No Time For Sergeants TV Series Overview (1964-1965)


Introduction

Will Stockdale is an innocent soldier who does not always get sarcasm and takes things literally. His best friend at Oliver Air Base is Ben and together they are usually on the wrong side of their Sergeant King. When not in trouble he spends time with his pretty girlfriend Milly.

Refer to No Time For Sergeants Franchise.

Outline

No Time for Sergeants came to the small screen in the fall of 1964. By this point, Griffith and Knotts were both established as stars of The Andy Griffith Show and were no longer available. The television series No Time for Sergeants starred Sammy Jackson who had had one line in the film version (1958). When Jackson read that Warner Brothers was going to produce a television sitcom version of No Time for Sergeants for ABC he wrote directly to Jack L. Warner saying that he was the best choice for the role and asked Warner to watch a certain episode of the series Maverick as proof. Ten days later Jackson was told to come to the studio to test for the role. Jackson won the role over several actors including the better known Will Hutchins, a Warner Brothers Television contract star who formerly played the sympathetic Sugarfoot and had also been in the No Time for Sergeants film.

Unlike Jim Nabors’ Gomer Pyle (of the Andy Griffith Show spin off of the same name, inspired by No Time for Sergeants), Jackson’s Stockdale was no idiot; rather he had an unlimited amount of common sense, which was displayed in various episodes.

  • His knowledge of farming leads him to give a better image interpretation analysis of an aerial photograph than Air Force Intelligence.
  • The Air Force attempts to demonstrate the efficiency of its survival training by pitting an Air Force survival trained group against an untrained group including Stockdale in the wilderness. Stockdale, with his backwoods knowledge, takes charge and gives his party a comfortable time similar to being in a resort, while the trained group barely survives.
  • Stockdale accepts latrine details as challenges rather than punishments and impresses the drill sergeant by how well he cleans the latrine.
  • Stockdale demonstrates another more appealing quality over Gomer Pyle when he unflinchingly takes punches to his stomach from a karate expert with a smile and a good natured lecture to his assailant [4] until Stockdale ends his lecture by knocking the karate expert through a window.
  • Stockdale has no reservations about drinking alcohol. However, the drill sergeant’s attempts at getting Will drunk fail, with the implication that Will has built up a resistance to intoxication from a lifetime of drinking moonshine whiskey.

The series had an unusual episode, “Two Aces in a Hole”, which resembled the 1964’s films Dr Strangelove and Fail Safe (displaying nuclear destruction wrought by the US Air Force) combined with a black comedy parody of the hypnosis of The Manchurian Candidate. Stockdale and his friend Ben witness a stage hypnotist’s show (played by Pat Collins “The Hip Hypnotist”) from backstage and are accidentally hypnotised to respond to code words that will turn them into World War II bomber pilots or revert them to their own selves. Under the effects of hypnosis, the two airmen appropriate a bomber loaded with weapons, with which they attempt to nuke the now-friendly Germans.

Part of the William T. Orr-produced stable of Warner Bros. Television programs, the series was produced by George Burns’s production company. It preceded Burns’ own Wendy and Me sitcom (which starred Burns and Connie Stevens) on ABC’s Monday night schedule. But, opposite The Andy Griffith Show, the series headlined by the original star of all the earlier versions of No Time For Sergeants, it was trounced in the ratings and only lasted one season. It was also shown in the UK on ITV from 1965 to 1969.[6]

Andy Clyde, formerly of The Real McCoys, had a supporting role in the television series as Grandpa Jim Anderson. Ann McCrea, while also appearing as a regular on The Donna Reed Show was cast as Amelia Taggert in the 1964 episode “O Krupnick, My Krupnick”.

Cast

  • Sammy Jackson … Airman Will Stockdale34 episodes, 1964-1965.
  • Harry Hickox … Sergeant Orville King / …34 episodes, 1964-1965.
  • Kevin O’Neal … Airman. Ben Whitledge / …16 episodes, 1964-1965.
  • Paul Smith Paul Smith … Captain Martin / …13 episodes, 1964-1965.
  • Laurie Sibbald … Milly Anderson / …12 episodes, 1964-1965.
  • Hayden Rorke … Colonel Farnsworth9 episodes, 1964-1965.
  • Andy Clyde … Grandpa Jim Anderson / …6 episodes, 1964-1965.
  • Michael McDonald … Jack Langdon / …6 episodes, 1964-1965.
  • Owen Orr … Private Blanchard / …6 episodes, 1964-1965.
  • George Murdock … Captain Krupnick / …4 episodes, 1964-1965.
  • Joe E. Tata … Private Neddick / …3 episodes, 1964-1965.
  • Ken Berry … Joe Dalrymple3 episodes, 1964-1965.
  • Terry Becker … Sergeant2 episodes, 1964-1965.
  • Alan Hewitt … 2 episodes, 1964-1965.
  • John McCook … Airman / …2 episodes, 1964-1965.
  • Bill Zuckert … 2 episodes, 1964-1965.

No Time For Sergeants Series

Production & Filming Details

  • Director(s):
    • Leslie H. Martinson … (16 episodes, 1964-1965).
    • Charles R. Rondeau … (10 episodes, 1964-1965).
    • Jeffrey Hayden … (2 episodes, 1964).
    • Sidney Lanfield … (2 episodes, 1964).
    • Hollingsworth Morse … (2 episodes, 1964).
    • Richard Crenna … (1 episode, 1964).
  • Producer(s):
    • William T. Orr … executive producer (34 episodes, 1964-1965).
    • William P. D’Angelo … associate producer (4 episodes, 1964-1965).
    • George Burns … executive producer (3 episodes, 1964).
  • Writer(s):
    • William Burns … (writer) (1 episode, 1964).
    • John L. Greene … (writer) (1 episode, 1964).
    • Mac Hyman … (novel) (34 episodes, 1964-1965).
    • Seaman Jacobs … (written by) (7 episodes, 1964-1965).
    • Ed James … (written by) (7 episodes, 1964-1965).
    • Ira Levin … (play) (34 episodes, 1964-1965).
    • Elon Packard … (writer) (1 episode, 1964).
    • Norman Paul … (writer) (1 episode, 1964).
  • Music:
    • George Duning … (6 episodes, 1964-1965).
  • Cinematography:
    • Robert Hoffman … (3 episodes, 1964-1965).
    • Jacques R. Marquette … (1 episode, 1964).
  • Editor(s):
    • Byron Chudnow … (3 episodes, 1964).
    • Milt Kleinberg … (1 episode, 1965).
  • Production:
    • McCadden Productions.
    • Warner Bros. Television.
  • Distributor(s):
    • American Broadcasting Company (ABC) (1964-1965) (USA) (TV).
  • Release Date: 14 September 1964 to 03 May 1965.
  • Running Time: 30 minutes.
  • Rating: Unknown.
  • Country: US.
  • Language: English.

Video Link

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