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Category: Seventies Bad Detectives

Watching The Detectives: Baretta

Watching The Detectives: Baretta

Even at the tender age of 8 I just knew, knew, that it was Sammy Davis Jr. singing the theme to Baretta.

I also just knew, knew, that in one episode that I was witnessing the the entire dynamic acting spectrum of star Robert Blake. Which wasn’t much.

Nice touches, such as Baretta’s pet Cockatoo Fred, and curmudgeonly old Hotel Manager Billy Truman added a bit of the comedic element. We always liked Baretta’s worn out 1966 Impala 4 door, “The Blue Ghost”, since we had a rather pristine blue 1966 Impala 2 door (with a very eager 327!).

But the nicest touch of all:

Little Moe – Midget snitch and shoeshine boy. You can never go wrong with midgets.

SO please, don’t do the crime, if you can’t do the time.

And that’s the name of dat tune.

Watching The Detectives: Harry O

Watching The Detectives: Harry O

I remember one of the Harry O TV Movies better than the series itself.

It seemed a shame to waste David Jansen on this series, since he was so good in The Fugitive. I always think of him as Dr. Richard Kimmel. I also liked him in O’Hara U.S. Treasury.

This show only lasted for 2 years 1974 – 1976. And it wasn’t ratings that killed it, ABC just wanted to go in a different direction with their network (Battle Of The Network Stars no doubt).

Strangely, the series started in San Diego, as Harry was a Police officer forced to retire from the San Diego PD after being shot in the back while on duty. It relocated to Los Angeles in it’s second season because it was too expensive to film in San Diego. Next set of detectives for San Diego? In the next decade with Simon And Simon

And now, Harry O

Watching The Detectives 12/02/09: Barney Miller

Watching The Detectives 12/02/09: Barney Miller

The show voted “most realistic” by police officers.

A show that, the more you watched it, the fonder you grew of the characters. And not just the officers, but of the cantankerous and disheveled parade of criminals and other regulars. The final episode was heartwarming, in that each character expressed their affection for each other, and the long suffering 12th Precinct.

But it was the title sequence, with that slap happy bass, and the warm lead.

There were better quality clips to choose from, but I went with this one, because of the very beginning. In this clip, a shot of the New York skyline.

The Towers Still Stand.

Watching The Detectives 11/27/09: The Streets Of San Francisco

Watching The Detectives 11/27/09: The Streets Of San Francisco

This show was special because it was so close to home, and I’d seen most of the places in the show open.

Plus it had the funk. Listen to them lay that wah wah down!

With a real actor! Karl Malden. And Kirk Douglas’ kid.

And the best guest stars!

Also, where I picked up the phrase “Buddy boy“.

And the Ford LTD Broughm

Yes. Another Quinn Martin Production: The Streets Of San Francisco.

Big Car, low to the ground.
Big Car, low to the ground.
Watching The Detectives 11/23/09: The Kids From C.A.P.E.R.

Watching The Detectives 11/23/09: The Kids From C.A.P.E.R.

Or, don’t watch these detectives. For your own good.

1976 – 1977 Saturday morning live action kids programing from NBC. It is a wonder that they were able to keep their broadcasting license after this.

This is as bad as it gets from the 70s. I know. I lived through it. Not much worse can be found.

Lord help me, I watched this program. By choice. All in all, it was all just bricks in the wall.

Don Kirshner presents: The Kids From C.A.P.E.R.

Oh, by the way, Bananas!

The son of rage and love indeed.

Watching The Detectives 11/20/09 MANNIX

Watching The Detectives 11/20/09 MANNIX

My memory of Mike Conners as Mannix is that he reminded me of my Dad. An everyman. Been to war, no nonsense, physical, dark haired.

I had forgotten that the first season of Mannix focused on his square peg / round hole setting working at a Detective Agency named Intertect. They relied heavily on computers (heh, 1967 computers. A bunch of punch cards and reel to reel tapes!). Our boy Joe Mannix did not fit that mold, and he solved investigations his own way. An against the grain antihero.

Following that first season, Desilu Chief Lucille Ball ordered the computers and Intertect nixed. She felt they were just too modern and confusing to the TV audience (at least she didn’t jump in the way of tech with Star Trek, another Desilu product!).

So, from the second season forward, Mannix was on his own at his own Agency. Joe’s always helpful secretary Peggy Flair (the lovely Gail Fisher) was on his side, as were some Police Force contacts like M*A*S*H’s Larry Lindville and Mr. Brady himself, Robert Reed. But he always had some old Army buddy that was after him. I don’t know what Mannix did in the Army that got so many of his comrades ticked off at him, but it seemed that every 4 or 5 weeks one of them was after him. Maybe he stuck them with the KP duty once too often, or was the platoon trouble maker, getting leave canceled…

Best thing evah about Mannix was the veritable fleet of cars he went through. Let’s see, he drove:

66 Mercury Comet Caliente convertible (muy caliente!!)

67 Mercury Comet Cyclone convertible

67 Ford Galaxie 500 four-door

67 Ford Fairlane 500 four-door

67 Oldsmobile Toronado roadster (built by George Barris, because Olds never made a Toronado ragtop)

68 Dodge Dart GTS 383 convertible

69 Dodge Dart GTS 340 convertible

70 Plymouth Cuda 340 convertible

71 Plymouth Cuda 340 convertible

73 Plymouth Cuda 340 convertible (which was actually the 71 Cuda that they put the 73 front end on)

74 Dodge Challenger 360 Coupe

And finally a 75 Chevy Camaro LT

Poor Gail had to make due with Dodge Colt and a Chevy Vega.

Mannix was mas macho! Always ready to throw down when necessary, and the ladies loved him.

At the tender age of 8, I grew to appreciate the Twirling Tennis Skirt, seen here in the show open.

Unbelievably, Mannix ran from 1967 through 1975. Eight years! Oh my.

Watching The Detectives 11/18/09 CANNON

Watching The Detectives 11/18/09 CANNON

If ever an actor could project more drama, or color a scene so esquisitely with his voice, it was William Conrad. He was the definitive Marshal Matt Dillion on the radio version of Gunsmoke.

Ah, and the narrator for Rocky & Bullwinkle!

Unfortunately, Conrad only had a face for radio.

His series Cannon ran on CBS from 71 – 76. Yes, another Quinn Martin Production. Jake And The Fatman would come much later…

I loved his badass Lincoln Continental MKIV. Living large!

But, oh, the guest stars in this aptly entitled vignette:

Tonight’s Episode: Stars.

Bad Detectives 11/13/09: Dan August

Bad Detectives 11/13/09: Dan August

If there’s one thing I remember about Burt Reynolds on TV (well, other than that he was a bad guy on Flipper and seeing him on Gunsmoke) is that guy could leap! I remember that my brother and I used to try to copy his keen slide in the church, at homeĀ  in our kitchen. Maybe we should have tried it in church because we usually just hit the wall at the back of the kitchen. If only our parents had left the wood floors as they were instead of installing the wall to wall carpeting…

But here he is running. And leaping. And running. And racing. And leaping. And fighting. And leaping. I suppose this hearkens back to his football days at Florida.

This show aired for one season. But that was enough. How could you not like this show? Mr. Roper, The Six Million Dollar Man’s Oscar Goldman… what more could you ask for?

OK – Special Guest Star Fernando Lamas.

Happy now?

Here then – is Dan August.