January 2020

Discussion in 'US Soaps Forum' started by tommie, Dec 23, 2019.

  1. tommie

    tommie Soap Chat Mega Star EXP: 3 Years

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    https://www.timesfreepress.com/news...2/tv-hub-programming-streaming-access/510459/

    All episodes from 1968 to the end that's aired on Retro TV will apparently be made available, along with black and white episodes that will be exclusive to streaming. Apparently The Doctors have done really well for them, which is good news for those that want retro soaps on streaming platforms.
     
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  2. Daniel Avery

    Daniel Avery Super Moderator EXP: 19 Years Staff Member

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    RetroTV actually acquired these episodes (originally produced by Colgate-Palmolive) from the Hallmark Channel, who bought the rights about 2010 or so but never opted to air them. Unlike most production companies at the time (1960s up to about 1980), C-P actually saved master tapes of the episodes rather than taping over them, probably because this was their only foray into TV production and they were proud of their effort.

    If you have seen some of the episodes on youtube, you'll immediately notice that The Doctors lacks the production values of what most of us are accustomed to. You really have to invest in the stories and the characters, because they are not going bowl you over with a huge hospital, rich people living on mansions, and big party scenes. Characters even (gasp!) wear the same clothing more than once. I'd say the production values are akin to what you might see in a low-budget, online soap...the difference being, of course, that The Doctors can get away with sparsely-furnished sets and blank windows because most of the time they're telling really good stories. You can overlook the budgetary restraints if the stories are good enough.

    I admit most of my motivation to sample the series came from wanting to see actress Anna Stuart in one of her earliest roles (Toni Ferra, the role that put her on the map). I'd watch her read a phone book.
     
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  3. Snarky's Ghost

    Snarky's Ghost Soap Chat Oracle EXP: 19 Years

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    Daytime soaps were super-minimalistic in the '60s and '70s; they didn't start becoming more elaborate until the '80s nighttime soaps gave them new competition and new ideas.
     
  4. Daniel Avery

    Daniel Avery Super Moderator EXP: 19 Years Staff Member

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    Into the 1970s, some soaps were still doing their episodes live, which greatly limited their ability to move around and go from scene-to-scene on different sets. Shows like The Doctors were produced and directed by people who'd learned their craft on live soaps, so the scenes were pretty static and only had the most minimal shifts within episodes (and usually between commercials). It wasn't until the 1970s that soap producers sought out newer talent behind the scenes who moved away from the older traditions and enacted new filming techniques and wrote stories that felt and looked less claustrophobic. They also phased out the organ music! Oh, how annoying that organ music was.

    It's quite interesting to watch these older soaps and see how they did so much, story-wise with so little freedom to move about and "show" rather than just explain.
     
  5. tommie

    tommie Soap Chat Mega Star EXP: 3 Years

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    Preview site up - "only" the 1967-1970 episodes for now will debut on 27th February, but more will come: https://watchthedoctors.com

    $2.99 per month or $30.99 for the entire year.

     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2020
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