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Written by / 4/04/2020 / No comments / , , , , , , , , , , ,

MARK HAMILL AS DAVID IN THE 'EIGHT IS ENOUGH' PILOT EPISODE

Diana Hyland with Mark Hamill in the series pilot of EIGHT IS ENOUGH Season One from 1977-1978
The tragic death of actress Diana Hyland aside (she was John Travolta's real life May/December fiance and his BOY IN THE PLASTIC BUBBLE mother)... her character Joan Brandford's exit four episodes into EIGHT IS ENOUGH ironically worked for the best, story-wise...

Especially since the hour-long suburban dramedy's pilot centered mostly on everyman Dick Van Patten's Tom Bradford and wife Joan struggling to raise those eight titular kids that remain somewhat peripheral during this rather bland kickoff: strange since the youngsters wound up meaning pretty much everything...
Defunct Photobucket effect w/ Dick Van Patten & Mark Hamill on EIGHT IS ENOUGH with Adam Rich and Laurie Walters
Tommy and Nancy are played by different people (semi-cute cult-starlet Kimberly Beck and droopy eyed Oscar Wilde lookalike Chris English) while Mark Hamill, the same year his Luke Skywalker conquered George Lucas's blockbuster STAR WARS, is the eldest son, David Bradford, who, fed up with the full house, moves out and into a bachelor pad.

The next episode — and the rest of the series — wisely cast the likeable Willie Aames as Tommy, and who doesn't remember bowl-cut fan-favorite Nicholas: the youngest son played by Adam Rich, who was around from the very start unlike another sublime replacement in Dianne Kay's blonde bombshell Nancy.
Star Wars meets Spaceballs: "But I was going into Tosche Station to pick up some power converters!"
The rest of the cast, like Nicholas, were there all along including natural beauty Connie Needham as youngest daughter Elizabeth; thinking man's beauty Laurie Walters as hopeful actress Joanie; baby faced Susan Richardson — another George Lucas veteran but from AMERICAN GRAFFITI — as spunky tomboy Susan; and the oldest and wisest, Mary, played by husky-voiced Lani O'Grady.

Throughout the pilot, Mark Hamill seemed distant... not only was the character sick of home but he seemed tired of the whole damn family (he actually left the show because of the face-altering motorcycle accident), and during the rest of Season One, Grant Goodeve made a perfect replacement: His more solid and affable version of David was not just a big brother but an advice-giving alternate guardian whenever dad dropped the ball. Which happened quite a bit...
Mark Hamill with Lani'O'Grady on EIGHT IS ENOUGH Pilot Rates: **1/2 First Season: ***1/2
Van Patten's Tom Bradford, whose character became more fitfully overwhelmed without a wife, made the kind of errors and misjudgments of a single father (on episode five, mom's departure's not even mentioned as she's simply "already dead"), up to his neck in precocious boys and spirited, modernized daughters...

Meanwhile, by Season Two, CARRIE gym teaching mentor Betty Buckey provided a much better fit as dad's helpful girlfriend turned fiance Abby the same way Goodeve surpassed Hamill (the latter who, between STAR WARS and THE EMPIRE STRIKE BACK, steered the box office misfire turned hot-rod cult classic exploitation, CORVETTE SUMMER).
Mark Hamill as David Bradford on EIGHT IS ENOUGH
After the four Diana Hyland Season One episodes dealing with contrived hot topics like teenage pregnancy and Women’s Rights (perhaps competing with the painfully progressive FAMILY), things become more down home with lighter, more involving domestic situations...

From being stood-up to getting stoned to shoplifting to breaking windows to chasing all those seemingly impossible teenage dreams, EIGHT IS ENOUGH doesn't feel as if you're watching a typical television household — it's more like being part of their daily (and nightly) routine.
And was thereafter replaced by Grant Goodeve on EIGHT IS ENOUGH as David Bradford
Mark Hamill was the original David Bradford on the EIGHT IS ENOUGH pilot episode
Mark Hamill gets some fatherly advice from Dick Van Patten on Eight is Enough
Mark Hamill as David Bradford on EIGHT IS ENOUGH
Mark Hamill as David Bradford on EIGHT IS ENOUGH
Mark Hamill as David Bradford on EIGHT IS ENOUGH
Mark Hamill as David Bradford on EIGHT IS ENOUGH
Mark Hamill as David Bradford on EIGHT IS ENOUGH
Mark Hamill as David Bradford on EIGHT IS ENOUGH
Mark Hamill as David Bradford on EIGHT IS ENOUGH
Mark Hamill as David Bradford on EIGHT IS ENOUGH with Dick Van Patten
Mark Hamill as David Bradford on EIGHT IS ENOUGH with Dick Van Patten
Dick Van Patten, a bra and Mark Hamill in the EIGHT IS ENOUGH pilot
Mark Hamill as David Bradford in EIGHT IS ENOUGH
Dick Van Patten faces oldest son Mark Hamill on EIGHT IS ENOUGH
"Dear producers, I'm thinking that space opera might take up all my time, so I'm gonna have to..."
Mark Hamill with a Kinks album in preparation for the single life on the EIGHT IS ENOUGH Pilot 
While Lucas used Hamill his pal Spielberg used Dianne Kay (Nancy, right) in his frantic war comedy 1941

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