Thursday, July 25, 2013

THE MONKEES: Complete Un-Aired TV Pilot from 1965

from DangerousMinds
When series creators Bob Rafelson and Bert Schneider shot the un-aired 16mm pilot (something that would now probably be called a “sizzle reel” in show biz lingo) for The Monkees, the Pre-Fab Four weren’t even miming along to their own voices.

It starts off with some charming B&W screen test footage from Davy Jones and Michael Nesmith, then still going by his stage name “Michael Blessing” but credited here as Nesmith. (Micky Dolenz, however was called “Micky Braddock” then, as you can see above)

At 6:14, you can hear Boyce and Hart’s demo version of the show’s theme and a decidedly less colorful opening credit sequence. At 9:23, Boyce and Hart’s demo of “I Wanna Be Free” is heard while the group mime along. At 22:06 you see them and hear Boyce and Hart’s “Let’s Dance On” demo.

It’s (mildly, of course) jarring, to say nothing of the Monkeemobile being a broke-ass old station wagon…

In terms of the plot, it’s one of their typical, Davy with (literally) stars in his eyes over a girl story-lines. The pilot episode was remade properly for the NBC series (with the same pretty blonde actress for Davy to moon over) the following year as “Here Comes The Monkees,” episode #10. Again they used the B&W screen test footage, but at the end this time, and by then the group was at least miming along to their own voices.

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