Saturday, May 26, 2018

Family Toons: The Runaway Horse (These Are The Days, 1974)

These Are The Days was part of a freshman class from Hanna-Barbera sold to ABC in 1974, along with Devlin, Hong Kong Phooey, & the live-action Korg: 70,000 B. C.. Unfortunately, a lot of folks, especially in my market, didn't see the show due to the local affiliate blacking it out in favor of syndicated programming.

However, as the series approaches its 45th anniversary next year, episodes are finally available on YouTube. With the Belmont Stakes two weeks away as I write, why not take a look at "The Runaway Horse", in which Ben Day (Andrew Parks) corrals the title animal, and has to sweat out a waiting period before claiming the horse as his own. In the interim, he's talked into entering the horse, christened Pegasus, in a race at the county fair.

Voice talent in the series also includes Jackie Earle Haley (also heard on CBS' Valley of The Dinosaurs), June Lockhart (ex-Lassie, Lost in Space, Petticoat Junction), Pamelyn Ferdin, Frank Cady (ex-Petticoat Junction, Green Acres), Micky Dolenz (Devlin), William Schallert (ex-The Patty Duke Show), and H-B regulars Janet Waldo, John Stephenson, Don Messick, and Henry Corden.

Now, doesn't it come as unsurprising that Pegasus' former owner saw an opportunity to reclaim it after all the abuse he heaped prompted the horse to run away in the first place? As Ben became obsessed with Pegasus, the previous owner had a different, less ethical obsession.

Had ABC seen fit to air the show at an earlier air time, this might've had a better chance of succeeding. As it is, four episodes were held back until the following season, as only 12 of the 16 episodes produced actually aired, with the remaining four making up season 2.

Rating: B.


magicdog said...

This was a nice show and like Devlin, it was HB's attempt to use cartoons for drama rather than only comedy.

Interesting that there are two Greek references in this episode: the first being the horse's name (Pegasus), while, the other was the horse being spooked by his own shadow (which was associated with Bucephelus - the horse owned by Alexander the Great).

Wasn't it you who suggested a reboot of this show on TZ in which we would see several generations of the Day Family with flashbacks through the decades? I always thought that was an interesting concept.

hobbyfan said...

Yep, 'twas moi.

As it happens, this was the first time I actually got to watch this show. Unless copyright issues force them out, more episodes will be coming. Have to see if there's any Devlin to be had......