Spin and Marty
|Spin and Marty|
David Stollery (left) as Marty Markham and Tim Considine as Spin Evans introduce the series
|Created by||Lawrence Edward Watkin|
|Written by||Jackson Gillis|
|Directed by||William Beaudine, Sr.|
Harry Carey, Jr.
J. Pat O'Malley
|Country of origin||USA|
|No. of episodes||The Adventures of Spin and Marty (1955): 25
The Further Adventures of Spin and Marty (1956): 23
The New Adventures of Spin and Marty (1957): 30
|Executive producer(s)||Bill Walsh|
|Running time||11 minutes per episode|
|Picture format||black and white|
|Original release||November 4, 1955 – December 13, 1957|
Spin and Marty is a popular series of television shorts that aired as part of The Mickey Mouse Club show of the mid-1950s, produced by Walt Disney and broadcast on the ABC network in the United States. There were three serials in all, set at the Triple R Ranch, a boys' western-style summer camp. The first series of 25 eleven-minute episodes, The Adventures of Spin and Marty, was filmed in 1955. Its popularity led to two sequels—The Further Adventures of Spin and Marty in 1956 and The New Adventures of Spin and Marty in 1957.
It aired as reruns on the Disney Channel until September 9, 2002.
The serials were based on the 1942 novel Marty Markham by Lawrence Edward Watkin. The producer for Disney was Bill Walsh and the screenplay was written by Jackson Gillis. The shows' success led to the Spin and Marty comic books of the late 1950s. The first season's 25 episodes with bonus material were released on DVD by Disney in 2005.
Premise and major characters
The series starred David Stollery as the rich, orphaned Martin "Marty" Markham and Tim Considine as the poorer Spin Evans, the most athletic and popular boy at the Triple R Ranch. When the pampered Marty first arrives at the ranch in a chauffeur-driven limousine, his contemptuous dismissal of the dude ranch as a "dirty old farm" and evident fear of horses result in his ostracism by the other boys, led by Spin. By the end of the first season, however, Marty overcomes his fears and wins acceptance, becoming close friends with his erstwhile foe, Spin. Supporting roles include Sammy Ogg as their jokester sidekick Joe Simpson, and B.G. Norman as Ambitious, Marty's first friend at the Triple R. The second season adds Annette Funicello and Kevin Corcoran to the cast as Annette and Moochie, respectively. The third season adds Darlene Gillespie, and quickly turns into a showcase for song and dance sketches as part of a "Let's put on a show!" storyline reminiscent of Mickey Rooney–Judy Garland movies. All three serials also co-star Roy Barcroft as Triple R owner Col. Logan, Harry Carey, Jr. as popular counselor Bill Burnett, and J. Pat O'Malley as Perkins, Marty's butler and the Triple R's assistant cook. In the first two serials, Leonard Geer played Ollie, the wisecracking (and wise) stablehand in charge of the horses.
The series featured a couple of songs, the "Triple R Ranch" song ("Yippee Yay, Yippee Yi, Yipee Yo"), as well as a song about "Slue-Foot Sue" ("Buckaroo"), named for Pecos Bill's tragic love story. Among the musical pieces featured in the third series was a cover of the Disney song "Nowhere in Particular" by Perkins and Sam the cook.
A TV movie focusing on updated versions of the eponymous characters, The New Adventures of Spin and Marty: Suspect Behavior, was made in 2000. However, it bore almost no resemblance to the original. It was based on the Paul Zindel novel The Undertaker's Gone Bananas. Stollery and Considine made cameo appearances.
DVD release and comic books
A DVD version of the 1955 season, The Adventures of Spin & Marty, was released in December 2005 as part of the fifth wave of the Walt Disney Treasures series. Hosted by Leonard Maltin, it includes the complete first season of 25 episodes, plus bonus features such as interviews with David Stollery, Tim Considine, and Harry Carey, Jr., on the 50th anniversary year of the series' original telecasts. Maltin wrote of Considine's and Stollery's roles, "The key to the serial's success was ... Tim and David seemed genuine, and boys and girls related to them. The series may seem low-key to a modern generation raised on video games and the internet, but it was that unhurried pace and simple storytelling that captured the hearts and imaginations of an entire generation".
Western Publishing published comic book adventures of Spin and Marty beginning in 1956, first under Dell Comics Four Color title (#714, 767, 808, 826), then under their own title (#5-9), then in Four Color again (#1026 and 1082). The comic books continued even after the television series had ended, such as issue number 7 in September, 1958 (pictured): Stollery and Considine, by then 17-year olds, are depicted on the cover in their Spin and Marty characters, as they confront danger at the Triple-R Ranch. Disney included this cover with its 2005 DVD release. Gold Key Comics would later reprint some of these stories in their titles, such as the Walt Disney Showcase comic book issue of 1975, "The Treasure of Old Fort Resolute".
- Watkin, Lawrence Edward (1942). Marty Markham. New York: Henry Holt. LCCN 42021068.
- "Spin and Marty review". Atlas Communications. June 2006. Retrieved 2008-04-20.
- Cotter, Bill (1997). The Wonderful World of Disney Television. New York: Hyperion Books. pp. 187, 189, 191. ISBN 0-7868-6359-5.
- Firebrand Productions Past Projects Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- Leonard Maltin (narrator) (2005). The Adventures of Spin & Marty (DVD). Walt Disney Productions.
- "Comic Art Collection (Reading Room index, "Spin" to "Spiridione")". Michigan State University Library. Retrieved 2009-06-17.[dead link]
- "Sir Elton John, Joe Ranft Headline Disney Legends Award". AWN Headline News. 2006-10-09. Retrieved 2007-07-07.
- Disney Legends - Annette Funicello
- The Adventures of Spin and Marty at the Internet Movie Database
- The Adventures of Spin and Marty at TV.com
- Spin and Marty History
- "Original Mickey Mouse Club" summary of The Spin and Marty serials
- "Ultimate Disney" review of The Adventures of Spin and Marty DVD
- "Cinchset" filming locations and background history of the original The Spin and Marty series