Sunday, April 20, 2008

Nose-Talgia: "The Young Rebels"

While reflecting upon the conclusion of John Adams, I fondly recalled another of my early TV favorites, completely apropos to the American Revolution setting of HBO's wonderful miniseries, called The Young Rebels. In the fall of 1970, The Young Rebels was ABC's historical answer to the cry (which the three networks thought they heard, anyway) from the teenagers of the U.S. demanding shows relevant to their age group. And so came a slew of young lawyers, young cops, young doctors, and amazing so, young American revolutionaries in 1776 Philadelphia. The characters were members of the fictitious underground "Yankee Doodle Society" dedicated to the defeat of the British and to the success of George Washington and his troops fighting for independence.

Produced by Aaron Spelling with his characteristic aplomb and eye for excitement, The Young Rebels assembled an attractive young cast, including Lou Gossett, Rick Ely, Alex Henteloff (as a Ben Franklin lookalike), Hilary Thompson (yes, a spunky girl!), the dashing Philippe Forquet as General Lafayette -- save for Gossett none of them are still acting -- for the show which would only last for fifteen episodes. Despite its short life, The Young Rebels still has a following, no doubt aging Boomers like myself who were enthralled with its colorful depiction of an adventurous time in U.S. history.

There are some clips of the show on this wonderful website TV Obscurities, a great and astonishingly complete tribute website here with amazing background info, some neat behind-the-scenes photos from the set of the show (from a guy who did extra work on many series of the time), a Yahoo group of Rebels fans, a site for fan fiction for The Young Rebels with lots of great series information, a complete episode listing with guest stars on, and you can listen to the peppy and memorable theme song here at

Not yet available on DVD (but let's hope someday it turns up someplace, perhaps on the net), The Young Rebels was an unusual and welcome television foray into our exciting past.


Esther said...

Hi, Lisa,
I did a search for Rick Ely and came across your blog. I have his record album and just posted it on my blog, Stax o' Wax. Please stop by and download it, if you don't already have it.
So glad to find another Rick Ely fan!

Esther at Stax o' Wax

littlestarkeeper said...

It shouldn't surprise me, but it's pretty hilarious and cool that I do a search on "Rick Ely" and "The Young Rebels," and the first link I see takes me to the blog of a friend! Hi Lisa!!


Lisa said...

Hi Nadya! Would you doubt I would have loved "The Young Rebels"???

:-) I need to see some of these, don't you? I used to record the audio of the shows, back in the day...

Hope you are doing well! xoxoxo