Apr 12, 2013
Young Rebels: Hippie Spies of the American Revolution
1. Jeremy (Rick Ely, right), son of the local pro-British mayor. (No relation to Ron Ely, the first tv Tarzan).
2. Isaak (Louis Gossett, Jr., bottom), a former slave and Civil Rights advocate.
3. Elizabeth (Hilary Johnson), a Women's Rights advocate.
Their mentor, Henry, was an elderly Ben Franklin clone (though played by 28-year old Alex Henteloff, left).
The network had high hopes for the program, and heavily invested in tie-in novels, lunch boxes, and comics. Rick Ely and Philippe Forquet got significant teen idol treatment, sharing the teen magazines with David Cassidy and Davey Jones (Rick Ely even released a teen idol album). My social studies teacher even discussed the series, the first time I had ever heard any teacher talk about tv except in a sneering dismissal of "Brain-rotting junk!"
But there was a problem: Sunday night was already crowded with kid-friendly series, Lassie on CBS and The Wonderful World of Disney on NBC. Besides, if you wanted a trio of hippies, you could watch Mod Squad. 14 episodes aired in the fall of 1970, and a 15th in January 1971, and that was all.
Philippe Forquet, who was a French aristocrat in real life, was heralded as the most handsome man in France, and had been busily playing sultry boyfriends to sexually-liberated women: In the French Style (1963), Three Nights of Love (1967), Camille 2000 (1969), and so on. Afterwards he worked on several tv series before retiring to oversee the family estate and businesses.
Louis Gossett Jr. and Alex Henteloff have both had long careers before the camera.