“New Years Week” continues.
On December 29, 1978, NBC aired “Retrospective,” a one-hour “Diff’rent Strokes” clip show in which the Drummonds recall the time they’ve spent with Arnold and Willis (Gary Coleman, Todd Bridges) since the orphaned brothers joined the family.
It begins when an enthusiastic Mr. Drummond (Conrad Bain) awakens the sleeping boys after he realizes it’s been 56 days since they came to live with him.
Next, daughter Kimberly (Dana Plato) and housekeeper Mrs. Garrett (Charlotte Rae) arrive, and soon everyone is reminiscing about the past two months.
“Retrospective” appears to take place sometime soon after Christmas: The characters refer to gifts they’ve received – Willis, a typewriter; Kimberly, a ski jacket; Mrs. Garrett, some French perfume – although there are also unopened presents and a fully decorated tree (!) in the boys’ room.
(Maybe Arnold and Willis are so spoiled they don’t have time to open all their gifts on Christmas morning?)
Another oddity: This is only “Diff’rent Strokes’” eighth episode.
KIMBERLY: Do you remember the time Arnold couldn’t sleep and kept us all awake for two whole nights?
ARNOLD: What’chu talkin’ about, Kimberly?
Um, she’s talking about something that happened only two episodes ago, Arnold!
See for yourself: “Retrospective” is part of the “Diff’rent Strokes: The Complete First Season” DVD set.
Here’s the prime-time lineup for Friday, December 29, 1978:
6: Gator Bowl (ABC)
8: “Wonder Woman” (CBS), “Diff’rent Strokes” (NBC)
9: “Donny & Marie” (ABC), “Incredible Hulk”* (CBS), “Rockford Files” (NBC)
10: “Sandy Duncan Special” (ABC), “Flying High” (CBS), “Quincy, M.E.”* (NBC)
For the week of December 24, 1978:
Top novel: “Chesapeake” by James A. Michener
Top song: “Le Freak” by Chic
Top movie: “Invasion of the Body Snatchers”
In the news: Armed guards were no longer required in airports