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Mannix is coming!

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#1761 of 2195 Harry-N

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Posted April 09 2013 - 03:30 PM

Now, let's see. Philadelphia... Knows something about punch-cards and Mannix-era computers... Worked for a radio station for many years...

 

He's dropping all kinds of hints, blowing his cover.

 

I bet Peggy could help track down the missing information.

 

Where is she?

 

Probably kidnapped again...

 

I wonder if he used his real name... "Harry" sounds kind of hokey to me...

 

Harry


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A fugitive moves on, through anguished tunnels of time, down dim streets, into dark corners. And each new day offers fear and frustration, tastes of honey and hemlock. But if there is a hazard, there is also hope. - Closing narration to THE FUGITIVE, "Death Is The Door Prize".

#1762 of 2195 jompaul17

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Posted April 09 2013 - 03:41 PM

I wonder if he used his real name... "Harry" sounds kind of hokey to me...

 

Harry

 

Hmmm....

 

Most likely a typographical Freudian slip for "hockey" which goes with Philadelphia...

 

Another clue...

 

[mysteriously knocked unconscious by someone wearing a Flyers shirt]



#1763 of 2195 Harry-N

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Posted April 13 2013 - 04:52 PM

I just finished watching 6.19 "Carol Lockwood, Past Tense". This one started out like it was going to have some elements of Joe trying to find out something from his past like his lost Sunday, but it never really developed that way. A nice "coffee" scene came early in the episode.

 

Guests were Jason Evers, who had appeared in STAR TREK and played the missing son in THE GUNS OF WILL SONNETT. Also, a second turn on MANNIX from Jane Merrow, a British actress who had done some guest work on both SECRET AGENT and THE PRISONER. In fact, in THE PRISONER episode she was in, she was practicing her photography, and here she was a photographer again.

 

It seemed to me that Ms. Merrow was trying to disguise her British accent in this MANNIX episode. I'm not sure if that was by design or not, as her line "...a spot of business", a very British-sounding turn of phrase, was important as a clue to Joe.

 

Harry


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A fugitive moves on, through anguished tunnels of time, down dim streets, into dark corners. And each new day offers fear and frustration, tastes of honey and hemlock. But if there is a hazard, there is also hope. - Closing narration to THE FUGITIVE, "Death Is The Door Prize".

#1764 of 2195 jompaul17

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Posted April 16 2013 - 06:31 PM

I just finished watching 6.19 "Carol Lockwood, Past Tense". This one started out like it was going to have some elements of Joe trying to find out something from his past like his lost Sunday, but it never really developed that way. A nice "coffee" scene came early in the episode.

 

Guests were Jason Evers, who had appeared in STAR TREK and played the missing son in THE GUNS OF WILL SONNETT. Also, a second turn on MANNIX from Jane Merrow, a British actress who had done some guest work on both SECRET AGENT and THE PRISONER. In fact, in THE PRISONER episode she was in, she was practicing her photography, and here she was a photographer again.

 

It seemed to me that Ms. Merrow was trying to disguise her British accent in this MANNIX episode. I'm not sure if that was by design or not, as her line "...a spot of business", a very British-sounding turn of phrase, was important as a clue to Joe.

 

Harry

Harry,

 

Actually, I found that episode kind of overly reminiscent of "The Girl Who Came In With The Tide" only less intense. The basic story line was the same, but it lacked the chemistry between MC and Robert Reed, and even some intensity on the part of Peggy, each of which came into their own during "The Girl Who Came In With The Tide."

 

And too, I was somewhat bothered by Joe dating this young chick -- something that, thankfully, we never got to see. I'm not sure why they even needed to include that, or why they needed to make her so young. Strangely, Mannix included reference to Joe's love life sparingly, such that when it did, it seemed strange.  I once read an article where MC said that was on purpose, since he wanted Joe Mannix to be relatable to the common man, very unlike James Bond.

 

This is one of those episodes that had quite a few key scenes completely cut out on the bootleg copies of Mannix that were floating around during the dark years when there were no official releases -- those copies that came from TV Land, somehow through Asia.

 

So, when I saw the uncut version, I got to see that scene you refer to in the early part of the episode, the one where Peggy comes in late to find Joe waiting for her. Now, there are a couple of funny things about that scene.

 

First, that part where Peggy comes into the Paseo must have been filmed a couple of different ways, because another version appears in season 7's "A Question of Murder"  where Peggy is wearing the same outfit.  And, what is strange about that is that Joe's season 6, green 'cuda is there for that scene, even though the car has been replaced in season 7 with that brown hardtop. When I saw that scene, all those years later, I remember when I saw it for the first time, as a kid -- I thought they brought Joe's beloved 'cuda back! But, alas, it was not to be. We weren't supposed to notice that his green car came back, only to disappear later in the episode. So, they dressed Peggy up the same way, and just shot the staged version of the outside of Joe's office for the continuation of the scene in "A Question of Murder."

 

Second, when I saw that scene in Joe's office where he admonishes Peggy for being late, all those many years later since it was cut out of the syndicated runs, I found myself taking him seriously! This is one of those strange phenomena from watching the series so closely so long ago, then again as an adult.   It was not the only scene that produced this effect I will discuss below, far from it. But it is a big reason I love the experience of reconnecting with this series -- it pointed out, so clearly, changes in me. Joe was teasing Peggy -- that's so clear to see now. But, having been inured over the years with all sorts of experiences where the guy on the other side of the desk was, indeed, serious when he should not have been, and I often even assumed he was not, I thought -- gee, he really was kind of hard on her. Then, I realized the scene was showing just the opposite, about how close, trusting and playful they were with each other.  I also realized that I once understood that, and that there used to be more people just like that around.  And, when I put those things together, some sort of hardening of the arteries melted in me.
 
You just gotta love a series that holds a piece of you that you once liked much better than the person you became before the world beat you back -- back when you understood that taking beatings the way Joe Mannix did was OK, because, while they hurt him, they did not change his basic nature.
 
And that is a big part of the secret to life.


#1765 of 2195 Harry-N

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Posted April 24 2013 - 10:34 AM

I'm still trying to find time for the next episode, which I know has William Shatner in it. I want to devote full attention to that one and keep getting derailed by other things in life.

 

Harry


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A fugitive moves on, through anguished tunnels of time, down dim streets, into dark corners. And each new day offers fear and frustration, tastes of honey and hemlock. But if there is a hazard, there is also hope. - Closing narration to THE FUGITIVE, "Death Is The Door Prize".

#1766 of 2195 Harry-N

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Posted April 24 2013 - 11:46 AM

And instead of sitting at the computer typing away, I decided to watch that episode of MANNIX, Season 6's 21st episode, "Search For A Whisper." In addition to William Shatner, the episode featured two actresses noted for their turns in sci-fi-type shows. 

 

Susan Flannery, who played Shatner's wife in this episode, had turns on a couple of VOYAGE TO THE BOTTOM OF THE SEA episodes early on when females were still welcome on that show. And she had an important role in THE TIME TUNNEL's "The Day The Sky Fell In", that show's well-regarded Pearl Harbor episode.

 

Yvonne Craig was, of course, Batgirl on the Batman series, and also had a turn in VOYAGE TO THE BOTTOM OF THE SEA in a first season episode that's somewhat infamous for its use of footage from Irwin Allen's THE LOST WORLD. Ms. Craig also showed up in green paint on a third season STAR TREK, "Whom God's Destroy." Stories I've read online suggest that Ms. Craig was rather annoyed at William Shatner's antics during the filming of that STAR TREK. One can only imagine her dismay at being cast in an episode of MANNIX that also featured Mr. Shatner - but luckily the two had no scenes together.

 

Also present in "Search For A Whisper" are some well-known character actors. Philip Pine appeared in just about everything including THE OUTER LIMITS, STAR TREK, THE FUGITIVE and VOYAGE TO THE BOTTOM OF THE SEA in one of that show's finest hours. And Noam Pitlik's face is well known throughout television shows of the era as he guested on just about everything, from comedies to dramas.

 

And we get to see Albie again after a bunch of years, but this time he's played by yet another well-known character actor, Milton Selzer, whose resumé must be as long as Mr. Pitlik's.

 

Don't you just love the '70's lackadaisical attitudes regarding airport runways? Mannix just drives onto the tarmac to greet his client. No security - nothing. Those were the days...

 

Harry


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A fugitive moves on, through anguished tunnels of time, down dim streets, into dark corners. And each new day offers fear and frustration, tastes of honey and hemlock. But if there is a hazard, there is also hope. - Closing narration to THE FUGITIVE, "Death Is The Door Prize".

#1767 of 2195 jompaul17

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Posted April 26 2013 - 05:01 PM

And instead of sitting at the computer typing away, I decided to watch that episode of MANNIX, Season 6's 21st episode, "Search For A Whisper." In addition to William Shatner, the episode featured two actresses noted for their turns in sci-fi-type shows. 

 

Susan Flannery, who played Shatner's wife in this episode, had turns on a couple of VOYAGE TO THE BOTTOM OF THE SEA episodes early on when females were still welcome on that show. And she had an important role in THE TIME TUNNEL's "The Day The Sky Fell In", that show's well-regarded Pearl Harbor episode.

 

Yvonne Craig was, of course, Batgirl on the Batman series, and also had a turn in VOYAGE TO THE BOTTOM OF THE SEA in a first season episode that's somewhat infamous for its use of footage from Irwin Allen's THE LOST WORLD. Ms. Craig also showed up in green paint on a third season STAR TREK, "Whom God's Destroy." Stories I've read online suggest that Ms. Craig was rather annoyed at William Shatner's antics during the filming of that STAR TREK. One can only imagine her dismay at being cast in an episode of MANNIX that also featured Mr. Shatner - but luckily the two had no scenes together.

 

Also present in "Search For A Whisper" are some well-known character actors. Philip Pine appeared in just about everything including THE OUTER LIMITS, STAR TREK, THE FUGITIVE and VOYAGE TO THE BOTTOM OF THE SEA in one of that show's finest hours. And Noam Pitlik's face is well known throughout television shows of the era as he guested on just about everything, from comedies to dramas.

 

And we get to see Albie again after a bunch of years, but this time he's played by yet another well-known character actor, Milton Selzer, whose resumé must be as long as Mr. Pitlik's.

 

Don't you just love the '70's lackadaisical attitudes regarding airport runways? Mannix just drives onto the tarmac to greet his client. No security - nothing. Those were the days...

 

Harry

 

Harry,

 

But, you didn't tell us the most bizarre thing about this episode!

 

It is, almost line for line, the same exact script as "Skid Marks on a Dry Run" which is episode #002, production #003, of the entire series.

 

Yep, the show plagiarized itself, relying upon the low ratings for season 1, and thinking that people who watched season 1 would not remember this story five years later.

 

Why did they do this? Someone made mention of a writer's strike around that time. But, I really don't know why. Maybe someone else can shed some light?

 

What this winds up doing is a kind of rare thing. You get to see how the main character plays himself so differently, five years later, virtually the whole evolution of the series later. Well, sort of. This is kind of a thin script, not giving MC much to do, really.  So he has only limited ability to do that.   Maybe that is why they picked this script to plagiarize -- it is utterly un-memorable.

 

But, the head to head comparisons that exist are kind of interesting.

 

One is the poolroom scene. That one is almost worth playing back to back with the 1967 version. MC is more laid back, confident, less edgy. But the lines and scenes are utterly the same.

 

Another thing worth noting is that the 1967 version contains the scene where Joe punches the guy out that graces the opening of Mannix, the scene shot from multiple angles. They did not re-do that scene in the 1972-73 version, instead having Joe jump down from the balcony of the Paseo to get the bad guy. So, that got softened a bit.

 

But, they left the cringe-worthy line in there where Joe says, "They say every secretary is just a little bit in love with her boss."

 

Really?

 

That line was just fine when Joe said it in the context of his working for Intertect. But, what the heck was he doing saying that after Peggy worked for him for five years?

 

What he admitting something there???

 

And yes, this episode points out the whole Albie thing.

 

My memory may not be exact on this, and others can check me on this. But, I believe that, other than this episode, Albie appeared only in season 2, and was played by another actor then. Albie was mentioned in other seasons, when Joe would say something to Peggy like, "We can use Albie on this." Then, Albie would come up with something -- but you would never actually see him. After season 2, he became a kind of phantom presence.

 

I guess maybe the writers were originally uncertain of how they were going to build scripts with only Peggy out there when they used to have Lou and then maybe Parker or some other Intertect employee to act as foils for Joe. And maybe they also initially thought Peggy would not be a strong enough foil for Joe, so they brought in Albie.

 

Of course, that was quickly proved wrong, not only was GF great, but Robert Reed came in there and practically re-invented the whole concept of the "buddy cop," laying the foundation for other series as well as for Ward Wood -- and so Adam Tobias and Art Malcolm became the virtual regulars. All of that transitioned -- both the strength of Gail Fisher as well as the introduction of Robert Reed -- around the end of season 2, when Albie disappeared, probably not coincidentally.  Of course, both Gail Fisher and Robert Reed were perfect in "The Sound of Darkness" -- taking Joe Mannix to the next level -- and the rest is history.

 

But, this Albie thing never went completely away.

 

So, with this script lying around that needed this third banana who was not a cop Buddy, they brought Albie back -- with a different actor -- just a one-shot kind of thing that no longer had anything like the original relationship in season 2.

 

That's because they didn't need it.

 

At this point MC grew into the character enough so that he didn't need a bumbling friend for comparison in order to look "larger than life."

 

In fact, that is one of the great things about this series. MC always had the guts to let his supporting cast not only grab scenes, but even make Joe Mannix look bad at times, with this type of guts starting in "In Need of a Friend" when he gives the scene over to Peggy and then again in "The Girl Who Came in With the Tide" when he gives the scene over to Adam Tobias.

 

All that did was make Joe look that much bigger, because MC could pull that off -- the beauty of that character was that he could look like the biggest guy in the room even when he was on the ropes.  Hence, no need for the much cheaper plot device of placing Joe against a bumbling, lesser buddy in order to make himself look "larger" by comparison.  Thus, Albie went away, and Joe went to take on classic, heroic themes instead -- putting himself on the line time and again. 

 

So sweet.

 

But, this episode, weaker of plot and with the return of Albie, seems out of place -- because it is. It belongs to a different Mannix, before the series found out what it was all about.

 

Still, note one thing about it.

 

There is a point in this episode where Joe figures out his client is actually a bad guy. And, I don't recall there ever being mention of his being paid. Now, I could be wrong, and maybe he was paid up front.  But, I don't think that normally happened.

 

But, I got to thinking about this -- and it is yet another thing that makes this series so special.

 

Joe's clients turn out to be bad guys quite a bit -- not all of the time, but it does happen. And, when he finds this out, he does not stop working to reveal the truth. He is under no obligation to do this, not from the law or certainly from any obligation to his client to put them in jail.  A modern-day attitude is to work for the most money one can and, beyond that, simply stop -- certainly not risk anything just for the quaint sake of doing the right thing.

 

This attitude embodied by this character is a kind of spirit really -- one we often take for granted as still being there in our culture, still what we are all about. Only, spirit is really a matter of degree. We have more or less of that spirit, the more or less it is in our hearts and minds.

 

Right now, we have less -- this from a whole lot of firsthand experience and a lifetime of that.

 

I simply took for granted that Joe Mannix did the right thing in these situations, somehow doing the heroic kind of math done by someone who does have to be paid for a living, after all, but who finds that, after a certain point, something else matters more than money.

 

That decision point ultimately defines our very character -- and the fact that we both (a) need to make a living and (b) have the choice to put something else first is at the very heart of our culture.

 

That, and only that, is why we are built on the premise of freedom.  We have the freedom to work against what seems immediate, towards something that means more to us, even as we (most of us) still have to work for a living, still have to survive.

 

Heroes are at the heart of making that work -- certain kinds of heroes.

 

And that -- that -- is a heroic decision.

 

It is not one this hero is forced into by life's circumstances and it is not puerile, thus unlike so many heroes cut out of a kind of Peter Pan mould.

 

But, if you think about it -- really take the time to think about it -- the stuff of heroes is right there. even in this relatively tame episode. He makes the calculation that his skills will bring him enough of a decent living, and beyond that, something matters more that simply accruing more and more.

 

And, the beauty of this is that he is a kind of free agent in this regard, not bound as tightly by the law as the police or even lawyers. He lives at the intersection of belonging to society -- needing a licence to practice and making a decent living -- and deciding that, beyond those things, something matters more -- his freedom to make the choice to follow his own sense of right and wrong, when the time comes for that -- and those times come for all of us.

 

People used to make that choice far better than they do now.



#1768 of 2195 jompaul17

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Posted April 26 2013 - 05:03 PM

I'm still trying to find time for the next episode, which I know has William Shatner in it. I want to devote full attention to that one and keep getting derailed by other things in life.

 

Harry

 

Harry,

 

Haven't you skipped over quite a few episodes of season 6 -- or is it me?

 

I don't remember your take on, for example, "A Puzzle for One" or "The Upside Down Penny."



#1769 of 2195 jompaul17

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Posted April 26 2013 - 05:22 PM

found this incredibly fun website

 

 
One thing -- they say the Western Streets on the Paramount lot were torn down in 1979.  But, I remember my (very young) tour guide saying that they were torn down in around April of 2011 -- causing me much regret, since I knew Mannix used them and that the Paseo and New York streets were gone.
 
Dunno...
 
I would have given so much to see the Paseo -- exterior or interior. 
 
This link also has a bunch of other great information, including a shot of streets built for and used in The Fugitive.
 
It gives a sense of where all of those shows filmed in the 60's and 70's were being done, in relation to each other.
 
I had not previously known that The Dick Van Dyke show was not filmed on Desilu proper (now the Paramount lot), but on Desilu-Cahuenga (four blocks away), or that Lucille Ball moved Here's Lucy out of the Paramout lot to Universal after its second season, because she did not want to film on the old Desilu lot, or that That Girl (apparently) took over the old stage of The Dick Van Dyke Show.


#1770 of 2195 Harry-N

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Posted May 01 2013 - 08:55 AM

Harry,

 

Haven't you skipped over quite a few episodes of season 6 -- or is it me?

 

I don't remember your take on, for example, "A Puzzle for One" or "The Upside Down Penny."

 

No, I haven't skipped any to my knowledge, but there was a quiet period when I wasn't posting about every episode. I recall liking the one with the kid and the stamp collection, being a coin collector when I was a child. And I liked the other one you mentioned with Joe helping to track down why his fellow PI that he'd given some routine cases to, was murdered.

 

Today I started watching "To Quote A Dead Man" and was interrupted, but one scene in it echoed an amusing segment of the HERB ALPERT & THE TIJUANA BRASS FIRST SPECIAL that aired back in 1967. In that show, Herb & the boys listen to a playback of "Lollipops & Roses" on a soundstage and then Herb relays the stories of how he found each member of the Brass. At the 5:56 mark of this video, we see pianist Lou Pagani in his "one man show" at the Hollywood Bowl. As he concludes, a sleeping "hobo" sits up and claps his hands a couple of times, before falling back down.

 

 

The sight of the "hobos" in the Mannix episode, scouring the Hollywood Bowl for food scraps from a Tchaikovsky concert the night before was just so very reminiscent of that earlier comical scene, I just had to laugh.

 

I'm amazed at how un-David Wayne-like David Wayne looks in this episode. At first glance I mistook him for Albert Salmi! But this episode is showing us goodhearted Joe, helping out a poor fellow in need, and putting his life on the line to solve a mystery.

 

Harry


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A fugitive moves on, through anguished tunnels of time, down dim streets, into dark corners. And each new day offers fear and frustration, tastes of honey and hemlock. But if there is a hazard, there is also hope. - Closing narration to THE FUGITIVE, "Death Is The Door Prize".

#1771 of 2195 Harry-N

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Posted May 05 2013 - 07:11 AM

Yesterday I watched "A Problem Of Innocence" (6.23). Seeing Fritz Weaver was a treat - he usually delivers a pretty good performance. So when Fritz's character seemingly dies in the teaser, I just knew he'd be back somehow.

 

His daughter in the episode was played by a young Ann Archer, whose character seemed to have a bit of chemistry between her and Joe Mannix. Though not seen, Toby is mentioned as being quite able to cook at age 12.

 

The guy who plays Marion Ross' current husband in the episode is Bing Russell. He usually played either cops or western characters in his career, and he's the real-life father of actor Kurt Russell. I hadn't known that fact until recently looking him up from a FUGITIVE appearance I watched a few days ago, and he coincidentally showed up here.

 

Harry


My DVD Collection

A fugitive moves on, through anguished tunnels of time, down dim streets, into dark corners. And each new day offers fear and frustration, tastes of honey and hemlock. But if there is a hazard, there is also hope. - Closing narration to THE FUGITIVE, "Death Is The Door Prize".

#1772 of 2195 jompaul17

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Posted May 07 2013 - 10:33 AM

No, I haven't skipped any to my knowledge, but there was a quiet period when I wasn't posting about every episode. I recall liking the one with the kid and the stamp collection, being a coin collector when I was a child. And I liked the other one you mentioned with Joe helping to track down why his fellow PI that he'd given some routine cases to, was murdered.

 

Today I started watching "To Quote A Dead Man" and was interrupted, but one scene in it echoed an amusing segment of the HERB ALPERT & THE TIJUANA BRASS FIRST SPECIAL that aired back in 1967. In that show, Herb & the boys listen to a playback of "Lollipops & Roses" on a soundstage and then Herb relays the stories of how he found each member of the Brass. At the 5:56 mark of this video, we see pianist Lou Pagani in his "one man show" at the Hollywood Bowl. As he concludes, a sleeping "hobo" sits up and claps his hands a couple of times, before falling back down.

 

 

The sight of the "hobos" in the Mannix episode, scouring the Hollywood Bowl for food scraps from a Tchaikovsky concert the night before was just so very reminiscent of that earlier comical scene, I just had to laugh.

 

I'm amazed at how un-David Wayne-like David Wayne looks in this episode. At first glance I mistook him for Albert Salmi! But this episode is showing us goodhearted Joe, helping out a poor fellow in need, and putting his life on the line to solve a mystery.

 

Harry

 

Harry,

 

I'm afraid that if you cross Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass with Joe Mannix you are going to get something so cool that you will see snow in Florida in July.

 

The Hollywood Bowl was used a couple of times in Mannix, to include the closing episode from season 1, "The Girl in the Frame" -- each time with sparse crowds and shooting going on.   It makes you wonder why the Hollywood Bowl would have wanted that kind of publicity.  But, that is the beauty of living in an era where people didn't think viewers were going to be so stupid that they would think that if they went to the Hollywood Bowl they were going to be shot at, just because Mannix used the setting that way artistically a few times.   People used to be given more credit for understanding the symbolism behind art, back before we became so literal -- to the point of using the word "literally" absolutely incorrectly, when we really mean "metaphorically" or "symbolically."  

 

The whole concept of the hobo is actually quite interesting.  They were a product of the depression-era, when it made more sense to wander and hop freight trains than to try to stand one's ground and find work, the product of an era before there were governmental safeguards built in that supposedly eliminated the need for that kind of thing.  Now, instead of hobos, we have homeless people -- a decidedly different concept.  Hobos were semi-functional, economically displaced people, presumed to be that way because something went wrong in society.  Homeless people are presumed to be the main cause of their own problems -- whether true or not, we tend to think that. 

 

So, hobos were kind of romanticized.  Notice how Joe Mannix even warms up to this hobo in a kind of romantic way.  He has one of his warmest smiles of the entire series at the end of this episode when the hobo hops the truck and moves on.  

 

I find this interesting for a couple of reasons.  

 

Mannix is the product of an era were TV series could include aging hobos and young hippies -- and Mannix had both.   Each live on the fringes of society, even if most hippies ultimately turned into yuppies and never seemed to live up to the kind of anti-establishment thinking that was supposed to be behind them.    But, the concept behind each is a kind of freedom, even if that freedom is borne of a reaction to something dysfunctional about society (the depression or the Viet Nam war).   

 

Against this backdrop of hobos and hippies you have characters like Joe Mannix.   A hobo approaches him and begs for his services, for free.   Joe initially denies him, saying, "widows and orphans only."   Then, of course, he, begrudgingly, but still willingly, is brought into the case.  

 

He is a bridge between the incredibly organizationally-minded culture of today, where organizations can be anything from government to industry, and the completely anti-establishment hobos and hippies.    Joe has services to offer and has to make a living.  He abides by some -- but not all -- rules.  The answer, for him, is always in the individual -- not in the organization.   by today's standards Joe lives on the "fringe" of society.   But not by the standards of his day.

 

In the day in which Mannix ran, he seemed kind of "square" -- conventional in a world of hobos and hippies. 

 

The funny thing is, compared to hippies, that generation that became so utterly and oppressively "square" as they became adults, Joe Mannix represents something of our romantic past, with analogies to the way Richard Nixon's policies would seem liberal viewed through the lens of today.

 

Notice too how Mad Men had an early episode about hobos, tying into Don Draper's past -- before the series became "Nietzsche does Days of our Lives."

 

I really liked the two episodes that weren't discussed here, "The Upside Down Penny" and "A Puzzle for One."   Mark had previously included some discussion of "A Puzzle for One," an episode where Joe and Peggy come across almost as a married couple.



#1773 of 2195 jompaul17

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Posted May 07 2013 - 10:44 AM

Yesterday I watched "A Problem Of Innocence" (6.23). Seeing Fritz Weaver was a treat - he usually delivers a pretty good performance. So when Fritz's character seemingly dies in the teaser, I just knew he'd be back somehow.

 

His daughter in the episode was played by a young Ann Archer, whose character seemed to have a bit of chemistry between her and Joe Mannix. Though not seen, Toby is mentioned as being quite able to cook at age 12.

 

The guy who plays Marion Ross' current husband in the episode is Bing Russell. He usually played either cops or western characters in his career, and he's the real-life father of actor Kurt Russell. I hadn't known that fact until recently looking him up from a FUGITIVE appearance I watched a few days ago, and he coincidentally showed up here.

 

Harry

 

Harry,

 

I also liked Fritz Weaver in "The Edge of the Knife."  

 

Something I did not notice first-run was that Mannix tended to have all sorts of recurring actors, some of which have been mentioned here before.   Bing Russell -- now that's a good one.  The IMDb lists him as being in only four episodes of Mannix, but I would have guessed more.  I did not know he was Kurt Russell's father.  

 

Joe's relative attraction to the various women he encounters is kind of a fun thing to appreciate as well.  You may be right about Ann Archer -- I confess to not noticing that.   The only guest actresses that came across clearly (to me) as having a special level of chemistry were Nancy Kovak and Loretta Swit.

 

Actually, the film noir contribution to Mannix allowed women to sometimes be the villain!   For my money, that gives women more credit than putting them in the position of always having to be saved.   Jessica Walter played both kinds -- needing to be saved in "Who is Sylvia?" and a villain in "Moving Target."

 

Towards that end, I find it endlessly interesting the way Mannix managed to maintain the relationship between Joe and Peggy being somehow special -- a special chemistry between them -- while still preserving Joe's ability to be attracted to other women.  

 

How the heck did they pull that off so well?  Incredible.



#1774 of 2195 Harry-N

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Posted May 07 2013 - 12:58 PM

One of my musical passions is Herb Alpert, his work with the Tijuana Brass in the '60s and his solo work from the '70s to today. It seems we all gravitate towards what we loved when we were in our teens, and that passion never leaves. Thus my favorite TV shows to watch all emanate from that period of time, including MANNIX, which ran well into my 20s.

 

Funny you mention Jessica Walter as she appeared in the final episode of Season Six, "The Danford File" playing in her third MANNIX episode. As the show  started, I was immediately paying attention to the guy with the thick silver/gray hair. I thought he looked like the fellow who played the American lead on the British TV series MAN IN A SUITCASE, and sure enough, a quick check of the credits revealed that it was indeed Richard Bradford.

 

The gubernatorial candidate in the episode was John Gavin, who had played Sam Loomis in Alfred Hitchcock's PSYCHO. And Arlene Martel had played in both THE OUTER LIMITS and as Spock's betrothed, T'Pring, in STAR TREK. This was her second appearance in MANNIX.

 

The thing about actors appearing frequently in these type of shows is that during first run, there tended to be a lot of separation between the episodes. Most didn't guest more than once per season in a show - some did for sure - but it's a credit to the actors and the make-up/wardrobe/hairdressing people that made these people look different every time they appeared if they weren't playing the same role. 

 

Which brings up a question: Was there any actor or actress who appeared in more than one MANNIX as the same character? I'm not counting the various police detective types or someone like the Albie character. Joe Mannix seemed to know a lot of people. It seems like there should have been a character somewhere that showed up more than once, a golfing buddy. I forget - did his father show up more than once?

 

I know that on THE FUGITIVE, Eileen Heckart reprised her role as a nun the Richard Kimble had dealings with on two different occasions, but that's the only one, other than his sister who appeared in more than one episode as the same character.

 

On to Season Seven!

 

Harry


Edited by Harry-N, May 07 2013 - 12:58 PM.

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A fugitive moves on, through anguished tunnels of time, down dim streets, into dark corners. And each new day offers fear and frustration, tastes of honey and hemlock. But if there is a hazard, there is also hope. - Closing narration to THE FUGITIVE, "Death Is The Door Prize".

#1775 of 2195 Harry-N

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Posted May 10 2013 - 07:46 AM

As I prepare to start Season Seven, I spotted this appropriate ad for sale on eBay:

 

TVGuideAdPolkaDot.JPG

 

Maybe I'll watch it at 8:30.

 

Harry


My DVD Collection

A fugitive moves on, through anguished tunnels of time, down dim streets, into dark corners. And each new day offers fear and frustration, tastes of honey and hemlock. But if there is a hazard, there is also hope. - Closing narration to THE FUGITIVE, "Death Is The Door Prize".

#1776 of 2195 jompaul17

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Posted May 10 2013 - 01:30 PM

One of my musical passions is Herb Alpert, his work with the Tijuana Brass in the '60s and his solo work from the '70s to today. It seems we all gravitate towards what we loved when we were in our teens, and that passion never leaves. Thus my favorite TV shows to watch all emanate from that period of time, including MANNIX, which ran well into my 20s.

 

Funny you mention Jessica Walter as she appeared in the final episode of Season Six, "The Danford File" playing in her third MANNIX episode. As the show  started, I was immediately paying attention to the guy with the thick silver/gray hair. I thought he looked like the fellow who played the American lead on the British TV series MAN IN A SUITCASE, and sure enough, a quick check of the credits revealed that it was indeed Richard Bradford.

 

The gubernatorial candidate in the episode was John Gavin, who had played Sam Loomis in Alfred Hitchcock's PSYCHO. And Arlene Martel had played in both THE OUTER LIMITS and as Spock's betrothed, T'Pring, in STAR TREK. This was her second appearance in MANNIX.

 

The thing about actors appearing frequently in these type of shows is that during first run, there tended to be a lot of separation between the episodes. Most didn't guest more than once per season in a show - some did for sure - but it's a credit to the actors and the make-up/wardrobe/hairdressing people that made these people look different every time they appeared if they weren't playing the same role. 

 

Which brings up a question: Was there any actor or actress who appeared in more than one MANNIX as the same character? I'm not counting the various police detective types or someone like the Albie character. Joe Mannix seemed to know a lot of people. It seems like there should have been a character somewhere that showed up more than once, a golfing buddy. I forget - did his father show up more than once?

 

I know that on THE FUGITIVE, Eileen Heckart reprised her role as a nun the Richard Kimble had dealings with on two different occasions, but that's the only one, other than his sister who appeared in more than one episode as the same character.

 

On to Season Seven!

 

Harry

Harry,
 
We do tend to gravitate to music, TV and film from our teens and 20's, but I don't think it is always that simple.    Being older means simply having seen more than younger people, which includes seeing trends leave and come back again, sometimes in different form.   Seeing more means we have more of a basis for evaluation, so that when we pick and choose some things from our youth, we can think of ourselves as being buried in nostalgia.  But, that is a trap that can take away the real value the kinds of evaluation that require generations in order to see.  On the other hand, younger people who did not experience certain things the first time around can sometimes feel jealous, and thus accuse older people of being mired in the past.   Disco, the adult Michael Jackson and all sorts of music from the late 70's and early 80's should be right there in my primetime of nostalgia -- and, to this day, I can't stand that music.
 
Did you ever wonder why we call "classical" music "classical" even if it was written in relatively recent years?   Some music played on so-called "classic" music stations was written more recently than some rock songs. That is because it was written in a "classic" style -- where the emphasis is on things other than beat and tambour.   I read (actually listened to) a great book on this, which put all sorts of things about music into perspective,  "This is Your Brain on Music" by Levitin.    He didn't say this in the book, but it made sense (to me) that the late 60's represented a transition between music that included the actual song (the music on the sheet of paper) the arrangement (the set of instruments that could also be re-created) and what he calls "tambour" which is really an artist-specific kind of "sound" built for the recording industry -- difficult to re-create exactly by other artists.   Rock and Roll has been dominated by "tambour" -- which is one reason why re-recordings of classic rock songs sound just awful, even if they are "off" by just a little bit, even when they are re-recorded by the same artists years later!  We are used to hearing the exact -- exact -- sound produced by even just a few instruments.
 
On the other hand, how many times have classical and certain "standard" songs been re-recorded, to great effect?  That is because the actual song merits interpretation a lot of different ways.
 
Herb Alpert was one of a class of artists that represented a kind of a bridge between songs and "sound" -- his songs (the actual music) were intriguing.   But so was his specific arrangement (his interpretation) as well as his "sound."  He represented both song and tambour in an era where song still meant something, but the fidelity of recorded music was getting good enough so that a specific sound could be sold as well.  For my money, The Beatles were this way as well.  Their songs can be re-done by others, and still be quite interesting.  They merit re-interpretation.   You got both from them -- song and sound.    Since then, almost all of the music has been about the tambour -- the "sound" more than the "song."   With few exceptions, you don't tend to get both anymore.   There are still good songs out there, and there is good sound -- but the blend of the two, for my money, was at its best in the late 60's, when the recording industry made the sound part of it new to people who already knew how to write songs.   Perhaps because I lean towards math just a bit, I miss it when the song means less than the sound.     The blend of both is ideal.    And Herb Alpert had both song and sound -- proof of which is this.  His resulting music was so distinctive, it created a sound copied by others -- including that part of score in Mannix that appears in various episodes, to include "The Odds Against Donald Jordan" when Joe turns on the radio in Peggy's office.
 
"The Danford File" is one of those episodes with something hidden in there, but it often goes under the radar.  The bad guy is yet another of Joe's ex-football buddies.   By my count, that makes three episodes in which ex-football buddies go bad (including "Return to Summer Grove" and "A Gathering of Ghosts").   Mostly, you think of Joe's ex-Korean War buddies going bad, but the ex-football chums have quite a record as well.
 
This is under the radar as a theme, but so significant.   Joe is established as a football star in both high school and college (even though he prefers basketball, as Mike Connors does in real life -- even playing some in college).   Joe even has a couple of pictures of himself playing football in both his office and apartment.   But, this is not a series where the hero glorified his past -- any part of it.   Heck, they never even went back to Intertect (with the exception of once small scene with Peggy early in season 2) to capitalize on some of Joe's exploits there.  
 
Just imagine a series doing that today.  
 
These days, every blade of grass the supposed hero once trod upon would be taken credit for, if it was at all possible to do so, especially military and football kinds of exploits, along with association with organizations like Intertect -- anything they can do to establish heroism "off-screen" by making connections.
 
Every degree, every association with something larger, everything that could cause that back-slapping good 'ole boy feeling would not only be exploited, but practically serve as the foundation for heroism we are simply supposed to accept.
 
But not in Mannix.
 
The beauty of Mannix is that it never relied upon anything but its main character and what he did on the screen.   You understood what heroism meant by what he did, not by what he was established to be.
 
And, since the main theme of the series was individualism, that was required in order to pull it off so well.   But, I know of no other series that does!
 
This leads into your final, excellent point.    Aside from the two-part episodes, where it was unavoidable, there was no recurring character of any kind, save the Intertect employees, Peggy, Toby, Joe's father, Albie, the various cop buddies (and those were practically interchangeable), and Bobby Troupe -- who appeared in a couple of episodes, playing piano in the bar across the Paseo.   
 
No villain recurred.  
 
No story line of any specific villain recurred. 
 
There was absolutely no overarching, soap-operaish plot or storyline that the show could lean on for even one or two episodes per year!    
 
What all of this meant was that when you tuned into Mannix each week, the hero stood completely on his own merits and your prior relationship with him -- no connection to a giant plot device of any kind, nor connection to even his own past, off-camera exploits.    Now, certain episode types did recur -- Peggy is kidnapped, for example.   But, those worked precisely because the character relationships that you saw right there on the screen made you want to see that kind of episode again -- in an era with no DVD, DVR, VHS, etc...
 
Everything about Mannix was done one episode at a time, right there on the screen for you to see from week to week -- and it was all about character, pulled off week after week after week with nothing to rely upon but itself. 
 
Ah, look at that sweet closing set of words, heroism "with nothing to rely upon but itself."

Edited by jompaul17, May 10 2013 - 02:00 PM.


#1777 of 2195 jompaul17

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Posted May 10 2013 - 01:39 PM

As I prepare to start Season Seven, I spotted this appropriate ad for sale on eBay:

 

attachicon.gifTVGuideAdPolkaDot.JPG

 

Maybe I'll watch it at 8:30.

 

Harry

Harry,

 

Ah, it makes me yearn for the days when so many people actually were watching the same show at the same time -- imagine that, given the recording and time-shifting possibilities these days. 

 

But, alas, 8:30 was too early for Mannix, even if they did put it there to go up against that NBC Mystery Movie -- and then they brought in that cursed cat with the stupid diamond necklace for that Mystery Double Feature....

 

Oh, and so I'll have to bring this up, even though it pains me.

 

Notice how the episodes of season 7 are about a minute (or more?) shorter than any other season.

 

It is to accommodate all of that Mystery Double Feature "packaging."

 

That's a full 24 minutes less of Mannix than we might have otherwise, and who knows what scenes?

 

Also notice how the opening does not change from season 6 to season 7.  That is because, right at the beginning of 1973, in the middle of season 6, they butchered the Mannix opening, and left it that way for season 7.   So, they only had that opening for the first part of season 6 to work with for the syndication and DVDs (season 8 gets a new opening).

 

Damn that cursed cat and all of her kittens and all of her kittens kittens ...  !!!



#1778 of 2195 Harry-N

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Posted May 11 2013 - 11:04 AM

The producers of MANNIX were already adept enough at quickly getting into and out of scenes in a hurry, so if the show was shortened a bit, it was expertly done. MANNIX, even in these S6/7-shortened mode, doesn't feel rushed the way modern shows do, trying to squeeze everything into a 40 minute time frame. Sometimes I can't even follow some of these more convoluted plots that play out in 40 minutes, and if I try to converse with the wife about what's just  happened, or what someone said, we just get further behind. There are no pauses - no breaks in the action until the lengthy commercial pods.

 

The Season Seven opener, "The Girl In The Polka Dot Dress" had an intriguing premise, with the psychic predicting a murder. The show featured two prominent STAR TREK first season guest stars in Alfred Ryder ("The Man Trap") and Robert Brown ("The Alternative Factor"). I was amused at the scene where Alfred Ryder is drugged, near death. His facial expression, and even the backing music, was identical to the STAR TREK scene where he was stunned by a phaser. Incidentally, Alfred Ryder also played in the Sutton Roley-directed "The Phanton Strikes" and "Return Of The Phantom". It's too bad he didn't match up with the next episode of MANNIX where Sutton Roley directs.

 

The lovely Joan Van Ark made her one-and-only appearance on MANNIX in this episode. We also hear that Toby is quite capable of preparing his own TV dinner, an echo from a late Season 6 episode with a similar remark. I loved Joe's attempt at reading Peggy's notes - a nice comic break. This first episode of the season also featured Robert Reed.

 

OK, on to Sutton Roley!

 

Harry


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A fugitive moves on, through anguished tunnels of time, down dim streets, into dark corners. And each new day offers fear and frustration, tastes of honey and hemlock. But if there is a hazard, there is also hope. - Closing narration to THE FUGITIVE, "Death Is The Door Prize".

#1779 of 2195 jompaul17

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Posted May 11 2013 - 11:30 AM

The producers of MANNIX were already adept enough at quickly getting into and out of scenes in a hurry, so if the show was shortened a bit, it was expertly done. MANNIX, even in these S6/7-shortened mode, doesn't feel rushed the way modern shows do, trying to squeeze everything into a 40 minute time frame. Sometimes I can't even follow some of these more convoluted plots that play out in 40 minutes, and if I try to converse with the wife about what's just  happened, or what someone said, we just get further behind. There are no pauses - no breaks in the action until the lengthy commercial pods.

 

The Season Seven opener, "The Girl In The Polka Dot Dress" had an intriguing premise, with the psychic predicting a murder. The show featured two prominent STAR TREK first season guest stars in Alfred Ryder ("The Man Trap") and Robert Brown ("The Alternative Factor"). I was amused at the scene where Alfred Ryder is drugged, near death. His facial expression, and even the backing music, was identical to the STAR TREK scene where he was stunned by a phaser. Incidentally, Alfred Ryder also played in the Sutton Roley-directed "The Phanton Strikes" and "Return Of The Phantom". It's too bad he didn't match up with the next episode of MANNIX where Sutton Roley directs.

 

The lovely Joan Van Ark made her one-and-only appearance on MANNIX in this episode. We also hear that Toby is quite capable of preparing his own TV dinner, an echo from a late Season 6 episode with a similar remark. I loved Joe's attempt at reading Peggy's notes - a nice comic break. This first episode of the season also featured Robert Reed.

 

OK, on to Sutton Roley!

 

Harry

Harry,

 

I also try to watch current shows -- emphasis on the word try -- by sampling some, and even watching two of them for at least a complete season or more, just these past few years.  I went through a period where I didn't watch any current TV, except for Mad Men, then decided to give some other dramas a try again.    Geez, what junk.  The storytelling isn't there.  The character development isn't there.  Not only are the shows shortened to 40 minutes, they seem to try to insert all kinds of personal drama into things, overblown backstories, making the drama seem like it floats on a washing machine filled with soap suds.    And, as I mentioned before, we are just supposed to accept that these characters are wonderful heroic types because of their resumes and that they have sufficient reason to love each other like a bunch of kids that have been left together too much after school and so just bond in order to feel less alone.

 

But, the past decades have been dominated by the drive for education and "family values" and so everything has to have a backdrop of resumes and interpersonal relationships in order to have any meaning to its primary audience at all.

 

The primary message of these heroes:  get yourself a resume, make a bunch of friends, and wear tight jeans.

 

For my money, that defeats the entire purpose of art, especially the art of character-driven TV, which, ideally, helps us to be better individuals when we are called upon to be individuals -- which amounts to the defining purpose of our lives.   When mythical heroes are mired in resumes and social relationships, we become so much less.   And story?  Who cares about story anymore when viewers are not challenged to think so much as to be confirmed for the extent to which they follow others -- anything from organizations to friends.

 

I distinctly remember the increased emphasis on humor as the seasons of Mannix went by, and more of Joe Mannix smiling -- remembered noticing that first-run.   Now, this is all very subtle.   But, I just love the way the series subtly evolved character like that -- kept it fresh while keeping its core the same.  There was more humor, and it was very well done.  But, it remained in good proportion, never turning the show into parody.   Mannix survived just up until the end of the parody generation, overlapping it somewhat, which is what made it look older when it was canceled.   Right then, we seemed to become so much "smarter" -- something that turned out to be the adolescent kind of smart that the Baby Boomer generation lived most of its life in. 

 

Toby sort of ages properly as the series goes on, up until season 8, when he is mentioned in "A Walk on the Blind Side."  There, Peggy gives his age -- and he becomes much younger.   Now, she does tell this to her kidnapper, so you might say she was lying on purpose.  Or, maybe they just blew it. The thing I love about this kind of error -- viewers can rationalize almost anything to make it work!  

 

The fun of it is how much viewers want to do just that -- proof that the myth matters to them that much, transcending detail, somehow more important than the moment in which it is viewed, and somehow more important than reality, itself.



#1780 of 2195 Harry-N

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Posted May 13 2013 - 05:19 AM

A thought occurred to me as I was watching a MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE, coincidentally a Sutton Roley-directed episode from around 1971 called "Blast", and that is something that I think was mentioned before, but it just sank in - that Season 7 was where MANNIX was on the air alone of the former "Desilu Big Three".

 

For yet more coincidences, I'd also just watched a FUGITIVE episode from the third season of that show called "Wings Of An Angel". It was made prior to the start of MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE and co-starred Greg Morris as a prison inmate. Flash forward to last evening and I'm watching "Climb A Deadly Mountain", and who shows up? Greg Morris, fresh from his now-former MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE gig, playing an escaped prison inmate. Sometimes it boggles the mind.

 

Unfortunately, Mr. Sandman got the better of me and I nodded off about 15 minutes into the story.

 

Harry


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A fugitive moves on, through anguished tunnels of time, down dim streets, into dark corners. And each new day offers fear and frustration, tastes of honey and hemlock. But if there is a hazard, there is also hope. - Closing narration to THE FUGITIVE, "Death Is The Door Prize".





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