Boys Costumes Depicted in Television Shows: Alphabetical "D" Listings

Figure 1.--Darby Hinton played Daniel Boone's precocious son Israel in the U.S. series, "Daniel Boone"m(1964-70). Actually Boone had 10 childen. Daughter Rebecca made a brief experience, but obly Israel was prominanently featured.

HBC will list TV series alphabetically here to make them easier to find. TV shows, except for American TV shows, are generally not well know in countries other than in the countries in which they were made. They are also much more current than movies. Almost all TV shows date from the 1950s at the earliest. Costume dramas have the same problems as in the movies, but a great deal of useful information is avialible from TV shows set in contemporary periods. As non-American TV shows are not as widely distributed as movies, often little information is available on these shows outside each country. Movies are often widely distributed in foreign countries. TV shows, with the exceptiion of American programs, are generally not. As an American, we have, for example, never seen German, French, and Italian TV shows. Thus the TV pages provide a much-needed source of information on foreign programing.

Dads - (US)

Two fathers move in together with their kids. One boy is a macho older teen, the other is about 15 and more sensitive. The show focuses on how the fathers deal with the problems of raising kids.

Daniel Boone - (US,1964-70)

This series was set around the adventures of real-life frontier hero Daniel Boone who played a major role in founding Kentucky. He is involved in surveys and expeditions leading settlers into Kentucjy. The episodes are set around Boonesborough which he help found. The Native Americans are depicted as both both friendly and hostile. The action occurs both , just before and during the Revolutionary War. The show features not only a friendly Native America, but to make the show relevant there was even a runaway slave. The series had two stars. The first was Fess Parker who many older Americans rember better as playing Davy Crockett, another famed coon-skin capped frontiersman. Parker as Davy Crockett was a real sensation. The Boone series ran much longer, but did not have the enormous impact of his Disney TV shows. The later episodes starred Ed Ames who sometimes played Native Americans. There were some child actors: Teddy Eccles, Darby Hinton played Israel Boone.

(A) Dark Adapted Eye - (UK, 199?)

British production based on Barbara Vine's novel. A niece watches her aunts struggle for motherhood and control of one son, Jaime. The boy is a curly haired little chap who wears shorts. he is quite young--about 5 years old. Not one of my favorite British TV dramas. In one scene at a church fete a scout ban plays, made up of both Scouts and Guides. The Scouts wear smart shorts. You have to be very observant and there are only a few good shots.

(The) Darling Buds of May (England, 1991-93)

H.E. Bates wrote the novel The Darling Buds of May. It is set in England durung the 1950s. It was adapted for television in 1991. The series used period-appropriaste clothing. Ben Tucker appeared in his school uniform as the character Montgomery Larkin. The series is set in Kent and revolves around the Larkin family. The seies is done in three diiferent sets od episodes. The rural family confronts various problems of post-War Britain. Oaying tazes seems a problem. A lot of social history in the series that is largely forgotten in the modern age. Strawberry picking was a popular activity and later freesing them turns into a business venture. There is romance and a wedding. There s also trouble with the law. Then there is a vacation in Brittany (France) which does not live up to modern British holiday making in Spain. The Vicar gets involved with christening. There is a lot of buying and selling and cheating relatives as well as shady property developers. . A fun fair becomes a major undertaking. A bunch of louts appear--although not yet football louts. An itinerant worker named Pieter encounters hotility toward Germans as a result of the War. There is also a trip to Paris. The Larkin twins cause trouble at school so they are sent to Brockhurst College, a local boarding school. A financial crisis develops at Brockhurst College. will be forced to close. Then Pop Larkin steps in with a rescue plan. Then their is the great pig swindle and the sand affair. A British reader tells us that "The Darling Buds of May" is quite an entertaining program. It is set in the 1950s. It is a wonderful depiction of rural Britain after the War."

(A) Date with Judy - (US, 1952-53)

"A Date with Judy" had a short TV life from 1952-53. It was based on the radio program with the same title. It seems there was also a film made in 1948 by the same name. They're all largely forgotten now. We had just got our first TV, but I do not recall this program at all. It was notable for the fact that the main character, or at least title character, was a teenage girl around whom the script focused. Interestingly until the more liberated 1980s, there were many series with boy leads, but few with girl leads. We are not precisely sure why this was, but a variety of factors come to mind why there were so many more programs with boy leads.

Dave's World - (US, 1993)

Sitcom based on the life of syndicated columnist Dave Barry. His sons Tommy (Zane Carney) and Willie (Andrew Ducote) are about 5 and 9 years old. Tommy in particular is a smart little guy, sometimes played with considerable realism, but at other times reverting to sitcom brattishness. The boys do sometimes wear shorts, although the currently stylish long baggy ones. Tommy is often embarrassed about his father's column as he is often featured in it.

*David Copperfield - (UK)

Lovely British production of David Copperfield. The story is devastating indictment of the inhuman treatment of children and the production catches the flavor of the book. The boy playing young David (Nolan Hemmings) has long curls. He appears a lot in a lace collar, but the only interesting outfit is a jacket-like garment that looks like a skirt worn with trousers, I believe a tunic. Of course his father dies and his mother remarries. The man is and his dreadful sister are beautifully played and ogres. With his mother growing sicker his stepfather sends him to a harsh boarding school after David bites him during a beating. The school he attends is a dreadful Dicksonian establishment. David and another boy are beaten. He has to wear a sign saying he bites. The costuming is probably appropriate, but not very enlightening. David wears a lace collar occasionally, but no really fancy suits. David Dexter.

Davis Rules - (US,1991- )

Sitcom similar to "My Three Sons." A widower's three boys are cared for by an eccentric grandfather. The two younger boys, Charlie (Luke Edwards) and Ben (Nathan Watt) wear longs. The teenager living with them is a bit of a pain. Their father is the school principal. Jonathan Winters makes the show interesting and the premise and cast has promise. Unfortunately the boys always seem to have small, uninteresting parts. Kids also appear at their father's school, often unrealistic bratty kids. One boy keeps kissing the girls. In real life, of course, elementary boys wouldn't be caught dead kissing girls.

Degrassi Junior High (U.S.)

Degrassi was one of those rare shows, A PBS program popular with teenagers. PBS has award winning children's shows, but little to attracyt teenagers. It had several incarnations. Degrassi began as The Kids of Degrassi Street in the late 1970s. Degrassi Junior High and Degrassi High followed in the 80s. One reader reports that she remembers that Spike and Liz were the coolest. The twins kind of got on her my nerves. Another reade rembers that the Zit Remedy was great!" Degrassi has gradually acquiredf cult status. It has been shown on the television of over a hundred countries. Although it does not appear to be a common syndicated title on American television. Many say that it differed from many other "teen shows." It had authentic looking young stars who were often not thecperfevt fashion plates on most teen shows. Degrassi also differed from other teen shows in that it honestly addressed controversial issues and with a diversity of principal characters not seen on network programing.

Dennis O'Keefe Show (U.S., 1959-60)

This American sitcom starred Dennis O'Keefe as Hal Towne, a syndicated columinist with a widower with a precocious, friedly 10-year old son named Randy. As is the case of TV sitcoms with widowers, a housekeeper, in this case named Sarge, helped to keep the house together. The story was set in Los Angeles. Towne had a girl friend but the assignments associated with his column introduced him to many attractive ladies creating complications with his girl friend. Randy was often dressed in a suit or sports jacket. A HBC contributor reports that Randy often wore short pants and kneesocks. This was rather uncharacteristic for an American television show and HBC can not yer confirm it.

Dennis the Menace - (US, 1959-63)

Dennis (Jay North) usually wears bib front overalls. On a few rare occasions he appears in a suit, but not short pants even though he started the series at about 6 years of age and often appeared n a short pants suit in the comic. In the cartoon Dennis' mother dresses him up in a jacket with short pants for church and other occasions. One more example how child stars on television in the 1950s and 60s were never pictured in short pants. The series was popular, but I think it never approached the telling insights into childhood that "Leave It to Beaver" attained. Jay was bit to old for the part by the end of the series. Rather disappointing. I never remember seeing any even mildly interesting episodes when I watched it as a boy. But I did see one very episode while it was playing as reruns. Mr. Wilson has a nightmare where he is in school with the children. The boys are all geniuses and wearing very black short pant suits with knee socks. (Typical as the few boys wearing shorts and knee socks on TV were usually in swank private schools or rich, incorrigible children.) Mr. Wilson can't match them, but he is dressed just like them in shorts. You can see Joey's suit. Dennis is, however, wearing a cap and gown and it is not clear what he is wearing. In another episode he wore basketball shorts. They were the short cut style, which reminds one of how basketball shorts have changed. They are now so long and baggy. In another episode, Dennis winds up baby sitting for a visiting French boy, Michel (Petit Michel). Michel is a personable little chap about 9 years old. He wears a very smart short pants suit complete with cap and kneesocks.

Figure 1.--One of the classics of American 1960s television was Carl Ryner's Dick Van Dyke Show. The Petri's had a little boy, Richie played by Larry Matthews (1955- ). He appeared in quite a few episodes, but usually only briefly. Only in the first year did he wear short pants.

(The) Dick Van Dyke Show - (US, 1961-66)

One of the classics of American telvision was Carl Ryner's Dick Van Dyke Show. The Petri's had a little boy, Richie played by Larry Matthews (1955- ). He appeared in quite a few episodes, but usually only briefly. At first he sometimes wore shorts. I can remember seeing him in shorts, white ankle socks, and leather shoes when he was about 6 or 7. One HBC reader confirms that Richie did wear short pants in a few of the first season's episodes but not in the rest of the series' run. The still shots that introduced the first season's episodes (quite a contrast with the more familiar opening of Van Dyke's tripping over the foot rest) also show Richie wearing shorts. Another reader reports that "Richie" ALWAYS wore shorts in the first two seasons. Therafter, he always wore long trousers. There was one episode involving a children's birthday party (where Dick Van Dyke was the entertainer). Many of the boys wore short pants suits." I didn't watch the show regularly, so I don't know if he ever appeared in a short pants suit. I do occasionally see reruns, but the ones I see always show Richie in long pants. He generally wore a collared shirt and slacks. Richie was a very nicely mannered boy. He would have been about 6 years old when the series began. This popular TV-classic was primarily set at work which is why Ritchie was only occasionally seen. I saw a rerun recently with him at 9. He was causing a problem by telling the other kids the facts of life at school. He was wearing longs. Larry was not one of the better child actors. He would often shout his part when it was not appropriate. One reviewer describes him as annoying and mostly used to shout "Hi Daddy" when Rob got home. He was, however, a relief from many of the other precocious child stars.

Diff'rnt Strokes - (US)

Long running show. A few interesting episodes. Once the boys were to be sent to Mr. Drumond's old school. They are outfitted in caps, maroon blazers, ties, short pants, and knee socks, quite a school uniform actually. The school, however, doesn't want them because they are black. A little red-headed boy (Danny Cooksey) with a southern accent was added to the cast.

Digraci Junior High - (Canada, 1987)

Carried on PBS, depicts an urban junior high school in Toranto. Reasonably done show. The children are all portrayed as being hip. A good depiction of trendy, casual clothing styles in the 1980s. To follow the kids, the seeries morphed into "De Grassi High".

(The) Donna Reed Show - (US, 1958-66)

"The Donna Reed Show" was probably squeakiest clean, if not most insipid, of the majpr family sitcoms of the era. It was the story of the Stone family, a typical suburban family with two kids. Jeff Stone (Paul Petersen), was about 12 years old when the show began, but it ran so long that he eventually began college. Jeff sometimes dressed up in suits, of course long trouser suits, or sports coats. The first couple of years he wore a bow tie. In the latter seasons of the show, the bow tie was replaced by a necktie. In the first season Jeff wore a short pants and short sleeved shirt Boy Scout uniform. He's seen coming down the staircase as the episode begins, and then he's on his way to a camping trip. He does return later in the episode, having caught cold, I think. That was the only time Jeff wore his Scout uniform. Paul Peterson was then, and perhaps is still today, athletically gifted, and in one episode (in which Donna has three simultaneous family commitments) Jeff wears a basketball team uniform. In another episode he wears a gym uniform (T shirt, elasticized waistband shorts, and white crew socks) to work out on a trampoline. Other than that, Jeff wore casual or dress clothes indicative of his TV times. A HBC readerremembers one episode in which Jeff, about 14-15 years old at this time, developd a crush on a girl. Sadly for Jeff, the girl likes older boys, and Jeff seems too young for her. To make himself look older, Jeff fakes headaches and vision problems to gain a visit to an eye doctor and prescription eyeglasses. Jeff thinks the hornrimmed frames holding the virtually clear glass lenses will win his sweetheart's attention and favor. His parents suspect something is not quite right with this picture and have a talk with Jeff. He agrees to discard the glasses and tell the girl (who liked his glasses) the truth. Not to worry, of course; now she's changed her mind and likes younger boys. The other remembrance is that in the first season Jeff wore a boy's "regular haircut". In the second and third seasons Jeff wore a close-cropped crewcut. No explanations were ever given, and I don't remember an episode in which Jeff went to the barber shop or talked to his parents about his hair. (It could be that Paul Peterson had cut his hair short just before filming began for the second season, and like it or not, he had to wear it for some time, just for consistency's sake on the show.) By the start of the fourth season Jeff had let his hair grow out to the a "long regular" length. In the last season or two, 1964-66, Jeff wore a neatly trimmed pompadour, a style popular among some older teenagers at that time - maybe the "Beatles" style wasn't quite right for them! HBC in the 1990s saw Peterson recently on a show interviewing several former child stars. He really resented the experience, saying it deprived him of his childhood. He said he would never let his kids do it. I was quite amazed by his looks. He and Beaver (on Leave It to Beaver") were nice-looking kids and they grew into such glumpy adults.

Figure 2.--Liam Hess in the TV show "Don't Blame the Koalas" which a Scottish reader in 2004 reports is very populasr in Scotland. It is an Australian TV profram, but half of the actors are British. Here the main chracter is in fancy dress.

Don't Blame the Koalas - (Australia, 200?)

Liam Hess in the TV show "Don't Blame the Koalas" which a Scottish reader in 2004 reports is very populasr in Scotland. It is an Australian TV profram, but half of the actors are British. Not surprising it's popular as many Australians are of Scottish and Irish heritage.

Double Dare - (US, 1987)

Nickelodeon created a gooey game show for kids. Apparently the TV response to the declining ratings for cartoons. Parallels the growing popularity of adult game shows. Two teams of 10-13 year olds and compete on an obstacle course--a mammoth contraption that looks like a gymnasium designed by Betty Crocker. Appeals to the food fights impulse among kids. The show has to employee 15 workers just to clean up the mess. A prime time version pits family groups. The two teams compete for prizes. Stunts include dropping eggs on to a funnel over a contestants head, jumping into a vat of whipped cream, diving into a root beer float, easing down a fudge laced shute, slither across giant pizzas, slog through styrofoam peanuts, plunge down chocolate-coated slides into giant ice cream sundies, etc.. Some children from TV and the movies participate, some times with their TV families.

(The) Dr. Fad Show - (US, 1988)

A Japanese inventor hosts kids who display their creativity. After competing to solve a problem (constructing the tallest structure out of pop-cicle sticks and glue) the players go on to demonstrate their creations (radio, equipped earrings, two-man skateboard, etc.). The kids also discuss the latest fad sweeping their schools.

Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman - (US, 1993?- )

Typical implausible American series, i.e. a female frontier doctor. For the life of me I don't know why we make such nonsense. A series about a male frontier doctor made like the British James Heriot series would have been really interesting. The series has a little boy about 8 or so with the series began. He wears bangs, but generally plays only small parts. Usually he has really boring costumes. Given the time period many of the boys could be in belong the knee length pants, but they all wear longs. In one 1993 episode the boy goes back east with his mom and to visit their wealthy grandmother. His costumes pick up a bit. He appears at dinner in a suit with a wide white collar. Later he appears in another suit with a lace collar his pants hint at being knicker length and he appears to be wearing long white socks. Nothing is made of the outfits, however, in the story line. There was one episode in 1995. The show begins with the boy seeing a new girl arriving in town and he is smitten with her. That even a Christmas gift from his rich grandmother arrives--Fifi, a minature white poodle, not exactly a dog envisioned by a manly little chap on the frontier! Than he announces at dinner that he wants a new hair cut, obviously he thinks his bangs make him look too childlike. His mother disagrees and then announced she has ordered a new suit for him, a double yoke burgundy suit and he will have to try it on. The next day he is walking down the main street with a group of older boys and the new girl. His mother calls him and fusses at him for not taking care of Fifi. The boys all make fun. Then she insists he come in to the store to have his new suit fitted. The next scene has him standing on a box in the middle of the store, outfitted in his very new velvet suit. The jacket is burgundy with a large ruffled collar. The pants are black or dark burgundy and while rather longish, or knicker length. He wears them with white stockings, but not strap shoes. His mother and sister circle him cooing about how sweet he looks, just like a little angel. He obediently says nothing, but is clearly distressed. When they leave the store owner comes over, feels the ruffled collar and pats the poor little chap on the back sympathetically. The next day he decided to take piano lessons to be with the new girl. She gets him into trouble as the bigger boys who also like her tease him about Fifi and then dump him into the water trough. The girl and the leader of the big boys get lost the afternoon before the Christmas pageant. He goes off to find them and everyone decided he has gotten lost also. What suspense! Mother passes back and forth as his lovely velvet suit is laid out in the middle of the room, just waiting for him as he and the girl are to play a piece in the Christmas pageant. He finally gets his over the older boy, rescuing them and getting them back to town. They get back just in time for the pageant. Mom grabs him and is about to drag him off to change when her husband convinces her to let him play in his regular clothes. Heavens know what the big boys would have said if they saw him in that outfit. His girl friend, however, might have liked it.

Figure 2.--This is a scene from "Drummonds". The boy has been picked up by his parents. He wears the traditional prep school uniform, peaked cap, blazer, tie, and grey short trousers.

Drexell's Class (US, 1991)

Events center on a shiftless, rascally high school teacher. There are a several boys in the class of 5th graders. One wears short pants--sort of. The kids, however, are all typically precocious TV kids. One boy, the little white boy in the front row often wear shorts, not dress shorts, but casual shorts. In one scene he wears knee-length jean shorts with a proper shirt and tie. The kids are really little wise acres. (It strikes me that the story lines would be more effective if the children were a bit more innocent. Some of the situations and lines are written to play up racy themes, understandable as it is a Fox Network show. As a result, the children say things that kids that age would never say. For example, when the school gets a new nurse, the boys all report to the sick room. They all like her. Actually boys that age are very shy and would definitely not want to be examined, especially if they had a crush on the nurse.

Drummonds - (UK)

Series set in an English prep school where the boys wear shorts. Unfortunately few episodes are actually about the boys, but there are many scenes with boys illustrating the school uniform. Drummonds was a An ITV drama set in a late 1950s prep school starring Richard Pascoe as the headmaster. There were more stories about the teachers and ancillary staff than the boys, but when pupils put in an appearance they wore classic prep school uniform: maroon cap and blazer, grey flannel shirt, tie, grey sleeveless pullover, grey flannel shorts and grey kneesocks.


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Created: March 13, 2000
Last updated: 4:51 AM 1/13/2008