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Mannix is coming!

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#1841 of 2195 OFFLINE   jompaul17

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Posted July 27 2013 - 08:50 AM

Ah, OK, http://www.hometheat...ming/?p=3891058

 

I'm glad someone's keeping track of all of this stuff. ;)

 

Harry

Harry,

 

Well, maybe not exactly keeping track, at least in an organized way, it's just an interesting discussion!  

 

It's curious how we have to force ourselves to keep track of some things, while others that we simply find interesting seem to require no effort!  There is an lesson for life in there somewhere...

 

Also, I made a small error in my previous post where I said the post numbers changed when the HTF was ported -- I meant page number.  The post numbers, of course, did not change.  It stuck in my mind though that the page numbers changed, because of different formulae for numbers of posts per page.   I suppose that means that the old, pre-port links made to previous posts will not work (since they were all linked to pages with different numbers) and the new ones will work only as long as the HTF stays ported to this site.



#1842 of 2195 OFFLINE   Harry-N

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Posted July 27 2013 - 10:23 AM

Joann, I could see what you were referring to in 8.17, "A Small Favor For An Old Friend". It had an opening with Mannix in his office, returning from a fishing vacation, and then immediately thrust him up to San Francisco. Our favorite stock footage of the underbelly of the plane landing on the runway was included too.

 

I enjoyed seeing some familiar San Francisco locations in this one, like the inside of the cable-car barn and Alcatraz to name but two. 

 

Back in the '80s, my wife had a technical course scheduled for a Saturday in San Francisco that she wanted to attend, so we drove from our PA location up to Newark Airport and caught a People Express red-eye to San Francisco. It was my first trip there. We checked into a rather Japanese-styled hotel at 2 in the morning. As she went off to her class, I began my love affair with that wonderful city. I hadn't imagined how lovely it was. I drove up to Golden Gate Park and took pictures from the spot where Madeline jumps into the bay in VERTIGO, rode the cable cars from end to end, and met up with my wife that evening at Fisherman's Wharf. We were only there until sometime Sunday when we had to fly back to Newark, and my trip to Alcatraz would have to wait for a later trip. It's real easy to fall in love with San Francisco.

 

This it's always enjoyable to see it depicted in movies and TV shows, like this particular MANNIX.

 

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".

#1843 of 2195 OFFLINE   jompaul17

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Posted July 27 2013 - 05:36 PM

Joann, I could see what you were referring to in 8.17, "A Small Favor For An Old Friend". It had an opening with Mannix in his office, returning from a fishing vacation, and then immediately thrust him up to San Francisco. Our favorite stock footage of the underbelly of the plane landing on the runway was included too.

 

I enjoyed seeing some familiar San Francisco locations in this one, like the inside of the cable-car barn and Alcatraz to name but two. 

 

Back in the '80s, my wife had a technical course scheduled for a Saturday in San Francisco that she wanted to attend, so we drove from our PA location up to Newark Airport and caught a People Express red-eye to San Francisco. It was my first trip there. We checked into a rather Japanese-styled hotel at 2 in the morning. As she went off to her class, I began my love affair with that wonderful city. I hadn't imagined how lovely it was. I drove up to Golden Gate Park and took pictures from the spot where Madeline jumps into the bay in VERTIGO, rode the cable cars from end to end, and met up with my wife that evening at Fisherman's Wharf. We were only there until sometime Sunday when we had to fly back to Newark, and my trip to Alcatraz would have to wait for a later trip. It's real easy to fall in love with San Francisco.

 

This it's always enjoyable to see it depicted in movies and TV shows, like this particular MANNIX.

 

Harry

Harry,

 

Mannix made real good use of SF each time it went there, for one episode in each of seasons 7 and 8.   And, I agree with you, the city is beautiful -- been there quite a few times myself, for various reasons.  Normally I pick up different pieces of the city with the "extra" time.  But, I'll stick to my last post about it, I don't think SF would have served as well, on the whole, as a home base for Mannix as LA did. 

 

For one thing, the producers, in retrospect, seemed to see Joe as a kind of modern-day knight -- and the power of that parallel should not be underestimated.  I've thought about that parallel -- a lot -- these past few months, to include how important that foundation is to define who we are as a society that presumes the power of individualism -- at least so far (unless we lose our mythology).   

 

Given that, his car, as well as his way of getting around in it, on those surface streets, was his horse.  And, his gun was his sword.   On top of that, he often moved around a lot physically, something knights also did quite a bit.  And, of course, he fought for justice, one job at a time.  Knights are individuals that stand by society.   

 

Oh, and, did you happen to notice Peggy's last name -- Fair?

 

Given all of that, LA surface streets were better for moving around than SF would have been.  LA seemed to have endless locations for filming some fundamental kinds of scenes (hillsides, water, nondescript neighborhoods, desert-like vistas), whereas SF has quite a few more recognizable landmarks -- but those are not very good for repeated use as backdrops.

 

One thing to note about Mannix though -- Joe never used the freeway!   He used his car -- a lot -- but he always used surface streets.  Whenever we saw him speeding somewhere, it was in the canyons or up the Pacific Coast Highway -- not a freeway, by any means.   Of course, that was on purpose as well.  Freeways have no spiritual value -- one looks the same as all the others (for the most part).   But, when we see canyons or ocean, we think of connection to the land -- otherwise nondescript land that is not a "landmark."  We sometimes see Joe on or under the Santa Monica Pier, but that is about it, as landmarks go in LA.   And, even, then, it is sometimes referred to just as "the pier" as if it could be just any pier that is around -- nothing landmark about it.

 

Thus, it is kind of odd to see Joe running around "named" landmarks -- all of which are recognizable to people who have visited SF (although I never did make it to Alcatraz...).   When he does that, he become less universal -- more connected to a city.   Of course, he can get away with this because those episodes are mini-adventures, not his permanent place of story telling.

 

Knights are supposed to be more universal than that -- and so LA worked perfectly for Joe.

 

As for the episode itself, I remember watching it first-run, and being quite bothered by seeing that apartment in Joe's name!   You mean Joe has an address other than 17 Paseo Verde???  No!!!!!!!

 

That was also when I noticed that certain episodes of season 8 do not quite have Peggy or the LA police in there when you think they might.  Now, they had this all set-up so that no one in LA could really help -- Joe was gone for weeks prior to encountering his set-up in SF, so he was pretty much left to his own devices there.  But, it did seem kind of strange that he would not even make a call to Peggy -- I guess we are to presume he did, but that it wasn't worth showing to us.  I think GF might have gone through a few problems towards the end of the series -- but, she does come back strong in a few episodes near the end, thankfully.  And too, Mannix always had this "Joe alone in a small town" theme -- it's just that the "Joe alone" part was carried off in SF instead -- not quite a small town, but a theme carried off to great effect anyway, especially when combined with yet another nutty buddy!  And, of course, if you are all alone, you don't have Peggy to help you sort things out.

 

BTW, I loved the opening exchange when Joe comes back into the office!  

 

This is not the first time Joe is reported to have been away for a month or more (another time is in s6's "The Inside Man)."  What the heck does Peggy do the whole time he is gone???


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#1844 of 2195 OFFLINE   Harry-N

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Posted July 28 2013 - 09:21 AM

Great points. You're right, Joe was never seen on the ever-pervasive L.A. freeways. Having only surface streets and canyon/coast roads in evidence harkens back to a time when freeways didn't exist, bringing up the timelessness or "universal" nature of the series.

 


What the heck does Peggy do the whole time he is gone???

 

Opens the mail, makes coffee, straightens Joe's desk and the office...

 

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".

#1845 of 2195 OFFLINE   jompaul17

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Posted August 03 2013 - 06:59 AM

Great points. You're right, Joe was never seen on the ever-pervasive L.A. freeways. Having only surface streets and canyon/coast roads in evidence harkens back to a time when freeways didn't exist, bringing up the timelessness or "universal" nature of the series.

Harry,

 

More than that, the feel of being in those canyons and in the neighborhoods makes him so much more like the modern-day equivalent (in the 60s and 70s) of the knight errant.  His purpose is not to get from point A to point B as fast as he can, have the souped up car, have the overpowering weapon, exhibit some detached sense of wit, serve as the arm of the people, run from anything in his past, live for the sake of his buddy, to escape pin and consequences, or even to uphold the law.   His purpose is to be engaged, to live adventures that have to do with helping others.  Classic stories tells us that when we do that, we find ourselves.  When we welcome the adventure for the sake of helping others, we find ourselves, as individuals.

 

Joe Mannix is the modern-day equivalent of the knight of classic stories, and that is what western civilization is founded upon, when it comes right down to it. 

 

 

 

Opens the mail, makes coffee, straightens Joe's desk and the office...

 

Harry

 

Oh, but how different those things must seem without Joe there ;)



#1846 of 2195 OFFLINE   Harry-N

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Posted August 03 2013 - 08:58 AM

Regarding 8.08, "Enter Tami Okada", has the theory been put forth that this episode might have been a pilot film for a proposed series with the actor, Mako in the lead. The episode kind of played that way.

 

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".

#1847 of 2195 OFFLINE   jompaul17

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Posted August 03 2013 - 12:01 PM

Regarding 8.08, "Enter Tami Okada", has the theory been put forth that this episode might have been a pilot film for a proposed series with the actor, Mako in the lead. The episode kind of played that way.

 

Harry

Harry,

 

I had a similar thought -- or, depending upon how you look at it, a worse thought -- when the episode first ran.   A spin-off would have been fine, but I thought they were going to give Joe Mannix a side-kick (no pun intended)!  

 

One thing to remember about that time -- Kung Fu was a hit, but David Carradine was difficult in that role.   I remember reading some pretty bizarre stories about him at the time, about the way he was raising his kid in less than sanitary conditions (to say the least).  And, he was known for being difficult on the set.   His defenders said that he was burned out because he was in an action-oriented series and in nearly every scene of long-running (50 minute) episodes during those days -- but, hey, so was Mike Connors, and for eight seasons!   What did Kung Fu run -- 3 seasons? Wikipedia says 63 episodes, which means only 21 episodes per year (on average anyway), compared to Mannix' 24 (and 25 in two seasons) and over eight years! 

 

Also, I distinctly remember that when "Enter Tami Okada" first ran "Everybody's Kung Fu Fighting" was a bit hit song -- in fact, just exactly when that episode ran.  Listening to the song on the radio all week long reminded me of the episode of Mannix that I just watched.

 

So, with Mannix going into its eighth season, I was suspicious about the addition of a sidekick that was going to bring in this Kung Fu craze.  In re-watching the episode all these years later, I can see both why I felt that way and why my suspicions were unfounded. 

 

First, why I felt that way -- Joe Mannix never really worked closely with anyone on any case before this episode.  I don't count Lew Wickersham because Joe was always going against Lew and then the police -- that was the way they portrayed the true individual. Others had all the power, and Joe went his own way anyway -- going up against them in the process.    Albie Luce was more of a foil -- a foil that wanted to be a partner who was clearly no equal of Joe.   Actually, the producers knew what they were doing when they got rid of him after only a few episodes (only to return in season 6 when they were forced to re-do the same episode and they needed a body in the office to make it work).  Peggy, of course, worked for Joe.  But, Tami Okada was someone with some similar kinds of skills who Joe treated with some deference -- as a kind of equal -- highly unusual, thus suspicious.   For someone who watched the series from its very beginning, this episode just felt categorically different.   I didn't want to see Joe with a sidekick, for reasons I could not put down on paper then, but understand much better now -- it would have ruined the central theme of his character as a true individualist. 

 

But, that is why my suspicions were unfounded.  After some research, those behind Mannix clearly understood the character well enough to make my suspicions unfounded.  Thus, my guess now is that, indeed, you are right, and there was some playing around with the idea of establishing the highly personable (and physical) Mako as a kind of hybrid between Kwai Chang Caine and Joe Mannix -- quite a curious thought, actually. 

 

In any event, I can't agree enough that the episode has a kind of different, spinoff kind of feel to it.  But, as always, they managed to keep enough good stuff in there to make the episode worthwhile -- those behind Mannix were so skillful at that.

 

Actually, there are only 4 episodes of Mannix that really miss the mark -- they just don't feel like Mannix -- and even those could count as two, because they are the two-part episodes of seasons 7 and 8.  I don't really want anything to do with either of those episodes -- almost to the point that I consider Mannix a 190 episode series, since Mike Connors is in those episodes, but hardly as Joe Mannix.  But, "Enter Tami Okada" while a bit unusual, still feels like Mannix.

 

And it is most likely the reason why I was very early to try sushi -- and I have been eating it ever since. 



#1848 of 2195 OFFLINE   Harry-N

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Posted August 03 2013 - 04:47 PM

Yeah, it's a good thing they weren't headed for a "buddy" idea. MANNIX works best as his own man doing his own thing. I really think that might have been a back-door pilot.
 
8.09, "Picture Of A Shadow" was quite good. I watched that one today and was happy to once again get to view Rosemary Forsyth.She had most recently been in 7.19, "The Girl From Nowhere", giving just a 14-episode separation. Of course, with a summer rerun season in between, it was much longer than that.
 
Jay Robinson, also in this episode, only got a 10-episode separation, as he was in 7.23 "Trap For A Pigeon."

 

It was nice to see Joe end an episode with a romantic interest still intact.

 

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".

#1849 of 2195 OFFLINE   Harry-N

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Posted August 05 2013 - 11:27 AM

Something I meant to mention a few episodes back, from 8.07, "A Small Favor From An Old Friend." It has to do with the private jet we see in the opening. There's a lot of references, both visually and with the call sign on the radio to the plane as "Citation-10-Uncle-Charlie", and we clearly see the taxiing plane with "N10UC" on the tail.

 

At about 3 minutes into the episode, we see a jet in flight, somewhat darkened, but with the clarity of DVDs, we can read the tail call sign as "N687LJ", so thi is obviously a stock shot - perhaps from another episode, maybe even from another series.

 

Then, just as the plane is shown exploding, if you do a freeze-frame through the sequence, you'll see one frame of a helicopter just before the fireball of the explosion.

 

Some interesting shortcuts taken by the producers, probably done to offset the cost of the San Francisco shoot.

 

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".

#1850 of 2195 OFFLINE   jompaul17

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Posted August 05 2013 - 01:36 PM

Yeah, it's a good thing they weren't headed for a "buddy" idea. MANNIX works best as his own man doing his own thing. I really think that might have been a back-door pilot.
 
8.09, "Picture Of A Shadow" was quite good. I watched that one today and was happy to once again get to view Rosemary Forsyth.She had most recently been in 7.19, "The Girl From Nowhere", giving just a 14-episode separation. Of course, with a summer rerun season in between, it was much longer than that.
 
Jay Robinson, also in this episode, only got a 10-episode separation, as he was in 7.23 "Trap For A Pigeon."

 

It was nice to see Joe end an episode with a romantic interest still intact.

 

Harry

Harry,

 

"Picture of a Shadow" is the episode that caused Mark, more than two years ago now, to say that he thought Mannix was finished in its eighth season.  His reasoning was because this episode was a rip-off of the movie Laura, and so Mannix had run out of fresh ideas.

 

Now, a few comments about this.

 

First, the episode is, in fact, a rip-off of Laura, of course.  Other Mannix episodes have been said to rip-off other things as well, including the movie DOA (for the "Mouse that Died") and Cape Fear (for "A Ticket to the Eclipse").   Of course, in TV of that era, episodes routinely ripped off other series in addition to the movies, as we have discussed here before as well.   No wonder either -- I mean, really -- 24 singular (no serialization) 50-minute episodes a week, year after year?

 

But, the same is true of this episode as well as those others -- they all have some Mannix-specific twists, and different endings.  In fact, the "Laura" part of this episode is really only a fraction of it.

 

Still, regarding that fraction, I have to say that, all these years later, I wound up bothered by seeing Mike Connors play the Dana Andrews part.  It wasn't because I loved the way Dana Andrews did it -- he was adequate in that role, but it didn't wow me.  The thing that bothered me was seeing Mike Connors play a character that was, well.... not quite Joe Mannix.  Curiously, I found his attachment to the presumed-dead photographer less Joe Mannix-like than he was when he was playing someone out of his mind in "Death is the Fifth Gear!"

 

The thing I have always loved about Joe Mannix was that he was -- and is -- such a singular character -- not like any other and in so many episodes and situation.   So, when he tried to be another just a little too much, it did not ring true -- which is probably what set Mark off.   

 

But, that brings up the another point -- about Joe's love life. 

 

Somewhere in the middle of the series, the producers had a problem with Joe and Peggy -- what were they going to do with them after that ending of "The Sound of Darkness" and into the first part of season 4.

 

So, I recently read an old article in one of those old-time TV and Movie star magazines about how the producers considered not only a romantic relationship between Joe and Peggy but, and this is the first time I had ever seen this in print -- actual marriage.  The article was published towards the end of production of season 6 (in January of 73) and it said this was considered during lower than expected ratings -- which didn't happen until season 6.   Notice how in, "A Puzzle for One" where they could almost BE married -- they come pretty close to coming across that way, even getting Peggy on two separate couches in the horizontal position on two separate occasions in that episode.  Think that was an accident?   I give the producers a lot more credit than that.

 

Now, those star magazines are known for being inaccurate, and have to be taken with a grain of salt.  But, I have also heard MC interviewed, sometime within the past 10 years or so, saying that a romantic relationship between Joe and Peggy was considered -- and I still see that out there on the Web.

 

So, loyal viewers were confused when they saw Joe go crazy in love with other people -- something he did in "Sing a Song of Murder" in season 7, and in this episode, in season 8.   He does not do it much.   But, when he does, viewers who got hooked with what seemed like a progression during the early seasons get a bit confused.  And, well, falling in love with a presumed dead woman with Peggy standing right there seems pretty insulting.  Heck, didn't those two just embrace in a nice, warm way at the end of "Walk on the Blind Side?"

 

Given the chemistry between them -- chemistry still discussed to this day in various viewer-oriented reviews of the series -- the producers had a Joe and Peggy problem.

 

But, the net effect would up being a few awkward episodes, like this one, and a pretty unusual kind of tension that, for my money, did nothing but add another dimension to the series.   That dimension, along with MC's desire to keep Joe more of an everyman, and thus not a ladies man, kept the episodes where Joe falls in love relatively rare.

 

Finally, along the same lines as Mark's thought that the series was over in season 8 -- I had not seen season 8 in nearly 40 years when we last had that discussion here.  Since then, of course, I have seen it.

 

Clearly there are some very fresh episodes in season 8 -- a few of which I am so grateful for.  

 

Now, in fairness, does season 8 have less "wall to wall" excellence than some other seasons?  Maybe so.  But, the ones that are excellent reach a level of mastery of the character that is probably what made it re-bound to the top 20, despite still being buried in those Sunday night timeslots.



#1851 of 2195 OFFLINE   jompaul17

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Posted August 05 2013 - 01:42 PM

Something I meant to mention a few episodes back, from 8.07, "A Small Favor From An Old Friend." It has to do with the private jet we see in the opening. There's a lot of references, both visually and with the call sign on the radio to the plane as "Citation-10-Uncle-Charlie", and we clearly see the taxiing plane with "N10UC" on the tail.

 

At about 3 minutes into the episode, we see a jet in flight, somewhat darkened, but with the clarity of DVDs, we can read the tail call sign as "N687LJ", so thi is obviously a stock shot - perhaps from another episode, maybe even from another series.

 

Then, just as the plane is shown exploding, if you do a freeze-frame through the sequence, you'll see one frame of a helicopter just before the fireball of the explosion.

 

Some interesting shortcuts taken by the producers, probably done to offset the cost of the San Francisco shoot.

 

Harry

Harry,

 

This is just the kind of thing I love to find out -- and did not notice myself before.   My guess is that the helicopter shot is the same one used in the opening (also from the pilot) and which was also used in s2's "Only Giants Can Play." 

 

I know there are a couple of other episodes where the tail number (also known as the N-number in the US) on the airplane does not match the call sign used in the dialogue.  Perhaps it should be viewed as more incredible that it does match, much of the time!

 

Honestly, I am still amazed in the quality of 50-minute episodes put out 24 times per year and, while the short-cuts, stock footage and inconsistencies are revealed on these DVDs, it is just amazing how much location shooting is in there, the lack of CGI, and the sheer number of different settings in each episode of Mannix.



#1852 of 2195 OFFLINE   Harry-N

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Posted August 05 2013 - 01:47 PM

I can still appreciate Joe's fascination with Rosemary Forsyth. I think I'd react the same way... And the fact that a love interest wasn't dead by episode's end,  rang more true-to-life than the episodes where the reverse is true. All it DOES do is make one wonder what happened to the romance by the time the next episode rolls around.

 

As for N10UC, if one looks that up on the web, it said on one site that the plane wasn't built until 1980. That tells me that since they were using the tail number verbally, they made sure it was fake at that point - like all the 555- telephone numbers.

 

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".

#1853 of 2195 OFFLINE   jompaul17

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Posted August 05 2013 - 02:58 PM

I can still appreciate Joe's fascination with Rosemary Forsyth. I think I'd react the same way... And the fact that a love interest wasn't dead by episode's end,  rang more true-to-life than the episodes where the reverse is true. All it DOES do is make one wonder what happened to the romance by the time the next episode rolls around.

 

As for N10UC, if one looks that up on the web, it said on one site that the plane wasn't built until 1980. That tells me that since they were using the tail number verbally, they made sure it was fake at that point - like all the 555- telephone numbers.

 

Harry

Harry,

 

Well, that's why they had that episode in there -- it had its own kind of appeal and I can surely understand that. 

 

As for the tail number -- that's pretty funny!



#1854 of 2195 OFFLINE   Harry-N

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Posted August 13 2013 - 02:52 PM

8.12, "A Choice Of Victims" was the episode I screened today. Jack Ging was back as the police presence, and the cast was another one that was largely unfamiliar to me. Karen Jensen as Laura Harris seemed familiar, but in looking her up on IMDb, the only thing I might have seen her in was a series called "BRACKEN'S WORLD" - and I don't remember much about that one at all.

 

Stanley Adams was back - wasn't he recently "Alby"? Now he's "Chip"? A chip off Alby's block? 

 

Joe going through cars liked they were disposable was a fun gag in this episode, as was the shoot-out in the studio's prop department.

 

I attempted "Desert Sun" and didn't get very far. I'll have to go back to that one someday. I fared a little better with "The Survivor Who Wasn't", happy to see Paul Burke who had been a star in both NAKED CITY and 12 O'CLOCK HIGH. But I still need to go finish that one some day.

 

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".

#1855 of 2195 OFFLINE   jompaul17

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Posted August 15 2013 - 12:54 AM

8.12, "A Choice Of Victims" was the episode I screened today. Jack Ging was back as the police presence, and the cast was another one that was largely unfamiliar to me. Karen Jensen as Laura Harris seemed familiar, but in looking her up on IMDb, the only thing I might have seen her in was a series called "BRACKEN'S WORLD" - and I don't remember much about that one at all.

 

Stanley Adams was back - wasn't he recently "Alby"? Now he's "Chip"? A chip off Alby's block? 

 

Joe going through cars liked they were disposable was a fun gag in this episode, as was the shoot-out in the studio's prop department.

 

I attempted "Desert Sun" and didn't get very far. I'll have to go back to that one someday. I fared a little better with "The Survivor Who Wasn't", happy to see Paul Burke who had been a star in both NAKED CITY and 12 O'CLOCK HIGH. But I still need to go finish that one some day.

 

Harry

Harry,

 

"A Choice of Victims" has something unusual in Mannix -- an episode-specific, running gag about Joe. 

 

Now, a few episodes of Mannix are quite humorous in undertone, such as "A Pittance of Faith" and "To Quote a Dead Man," both from s6.  But, each of those have humor that pertains the client(s).   And, since you brought up Albie, there was quite a bit of humor surrounding him in season 2, where he made all of his appearances, save one.  But, curiously, none of that humor seemed to poke fun at Joe.   There was, of course, a running gag about the cop buddies arriving "just a few seconds too late" that would come at the end of various episodes -- best and also first done with Lt. Tobias -- their relationship innovated lots of things.  But, those came across various episodes, and they really didn't poke fun at Joe so much as the police, thus used mostly to define Joe's character in a consistent way, across weeks. 

 

Similarly, there was the running gag of Joe never being able to find a match.  This occurred all throughout season 1, made a small reprise in season 2 (especially in "The Silent Cry") and then a real surprise reprise in season 4 in "The Only Game in Town" when Joe and Art Malcolm are beside the railroad tracks.  That served as a kind of touchstone for the character -- Joe being entirely competent in all the ways that really matter -- but never seemed to be concerned with paying attention to having matches on him.  Of course, these devices are important, since they establish Joe as being capable enough to take care of himself without having to rely upon the police -- a true individual -- and having the proper perspective on things, paying more attention to getting the things that matter done than to petty details like matches -- perhaps another important marker of a true individual, at least one of merit.

 

Now, like this one your brought up, episodes often ended on humor and had humorous scenes between Peggy and Joe.   For example, s4's "The Crime That Wasn't" ends on a humorous scene between Joe and Peggy, with that scene seeming to come from nowhere -- not really set up by anything else humorous in the episode.  There was, however, some very nice unrelated humor in that episode, especially between Joe and Adam Tobias.  But, the ending did not cap off a humorous sub-plot.  And, of course, there was all sorts of humor between Joe and Peggy over the years, such as the opening of s4's "Time Out of Mind" and also s4's "One For the Lady" -- a couple of scenes I truly love.

 

But, I can't think of another episode where a humorous sub-plot was about Joe, and which set up a humorous ending so very well.  The ending was set up so well that I distinctly remember watching the episode when it first aired, and noticing that the story line of Joe borrowing Peggy's car was not ended!   It got to the end of the hour and I thought -- are they just going to leave us hang on that??  

 

Of course, they do not.

 

And so, I love that ending -- sweet -- wanted so much to see it again.  That ending not only caps off that humorous story line, it also leverages, as so many things in season 8 (and really all throughout the years) do, the knowledge -- the relationship -- viewers have with these characters.  The series gave credit to the audience for being loyal fans -- they did not pander to the casual viewer -- and I love that about it.  But, I guess part of that also really has to do with the way both MC and GF seemed to live those characters out as alter egos.

 

Having said all of this, notice how this story construction, with the humorous sub-plot about Joe, really represents a departure, something different -- and right in season 8!   They seemed to never cease to try new things, never ceased wanting to try new things with these characters.   And, it was carried off brilliantly, as if they never got tired of Mannix.   I just expected this of Mannix when it first aired -- but am amazed by it now, after all of these years of seeing series get stale and rely upon formulae after, generally, five years, tops. 

 

This episode, along with "The Survivor Who Wasn't" reflects a kind of mastery, at least to me -- so, when you get to finish that episode, please post and I'll comment on that one. 

 

Now, for the supporting characters in this episode. 

 

I don't think the actor who played Chip ever played Albie Loos -- and Chip only ever appeared once, in this episode.   Albie was played by one actor in season 2 (Joe Mantell) and then by another in season 6 (Milton Selzer), in that re-worked episode from season 1, "Search for a Whisper."  But, at that point, Albie had all but disappeared, except by casual mention -- the only reason they brought him back was because they needed another body in Joe's office to substitute for the missing Intertect agent from the episode from season 1 "Skid Marks on a Dry Run" when they re-worked that episode for s6.

 

But, Chip certainly does raise the question, what the heck happened to Albie when they needed him -- because Chip was, for all intents and purposes, Albie with a different name!   Only, this time the humor was on both him and Joe! 

 

Jack Ging's Lt.  Dan Ives is a little different, of course, because he appeared semi-regularly all along, with his very serious debut in s3's "A Medal for a Hero" as Marcus Fair's ex Police Buddy (Ging appeared in one Mannix episode prior to this, "The End of the Rainbow" from s2, but not at Lt. Ives).  Dan Ives appears in a total of 7 Mannix episodes during seasons 3-8, including an important role in s7's "A Night Full of Darkness" when Lt. Malcolm is suspected of murder.  That one needed a cop buddy we could know and trust and Robert Reed seemed to be too busy that week to be very much in that episode, perhaps too busy dealing with the end of Mr. Mike Brady. 

 

So, in this particular episode you brought up, as in pretty much all of Lt. Ives episodes after his first appearance as Peggy's late husband's cop buddy/partner, I get the sense that he is a kind of substitute for Robert Reed's Lt. Tobias.   He is somewhat lighter in his approach than Lt. Malcolm, and so some of  those episodes that seemed to have more of a humorous interchange went to him.   But, Dan Ives is no Adam Tobias.  For example, I sort of pictured Robert Reed sitting in Joe's office chair -- which we have seen him do before -- but Lt. Ives seemed kind of out of place doing it in this episode.  So, there is a loss there.

 

Things are different in season 8.   Some episodes seem perfect for Robert Reed, but he is no longer there -- once again, likely due to his being banished from the Paramount lot since he was banned from the final episode of The Brady Bunch.  And too, Sutton Roley does not direct any episodes in season 8 -- making seasons 1 and 8 the only seasons where he does not direct any episodes of Mannix.  I read an article awhile back that said he was doing a movie during season 8 of Mannix.

 

And yet, there are certain episodes of season 8 that I just love and so wanted to see again -- and this is one of them. 

 

So, awhile ago, when I visited the Paramount lot, it became apparent just how much they used buildings that happened to be around -- the prop department and scene docks were used before, and in numerous episodes.  "The Silent Cry" (s2) "Deja Vu" (s4) and "One Step to Midnight" (s6) immediately come to mind.  But, when I watched those episodes for the first time -- for the first many times -- I never knew, and never cared.   All I paid attention to was those characters -- and, while I notice more behind the scenes things now, I love the fact that I still do that -- and still find layers of value in them.



#1856 of 2195 OFFLINE   Harry-N

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Posted August 15 2013 - 04:27 AM

I don't think the actor who played Chip ever played Albie Loos -- and Chip only ever appeared once, in this episode.   Albie was played by one actor in season 2 (Joe Mantell) and then by another in season 6 (Milton Selzer), in that re-worked episode from season 1, "Search for a Whisper."  But, at that point, Albie had all but disappeared, except by casual mention -- the only reason they brought him back was because they needed another body in Joe's office to substitute for the missing Intertect agent from the episode from season 1 "Skid Marks on a Dry Run" when they re-worked that episode for s6.

 

But, Chip certainly does raise the question, what the heck happened to Albie when they needed him -- because Chip was, for all intents and purposes, Albie with a different name!   Only, this time the humor was on both him and Joe! 

 

 

There seems to be a bit of confusion regarding Alby/Chip. I did some research and found that I'm not crazy. IMDb reports that Stanley Adams played "Alby" in "Portrait Of Blues", the first episode of Season 8.

MannixIMDBAlby.jpg

 

OK, so we know IMDb can be wrong. Thus, I checked the actual episode. When Stanley Adams first appears, he's greeted and addressed by Joe as "Chip", and is dressed similarly to the character we know as "Chip" from "A Choice Of Victims". So at this point I'm figuring that I only associated the character with Alby because of the IMDb.

 

But not so fast; the end credits tell a different story.

vlcsnap-2013-08-15-08h13m40s100.jpg

 

So now it's not so clear just who this character is supposed to be. But my theory is this: The role in the first S8 was originally written for "Alby", but as a last minute bit of continuity, someone in the MANNIX production staff realized that Stanley Adams did not quite have the same on-screen presence as the prior Alby actors, so they gave him a new name, "Chip", onscreen, but neglected to change those closing credits.

 

Then for "A Choice Of Victims", he was brought back and properly credited as "Chip".

vlcsnap-2013-08-15-08h25m31s246.jpg

 

That's my story - and I'm sticking to it...

 

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".

#1857 of 2195 OFFLINE   jompaul17

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Posted August 18 2013 - 10:44 AM

There seems to be a bit of confusion regarding Alby/Chip. I did some research and found that I'm not crazy. IMDb reports that Stanley Adams played "Alby" in "Portrait Of Blues", the first episode of Season 8.

attachicon.gifMannixIMDBAlby.jpg

 

OK, so we know IMDb can be wrong. Thus, I checked the actual episode. When Stanley Adams first appears, he's greeted and addressed by Joe as "Chip", and is dressed similarly to the character we know as "Chip" from "A Choice Of Victims". So at this point I'm figuring that I only associated the character with Alby because of the IMDb.

 

But not so fast; the end credits tell a different story.

attachicon.gifvlcsnap-2013-08-15-08h13m40s100.jpg

 

So now it's not so clear just who this character is supposed to be. But my theory is this: The role in the first S8 was originally written for "Alby", but as a last minute bit of continuity, someone in the MANNIX production staff realized that Stanley Adams did not quite have the same on-screen presence as the prior Alby actors, so they gave him a new name, "Chip", onscreen, but neglected to change those closing credits.

 

Then for "A Choice Of Victims", he was brought back and properly credited as "Chip".

attachicon.gifvlcsnap-2013-08-15-08h25m31s246.jpg

 

That's my story - and I'm sticking to it...

 

Harry

Harry,

 

Now, that's some pretty good detective work!

 

Despite the fact that I was caught in an obvious error:

 

I don't think the actor who played Chip ever played Albie Loos -- and Chip only ever appeared once, in this episode.   Albie was played by one actor in season 2 (Joe Mantell) and then by another in season 6 (Milton Selzer), in that re-worked episode from season 1, "Search for a Whisper." 

 

I truly love it when this sort of thing is discovered -- love the concern for the series and the discussion.  Of course, this means that Chip appeared in both "A Choice of Victims" and "Portrait in Blues." 

 

Alas, I had to go back and re-watch "Portrait in Blues."   When I did, I discovered something -- other than the fact that your conclusions seem dead-on right -- that a brief and very Albie-like scene seems to have gone to "Chip" at beyond the last minute.  I discovered that this is one of a few episodes of Mannix that I seldom watch.   I think I might have seen it only a few times since season 8 fell back into my hands.  That is one reason the scene with Chip never stuck in my head.

 

I wondered why.  It is a decent episode, if not a great one.  But, a lot of episodes of Mannix are like that (hey, great is a relative term here), and I watch those quite a bit.  But, this one I tend to avoid.

 

So, this was a season premiere -- and the last season premiere.  My guess is that bit has something to do with my avoidance of the episode -- there is a certain sadness to it.  Something about the Fall, ironically, the time of year we are fast approaching, made anticipation of those opening episodes such an incredible thing to look forward to.  We looked forward to them for months.   What would be different this year?   The opening?  The jackets? The car? The office? 

 

In this case, it was both the opening and the car -- as well as Art Malcolm's office (Joe's changed in season 7, then remained the same for season 8).  And, too, the actors always look a bit different -- and, in the case of Mannix, the way MC played Joe Mannix always varied slightly, from year to year.  I can almost picture the people behind the show getting together in a room, in-between seasons, and coming up with a slightly different theme or tone to the season.    As I've mentioned before, the episodes are inter-related in ways I never understood before but have deep admiration for now -- for example, season 3 explores a very different thread than season 7, with some episodes seemingly filling in what you might consider to be missing scenes from other episodes.  

 

Perhaps for this reason, Chip is established (or Albie would have been re-established) in this episode in a scene which hardly matters -- why couldn't Peggy serve the same purpose Chip does here?   He is there because he is going to be used later on, in "A Choice of Victims."  One theme in season 8 tended to be more humor, more lightness, which carried throughout the season -- and Chip was needed as a foil for that episode.   He has gone completely missing in season 7, and hardly appeared since season 2!  

 

On a related note, one thing about this episode that I had all but forgotten, since I do not watch it very much, is that scene when Joe comes into his office to find Peggy reading the newspaper -- and she is in a sour mood.  I mean, Peggy has had some dark moods, but never sour moods!  Joe notices and has some Joe-like interplay with her -- in effect, teasing her out of it.   The series seemed to be poking some fun at itself -- even as it does in "A Choice of Victims."  But, in this one, it is poking fun at Peggy's constant upbeat attitude.  These episodes are related in tone -- and represent a kind of poking fun of itself humor largely unique to season 8.  Some of that same kind of humor also appears in "The Survivor Who Wasn't" as well as a few other scenes (yet to come) in season 8.

 

Why did they want someone named Chip instead of someone named Albie?  Maybe its because they didn't want to have three actors play Albie.  Or maybe its because no one could remember how to spell Albie's name.  I've seen it as Alby and Albie (the IMDb has it as Albie Loos in s2's "Merry Go Round For Murder," but a quick search for "Albie Luce" reveals lots of webpages where people think it is spelled that way).  Is it Albie Loos or Albie Luce or Alby Loos or Alby Luce?

 

Let's just go with Chip and be done with it.

 

It would seem that Ivan Goff and Ben Roberts stayed with Mannix for the full seven seasons, something rare these days, since they obtained new credits as script supervisors (if memory serves, this happened in season 7).  If so, maybe they were concerned with the relationship changing with Albie -- Joe never took advantage of him before, in the way he sort of does with Chip's car!  Or maybe it is just another of the collection of things that changed with season 8 -- which no longer had Adam Tobias or Sutton Roley and which now put Art Malcolm in a Kojak-style office on a police floor, instead of a more private office.  Probably the lightness in season 8 was related to the lighter tone adopted in many of the more recent detective series, including Kojak and Rockford

 

If that is the case -- and I bet it is -- then I'm amazed at the way Mannix blended toughness with lightness -- truly amazed -- because it managed to include the humor more, but never sacrifice its tough core.  And, as a result, the humor worked that much better.

 

So, going back to the reason I never seem to watch "Portrait in Blues," aside from the sadness of this episode being the last season opener, something still seems wrong about it.  After thinking about it some (so as to give the best possible answer to your post), I think it has to do with the story, itself, which was actually written by Mel Torme.

 

These young singers, Kim Milford and Bruce Scott, who played Chris and Danny, actually composed the songs in the episode, according to the credits anyway.  Bruce Scott, according to the IMDb, played "himself" in a few episodes of other series -- suggesting he had aspirations for a recording career.  And Kim Milford is described as a signer/songwriter on the IMBb as well.   So, watching the episode, it was kind of confusing.  These guys seemed to be singing these real songs, and yet, if they wanted real careers, it does not seem to be a lot of help to portray the outcome of this particular episode the way they did. 

 

On the other hand, if the point of the episode was to try to launch the singing careers of these two, then it ties into the theme of using Mannix for other purposes, the way we surmised "Enter Tami Okada" might have been intended to be a pilot. 

 

This suggests another reason why the episode is hard to watch.  They seemed to be setting the singing duo up as the sort of "stars" of the episode -- and in a Mannix opener?  It felt wrong -- worse, it felt suggestive that the people behind Mannix were growing tired of it, trying to branch out to other things. 

 

Thankfully, the season did not materialize that way!

 

Season 8 does come home, gets better and has its own, new, authentic Mannix feel to it.

 

By the way, since I was on that particular disk, another episode that I seldom watch is "A Fine Day For Dying."  That episode is production number 172, making it the third episode produced in season 8 (behind "Game Plan" and "Desert Sun.").  Notice the story about Joe's car being filled with bullet holes, suggesting he needed a rental car -- and he winds up with this boat of a red convertible (what was that car, anyway?) -- the last time we see him drive a convertible (or so I believe) -- but this one is a mid-70's boat.   Since he was out of town, Joe did not need his own car in either of the previously produced episodes -- and so the season 8, blue Camaro does not appear until -- your guessed it -- production number 173, which is "Portrait in Blues" -- the season opener.

 

So, maybe they wanted to give us the whole picture for the changes in season 8, to include Joe's new car -- and this is the first episode that has it all.

 

Aside form that, and in the category of noticing too much -- Joe's license plate number for season 8 -- the one that appears on his blue Camaro for the rest of season 8-- actually appears on some other car just sitting parked to the side in a street scene of "A Fine Day For Dying."  It makes one wonder how license places were worked out between the state of California and the Hollywood studios.  But, once they picked a plate for Joe, they seemed to stick to it, despite changing cars in season 5!

 

Great discussion -- and I love those screenshots!



#1858 of 2195 OFFLINE   jompaul17

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Posted August 20 2013 - 07:42 AM

Since we were discussing Stanley Adams (Alby-Chip or Chip-Chip, depending upon whether you look at the IMDb and credits --  or the actual dialogue), I happened to come across Lilies of the Field -- and there he was.  He actually played an important role in that movie.  Taking a closer look at his IMDb page, he played a ton of parts in his relatively short life (I hope 62 still represents a short life) -- many of which I'm sure I saw, and never noticed that the same actor played in all of those parts.

 

Then, I see a related link on the IMDb page: Actors who committed suicide:  http://www.imdb.com/list/Z9W6keZfsTE/ .  According to that list, he did so in 1977.

 

Some of those on that list were bigger names, but a lot were like Stanley Adams -- people who played in tons of supporting roles.

 

Strange the connections you can make and the things you can learn when you look deeply at one thing.



#1859 of 2195 OFFLINE   Harry-N

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Posted August 20 2013 - 10:56 AM

Stanley Adams had a major role ("Cyrano Jones") in the rather famous STAR TREK episode, "The Trouble With Tribbles", so he was already a known quantity at the Desilu stable of shows. And since he was in that show, he posthumously appeared in archival footage in DEEP SPACE NINE's crossover into the events of that episode, "Trials And Tribblations".

 

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#1860 of 2195 OFFLINE   jompaul17

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Posted August 21 2013 - 09:22 AM

Stanley Adams had a major role ("Cyrano Jones") in the rather famous STAR TREK episode, "The Trouble With Tribbles", so he was already a known quantity at the Desilu stable of shows. And since he was in that show, he posthumously appeared in archival footage in DEEP SPACE NINE's crossover into the events of that episode, "Trials And Tribblations".

 

Harry

Harry,

 

Gee, I had forgotten about that!   According to Wikipedia, he also co-wrote, "The Mark of Gideon." 

 

He was one of those actors that seemed to always play the same kind of role, but one that fit the background of so many diverse kinds of situations that you never noticed that it was the same person behind that role!  He would up in Star Trek, The Dick Van Dyke Show, Andy Griffith, and Mannix, in addition to some classic movies.  By and large, he played a jovial character -- that is what struck me in Lilies of the Field

 

Not to put a downer on the thread (that is not my intention), but, he has one of the few non-ambiguous Hollywood premature deaths. 







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