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Friday, 22 February 2008 07:47

I Dream of Jeannie

More than a massage in a bottle ...


US - 1965-70 - 139 episodes (30 mins) - B&W/colour

When astronaut Tony Nelson lands on a desert island after an aborted space flight he inadvertently releases a 2,000-year-old genie from a bottle who returns to Cape Canaveral with him to serve the new ‘Master’ that has set her free.

Created by novelist Sidney Sheldon at a time when America was forging ahead in the space race, and indebted to Bewitched starring Elizabeth Montgomery as the home-making witch, Samantha, which had premiered the year before, I Dream of Jeannie turned an obvious male fantasy into a comedy of errors.

The over-zealous Jeannie caused mayhem trying to please her Master. Although his fellow astronaut, Roger Healey, discovered Jeannie’s magical powers, her refusal to appear to anyone else complicated Nelson’s life and led the station psyciatrist to believe he had gone crazy. Jealous at him dating other women, Jeannie disrupted his every attempt at romance before convincing him she was the one he loved and they were married in the final year. By then Nelson’s life had been turned upside down by an assortment of her crazy relations, which included Jeannie’s wicked twin sister, played by Barbara Eden in a dark wig, as well as her mostly invisible, magic pooch Djinn-Djinn.

After an animated version of the series, entitled Jeannie, ran for two years from 1973, Barbara Eden reprised the character in the 1985 reunion movie, "I Dream of Jeannie: 15 Years Later", and 1991’s "I Still Dream of Jeannie", with first Wayne Rogers and then Christopher Bolton taking over the role of Tony Nelson.

Barbara Eden as Jeannie
Larry Hagman as Captain/Major Anthony Nelson
Hayden Rorke as Doctor Alfred E Bellows
Bill Daily as Captain/Major Roger Healey
Barton MacLane as General Martin Peterson
Karen Sharpe as Melissa Peterson
Emmaline Henry as Amanda Bellows
Vinton Hayworth as General Winfield Schaeffer
Farrah Fawcett as Tina

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