FAIRBANKS — With a twinkling of his nose, Adam-Michael James knows a thing or two about “Bewitched.” Matter of fact, he knows a whole lot about it.
James, a Fairbanks-born author and actor now living in Prince Edward Island, Canada, is the author of “The Bewitched Continuum: The Ultimate Linear Guide to the Classic TV Series,” a behemoth guide to everything that is “Bewitched.”
Weighing in at almost 4 pounds and spanning 611 pages, it’s everything you thought you knew about the classic TV series coupled with everything you couldn’t possibly imagine that you do need to know. For James, it was all a matter of cataloging his love of the television show.
“There was something about ‘Bewitched’ that appealed to me from the beginning,” said James, who returned to Fairbanks recently to visit his childhood home. “As a child, it’s entertaining. As an adult, you can see how intelligently written it is. Much later, it dawned on me we’re all capable of magic. We all have power to do what we want to do with our lives.”
The classic series aired from 1964 to 1972. James, who was born in 1969, grew up watching it in reruns and became captivated with it. As a child, he recorded it on cassette tapes, taking in each episode. As an adult, when he decided to write a book cataloging not only each episode but also random ‘Bewitched’ trivia, he started viewing it through an analytic lens.
“You see your favorites in a new light,” he said. “I thought it would be fascinating to line all the episodes up and see how they play out.”
The entire series consists of 254 episodes, all of which James watched twice while writing the book. As he watched, he wrote notes by hand, then went back and rewatched the episodes to recheck his notes.
“When you get to the eighth and final season, you’ve seen more than 200 episodes and it gets a little overwhelming,” James said.
The overwhelming paid off, though. “The Bewitched Continuum” offers an episode by episode breakdown of each season, complete with cast list and random trivia. (The number of times Endora refers to Darrin as something other than Darrin? 272. Number of times Samantha is rendered powerless? Nine.) It also includes a witches who’s who, genealogical information, and the 10 best and worst episodes, among a multitude of other “Bewitched” factoids.
“Once you dive into a project, you’re in for a penny, in for a pound,” James said.
The response has been overwhelmingly positive, he added.
“In this day and age, you can look things up on Google or Wikipedia, but people like having a physical book in their hand,” James said. “People have been very intrigued that my book talks about the fiction of the show. People love ‘Bewitched’ because of the story, the magic and the characters.”
Of course author Adam-Michael James has some favorites. It’s “Bewitched,” so we all do, right?
Favorite character - “Samantha, of course. She’s such an interesting character in that she’s a witch trying to live a mortal life and struggling to be her true self.”
Least favorite character - “Sometimes the Kravtizs get on my nerves, and I know they’re supposed to.”
Favorite episode - “Sisters at Heart” from the seventh season. “The whole episode is on acceptance and tolerance. The civil rights movement was going on, and the show reflected that.”
Favorite Darrin - “I will probably give the stock answer that Dick York was the Darrin of the ’60s and Dick Sargent was the Darrin of the ’70s.”