Why Wasn't This 1960s Fantastic Four TV Show A Real Thing?

There never was a 1960s live-action Fantastic Four TV show starring Russell Johnson (the Professor from Gilligan's Island) as Reed Richards and Elizabeth Montgomery (of Bewitched fame) as Sue Storm. So a couple of TV fans decided to dream one up, complete with production stills and a detailed episode guide.

"This site is dedicated to celebrating the greatest TV show never seen, the 1963-64 version of The Fantastic Four." Thus starts the incredibly fun hoax site devoted to a show that never actually existed. In addition to Richards and Montgomery, the imaginary cast includes William Demarest as Ben Grimm and Tim Considine as Johnny Storm—plus guest stars like Burgess Meredith as the Mole Man, Fabian as Namor, supermodel Jean Shrimpton as Alicia Masters, and Orson Welles as the voice of the Hate-Monger.

It's a "What if?" scenario with a clear affection for '60s television and science fiction, imagining folks like Jerome Bixby, Richard Matheson, Harlan Ellison, and Theodore Sturgeon writing the various episodes, with lots of rumors about Philip K. Dick's contributions. There's even an explanation for why the show is so "obscure"; the fabricated history states that the producers pulled the plug before it aired and its nine episodes were only ever shown once, during Midwestcon 21 in 1970.

This is a fun alternate history read, sprinkled with enough facts to make it feel almost real, even if the mocked-up costumes in the manipulated photographs clearly aren't.

The FANTASTIC FOUR TV Series (1963-64) [via MetaFilter]