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ACD Daze

There were four of us: Tom (“Siny”) Sinclair, Alan Saly, Christian Doherty, and me.


We were were all born in 1956, and we all met – at different times – at St. Hilda's and St. Hugh's school. From 1968-72, rather than play baseball, football, or basketball, we would assemble – sometimes two of us, sometimes three, sometimes all four – and improvise and record stories, with characters, music, and lots of action. The recordings were of spy tales, science-fiction epics, mysteries, even offbeat comedies, with such titles as PLANET OF THE NUNS, MR. DOT: PROFESSIONAL MURDERER, GUN FOR HENRY, T.H.E. HICK, UP THE RIVER, HUCK FINN, and THE ASSASSINS. And then, as if making these shows wasn’t enough, the quartet would occasionally gather and assemble eight or nine of these programs into a “broadcast day,” complete with commercials, station breaks, and editorial opinions. There were three of these “networks”: Christian and Tom ran ACD (with Alan and Siny guest-starring); Siny and Tom ran BEC (with Christian guest-starring); and Alan and Christian ran NCN. Everyone was involved in Ch. 45 (WJAK/WCAR, a local, non-affiliated, inept station, based on WNEW and WPIX as they were in 1968-72).

As for the four school chums? They lived happily ever after. Sort of…

You may want to hear an important Editorial Opinion from the vice president and general manager of Channel 45, Christian DuBrane (Doherty). You can hear some of the recordings we made by clicking here. And here are some of the descriptions I wrote, aping the style of TV GUIDE:

PLANET OF THE NUNS “The Planet of the Nuns”Episode 1 (remake; original lost). Taped: 1969. Scientists discover a tenth planet and send a spaceship to investigate. It crashes lands on a nightmare world ruled by strange beings. Tom: Tom Soter. Chris: Christian Doherty. Tommy Spoloski: Patrick Johnson.

TALES OF MYSTERY Episode 1. Taped: December 27, 1969. Introducing detective George Tarrell (Mandy Johnson), in a series based on the short stories by Christian Doherty. First up: Tarrell and his colleague John Johnson (Tom Soter) take an interest in the murder of Martha Hyer, a woman with a strange past.

THE SISTER “The Stolen Spaceship”  Episode 1. Taped: April 10, 1971 In this spin-off from Planet of the Nuns, Hedwig Zorb strikes out on her own, seeking intrigue and adventure around the world. This episode finds the villainous No. 1 up to his old tricks, hoping to employ Hedwig in the theft of a NASA spacecraft. Sister: Hedwig Zorb. No.1: Christian Doherty.

JOE AGENT OF V.A.T “The Deadly Cake”Episode 9. Taped: 1971 Joe receives a birthday cake in the mail – even though it isn’t his birthday. Joe: Tom Soter. Chief: Harry Smith. Wade Wise: Harry Fredericks and Phil Sloan.

“MR. DOT “We Can Kill So Many People Some of the Time or So Many People Not All of the Time”Episode 1. Taped: 1971 Mr. Dot, a professional murderer, travels the world on a killing spree that utilizes a unique method of murder: drowning his victims’ heads in cups of coffee. Mr. Dot: Alan Saly.

MUGGER “The Muggers Meet Pompulus and Mr. Daggs” Episode 1. Taped: October 10, 1970 In an updating of their characters from the hit series Street Kid, Sam and Jack Rosen play muggers Moby and Humble Smith, who get thrown into an uneasy partnership with a retired thief (Ty Phillips) and his British manservant Daggs (Alan Saly).

THE ASSASSINS “Shock Ending” Episode 2. Taped: June 12, 1971   Detective John Smith attempts to infiltrate the assassins’ organization. Brooks: John Sanderson. Atkinson: Tom Ellsworth. No. 1: Question Mark.

VOYAGE TO THE STARS“The Jungles of Regulus”Episode 5. Taped: March 29, 1971 In a rare dramatic role, Sam Rosen plays Carl Harper, a weapons expert, who teams up with Jake Bush to deal with a strange growth that is threatening the existence of the starship. Bush: Alan Saly.