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Robbie Parry
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Posted: 01 August 2018 at 10:58am | IP Logged | 1 post reply

What loose ends in TV (any era) frustrated you the most?

Not on about cancellations here - it's not a TV show's fault if a network prematurely ends it - but shows that didn't bring a character back or forgot about a plot thread.

One frustrating thing about vintage TV was the way things seemingly got forgotten about, e.g. a character dating a guest star for 2-3 episodes, but then the guest star disappearing.

So, my choices...

From 1978-82, THE INCREDIBLE HULK saw Jack McGee pursuing "John Doe"/the Hulk. The show was cancelled, but three reunion movies were filmed. McGee appeared in the first one, but not the final one. So, in THE DEATH OF THE INCREDIBLE HULK, we never got to see a final McGee/Banner confrontation. At the time, I could not forgive such an omission. It would have been like having Lt. Gerard absent from the final episode of THE FUGITIVE.

There were criminals/criminal organisations that were mentioned/appeared, but didn't again. There was a STARSKY AND HUTCH episode where a mysterious syndicate did bad things. It felt like the episode was whetting our appetites, but I don't think they ever appeared again.

Over to you.
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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 01 August 2018 at 1:54pm | IP Logged | 2 post reply

From 1978-82, THE INCREDIBLE HULK saw Jack McGee pursuing "John Doe"/the Hulk. The show was cancelled, but three reunion movies were filmed. McGee appeared in the first one, but not the final one. So, in THE DEATH OF THE INCREDIBLE HULK, we never got to see a final McGee/Banner confrontation. At the time, I could not forgive such an omission. It would have been like having Lt. Gerard absent from the final episode of THE FUGITIVE.
++++++

As a huge fan of the Hulk TV show, I do find myself occasionally grappling with the question: Should they have done a definitive conclusion to the story, or should Banner always be left on the road, endlessly searching for a cure (a la the comics)? I can see it both ways, but what I know for certain is that the ending we got (in DEATH) was a damp squib and a downer. Ken Johnson apparently wanted to have Banner cured in the finale, but I don’t know well that would have worked.

Still, the brilliant setup of the pilot and the overall thrust of the series (with McGee sllllooooowwwwllllyyyy putting the pieces together) did seem to demand some kind of resolution. 

It was great that Jack Colvin came back as McGee for RETURNS, but his retirement apparently precluded his appearances in the next two films, and they are poorer for it. The TV show had two central conflicts: Banner vs. Hulk, and Banner vs. McGee. The latter was just dropped without any onscreen explanation, and that was immensely unsatisfying.
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Robbie Parry
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Posted: 01 August 2018 at 5:02pm | IP Logged | 3 post reply

In an era before IMDb, when you didn't know who was in a film until the credits started rolling, my heart dropped when I saw a lack of Jack Colvin once I rented THE DEATH OF THE INCREDIBLE HULK (around 1991). 

It didn't feel right. He was the "Lt. Gerard" to Banner's "Richard Kimble". 

I did write some post-death fan fiction where McGee covered the death of the Hulk. He should have been in the film.
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Brian Hague
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Posted: 01 August 2018 at 10:11pm | IP Logged | 4 post reply

Not to swim against the current, but the threat posed by McGee never struck me as being all that great. So Banner is outed in the Nat'l Enquirer, sorry, "Register." So what...? It's not as if McGee or his paper had the slightest bit of credibility before or would gain any after, absent any hardcore proof, which they would not have had until after "The Death of the Incredible Hulk" when they at last would have had a body, proving only that Banner had faked his death. 

McGee probably wasn't in the latter TV films because he'd been reassigned to the "BatBoy" beat. Man, when he tracks that freakish creature down, BatBoy is never going to know another moment's peace...

When "Spin City" moved it's focus to being a workplace comedy alone and away from Michael Flaherty's personal life, we lost his romances with Carla Gugino and later, Paula Marshal, two of my favorite actresses. I'd have been extremely happy to see either one of them stay around. The show still had Connie Britton, though...

"Quantum Leap" unwisely introduced an evil female Leaper and her even more evil Project Observer in its later seasons. We never did get to find out what their story was or where they came from, never mind finding what happened to Sam and Al.

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Robbie Parry
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Posted: 02 August 2018 at 3:25am | IP Logged | 5 post reply

 Brian Hague wrote:
Not to swim against the current, but the threat posed by McGee never struck me as being all that great. So Banner is outed in the Nat'l Enquirer, sorry, "Register." So what...? It's not as if McGee or his paper had the slightest bit of credibility before or would gain any after, absent any hardcore proof, which they would not have had until after "The Death of the Incredible Hulk" when they at last would have had a body, proving only that Banner had faked his death.

I understand your point. I remember McGee approaching Banner in the pilot and Banner saying something like, "Your paper covers UFOs, Bigfoot, Farrah Fawcett, murder, rape, etc. I don't happen to fit into any of those categories." 

And the National Register did look like a joke. Even the paper it was printed on looked cheap (like plastic toilet paper).

That said, and maybe they'd have done it if the series had been made today, I'd have liked a resolution of sorts. A confrontation between Banner and McGee.

Someone I spoke to said it'd have been great for McGee to learn that his own actions knocked over that acid that led to the fire which caused Elaina Marks' death. However, how could that possibly have been revealed? He hid in a cupboard, he knocked over acid, it led to fire, etc. Unless Dr. Strange appeared, and took him on a tour of the past, there's no way anyone could have proven McGee accidentally caused the fire.
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Brian Miller
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Posted: 02 August 2018 at 4:50am | IP Logged | 6 post reply

There could’ve been a CCTV system for security and a tape of it somewhere. 
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Brian Miller
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Posted: 02 August 2018 at 4:52am | IP Logged | 7 post reply

Wasn’t there another movie planned after DEATH? Seems like I remember hearing that and it being canceled due to Bixby’s death. 
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Robbie Parry
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Posted: 02 August 2018 at 5:31am | IP Logged | 8 post reply

 Brian Miller wrote:
There could’ve been a CCTV system for security and a tape of it somewhere.

The whole lab burnt down, Brian!

As for another movie, I used to read sci-fi magazine FANTASIA (UK). There were reports of a movie featuring the resurrection of Banner.
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Brian Miller
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Posted: 02 August 2018 at 6:55am | IP Logged | 9 post reply

That’s why I said a tape of it SOMEWHERE. Off-site. 
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Robbie Parry
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Posted: 02 August 2018 at 8:23am | IP Logged | 10 post reply

No expert on CCTV, but it seems a stretch, Brian. ;-)
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Jim Muir
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Posted: 02 August 2018 at 9:29am | IP Logged | 11 post reply

Star Trek: Next Generation springs to mind.

The first season episode 'Conspiracy' had alien insect
parasites controlling key people in Star Fleet. The
episode is left open ended with a signal being
transmitted to the parasites home galaxy.

I waited years for that story to be followed up.

Still waiting...
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Robbie Parry
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Posted: 02 August 2018 at 1:50pm | IP Logged | 12 post reply

Blimey, Mr Muir, I'd forgotten about that. You're right, sir!

Something big, like that "Conspiracy" episode, really should have gone somewhere with that...
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Jim Muir
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Posted: 02 August 2018 at 2:56pm | IP Logged | 13 post reply

Haha thanks Robbie!
I really really thought they’d go somewhere with that. How wrong I was !

Another less relevant example is the long and rambling speech about Darth Plageus in Revenge of the Sith (was it that one?)

I really thought they were laying building blocks for some giant reveal. But no... ‘‘twas just noise!
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Christopher Frost
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Posted: 02 August 2018 at 8:43pm | IP Logged | 14 post reply

Darth Plageus was Darth Sidious' master. They put out a novel telling the tale of how he chose Palpatine as his apprentice, what they worked on together and ultimately how Sidious betrayed and murdered him. It's been rendered non-canon following the Disney takeover, but the book is still available if you're curious.
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John Byrne
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Posted: 03 August 2018 at 7:55am | IP Logged | 15 post reply

SOAP. Much left unfinished (tho they did try to address some of it on BENSON).
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Brian Miller
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Posted: 03 August 2018 at 9:45am | IP Logged | 16 post reply

I really need to get around to watching SOAP. I only have vague recollections of my parents watching it when I was a kid. 

I do, however, have fond memories of watching BENSON. 
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Robbie Parry
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Posted: 03 August 2018 at 10:27am | IP Logged | 17 post reply

Not really a loose end as such, but in one season finale of T.J. HOOKER, Sgt. Hooker was back as a detective. Working in Chicago, I think (correct me if I have the city wrong). He appeared to be back as a detective permanently.

And yet when the new season started, he was back in, well, wherever (it was never made clear what city the show was in). Back in uniform. No mention of Chicago.

Continuity wasn't always paramount in older shows.

Off-topic, regarding the location, it looks like Los Angeles. The uniforms are akin to LAPD uniforms. Yet it was LCPD on the insignia. 
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Vinny Valenti
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Posted: 03 August 2018 at 8:26pm | IP Logged | 18 post reply

THE SOPRANOS was riddled with loose ends. Since Greg is still going through them, I'll leave it at that. 
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Ed Aycock
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Posted: 06 August 2018 at 1:26pm | IP Logged | 19 post reply

After an entire season of "Crazy" Joe Davola on "Seinfield," they never mentioned him again. 

"Dynasty" had a real problem with characters causing trouble and never appearing again.

It would have been nice to know where Annie and Donna ended up on "Twin Peaks,' even if it was 26 years later.
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Brian Floyd
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Posted: 08 August 2018 at 12:25pm | IP Logged | 20 post reply

I hate it when characters are taken off a show with no explanation, and the character is never mentioned again, as if they never existed. Such as Chuck Cunningham on HAPPY DAYS and the younger daughter on FAMILY MATTERS. To me, that qualifies as a loose end. At least explain away them no longer being around, instead of just forgetting about them.

Jim's ST: TNG conspiracy was one of the first things that came to my mind, as well.


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Robbie Parry
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Posted: 08 August 2018 at 1:10pm | IP Logged | 21 post reply

Brian, that happened with Officer Romano (T.J. HOOKER). Just gone one day.

Would a throwaway line have been too much effort? 

"Yes, Romano passed his sergeant's exams and he's doing well at the other precinct..."
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