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A Quinn Martin Production

Discussion in 'TV on DVD and Blu-ray' started by Carabimero, Feb 13, 2017.

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  1. Carabimero

    Carabimero Producer
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    All things Quinn Martin are welcome here. Whether you want to talk about The Fugitive, Twelve O'clock High, The FBI, The Invaders, The Streets of San Francisco, Cannon, Barnaby Jones, or something more obscure, here's the place to connect them all. Quinn Martin had at least one TV series running in prime time every year for more than 20 years (from 1959 to 1980). Like Tom Landry's 20 consecutive winning seasons, Martin's record is unique. I think the TV mogul deserves his own thread.

    I was about to comment in the Barnaby Jones thread that I was taking a break after finishing season six to pick up season four of The Streets of San Francisco. But I couldn't find a thread for that show. And when I realized I wanted to comment on the crossover of guest stars from one QM production to the next, this thread seemed even more justified.

    I enjoyed seeing Mark Hamill in the season four Streets premiere. That was 1975. If it wasn't the last thing Hamill shot before Star Wars, it had to be close. Hamill appeared in Cannon in 1971 and The FBI in 1972.

    For me, part of the enjoyment of QM Productions is seeing largely the same stable of recurring guest stars through the years, watching them mature as they develop their craft.
     
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  2. Doug Wallen

    Doug Wallen Producer

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    I have just purchased both seasons of The Invaders and am waiting for them to arrive. Thanks tax refund. I had the privilege of watching this series when it first aired, just don't remember much about it. I heard people say it was The Fugitive with aliens. I was always looking for any sci-fi show as I was growing up. Looking forward to seeing this show uncut.

    I always enjoyed any QM Production as that was how I learned who a lot of actors were as the guests were always mentioned with a few seconds of video showing who they were. Looking forward to re-viewing this series.

    Alan, great thread idea.
     
  3. Carabimero

    Carabimero Producer
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    Thanks. You will enjoy THE INVADERS. There's an episode with William Windom that I particularly like. It isn't my favorite QM Production, but I find it very watchable. It's not a series that I grew up with, but one that I came to the first time on DVD.

    I have never thought about what you said, but I agree: I learned who a lot of actors were through those introductions, as well!
     
  4. FanCollector

    FanCollector Producer

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    One of the many special things about QM Productions was the way that, although the shows were very plot-driven, every story was stamped with the personality of the series on which it was used and the lead character of that series. Could one basic story have been transferred from Cannon to Barnaby Jones or The Streets of San Francisco? From The Untouchables to The FBI? Sure, but the execution would always be tailored to the style and character of the show, making the prolific studio far from a "factory." The best QM shows offered a strong balance of plot and character. Like a Howard Hawks movie, QM shows let us learn about characters by seeing them do their jobs. (Or at least deal with their immediate problems, as in The Fugitive or The Invaders.)

    Cannon is a terrific example in that we almost never have an episode centered on the character's past or personal life, but his values and motivations are further illuminated with every case. QM shows aren't the only ones to succeed this way, but they are so remarkably consistent at doing so from series to series.
     
  5. Carabimero

    Carabimero Producer
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    The other day I watched a BARNABY JONES episode entitled "The Homecoming," and my first thought was, "That's the title of a FUGITIVE episode." I wondered, like with THE ANDY GRIFFITH SHOW and GOMER PYLE, if the same production banner would literally transplant a plot from one of their series to another. Much to my relief, BARNABY JONES'S version of "The Homecoming" had nothing whatsoever to do with Richard Kimble's.
     
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  6. Flashgear

    Flashgear Screenwriter

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    Great Idea, Alan...Quinn Martin and his shows deserve a dedicated thread...

    Even as a kid, I could tell that "A QM Production" meant Quality Entertainment...as a producer and creative force, Quinn Martin belongs in the ranks of the other Great Television Pioneer Producers...Frederick Ziv (with whom Quinn got his start), Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz, Sheldon Leonard, Danny Thomas, Dick Powell and Ida Lupino of Four Star, Herbert B. Leonard (Rin Tin Tin, Route 66, Naked City), Roy Huggins etc...

    He started his production company after his great success with The Untouchables...and an exclusive development deal with ABC, which needed a steady supply of prospective hits as their Warner produced Westerns and Detective shows began to fade in 1961...after The New Breed failed to renew (should have, but foiled by a dispute with the sponsor advertising agency over creative differences) it was one hit after another, of course...The Fugitive being the biggest of them all...

    From all accounts I've read, Quinn Martin was dedicated to elevating the production values and prestige of weekly TV drama...the best guest stars were eager to work for him as QM had a reputation of paying the best and treating their people well...all of the regular directors loved to work for him too...Walter Grauman, Paul Wendkos, Stuart Rosenberg, Ralph Senensky, Vincent McEveety, William Hale, etc...he paid for top musical talent, some of the best composers in the business...Pete Rugolo, Dominic Frontiere, Dave Grusin etc...each show's production company became very close, especially on the long running series...

    There's a pretty good book..."Quinn Martin, Producer" by Jonathan Etter (McFarland 2003, 222 pgs., illustrated) that I recommend...
     
  7. 7 Feb 14, 2017
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2017
    Pathfiner

    Pathfiner Second Unit

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    One interesting aspect re 'The Invaders' is all the little recurring points that are easily missed when you first watch it - from how David Vincent while never appearing to do much actual work can travel the country seemingly at will, afford hotels, hire cars, expensive cameras etc...

    to little key factors - things like;

    Vincent suddenly reveals he has a (unseen) buddy in the C.I.A. (in 'The Experiment')
    Lin McCarthy's Intelligence Agent states he cannot leave the Mexican town until Vincent gives up his search in 'The Mutation' - why not ?
    Vincent is believed by a millionaire industrialist (Arthur Hill) in 'The Leeches'
    he is sent for by USAF Intelligence Capt. Ross (Dabney Coleman) who has witnessed an alien incineration and at the end of the episode heeds Vincent's advice in 'The Innocent'
    Vincent is summond by U.S. Army Intelligence Major Graves (William Windom) who believes him in 'Doomsday Minus One'
    Peter Graves Space Center security guy believes Vincent...and expects his arrival...before the spacecraft take off in 'Moonshot'

    Also - why do the Aliens always PULL OUT, destroy everything, and 'do a runner' abandoning carefully often extensively set up schemes as soon as Vincent thwarts the plan ? (i.e. in 'Vikor', 'Nightmare' etc), and when Vincent obtains a key top alien personnel list in 'The Condemned' the narrator announces all those named on the list suddenly then 'vanish' or die in accidents' etc in the weeks that follow...

    Also The NORAD Security Major expects Vincent to arrive at Cheyenne Mountain complex in 'Condition; Red' - the Guard even has Vincent's photo !

    Vincent has no problem attending the top level 'Summit Meeting' in the 2 part story

    these and more aspects too....

    why if Vincent is supposedly regarded as 'just a crank' ??

    'The Invaders' was quite a deep thought provoking show working on several levels...
     
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  8. Jack P

    Jack P Producer

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    I think Vincent's profession of architect was chosen to give an explanation for how he could seemingly afford to go all over the country at will. In all likelihood he probably still earned a living doing architect consulting work on the side with the caveat that he could never use his name professionally for any client he still did work for. If he were a doctor or a lawyer it would be much tougher for him to maintain that kind of existence!

    I'll get in a word about "The FBI" which for its first five years or so ranked among Martin's best series and then suddenly around the fifth or sixth season the show was irrevocably damaged by some edict that no one could ever be killed in an episode. As a result, the show became all about non-violent criminals or ones who whenever they shot someone we always would hear how they'd recover later on, ruining the show's sense of realism.
     
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  9. MCCLOUD

    MCCLOUD Second Unit

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    Thanks for the great thread! Quinn Martin was simply the best!!! QM Productions are superior television! I love the great QM shows like Cannon, The Streets of SAN Francisco, Barnaby Jones, The FBI , The Invaders and The Fugitive! I have purchased all Seasons of all these shows except for Barnaby Jones. I don't get to watch that much TV and I am currently watching around 30 TV Series in episode order so it is taking a long time to get through them. It is taking Years!! Here is where I am at with the QM shows:

    Cannon finished Season 2
    Barnaby Jones Episode 11 Next
    The FBI. The 5th Season not quite
    Half way
    The Streets Of SAN Francisco
    Around 6 or so Season 3
    Episodes left
    The Fugitive Season 1 around 10 or so episodes left
    The Invaders Not currently watching but plan on starting watching it for 2nd time ever later this year

    How are others watching these great shows?!!!

    Robert
     
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  10. Dan McW

    Dan McW Second Unit

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    The FBI narrator on those later episodes would usually say, even if the victim appeared bullet-riddled or at least gut-shot, "Smidlap recovered from his wounds and was convicted in federal court . . ."
     
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  11. Doug Wallen

    Doug Wallen Producer

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    Just going on memory as I don't have my sets yet, I thought many times that there were indications that David was working a job (architect or otherwise) in the area of suspected alien activity.

    I was always amazed that he would convert one or two new believers each week and still remain "alone" in his quest. Reminded me of Dr. Kimble always garnering support each week only to have to go through the whole process next week (at least it was almost always a beautiful co-star). :D

    Having rewatched The Fugitive, I will be checking the show carefully to see if there are more similarities.
     
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  12. Carabimero

    Carabimero Producer
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    I can see how similarities could be drawn between David and Richard, but to me, because Richard was a doctor, his character penetrated much more deeply. Even living outside the law, Kimble had his own moral code, usually healing, literally or figuratively, the rift in a family or a community. But like Christ, the persecuted healer is spurned and must move on, alone. He heals, he saves, he loves the unloved, but he is an outcast, alone and unloved. I never got that deep vibe on THE INVADERS. But then, it only had two seasons to develop while THE FUGITIVE enjoyed four.
     
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  13. swan4022

    swan4022 Stunt Coordinator

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    Great idea for a thread!
    I'm familiar with many of the shows named, but am currently making my way through The FBI. I remember watching the later seasons with my family as a kid, but am now able to see it from the beginning and from an adult's pov. I had not known this show had a few make-overs along the way, including the loss of its co-star after the 2nd season, introducing the narrator, and the reduction of the violent endings as noted above. An aspect i found really fascinating is when the characters (good guys, at least) no longer smoke cigarettes, roughly the 3rd or 4th season, as just a natural part of their scenes. This was such a great prop for Efrem Zimablist, Jr., and he was so good at manipulating a cigarette to enhance the mood or tension his character was experiencing. (The effects of cigarette smoking are awful, I know, but in these shows the cigarette was essential to a lot of these characters' persona, and a lot of actors from the golden era had learned how to incorporate them effectively.) Also, The FBI for many years filmed car scenes in a set, not a real car but a mock-up of the car's interior, and it is kind of funny that the two actors have to sit so closely together in the front seat so they can fit on the screen. I just noticed tonight in a season 6 episode (with Diane Keaton!) that the producers finally starting using a car set that has a wider front seat and the actors can sit at a more normal distance from one another. It always looks as though Zimbalist, Jr. was never happy having to do those scenes! Nevertheless, I'm thoroughly enjoying the series through an adult perspective while reliving the simple joy I'm sure I had the first time around. I'm looking forward to getting into more of the other QM productions, too.
    P.S. Someone mentioned William Windom above, and I have discovered in the last few years that he was absolutely wonderful in every TV show guest star role he did :)
     
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  14. Carabimero

    Carabimero Producer
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    That was me, and you speak the truth. He elevated the material, making average shows good, and good shows great.
     
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  15. Doug Wallen

    Doug Wallen Producer

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    I guess I first saw him as Commodore Decker in "The Doomsday Machine" from the original Star Trek. I then noticed him making the rounds in all of the other '60's and '70's series (Wild Wild West, Mission:Impossible, The Fugitive, The Invaders, Columbo, his recurring role on Murder, She Wrote, etc). He was always very believable in any role I saw him in. Through dvd's I have seen him in eps of The Twilight Zone and others. After all of this exposure, he became a sure sign of quality in whatever he guested on. I always wondered why he never had his own show.

    To my delight, he starred in a show based upon the works of one of my favorite authors; James Thurber. I was very upset when NBC cancelled My World and Welcome to It. Such a shame that one is not available on dvd.

    Back on topic, such a great performance as Dr. Kimble's college friend trying to extract information about the Helen's murder in "The Ivy Maze".

    Apparently he made multiple visits to The Invaders, The FBI as well as to The Streets of San Francisco.
     
  16. Jeff*H

    Jeff*H Supporting Actor

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    I love most of the QM shows to varying degrees:

    FUGITIVE- like it, but have only seen the first season so far
    CANNON- love, love, love this show primarily for William Conrad's superb portrayal of the character
    INVADERS- love this show as well, great plots and guest stars, suspenseful and inventive
    FBI- this one is pretty good, but it's taking me longer to really get into it
    STREETS OF SAN FRAN- love the chemistry with Malden and Douglas, season 5 suffered despite Hatch's good work
    BARNABY JONES-- good, solid show, but Ebsen isn't quite as appealing as William Conrad; Lee Meriwether's a hottie though

    I also watched a pilot QM did for a Hawaii-based series from the late 70s that wasn't too bad, but paled compared to H5O.

    Great thread, btw!
     
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  17. Ron1973

    Ron1973 Beverly Hillbilles nut extraordinaire

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    Now not really a QM production obviously, I loved how Buddy Ebsen made a cameo as Barnaby in movie adaptation of The Beverly Hillbillies!
     
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  18. Flashgear

    Flashgear Screenwriter

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    Oh yes, I echo your praise for the Great William Windom, and how his mere presence seemed to elevate even the most mundane shows...and make the good ones brilliant...much like James Whitmore...I think it's rather rare when one signature role so quickly and vividly comes to mind...for me, that will always be Night Gallery's "They're Tearing Down Tim Riley's Bar"...it would be great to have My World and Welcome to it and Farmer's Daughter complete on dvd...I really like his feature film roles in "Americanization of Emily" and the Jimmy Stewart 1971 movie "Fools Parade"...

    Two of my favorite early appearances (although not QM, but available on dvd) are seen in the first season Combat episode "Off Limits"... and from the very same TV season, his work in the series pilot for Gallant Men...
     
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  19. Doug Wallen

    Doug Wallen Producer

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    ... or as the Ad executive who could not decide on the appropriate campaign in "Planes, Trains and Automobiles" ...
     
  20. Carabimero

    Carabimero Producer
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    ...or as the head of Macy's who believed in Santa Claus in 1994's MIRACLE ON 34TH STREET...
     
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