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"Nightmare" (Season 4, Episode 40) This episode opens with a dancing axe-murderer and a giant egg-timer! WTF? Did I record an episode of "Twilight Zone" by mistake? No, it's just 77SS going all artsy and psychological on us. The scene turns out to be a weird, surrealistic dream by artist Mark Wade (Peter Breck, Nick Barkley on “The Big Valley”).  Psychiatrist Dr. A.B. Ryner hires Jeff to investigate patient Mark's recurring nightmare and partial amnesia.  Did Mark stab the mysterious "Lady L" (Diana Bourne, Beck’s wife at the time) as in his dreams or is he just nuts?  Perfume and a lace handkerchief leads Jeff to Clinton Colyer, whose wife Lisa, is missing, While Jeff and Dr. Ryner (or Abby, as Jeff nicknames her) search for Lisa, Shafton, the Colyer valet and chauffeur follows them. 

This is an entirely different type of episode for 77SS.  If you like the typical 77SS episode, you probably won't like this, but it shows that the producers were willing to play with the concept and occasionally make totally off-the-wall episodes. The writer, Robert C. Dennis, did around 30 “Alfred Hitchcock Presents” episodes, which shows.  Not sure this was right for this show, but let's give them some credit for breaking the 77SS mold occasionally.

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"The Gang's All Here" (Season 4, Episode 41, last episode of the season) Bailey & Spencer have to help put another budding J.D. on the straight and narrow. Police Lieutenant Jim Ellison (Dick Foran) is worried about his son Timmy (Peter Brown, star of Horse Operas and Soap Operas) hanging around Cleary's pool hall (filled with extras from a road company of "West Side Story", though Sammy Davis Sr. was the cashier) in a bad (i.e., Black) neighborhood and being pals with "loud-mouthed punk ex-club fighter" Kid Pepper (Sammy Davis Jr.) and wants Stu to help keep him from further trouble. Roscoe fails to infiltrate the pool hall, leaving ex-greaser Kookie to take over the case.  Kookie joins the gang after beating Pepper in a fight. Pepper is planning a big heist which involves stealing the keys to a bunch of businesses from his father Big John Pepper (Roy Glenn) and following him into the business at night and robbing the places after Big John leaves.

Apparently at Cleary's they play the kind of pool where you move the cue ball to the most advantageous position to make a shot.  That sure makes pool a lot easier. Suzanne kisses Kookie (which ends up saving him). Kookie and Sammy engage in a slang duel. Kookie confesses that Bailey & Spencer saved him from a possible similar life of crime and he's conflicted over setting up Kid Pepper and Timmy for arrest, but the weed of crime bears bitter fruit.

 This is the first episode I can recall with any significant Black presence. Apparently some Blacks lived in LA in 77SS-world but only in the city's worst neighborhood, where the patrolmen walk in pairs.

The episode was written and directed by James Komack, who viewers might remember as Norman Tinker from the TV version of "The Courtship of Eddie's Father" (and who was pretty sharp with the slang, too). He also directed many episodes of “Chico and the Man” and “Welcome Back Kotter”.

What's a "geef"?

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"Leap, My Lovely" (Season 5, Episode 2) 77SS returns to form in an episode set in a Hollywood studio (played by WB's studio). There's no need for phony sets or stock shots when the setting is actually the studio.  Vaudeville hypnotist and ex-con Wilson Ferini (famous face Robert Ellenstein) uses his hypnotic powers to blackmail studio head John Harrington (Neil Hamilton, the Commissioner on "Batman") through hypnotized star Nita Maran (the lovely Diane McBain, Daphne Dutton in “Surfside Six and she shows up again with a recurring part in the next season). Post-hypnotic suggestions will keep Nita from finishing the film, one way or another, unless a ransom is paid.  Jeff and the gang are hired to stop Ferini. Suzanne becomes the victim's roommate again, Kookie investigates Ferini's former apartment (where the residents are either still hypnotized or just jerks), and Roscoe patrols skid row and winds up hypnotized and with a black eye. John Dehner (John Dehner) admirably plays himself playing a psychiatrist.  A final chase through backstage at WB's backlot makes wonder why more studios didn't burn down considering the massive maze of dry wood they were constructed of.   

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I enjoyed "The Gang's All Here" and "Leap, My Lovely". I tried watching some of Season 5, Episode 1 "The Reluctant Spy " and just didn't care for it.

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11 hours ago, Jaded said:

I found this. 

They were probably using it in the first sense: "An extremely irritating and annoying person."

Never heard that before, though I never heard anybody but Kookie use "ginchiest". :)

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“Terror in a Small Town” (Season 5, Episode 3) The episode starts, literally, with a bang, when Jeff and Kookie kill each other in a shootout after a falling out about the PI business. But it’s just a gag played on J.R. (which will come back to bite Kookie). Ha Ha. In this Kookie-centric story-a classic pulp plot-Kookie is sent to pick up some papers out in the Valley. On the way he picks up a hitchhiker who attacked and tried to rape Clara Foster in the small town of Bromley (or bizarro Mayberry).  The hitchhiker swaps clothes with Kookie and steals his car, leaving unsuspecting Kookie to walk into town where he’s arrested by Sheriff Andy-oops, I mean Sheriff Farber (Don Kelly) as the rapist while the citizens of Mayberry-oops, Bromley gather outside for a lynching.  Kookie can’t get a hold of anyone to prove his innocence because J.R. thinks he’s joking and later the town’s telephone operator Sarah-oops, Millie reports all the lines are down.  Locked up in the town jail with town drunk Otis-oops, I mean Maude, Sheriff Farber sends one deputy off to “investigate” and leaves deputy Barney-oops, I mean Orville (Warren Oates) in charge while he goes to take a nap.  Kookie escapes (though doesn’t manage to find his way out of the “small town.” Run in a straight line, not serpentine, Kookie!) and commits serial break-ins as a (ineffectual) way to prove his innocence (including surprising a high school girl in her bedroom and stealing a shotgun), while the lynch mob, led by victim Clara’s husband, Henry Foster (Kevin Hagen, "Little House on the Prairie"), hunts him down.

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19 hours ago, Jaded said:

Season 5, Episode 1 "The Reluctant Spy " and just didn't care for it.

I agree.  I haven't like any of the episodes where Stu goes overseas and fights the Red Menace.  Sort of like "Burke's Law" vs. "Amos Burke, Secret Agent."  Also one reason why I didn't like season 6 "5". 

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“The Floating Man” (Season 5, Episode 5) An excellent episode that will keep you guessing. Hanging Judge Mellon (tough-guy actor Edmon Ryan) hires Jeff to protect him from his wife, who he suspects has a lover and intends to murder him after he finds his revolver missing.  Affairs are complicated by the fact that not only is the crooked judge on the take, but he’s also a thoroughly unpleasant wife abuser who deserves to be shot.  His beautiful young trophy wife, Justine (icy Coleen Gray), only stays with Mellon because of their young son, much to the displeasure of her spooky uncle Gideon Harte (reptilian screen villain Henry Daniell), famed staged magician. Jeff investigates the possible suspects, including the mobster whose case Mellon is presiding over and Uncle Gideon, who demonstrates is magical abilities including levitation.  When Mellon’s found dead in a locked bedroom in his penthouse apartment with its own private elevator, with only his wife and unconscious housekeeper (she took a double dose of sleeping pills) present, and with Kookie watching the elevator and Roscoe the fire escape, the police assume the case is all wrapped up. Gil believes its a suicide, despite finding creepy Uncle Gideon’s cape on the balcony and an eyewitness report that someone floated across to the building from a nearby apartment, as well as Gideon’s confession to the murder.  Jeff and Gil are at odds for a change as Jeff doesn’t believe it was suicide and for the reputation of the agency, who were supposed to be protecting Mellon, is determined to keep the case open.  

Another Robert C. Dennis written episode, and his work on “Alfred Hitchcock Presents” is again obvious. Famous face Barney Phillips ("Twilight Zone" and many other productions) shows up as a reporter investigating the crooked judge. One of the better episodes in a while, a real mystery. 

Edited by Tom Holmberg
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"Wolf, Cried the Blonde" (Season 5, Episode 7) A more typical 77SS story, returning to their usual world of Hollywood's sleazy underbelly. Publicity-hungry starlet Dagne Stuart (Jo Morrow) involves 77SS in her schemes when she fakes a shooting attempt in Dino's parking lot, with J.R. as her witness, much to his embarrassment. Later bit player and hometown acquaintance Trace Morgan (Peter Brown), presumably also the previous shooter, fakes another shooting in Dino's with Jeff as her unsuspecting accomplice.  But real publicity woes, in the form of her estranged, blackmailing, bootlegger husband Opie (Peter Breck), leads to her and her millionaire fiancé Warren Bodger (famous face Arch Johnson) separately trying to hire an uninterested Jeff to protect her from Opie, as well as Maury Brock (famous face George Petrie), snooping editor of the sleazy scandal sheet "Sneak" (probably a take off on the famous scandal rag, "Confidential"), who isn't above a little blackmailing either. A murder involves the police, leaving Jeff to clear up the case.

J.R. gets to replace Roscoe as the usual comic sap when he takes a bath with Dagne.

Edited by Tom Holmberg

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"The Dark Wood" (Season 5, Episode 8) Stu and J.R. take a fly fishing trip to Green Valley, home of Stu's recently widowed ex-lover, Willa Phelps (Diane Brewster, The Beaver’s original teacher, Miss Canfield), owner of Randy's Boys Camp. While J.R.'s catching girls, Stu meets Willa's rifle-packing 11-year-old daughter Annette "Netsie" Phelps (Susan Gordon, perhaps best known for her “Twilight Zone” appearance), creepy future serial killer. Netsie's father was killed in a hunting accident, but she insists it was murder and that mysterious persons unknown are watching her from the woods. One of the watchers is Sam Mason (game show host Dennis James), Willa's neighbor, who's interested in the widow Willa.  The arrival of Stu convinces Willa to reopen the camp, which had been supposedly vandalized by an insane, vengeance-seeking bear (the same bear that caused Netsie's father's death). The decision is much to the displeasure of real estate agent Fred Weber (famous face Benny Baker, best recognized today probably from ME-TV's "Perry Mason" commercials), who has a rich buyer lined up for the property, and abusive Uncle Ben Miles, whose apparently goofy, brain-damaged,  teenaged nephew Tuffy Miles wants to work as a counselor at the camp. Fires and generator explosions, which some blame on Tuffy ("for no special reason," as J.R. says), complicate the effort to reopen the camp, while Stu conducts a long-distance investigation of Netsie's father's death.

Pretty much an average episode.     

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"Shadow on Your Shoulder" (Season 5, Episode 9)  Stu with the aid of French Inspector Laporte (Paul Bryar) with a New York accent (?) and British Scotland Yard detective Harland (Jack Raine), as well as Tom Lopaka (Robert Conrad) and Kim (Poncie Ponce, Hawaiian Eye’s singing Roscoe) from “Hawaiian Eye” (where was Connie Stevens?) to investigate a series of international jewel robberies. The victims are knocked unconscious and permanently impaired by unknown means by jewel thieves Sir Guy Winters (Western actor Dayton Lummis) and his wife Lady Eve Winters (Cloris Leachman, “Phyllis Lindstrom” as if you didn’t know) and their accomplice Jonny Malaris (Sherwood Price). In Paris, Stu disguises himself as Count Henri Marat to catch the thieves.

The popular folk trio Peter, Paul & Mary (singing “A’soalin”) also make an appearance playing themselves. Their debut album came out in the year this episode aired selling more than two million copies and remained in Billboard’s “Top Ten” for 10 months. “A'soalin” appeared on their second album released a month after this episode aired.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eJeJ_SyJJ6Q

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"Adventures in San Dede" (Season 5, Episode 10) Jeff in on assignment in yet another stereotypically racist Latin American country. We all know what that means... Jeff sings and plays slap guitar, while interacting with rose munching muchachas and ice-cream suit clad greasy Latinos, all played for laughs. J.R, shows up handcuffed to a briefcase with important papers (the macGuffin) but without the keys. Mistaken identities and funny Spanish accents lead to Jeff and J.R. being taken to San Dede Federal Prison to visit San Dede's best safecracker, a beautiful senorita, to open the briefcase. There they wind up in San Dede's most luxurious prison cell, with a beautiful senorita as maid and a TV amazingly showing the WB western "Cheyenne" in Spanish.  Mistaken for a pair of Gringo assassins, our heroes are broken out of the prison and hilarity and confusion reign while they outwit the Red Menace yet again.

At that point, I pretty much didn't care any more. J.R. and Jeff overact, trying to be funny, but I thought Mario Alcalde (as Barbosa) did a decent job with the part he had.

Okay, it was the early 1960s, a simpler time of traditional family values like making fun of foreigners and extolling American superiority, but how many more of these episodes can we take?! There were at least two earlier episodes set in San Dede.  How much do you want to bet somebody in the production had a daughter nicknamed DeeDee.

Edited by Tom Holmberg

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"The Odds on Odette" (Season 5, Episode 11) The case of the three Odettes. Newspaper astrology columnist Odette is being threatened with death by an anonymous killer.  Bayard Parmenter (famous face James Millhollin, Odette 1), the current writer of the column, meets Jeff at 2 a.m. in Skid Row to hire him for $500 a day, for the next three days, to protect him while Pluto is in transit. Jeff is followed by a mysterious woman in black who warns him not to get involved.  At Parmenter's office, Jeff meets Parmenter's secretary, Mary O'Neil (Merry Anders, Odette 2), who's the public voice of Odette, just before a letter bomb explodes thoroughly frightening Parmenter. Jeff decides that since Mary is the public face of Odette that she's actually the one in danger (plus she's attractive). After Mary is almost run down in a hit and run, Jeff follows the clues to sickly Silas Hays (Henry Daniell), former client of the original Odette's, and his wastrel nephew Andrew Lamont. Jeff visits the original Odette, Olive Goodrich (Elizabeth Harrower, Odette 3) to get more information on Hays, only to discover that she is the mysterious woman in black, that she hates Parmenter for stealing her column and that Silas included Odette in his will. When Hays takes a tumble down a flight of stairs, Jeff is sure it is murder by someone trying to get their inheritance early.

Another good, actually complicated mystery. Once again screenwriter Robert C. Dennis throws in a little “Alfred Hitchcock Presents”.

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"Falling Stars" (Season 5, Episode 13) 77SS returns to form with a Hollywood detective tale. Someone crosses out washed-up actor Edward King's star on Hollywood Blvd. just before he takes a flyer from a Hollywood hotel. Though the police believe it's a clear case of suicide, King's wife, Thelma King, insists he's been murdered.  Stu attends a wild Hollywood twist party where he meets Hollywood producer John Dutton, TV comedian Skeets Riley (kid show ventriloquist Paul Winchell), ditsy Bernice "Binnie Baby" Clark (“Star Trek’s” own Grace Lee Whitney), and Skeets' Hollywood agent Jay Breacher (Jerry Paris, "Jerry Helper" from "The Dick Van Dyke Show"). While an inebriated Binnie tries to get Stu to take the plunge, instead she finds Dutton with a letter opener sticking out of his chest in a pool cabana. Skeets gets some much needed publicity by announcing he saw a mysterious woman coming out of the cabana. It turns out that Dutton's Hollywood Blvd. star has also been crossed out. Skeets hires Bailey & Spencer to protect him when his star on the Boulevard also gets crossed out. The crack B&S team leaps into action, J.R. gets arrested trying to clean the "X" off Skeets star. Roscoe becomes Skeets ineffectual bodyguard. Kookie investigates King's past, discovering that the late King and Dutton had been a silent movie comedy team, "The Backstreet Boys" (No, not those Backstreet Boys), which makes the suicide theory seem at least slightly suspicious. When Skeets' car explodes with Skeets and Roscoe and the beautiful Melba (shades of "Seinfeld") Marshall uninjured in it, Stu determines that Skeets is just trying to boost the ratings of his failing comedy television show by faking the threats and getting newspaper headlines. Stu drops Skeets as a client just in time for Skeets to be actually shot and injured while taping his TV show. Stu is back on the case.

A decent mystery with all the typical 77SS elements of Hollywood, beautiful dames, and comedy, in fact the plot’s not much different from the earlier “Wolf, Cried the Blonde.” And the whole cast gets in on the action.

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"Terror in Silence" (Season 5, Episode 16)  Lonely, (not very convincingly) deaf San Molino librarian Miss Lillis Todd (Anne Whitfield) ) lips reads a murder threat to lonely library patron, photographer Joe Dolan (played by professional leprechaun Walter Burke), AKA, Joseph Donnelly. Todd hires Stu to protect Dolan as Stu had earlier questioned Todd about Dolan, when Dolan's nonexistent "sister" had hired him to locate her "brother", in fact Stu, as Todd realizes, had fingered Dolan for some mysterious person for nefarious purposes.  When Stu questions Dolan, he denies any threat, a denial disproved by his subsequent murder at his photo studio. On the case, Stu visits the hotel where Dolan's "sister", Elizabeth Dawson- actually an out-of-work actress hired to play the part of Dolan's "sister"- was staying and discovers that she had skipped out on her hotel bill, leaving behind a suitcase which Kookie, using his new-found scientific forensic skills, links to mean-spirited millionaire McManus (famous face Oliver McGowan) and his personal accountant Charles Sloane (very famous face Strother Martin, doing his crazy Milquetoast bit as opposed to his crazy country rube bit). Librarian Miss Todd is threatened and chased around the library by the killer, before Stu and the police can save the day.

 

I appreciated that the librarian didn't have a bun and glasses. If you are wondering about the extensive library set in this episode it is the same Marian the Librarian set from WB's "The Music Man."

"Tarnished Idol" (Season 5, Episode 14) A rare Suzanne-centric episode.  Bailey and Spencer are hired by an insurance company executive Henry Distal (lemon-pussed actor Charles Lane) investigate tennis bum Wade Saunders (Van Williams, "The Green Hornet") and his doubles partner and sister, Marlene (Dara Howard), who fell down a flight of steps at the tennis club where they were playing and is suing. Meanwhile Elward Baxter (Alan Hale, Jr., as if I have to tell you, "Gilligan's Island") is blackmailing the pair over some mysterious film footage he has.  Suzanne goes undercover as a rich French heiress, staying at the same hotel as the Saunders siblings to discover if Marlene's paralysis is real or act to get the money from the lawsuit. Things get complicated when Suzanne falls in love with the handsome Wade. Jeff finds out from "Hawaiian Eye" detective Tom Lopaka (Robert Conrad, who doesn't actually appear in the episode) that Wade's wealthy sportswoman wife was killed in a speedboat "accident" in Hawaii with Wade piloting, leaving him to inherit his wife's fortune.

Kookie is also undercover at the hotel as the playboy son of a wealthy Arizona rancher, while Roscoe has little to nothing to do undercover as a hotel barman.  Rounding out the cast is Paul "Mousie" Garner (who became a Ted Healy Stooge after Moe, Larry and Curly left Ted Healy to go out on their own) as a hotel bell captain.

All and all a decent episode with enough twists and turns to keep you guessing, with the added benefit of more Suzanne than in all the previous season episodes combined.  She actually gets to act.

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"Crashout!" (Season 5, Episode 17) Jeff and Roscoe get sent up the river to the State Pen.  Jeff is disguised as three-time loser, tough guy, Canadian copkiller, Bernie Graves. Roscoe is a small-time "fish".  Jeff is placed in a cell with Eddie Marco (Michael Parks, "Then Came Bronson", looking like a low-rent James Dean). Only Eddie knows where the $500,000 from a bank holdup is hidden and it's Jeff job to find out where it is. Eddie's girlfriend Jan Martin's (Nancy Rennick) brother Arnie (Don O'Kelly) was the leader of the holdup gang who got Eddie involved in the crime. The plan is to have Jeff breakout of prison with Roscoe and Eddie and have Eddie lead him to the hidden loot.  Jeff and Eddie bust out - Roscoe is "shot" in the attempt - and, who would guess, end up at the 1960s obligatory twist party with Jan, Arnie, and the rest of the gang, as well as an undercover policewoman. Complications ensue along with an unusually deadly shootout.

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"The Night Was Six Years Long." (Season 5, Episode 18) We learn a little bit about the early history of Bailey and Spencer when Janie Maynor (Myrna Fahey, best known as Madeline from "The House of Usher". But she also received death threats from an insane Marilyn Monroe fan when she dated Joe DiMaggio.) shows up for work as switchboard operator at the agency.  The only problem is that she shows up after taking a vacation six years previously and never coming back. But Janie, suffering from the TV and movie plague of amnesia, thinks she's only been gone a day.  When questioned, Janie tells Jeff that she had murdered someone named Cleet Malone the night before. Stu goes to the apartment where Janie thinks the murder took place and meets clumsy, simple-minded apartment manager (and sports memorabilia collector) Armstrong (George Kennedy, "Airport", "Cool Hand Luke" and a host of other movies).  Armstrong tells Stu that Malone hadn't lived there for 6 years and the apartment was rented by Mr. David (who Armstrong seems to be blackmailing).  Chris Benton (a rather stone-faced Philip Carey, "One Life to Live"), Janie's husband shows up, as does a rock that barely misses Janie's head. Is Janie a murderess? Who's trying to kill Janie?  Is Roscoe a "maniac depressive"? You'll have to watch this episode to find out.

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"Six Feet Under" (Season 5, Episode 19) Jeff and Gil (why Gil, a homicide detective, is working the robbery detail is not explained) break up a robbery of a wholesale fur warehouse, resulting in a big shootout with both police and gangsters killed.  The gang decides, apparently, it needs a new chief, the new boss Maury Perly (H.M. Wynant) knocking off the old mob boss, Marco Deederman (Malachi Throne, Noah Bain of "It Takes a Thief"-why isn't this show on one of the retro channels), in a gangland shooting and torching the car he was driving. At the funeral for the two police officers killed in the raid, Jeff meets a mysterious woman in black mourning at Deederman's tomb, which happens to be conveniently located next to the cops'.  He discovers that the woman is Deederman's long-lost daughter, Nancy Deederman (Nancy Sharpe, the wife of Stanley Kramer), who had been in school in Switzerland.  Since she's good-looking, Jeff makes a date with her at Dino's, only to have to leave early when he's informed that there was a robbery at a wholesale jewelry warehouse with Deederman's M.O. all over it. Roscoe checks out Skid Row, looking for clues to the sale of the stolen goods, and spots an suspicious bum, while Jeff continues to make time with Miss Deederman, getting hot and heavy on a drive in her Rolls Royce limousine. It turns out Nancy isn't what she says she is and Jeff is shot and left for dead in a lake. But Jeff is feeling much better after his "killing" and, with the help of Roscoe's Skid Row bum friend, electronics wizard Dr. Felstrand (famous face John Abbott, who usually played the villain), uses a transistorized parabolic microphone and an electrocuting "bug" to spy on the gang and save the day.

“Escape to Freedom” (Season 5,  Episode 20) Stu goes to Europe to once again fight the Red Menace.  Ho Hum. Been there, done that. Too bad we can’t escape from Stu goes to Europe and fights the Red Menace episodes. Of the cast, the only three actors of interest were Werner Klemperer, who played Schtiekel, and was, of course, Col. Klink on “Hogan’s Heroes”; Ursula Theiss, who  played Dr. Harben, and was married to Robert Taylor and had once been billed by her studio as "The Most Beautiful Girl in the World"; and Nora Marlowe, who played Radella, the underground leader and food cart lady, and was usually cast as maids, nurses and mean next-door neighbors.

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"Dial "S" for Spencer" (Season 5, Episode 21)  Jeff gets a telegram to go to the Ting-a-Ling Club (one of those telephone bars so popular in 50s and 60s TV shows and movies where patrons can call one another's tables and arrange assignations or whatever) where he meets Chicagoan Sandra Keene (Ellen McRae, her maiden name, actually it's Ellen Burstyn), who is looking for her alcoholic brother, Mike Keene (Tom Drake, the boy next door in "Meet Me in St. Louis") who's on a bender in L.A. He is heir to his late father's fortune, but he has to be sober for a year to collect.

Jeff gets Roscoe and Kookie on the case, while Roscoe checks the cheap bars and third-run movie theaters, Kookie checks out the second hand clothes stores and Jeff checks the missions (including one run by Brother Peter (played by famous face Ian Wolfe, usually cast as preachers, doctors or butlers, including Mama Carlson's butler on "WKRP in Cincinnati)). Kookie finds Keene's bespoke tuxedo jacket with a label from Reno, NV tailor. Meanwhile Sandra and Jeff are being followed by Packy White (Brad Weston), driving a car with NV plates.

 Jeff sends Kookie to Reno to check out Mike Keene, while he continues to case the Skid Row dive bars.  In one, he gets a lead from Archie (nice comic turn by Tim Graham), a hard-up drunk, who ends up mistaken for Keene and is beaten to death by Reno torpedo Packy just before Keene shoots and kills Packy. Sandra identifies Packy as her brother.

Kookie reports from Reno that Keene ran off with $50,000 he lost in a bet.  Now Jeff knows there's more going on than he thought.  When Jeff catches up with Keene, he tells Jeff that Sandra is really his wife and that she used Bailey & Spencer to finger him for her. (It seems as if half of Bailey & Spencer clients are using them to finger potential victims.)

A standard issue 77SS but enjoyable nonetheless. Also in the cast is famous face (and voice) Dub Taylor as Sandra's henpecked landlord.

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@Tom Holmberg I really enjoy your recaps with the added backstories of the stars.   When you recapped "Escape to Freedom" I understood what you were saying about it.  The funny thing for me is the first time I saw it I gave it a 10.  I wasn't even going to watch it this time because of another Stu in Europe episode. I'm wondering if MEtv will show season 6 again.  I stopped watching after a few episodes.  

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2 minutes ago, wilsie said:

I'm wondering if MEtv will show season 6 again.  I stopped watching after a few episodes.  

Me too.  Someone else will have to recap that season. I actually like Efrem Zimbalist as an actor, esp. in the earlier seasons and as Dandy Jim Buckley on "Maverick." I wasn't really a fan of "The F.B.I." (it always bother me as a kid that no matter what heinous crime the villain committed they ended up being convicted for "interstate flight to avoid prosecution", which seems like what a crook's basic job is).   Apparently Zimbalist thought the scripts in the later seasons weren't good (they do seem to be repeating themselves) and he tired of the show (I have to wonder which came first, him getting tired or adding Kookie as a regular lead).

 

Thanks for the compliment, I'm glad people like the recaps, I try to make them interesting.

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"Stranger from the Sea" (Season 5, Episode 23)  It's Kookie's turn again.  Inperial Japanese naval cadet Ito Nakayama (Mako, "The Sand Pebbles" and any other role calling for an Asian) arrives in L.A. in a Japanese naval training ship for a “Kookson tour” of the city from Kookie.  But first they stop at the city produce market to see Ito's uncle, Harry Nakayama, and his aunt, only to discover Harry's not too popular with the residents. After a knockdown drag out fight, Kookie learns that Harry absconded with $50,000 and a borrowed revolver. Kookie's on the case.

It seems Nakayama's partner, Neville Jennings (Joe Mell), Vern Reece (famous face Robert Wilke, usually playing villains, “High Noon”) and his brother Anson (Steve Brodie, another bad guy character actor) are involved in some sort of conspiracy involving Harry's disappearance. Kookie goes to the Imperial Valley, near where Harry's car was found, to talk to Harry's old friend Kato Sakamoto, while Ito makes time with produce wholesaler office manager Sandy Takahashi (Caroline Kido).  Kookie gets a windmill dropped on his head (too bad it didn't hit his Ford Falcon) after discovering that Sakamoto had been murdered.  Jeff and Roscoe gets involved (Roscoe finally wants to know why he always has to investigate Skid Row, while Jeff and Stu get the night clubs and even J.R. gets to investigate the beaches).  Reece and his brother kill Jennings and put Ito and Sandy on ice before Kookie can come to the rescue.   

Local law enforcement was played by Victor French of “Little House on the Prairie” fame.

Edited by Tom Holmberg
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"The Man Who Wasn't There" (Season 5, Episode 24) Jeff helps a Korean War vet, Pete Rix (character actor Don Dubbins, he had a recurring role on “Perry Mason” as a D.A.), who sees a fellow POW, Harry Tiburon (Forrest Compton, “The Edge of Night” and “Gomer Pyle., U.S.M.C.”), who had been executed by a North Korean firing squad, at the racetrack where Pete works behind the $2 window.  Nona Rix (Grace Raynor), Pete's wife, has Pete committed to a VA hospital under the care of psychiatrist Dr. Woodrow (Byron Kane, he of the scary caterpillar eyebrows) for treatment of Pete's relapse of what would today be termed PTSD. Pete, who has heard of Jeff from degenerate gambler Roscoe, gets Jeff to visit him at the hospital by pretending to be Jeff's old army buddy.  Later Pete escapes from the hospital and shows up at 77 Sunset Strip, enlisting Jeff assistance in finding the "late" Harry Tiburon.  After following some fruitless leads, Jeff returns Pete to the hospital, where Dr. Woodrow explains (with a whole long speech full of psychological mumbo jumbo) to Pete's relapse is due to Pete's anger at Nona's having taken a lover.

Still on the case Jeff questions Lawrence Tiburon (Harry Albright), Harry's wealthy uncle, who assures Jeff that Harry is still dead, referring him to Major Storm (Richard Shannon), who investigated the case for the army. Storm takes Jeff to meet Pete's fellow POW, Echaverria (John Alonzo, better known as a cinematographer and director of photography in films like “Chinatown” and “Harold and Maude” than an actor), who tells why the POWs blamed Tiburon for ratting on the POWs escape plan to the North Koreans and that Pete blamed himself for Tiburon's execution. Jeff visits Nona again, who confesses that she was once engaged to Tiburon before the war. While at Nona's Jeff finds out that Pete escaped again from the hospital. Pete goes to Uncle Lawrence's house, where he's framed for Lawrence's murder.

Jeff has Roscoe plant an electronic tracker (the size of a hardcover book, with a two foot antenna and the base station the size of a boom box. A year later James Bond had a tracker smaller than a deck of cards!) on Nona's car, so he can track her to Altamont (bad omen), where Jeff wraps up the case.

Revenge plots featuring ex-POWs is standard film noir fare, but there's enough twists and turns to keep your interest. The rest of the 77SS cast gets minimal screen time.

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"Target Island" (Season 5, Episode 26) J.R. gets an episode this time.  He has a date with his new, happy-go-lucky, always happy girlfriend, Taffy Gaylor (Jenny Marshall, “Blue Hawaii”) who shows up at 77 Sunset Strip (apparently J.R. can't pick the girl up for a date) late and crying her eyes out. Her sailor brother Barney (Gordon Wescourt) is missing and AWOL from his U.S. Navy missile base and she wants Bailey and Spenser to find him. J.R. takes on the case, questioning Barney's former best friend in the Navy, Dwight Sturgess (Evan McCord, later Joseph Gallison, “Days of Our Lives”), who sends him to the Windward Bar, a dive bar near the base. There he picks up a lead to Barney's girlfriend Marie (Pamela Duncan, known mostly for her work with Roger Corman), who lives in a nearby rooming house, and a tail, a Mr. Smith (famous face Howard Caine, Gestapo Maj. Hochstetter, “Hogan’s Heroes”). J.R questions Queenie Magee (Mercedes Shirley), the landlady (who I don't believe we ever see without a beer can in her hand), and gets initiated into the P.I. game by being clobbered by Smith.

Over his sore head, J.R. enlists the aid of Jeff, who goes to the missile base, questioning Capt. Hastings, who says Barney was "moody" and WAVE Polly Winston (Pat Woodell, the original Bobbie Jo Bradley, “Petticoat Junction”) Jeff returns to the Windward and questions the helpful drunk who sends Jeff to see Marie and the beer can toting Queenie, who tells him that Barney was involved in a racket selling stolen Navy supplies. Back at the base, Jeff talks to the last person who saw Barney, who commanded the work detail Barney was on to Santa Ines Island, the target island of the title, which is used as a missile target by the base.

Jeff rents a boat to visit the island, not knowing a missile test is scheduled. Meanwhile Marie and Mr. Smith show up at Taffy's motel room. Smith holds J.R., Taffy and Marie prisoner, while the Navy fires about 100 missiles at Jeff on the island.

I’m not sure Robert Logan was suitable to play a P.I., he’s just too easy-going as an actor.  He just comes across as if the whole enterprise is just a game to him. Perhaps that’s why Jeff has to take over the second half. This is a Gloria Elmore teleplay, whose episodes I’ve liked, but this one doesn’t really take off. None of the characters stand out except for Queenie, who is minor and drunk most of the time.

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"Reunion at Balboa" (Season 5, Episode 27) Having just had a episode of his (somewhat) own, J.R. is paired with Kookie in an episode at the (back-projected) beach, though J.R. has little to do but provide a little comic relief. Leaving J.R.'s hotrod at home, J.R. and Kookie got to Balboa Island for Easter weekend to pick up girls in Kookie's Ford Falcon chick magnet. Nothing gets a girl hotter than seeing a guy driving his mother's sedan. Meanwhile Toby McGill (Anthony Call) and Len Naar (Hampton Fancher, "Blade Runner") have the same idea, though they need to steal a car first, unfortunately for Kookie its not his Falcon. Instead they pick the car of two girls, Marilyn Sterling (Pamela Austin, "Blue Hawaii") and Bea (Mikki Jamison), that Kookie and J.R. have picked up, running over Marilyn in their getaway.

Involved now, Kookie volunteers to assist Balboa policeman, Lt. Rudy (famous face Arthur Franz), a friend of Stu's, to find the hit-and-run driver.  While hiding out at a teenage twist party, misunderstood, rebellious teenager Toby gets picked up when the police raid the party and two-time loser punk Len gets away. Released into the custody of his wealthy businessman father Robert McGill (favorite famous face John Dehner), Toby wallows in teenage angst as his father wonders what's wrong with kids today (shades of "Rebel Without a Cause").

The police find Marilyn's abandoned car and Kookie uses his great detective skills to track down the owner of a used french fry bag, the only clue found in the car (don't ask how one discarded bag can be identified by a waitress at a burger stand selling presumably hundreds of burgers a night).  Feeling guilty, no such thing as a bad boy (except for that punk Len) Toby confesses to his father about the accident.  McGill provides an alibi for his son with the police and Marilyn is unable to positively identify Toby.  Still on the case, Kookie and Lt. Rudy cruise the town full of 3,000 vacationing teenagers looking for Len.  Overcome with guilt and finally able to talk to his suddenly understanding father, Toby and Dad go see Marilyn in the hospital, before attending sunrise Easter service at the beach and surrendering to the police.

More of a soap opera than a detective story. Rachel Adams ("General Hospital") appears as Dehner's girlfriend. A lot of stock footage of Balboa. WARNING: There's a lot of really bad "white people" dancing in this episode.

If this episode had taken place a year later we might have seen Gilligan, the Skipper too, the Millionaire and his Wife, the Movie Star, the Professor and Mary Ann set sail for their three hour tour.

Edited by Tom Holmberg
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"Walk Among Tigers" (Season 5, Episode 28)  Beloved military electronics magnate Harold Payton Adams dies in a train wreck on his way back to L.A.  Stu, on retainer with the insurance company, picks up the deceased's effects including a briefcase containing $112,000. Stu gets as far as the parking lot before he's distracted by an attractive brunette and karate chopped, losing the briefcase. Adams' partner Endicott Fellows (Allan Jones) has no explanation for the briefcase full of cash.  Stu backtracks Adams back to Las Vegas, picking up a tail on the way (famous face Warren Stevens, “Forbidden Planet”).  Questioning Adams' favorite cabbie, Maxie Tuttle (old vaudevillian and Hal Roach comedy actor, Benny Baker), Stu finds out that an attractive brunette, who he learns is Martha Emerson (Kaye Elhardt), rode with Adams to the train station in Maxie's cab.  He discovers that she lives near Van Colin A.F.B. There's been a mysterious string of fires at the missile base near Las Vegas, Van Colin and other bases Adams had visited.  Stu's tail tries to kill him and the Feds reveal -wait for it- the Red Menace is involved!  At this point, who else could it be with Stu involved? He doesn't even have to travel to Europe any more.  Stu and the Feds round up the dirty Commies and America is saved again.

Might be a model for the next season: Stu working on his own, the rest of the cast absent, the serious tone, the noirish feel. Based on previous similar episodes the guilty party is rather obvious. If Adams is manufacturing electronics for the military, why go to all the trouble of starting a bunch of fires?  And why waste Adams (who's been building his cover as a beloved patriot for decades) as the lowly "sabotage paymaster", when a cutout would make more sense?

Edited by Tom Holmberg
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As for season 5 I enjoyed the shows without Stu more then the ones he was in. I skipped over the ones that had him alone in foreign countries for the most part in season 5 too.

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3 hours ago, Jaded said:

As for season 5 I enjoyed the shows without Stu more then the ones he was in.

He seemed to be tired of the show by then.  Roger Smith seemed to get episodes that had the original 77SS "Hollywood detective" feel to them. As I mentioned above, Efrem Zimbalist did a good job with comedy on "Maverick", but the producers seemed to want him to turn him into the "serious" P.I.

Edited by Tom Holmberg
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“The Left Field Caper” (Season 5, Episode 29)  77SS has had a number of episodes recently where they barely appear in (“Nine to Five” and “Flight 307”), this appears to be another one.  Jeff doesn’t even know there’s a “caper” until 40 minutes into the episode.  J.R. is coaching little league and notices one of his players, Danny Saunders (pug-faced Ronnie Dapo, who strangely gets top billing for the episode), seems out-of-sorts and sad. At that point the regulars disappear as ex-con Dave Murcott (famous face Ed Nelson, “Peyton Place”) threatens stripper Flame (Grace Lee Whitney again) to find out the address of his wife.  A couple of gangsters want to locate Murcott to kill him before he can exact revenge for their sending him up the river. Murcott’s wife, Helen Saunders (famous face Diane Ladd, Academy Award nominee for “Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore” and mother of Laura Dern), has changed her name and tried to make a normal life for little Danny. Thirty minutes into the episode Danny breaks into Bailey and Spencer’s highly-secure offices and steals Jeff’s memorial baseball cigarette lighter.  Murcott meets with his ex-wife to try to get to visit Danny. He escapes an attempt on his life by the clumsy gangsters. Jeff using all his detective skills, and the skills of the LAPD crime lab, manages to track down nine-year-old Danny and get his lighter back. Murcott shows up at Danny home as does Jeff and the gangsters. The fact that Murcott threatened to slash Flame's face with a broken bottle is forgotten. Danny wins the big game.  The end.   

Bo Belinsky, L.A. Angels pitcher, plays himself in a humorous cameo with umpire Roscoe (strangely Belinsky was accused of assault of a hatcheck girl the year before). Famous face Kathleen Freeman (“The Penquin” in the “Blues Brothers”, and many Jerry Lewis movies) plays the Saunders’ neighbor.

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"The Heartbeat Caper" (Season 5, Episode 30) Everybody got "A"s at Lyndale college.  Stu is guest lecturer in friend Prof. Charles Alderson's (Andrew Duggan again) criminology class at Lyndale College, scene of the recent "Lover's Leap" case, where a popular coed, Elsie Spague, died from a fall from the area's famous make out spot. The coroner had decided that the death was accidental, but some think it could have been suicide, while Bert Blakeley (Alan Reed Jr.), Prof. Alderson's teaching assistant, believes it was murder. 

On the way to the college Bert takes Stu to Lover's Leap, where someone unknown takes shots at them. At the college Stu literally runs into psychology professor Alma Bogart (Judy Rawlins) -earlier Stu had almost run into flirty college coed Joanie (Cheryl Holdridge, who at the time was a professional cute coed, Wally’s girlfriend “Leave it to Beaver”)- who he sees in a heated exchange with archaeology professor Ralph Ames Mark Dempsey). It turns out that Alma is convinced Elsie was murdered and is using her files of psychological profiles of the faculty and students to try to solve the case.

In Alderson's class, Stu watches as the school's all-star football hero, George Remsen (long time character actor Sandy Kevin, better known as Sandy McPeak), is embarrassed during a demonstration of a lie detector and class egomaniac and smartass, Paul Atwell (Carl Reindel, “Bullitt”), tries to embarrass Stu. Stu returns to Lover's Leap and finds some glass fragments which he sends to Kookie to test. 

Remsen and Atwell, in true Leopold and Loeb fashion, decide to hatch a plot to embarrass Alderson by Atwell proving he can fool the polygraph. During Stu's guest lecture Atwell, torn and dirty, rushes into the classroom claiming Remsen was kidnapped. Despite Joanie's assertion that Remsen and Atwell had cooked up a prank, Atwell insists on a polygraph test to prove he's telling the truth about the kidnapping.  Passing the lie detector test, Atwell reveals it was all a prank, just as the local police arrive announcing Remsen's been murdered, making Atwell the chief suspect.  When a letter by dead coed Elsie Spague is discovered implicating a mysterious "A" in the case, Atwell is in double jeopardy in both cases.

Alma gets clobbered in the archaeology lab after getting a note from Prof. Ames and the psychology lab, with Alma's files, burns up. Kookie reports the glass fragments Stu found at Lover's Leap were homemade blasting caps. The police decide to run the whole school through the lie detector but find nothing.  Bert insists Alderson also take the test.  Stu gives his friend the test (not asking only yes and no questions, making the test in real life useless, but for our purposes it works for dramatic effect).  In the end the polygraph machine does find the killer, only not how you would expect.

A decent all-Stu episode, with the usual hallmarks of 77SS, but with only the most minimal appearance of Kookie and Jeff.  No Commies or foreign agents in sight. All the coeds fall for Stu in typical un-P.C. 1960s fashion. No twist parties though.

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"To Catch a Mink" (Season 5, Episode 31) An effective noirish episode. An Ocean's Eleven-type criminal gang plan to loot a celebrity charity auction being held at Dino's.  Stu's old friend "Pop" Bateman (long time WB stock company player Robert Armstrong) is hired to protect the auction along with moonlighting cop Johnny Rossi (Mike Henry, best known perhaps as a “Tarzan”), who comes undercover with is pregnant wife, Judy (Susan Brown, “General Hospital”).  Kookie is at the auction, run by an old girlfriend, as a shill; Roscoe is hired as a bartender; and J.R. is the carhop.  Stu pops into the auction after he spots Connie Beck (Dianne Foster), one of the gang and one of Stu's legions of old flame's, going in. Sitting at a table with her escort world-weary, cynical Doc Saticoy (Edward Colmans, who pretty much steals the episode), another gang member, Connie gives Stu the brush off, though obviously she still had feelings for him.

J.R., in the parking lot, notices that a couple of the cars that show up for the million dollar auction are actually souped up jalopies repainted with tempura paint for a quick change. Suspicious, he calls Gil, who tells him he's too busy fighting crime to investigate.  Spotting Jeff leaving, J.R. tells him of his suspicions, only to have Jeff say this is J.R.'s chance to "be a detective" before going on his date. So much for the professionals.

When the hoodlums' plan goes south, there's a shootout in Dino's with "Pop" being killed, Johnny getting shot and his wife going into labor, gang leader Clete (Earl Hammond, best known for Saturday morning cartoon voice work) getting shot along with some other gang members. The wounded Clete and the remaining gang members hold the crowd hostage while they gather up the loot. Doc delivers Judy's baby. The heroic J.R. gets knocked out and tied up in a car, coming to in time to use the car's radiophone to call for help. The police finally arrive in time for a final shootout.  

A good script with lots of good dialog (mainly by Doc) and some effective noirish cinematography shot through the Venetian blinds in Stu's darkened office.  Frankie Ortega actually gets to speak and be part of the story for once!

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"Our Man in Switzerland" (Season 5, Episode 33) Another all-Stu episode, with Stu overseas again and Stu skiing again.  Kookie loses $1million the firm of Bailey & Spencer are supposed to deliver to Arnold Gerard & Co. Once again the reputation of B&S is at stake (at this point why would anyone hire the firm to protect their valuables considering their past history of failures).  Scotland Yard identifies the thieves as a well-known gang of international thieves, Dawson, Orsini and Gerhardt. Jeff and Kookie manage to lose track of Gerhardt and Orsini, while, with the help of Interpol, Stu goes to Gstaad, Switzerland to find Dawson (Alan Caillou, played “The Head” on scifi comedy “Quark”).

Arriving at the ski lodge, Stu hits on the manager, Adrianne Monet (Maria Machado), and meets up with Interpol agent Paul van Dehn (famous face Kurt Kreuger, Hollywood's standby Nazi officer; played a skier in previous episode, “The Legend of Crystal Dart”).  Stu romances Adrianne, goes skiing, takes long walks in the snow with Adrianne, romances Adrianne some more, while the gang meets up, split up the loot and make their getaway, B&S's reputation is ruined and Stu has to fire everyone and work alone out of the Bradbury Building with a secretary we only hear on a recording--no, wait, this isn't an introduction to the next season. Instead Stu learns that Dawson has been found at the bottom of Marseilles harbor. Orsini (Miquel Landa) and Gerhardt ( famous pizza face Albert Paulsen, frequent "Mission Impossible" villain) have a falling out, but van Dehn shoots them before they can shoot each other. Adrienne, Dawson's girlfriend, and van Dehn partner up, leaving Stu to solve the case and get the $1 million back.

A slight episode that seems like a few 77SS has done before. Meh.

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@Tom Holmberg again such great recaps!  I didn't see one for "Flight 307" with a very young in age and career Gena Rowlands.  When it ended I was thinking it looked like a pilot and I found on another tv site that to be true.  It also had Jack Warden who was in "Crazy Like A Fox" and many movies, Philip Carey who was Asa Buchanan on "One Life to Live" for over 20 years.  Bill Williams who played "Kit Carson" and was married to the beautiful Barbara Hale aka Della Street was also on and very good.  Stu was pretty limited which I didn't mind.  The last several episodes have been Stu centered.   I like Efrem Zimbalist a lot but Stu's character just got to be used too much.

1 hour ago, Tom Holmberg said:

Me-TV seems to be skipping the "5" episodes and jumping to Season 6, Episode 6, "White Lie", with Elizabeth Montgomery.

ME-TV will be showing the "5" episodes July 3.  I think they did this last time and maybe because they wanted to show them in sequence.  "White Lie" was a season 6 episode I liked.  

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53 minutes ago, wilsie said:

When it ended I was thinking it looked like a pilot and I found on another tv site that to be true.

"Five to Nine" and even "Lady in the Sun" and "The Left Field Caper" all seemed to be episodes where the main 77SS had little if anything to do. 

 

47 minutes ago, wilsie said:

ME-TV will be showing the "5" episodes July 3.  I think they did this last time and maybe because they wanted to show them in sequence. 

Makes sense to show them all in one week. It just doesn't make sense to actually show them. :)

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1 hour ago, Tom Holmberg said:

Makes sense to show them all in one week. It just doesn't make sense to actually show them. :)

That's funny and so true.  :)

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"Your Fortune for a Penny" (Season 5, Episode 34) Stu gets brought back to clear up an old case. Almost a year previously Douglas Milinder (suave Robert Vaughan, "The Man from UNCLE") had absconded with $1 million dollars invested in business scheme of his.  Stu, working for the bonding company, had lost Milinder in Acapulco. Now, Eugene Seaver (famous face Bill Quinn, Mary Richard’s father on “The Mary Tyler Moore Show”) gets a call for his young daughter, Kristine (Susan Oliver, “Peyton Place” and many other TV appearances), from a voice he recognizes as Milinder. Seaver knows that Milinder has been corresponding with Kris and that Kris believes Milinder, now back in the States, was framed for the theft and is in love with him. Seaver hires Stu to keep a watch on Kris and Stu wants to finally nab his old nemesis.

Milinder is picked up by the cops in Texas and Gil and another LAPD detective are sent to escort him back to LA by train.  The bonding company sends Kookie along to convince Milinder to surrender what's left of the $1 million for a reduced sentence.  Milinder's ex-partner Frank Syden (famous face tough guy George Murdock, “Barney Miller”) has a plan to spring Milinder from the train at one-horse desert town Murdo Springs, where Kris will pick him up and drive him to LA.

Stu finds out Kris is going to Murdo Springs and stakes out the Murdo Springs train station (the station agent is played by famous face Olan Soule, many Tv shows and the voice of Batman on Saturday Morning Cartoons). Syden, on board the train with the rest of the cast, gets a gun to Milinder, who kills the LAPD detective and clobbers Gil, and escapes.  "Mr. Drucker" gets a report that Milinder has killed a detective and jumped the train. Stu uses that info to convince Kris that Milinder is no good and to return to LA and her father.  But Milinder is hiding in Kris' car and forces her to drive him to LA to pick up his stolen loot, where Stu finally gets to close the case on Milinder.

The always reliable Dub Taylor has a funny cameo as an American tourist crossing the border from Mexico with Milinder telling the US Customs agent that all he has to declare are the six "tortillas" he drank in a Mexican bar.

 

*

 

"The Checkmate Caper" (Season 5, Episode 35) A change of pace comedic episode.  Wealthy old battleaxe Lucy Carmichael (Kathryn Givney, many movies and TV shows, usually playing a society matron) sternly lectures her disappointment of a grandson, wimpy Cuthbert -yes, Cuthbert- Carmichael (famous face William Windom, “To Kill a Mockingbird” and “Murder, She Wrote”) because he just doesn't live up to the proud Carmichael tradition of larceny and criminality. Afraid he'll be disowned Cuthbert -yes, Cuthbert- blackmails Stu to help him pull off a phony robbery of a jewelry store to impress grandma.

"Bucky" Bailey and Cuthbert -yes, Cuthbert- plan the jewel heist, but are overheard by weaselly grandson-in-law Marvin (Robert Cornthwaite, “The Thing from Another World”) who spills the beans to grandma. Stu persuades Jeff, Kookie, Roscoe and J.R. to act as clerks in the jewelry store while Cuthbert -yes, Cuthbert- and grandma rob the store. Distracted by a blonde looking for directions to Chicago, Stu gets clobbers by grandma after her and Cuthbert -yes, Cuthbert- actually pull off a real robbery of the store.

Gil bawls out Stu, giving him a day to find the Carmichaels, who are on the lam, before he loses his license.  Stu assigns Roscoe to woo Eloise (Nancy Kulp, Miss Hathaway on "The Beverly Hillbillys"), the Carmichaels' ex-con maid, to get the lowdown on grandma's location. The police surround the airport motel where the Carmichaels are hold up, with grandma starting a shootout before Cuthbert -yes, Cuthbert!- reveals his true Carmichael heritage and saves the day, and Stu's P.I. business (at least for one more episode).

A good comedic episode, that we haven't seen in a while. Efrem Zimbalist Jr. actually gets to show off his comedic talents for a change. They even drop an advertisement for WB series "Checkmate" into the episode, just like old times (Stu says he only watches TV on Fridays, when 77SS was on).  Apparently this was the last episode in which the whole cast appeared (it's kind of sad).

Edited by Tom Holmberg
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13 hours ago, Tom Holmberg said:

"The Checkmate Caper" (Season 5, Episode 35) A change of pace comedic episode.  Wealthy old battleaxe Lucy Carmichael (Kathryn Givney, many movies and TV shows, usually playing a society matron) sternly lectures her disappointment of a grandson, wimpy Cuthbert -yes, Cuthbert- Carmichael (famous face William Windom, “To Kill a Mockingbird” and “Murder, She Wrote”) because he just doesn't live up to the proud Carmichael tradition of larceny and criminality. Afraid he'll be disowned Cuthbert -yes, Cuthbert- blackmails Stu to help him pull off a phony robbery of a jewelry store to impress grandma.

"Bucky" Bailey and Cuthbert -yes, Cuthbert- plan the jewel heist, but are overheard by weaselly grandson-in-law Marvin (Robert Cornthwaite, “The Thing from Another World”) who spills the beans to grandma. Stu persuades Jeff, Kookie, Roscoe and J.R. to act as clerks in the jewelry store while Cuthbert -yes, Cuthbert- and grandma rob the store. Distracted by a blonde looking for directions to Chicago, Stu gets clobbers by grandma after her and Cuthbert -yes, Cuthbert- actually pull off a real robbery of the store.

Gil bawls out Stu, giving him a day to find the Carmichaels, who are on the lam, before he loses his license.  Stu assigns Roscoe to woo Eloise (Nancy Kulp, Miss Hathaway on "The Beverly Hillbillys"), the Carmichaels' ex-con maid, to get the lowdown on grandma's location. The police surround the airport motel where the Carmichaels are hold up, with grandma starting a shootout before Cuthbert -yes, Cuthbert!- reveals his true Carmichael heritage and saves the day, and Stu's P.I. business (at least for one more episode).

A good comedic episode, that we haven't seen in a while. Efrem Zimbalist Jr. actually gets to show off his comedic talents for a change. They even drop an advertisement for WB series "Checkmate" into the episode, just like old times (Stu says he only watches TV on Fridays, when 77SS was on).  Apparently this was the last episode in which the whole cast appeared (it's kind of sad).

All your recaps are good but this one is my favorite.  Cuthbert -yest, Cuthbert will be in my head for days.  It was a really great episode, a lot of humor.  And you're right, Tom Holberg, it is kind of sad to have the whole cast appear for the last time.  Thank you for helping make watching this show more enjoyable.  

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15 hours ago, wilsie said:

Thank you for helping make watching this show more enjoyable.

I'm glad someone enjoy them. I tried to get a "hook" on the episode if I can. The "Cuthbert -yes, Cuthbert" came to me when no one believed that name, or could say it straight. (Considering some of the weird character names they've had, Cuthbert isn't even that bad!) I'll see if I'm interested enough in the non-"5" episodes to review them.

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"Never to Have Loved" (Season 5, Episode 36) Final episode of the classic "77 Sunset Strip." Swedish movie star Margrit Strom (Patricia Rainier, she shows up again in the “5” episodes), comes to Hollywood to make it in American films, only to fall back under the spell of Svengali film director Toller Vengrin (Albert Paulsen, who just appeared in the “Our Man in Switzerland” episode), who controlled her career in Europe. Margrit's agent, Stan Regal (famous face Jerome Cowan, character actor who usually played shifty lawyers, conmen, shady husbands), hires Bailey & Spencer to protector her from Toller.

While Stu goes to confront Toller, Kookie, assigned to guard Margrit, falls in love with her.  It turns out that Toller, Margrit's secret husband, had, by force of will and pure arrogance, made Margrit a star. Without Toller to badger her, she can't act.  Kookie engages Tom Carlyle (Philip Abbott, he later appeared with Efrem Zimbalist on “The F.B.I.”), famed criminal lawyer, to consult with Margrit about a Mexican divorce.  Stu questions Margrit's Swedish maid, Greta Haggman (Virginia Christine, best known as Mrs. Olsen in the Folger’s coffee commercials), who is afraid of both Toller and Margrit.

Margrit meets secretly with Toller to get acting advice after the studio threatens to fire her for her horrible acting.  As soon as Toller is controlling her again, she becomes a great actress (not really) again. When Stu discovers that Margrit is back with Toller, he drops the case, but goes off to Sweden for a little investigating on the side, while love-struck Kookie continues to defend her.  Unfortunately during one of their secret rehearsals, Margrit shoots and kills Toller with one of the studio's prop guns.

Margrit goes on trial for murder with Tom Carlyle for the defense.  Stu discovers the truth about the scheming Margrit, who isn't who she seems and neither was Toller. Kookie solves the case, but loses Margrit.

In many ways this episode foreshadows the next season.  William Conrad (yes, that William Conrad, "Cannon") is producing and directing, as he did “5”. There's no Gil, no Jeff, no Roscoe, no Suzanne, and J.R. is gone, taking the physical for the army, so he probably was canned.  The whole tone of the episode is rather glum, despite the usual Hollywood background.   The previous episode would have been a better send off for the series.  

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59 minutes ago, Tom Holmberg said:

The whole tone of the episode is rather glum, despite the usual Hollywood background.   The previous episode would have been a better send off for the series.  

My thoughts exactly.  If you're going to end a show, which they certainly did when they changed or got rid of everyone who had previously been on the show except Efrem Zimbalist, it seems disrespectful to the viewers of this 5 year old show not to end with the whole cast.  Just so odd when they had "The Checkmate Caper" to use for the end of the original show.  

I'm going to watch "White Lies" which will be shown tomorrow morning on ME TV.  

Edited by wilsie
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I saw most of "The Checkmate Caper" and think I'll stop there. After reading the summary for "Never to Have Loved" it will be deleted from the DVR without viewing.  I started off watching this show when MeTV aired Season 6 last year. I have some older friends in a particular Facebook group who expressed their thoughts about how different S6 was from the rest of the series and around that time is when I saw that it was starting on MeTV. It certainly is different from the previous 5 seasons. I admit that I couldn't make it through the first 5 episodes of S6 which may have spurred my dislike for quite a few of the "Stu overseas usually alone" in the last couple of seasons before 6.

Thank you for your summaries @Tom Holmberg

Edited by Jaded
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19 minutes ago, Jaded said:

how different S6 was from the rest of the series and around that time is when I saw that it was starting on MeTV.

I'll try "White Lie", the subject seems interesting, but I'll miss the whole gang, from Jeff all the way to Frankie Ortega.  I've read a theory that what killed the ratings of the show was making Kookie a partner and domesticating him (that Ford Falcon, good grief!).  Not sure if that's true, but it didn't help. The scripts definitely got repetitive.

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"White Lie" (Season 6, Episode 6) Oklahoma wildcatter Sam Weldon (tough guy Gene Evans, “My Friend Flicka”) flies to Connecticut to buy the lease on the old Delavalle place from who he believes is the last living relative, Charlotte Delavalle (Elizabeth Montgomery, Samantha on "Bewitched", with dark hair and a tan), owner and operator of Delavalle Nursery School. When Charlotte tells him she's not a relative, Weldon hires old friend Stu to find a Delavalle heir.

Stu locates Celia Jackson (well-played by Juanita Moore, Academy Award nominee for “Imitation of Life”) and her family, a poor black family living in Salinas, CA, former tenant farmers on the Delavalle land who have been paying taxes on the property for years.  Celia Jackson, the proud matriarch of the family, unconvincingly, but vehemently claims to know nothing about the taxes and has no interest in the property.  Her grand-niece Letha (Kim Hamilton, the wife of Werner Klemperer, Col Klink!), however, tells Stu she's seen letters to Celia from Connecticut, leading Stu back to Charlotte.

After much convincing, Charlotte reveals that she has been "passing" (for white) since college and is afraid if the truth came out she'd lose everything in the world she's built up. But by playing on Charlotte's feelings for her poor, but proud family and especially for Letha's young son Robbie (Eric Copage, Marc Copage's -"Julia"- brother), a crippled polio victim, he gets her to fly to Calif. to meet with the family.  After much soap opera dramatics, they all end up at a court hearing where Weldon has to fight an evil oil company to get the lease on the land. Only Charlotte, revealing she's "colored" (as the judge says) and the illegitimate daughter of the late Charles Delavalle, will save the day. 

Having "come out" Charlotte has to close her nursery school and leave town, but the children from her school and their mothers arrive at the last minute and all is well with the world.

It's hard to know what to say about this episode.  Unlike classic 77SS, it deals with a serious social issue, and does so in a serious manner (within the context of its time). That's commendable, but could have been done on the old show as well. Maybe we should call this season "78 Sunset Strip."  The 77SS theme music is gone replaced by generic music (was of the audience complaining about the old theme?). The offices at 77 Sunset Strip are replaced by the famous Bradbury Building in LA (was the audience clamoring for this?). Stu is now driving a dark colored T-Bird convertible instead of his old light colored one, to, perhaps, match the new grim mood of the program. Instead of showing the story, we have the cliché film noir voice-over to tell us what's happening.  The formerly suave Stu's lack of affect throughout the episode is perhaps an indication of Jack Webb's influence, and doesn’t help the show despite the interesting premise.

Why WB thought fans of the old show wanted this escapes me, and who was this new show supposed to appeal to?  It's as if Webb was ignoring that this was the Sixties, for God's sake, and trying to turn the clock back to the good old Forties. The rest of the world was soon to be getting into James Bond, "The Man from UNCLE", "Batman", The Beatles, etc., while 77SS was regressing.

Edited by Tom Holmberg
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@Tom Holmberg  Thank you for taking one for the team  I liked this episode a lot, warts and all.  I thought Juanita Moore seemed so much like Annie from "Imitation of Life" but I loved that movie  :)  And I love me a happy ending even if it's a bit heavy handed.  I'm done with season 6.  I don't think there's anything else worth an hour/45 minutes.  

10 minutes ago, Tom Holmberg said:

Why WB thought fans of the old show wanted this escapes me, and who was this new show supposed to appeal to?  It's as if Webb was ignoring that this was the Sixties, for God's sake, and trying to turn the clock back to the good old Forties. The rest of the world was soon to be getting into James Bond, "The Man from UNCLE", "Batman", The Beatles, etc., while 77SS was regressing.

It really is puzzling why they went in this direction while keeping the name of the show the same.  I hope you have a great 4th of July and summer.  I appreciate your perseverance. 

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50 minutes ago, wilsie said:

It really is puzzling why they went in this direction while keeping the name of the show the same

I wish someone would write a book about the show.  It would be interesting to know just what brought down the ratings and why this direction was thought to improve them.  I can understand changing "Burke's Law" to "Amos Burke, Secret Agent", as spies were hot at the time (even though the show stunk.  I was obsessed with James Bond, "Man from Uncle", etc. as a kid at the time, but even I couldn't watch the show). But "78 Sunset Strip"? I have no idea why they thought it would fly. Actually classic 77SS was closer to the spirit of the times than the remake. It boggles the mind.

Edited by Tom Holmberg
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1 hour ago, wilsie said:

I don't think there's anything else worth an hour/45 minutes. 

There's a couple of episodes written by Robert Leslie Bellem, the great "spicy" pulp writer who created "Dan Turner, Hollywood Detective", who I like, so I might watch those, though this version of Stu Bailey is no Dan Turner. This Stu is more soft-boiled than hard-boiled.

Some info on Bellem, if you are unfamiliar: http://thedabbler.co.uk/2011/07/greens-heroes-of-slang-4-robert-leslie-bellem/

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