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Category:    Home > Reviews > TV Situation Comedy > The Patty Duke Show – Season One (1963 – 1964/Shout! Factory DVD)

The Patty Duke Show – Season One (1963 – 1964/Shout! Factory DVD)


Picture: B-     Sound: B-     Extras: A     Episodes: A



Admittedly I’ve never been fond of performers who are featured in popular television programs and later shy away from their association with it.  For a very long time Patty Duke was in this category.  However, during the past two decades, she has embraced the series (and catchy theme song) which helped make her a household name with television viewers with The Patty Duke Show.


At the time production on the series began Patty Duke was the first young star to have a series named after her.  The program was created by Sidney Sheldon and William Asher.  Duke played both Patty and Cathy Lane who were identical cousins with different personalities.  Her television family consisted of William Schallert as Martin Lane (he also portrayed Cathy’s father, Kenneth), Jean Byron as Natalie Lane and Paul O’Keefe as Ross Lane.  Patty’s ever present boyfriend was played by Eddie Applegate.


According to the November 4th 1963 issue of Broadcasting Magazine the series finished in 12th place with an audience share of 23.5 in the national Nielsen ratings.  The ABC Network was more than pleased with the popularity of the series during its initial season.


The episodes featured on this volume, while displaying effectively played comedic moments, also feature quiet family sequences as well.  It is these moments which keep the series grounded in reality.  In Slumber Party Ross blackmails both Patty and Cathy into being his slave after recording the girl’s conversations.  The cousins plan on turning the table on Ross.  When Martin expresses his concern over the family not always paying attention to Ross’ problems the girls decide not to pursue a path of revenge.  In Wedding Anniversary Caper Ross gets Patty and Cathy’s help in winning a television set for Martin and Natalie’s 20th anniversary.  Deceit enables the prize to be won but the trio doesn’t feel good about how they earned the television and back it goes.


Patty Duke plays both roles with talent and distinction so the viewer can believe these are two different individuals.  It’s no wonder she won an Academy Award for The Miracle Worker in 1962 and numerous honors. 


The bonus feature, A Look Back At The Patty Duke Show, begins with Duke amazed, at 62 years of age that she’s talking about the series.  All of the surviving cast members discuss the family relationship between performers and crew.  It was interesting to hear Eddie Applegate state he was twenty six years old when the series began.  Due to the age difference between him and Duke he initially approached his role in a brotherly-sisterly fashion.  It was wonderful hearing Duke, Applegate, William Schallert and Paul O’Keefe reminisce with honesty and affection.


During its first season the ABC network billed the series as demonstrating “clearly and forcibly that wholesome quality entertainment can lead to commercial success and better television.”  Audiences who purchase this DVD are in for this same experience.



-   Fred Grandinetti


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