Question: I am always the first to bow to your infinite TV knowledge but I think you may have been trumped March 15 regarding a question about a 1969 sci-fi series James Darren appeared in. Your answer was The Time Tunnel but upon reading the question again I think the reader may have seen a pilot, also from Tunnel creator Irwin Allen and starring Darren, called The Man From the 25th Century. The premise that the person describes sounds closer to this. If I am wrong I will humbly take a severe scolding from you in your answer. Thanks. Tom L., Orlando, Fla.
Televisionary: No, Tom, thank you. Your guess about the unproduced show, which Allen pitched around that time (within a year or so), may indeed be correct since it did star Darren as a superpowered man stolen by aliens as a baby and returned to earth as the vanguard of a coming invasion. (True to form, the heroic Darren defied orders and toiled on the side of humanity.) And upon first glance, I thought you wrote you'd take a severe scalding, and I was thinking, "Jeez, do you guys think I take this stuff that seriously? It's just TV!"
Others wrote in to say that Traci S. was most likely thinking of The Champions and star Stuart Damon (General Hospital), who kind of looked like Darren at the time. Could be, and if that's the case, Traci, you'll find a little more info on that show here.
But it seems that wasn't the only question from that week's column to invite feedback and possible corrections. I got a pile of mail from people telling me that Dave C. and I got the Get Smart catchphrase "Would you believe it?" wrong because there shouldn't have been any "it" on the end of it. Looking back at the original TV Guide articles I used for that answer, I think both sides are right. In interviews which ran in a May 21, 1966 story, both star Don Adams and co-creator Buck Henry refer to the phrase "Would you believe it?" in direct quotes. However, references in all subsequent stories (and the memories of myself and several readers) use only "Would you believe...?" My guess: The "it" was there when the series started, but was dropped as the joke evolved and caught on.
Guesswork in a column that's supposed to be written by an expert, you say? Hey, would you believe... I'm only human? Either way, thanks to everyone who wrote in about both answers. You guys keep me honest.