Tuesday, May 23, 2017
Lost opportunities in TV part 1: Nita Talbot
Let's pretend for a minute that "Hogan's Heroes" didn't have the most tasteless premise for a sitcom in the history of television.
Instead let's focus on Nita Talbot, the wonderful, unappreciated actress who played the recurring character of Marya. She was a Russian spy, but her relationship with Hogan was an analogy to U.S.-Russian relations during World War II, America didn't want to trust Russia, but it had to.
And Nita Talbot was great; Hogan, and the viewers never knew what she was up to. Was she there to have sex with Hogan, or kill him! It was hilarious and sexy and suspenseful at the same time. And Talbot played the rare sexy/funny character; Marya was using her looks to get what she wanted from the Americans and Germans, and you never quite knew whose side she was on.
The lost opportunity: This should have been a spin-off. She could have had a boss, she could have had co-spies, and unlike "Hogan's Heroes," she wouldn't be confined to a prison camp. Paris, London, Berlin, Washington(?). It could have been good.
In the late '60s, CBS was all about spin-offs: Petticoat Junction, Green Acres, Gomer Pyle. It could have been done. Am I really the first person to think of this?