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Wiseguy

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Erich P. Wise
Pretty much as I recall. Hill Street had multiple story lines for the ensemble cast as well as something that would begin and end in a particular episode. To help matters along, starting in Season 3 is when they began the "Previously on Hill Street Blues" montage with clips from like a half a dozen episodes. Also, the intertwined story lines would often fade into the background and then come to the fore.
Far as I've been able to find out is that Hill Street was the very first ongoing TV series to do that.
Barney Miller did continuing storylines in the late 1970s although they had little to do with police work. Storylines such as Harris moving in with Dietrich (4th season) or Barney and his wife separating (5th season) appeared throughout the year until they were resolved. The final 8th season had several ongoing continuing storylines such as Levitt's and Barney's attempts at promotion and Luger's impeding marriage.
 

JohnHopper

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Item: “Next on the desk of my editor… the reviews of the third disc… starting: December 13, 8 AM… Load your camera, check-out your tape recorder and be ready!”


kolchak_dvd05.jpg
 

JohnHopper

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Episode #17
“Legacy of Terror”
written by Arthur Rowe
directed by Don McDougall
music score by Gil Mellé and Jerry Fielding (stock)
guests: Ramon Bieri, Pippa Scott, Sorrell Booke, Victor Campos, Erik Estrada, Carlos Romero, Udana Power, Sondra Currie, Cal Bartlett, Ernest Macias, Robert Casper, Mina Vasquez, Dorrie Thomson, Merrie Lynn Ross, Scott Douglas

Carl Kolchak: [voiceover] “There was a publisher’s convention at the Sherwood Hotel, and my boss, Tony Vincenzo, was buttering up some potential subscribers. He wanted me to help with the buttering up, and I promised I’d show up with a haircut, a new hat and a pressed suit. But I lie a lot.”

Item: It’s a very good gloomy episode about corruption through a deadly pact with an evil god and the best of the two Don McDougall entries and unlike the previous “The Devil’s Platform” with the ambitious politician (actor Tom Skerritt) and his long term career plan, it focuses on a very poor young man playing a sacred instrument (flute) named Pepe Torres (actor Erik Estrada) looking for an easy way out of one year and is promoted to vice president of the luxury Sherwood Hotel and acts like an insolent pimp wearing a full pink suit, escorted by three young attractive women as his staff (secretary Lona, art department executive Nina, executive assistant Vicky) but he is considered as a fraud by the people, starting with Tony who calls him “the comic in the lounge” and PR Tillie Jones who exclaims: “Mr. Torres? Isn’t it obvious? He’s in charge of the flute”. What links the start (the football game on the television set) and the end (the human sacrifice) of this picturesque adventure: Chicago sports arena. For the record, Kolchak faces the assassin worshipper twice that he defines as “a great, big, red and yellow chicken”: in the scene of the crime after taking pictures of dead Captain Timmons and gets a nasty blow, in the sports arena where he escapes from the living mummy’s saber twice.

Captain Webster: “Carl, you’re full of good questions today.”
Carl Kolchak: “Yeah, you know what you’re full of?”


Item: Find another Kolchak’s working idiosyncrasy: taking a random picture by accident in the scene of the crime or in front of the foe like an innocent bystander to avoid censorship: see the first crime with the two medical examiners. The best cruel joke remains the stuffed mouse that Kolchak hides in the file on Updyke’s desk! This story makes a good companion piece to the previous “Demon in Lace” because of its archeological nature and the fact that the first victim is not seen: football player Lenny Strayhan. As in “Bad Medicine”, Kolchak picks up some feathers from the foe, has a clothes’ issue with Tony and consults a college professor about folklore: Professor Jamie Rodriguez. As in “The Energy Eater” (also written by Arthur Rowe), Kolchak disguises as a worker and, here, as a hotel busboy but Tony blows his cover and also operates in the lower floor where he discovers the mummy at his own risk and the name of the guest police head is also Captain Webster. The first ritual murder scene and its flute-oriented music always stroke me as a first time viewer and therefore anything related to South American pagan folklore scared me: notice the effective and kinetic montage with quick cuts that mix titled shots of the murderers and extreme close-up on the moving Green Beret’s eyes combined with the shadowgraph of a flute player. Here comes the list of victims that end up in a bloody tall staircase: staff Sergeant Anderson, lady pilot Captain Madge Timmons, police officer Earl Lyons (off-screen). As in “The Spanish Moss Murders”, Tony attends an event related to the Press. Find the return of actor Ramon Bieri from “Bad Medicine” but playing a brand new cop and is assisted by Officer Earl Lyons. Contains stock music by Jerry Fielding (“The Trevi Collection”, “The Werewolf”, “The Devil’s Platform”).

police head: Captain Webster (actor Ramon Bieri).
monster: Aztec mummy of warrior leader Nanautzin and evil god Tezcatlipoca worshippers who cut out human hearts.
Tony’s tidbit: Tony attends a publisher’s convention at the Sherwood Hotel along with Updyke and Kolchak who arrives late.
featuring: Hotel Public Relations executive Tillie Jones (actress Pippa Scott).
 

JohnHopper

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The first ritual murder scene and its flute-oriented music always stroke me as a first time viewer and therefore anything related to South American pagan folklore scared me: notice the effective and kinetic montage with quick cuts that mix titled shots of the murderers and extreme close-up on the moving Green Beret’s eyes combined with the shadowgraph of a flute player.

 

JohnHopper

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As in “The Spanish Moss Murders”, Tony attends an event related to the Press.

Tony’s tidbit: Tony attends a publisher’s convention at the Sherwood Hotel along with Updyke and Kolchak who arrives late.

As in “Bad Medicine”, Kolchak has a clothes’ issue with Tony

Carl Kolchak: [voiceover] “There was a publisher’s convention at the Sherwood Hotel, and my boss, Tony Vincenzo, was buttering up some potential subscribers. He wanted me to help with the buttering up, and I promised I’d show up with a haircut, a new hat and a pressed suit. But I lie a lot.”

 

JohnHopper

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Item: Find another Kolchak’s working idiosyncrasy: taking a random picture by accident in the scene of the crime or in front of the foe like an innocent bystander to avoid censorship: see the first crime with the two medical examiners.

 

JohnHopper

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it focuses on a very poor young man playing a sacred instrument (flute) named Pepe Torres (actor Erik Estrada) looking for an easy way out of one year and is promoted to vice president of the luxury Sherwood Hotel and acts like an insolent pimp wearing a full pink suit, escorted by three young attractive women as his staff (secretary Lona, art department executive Nina, executive assistant Vicky)

 

High C

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Andante
This one was too gruesome for me. Just the concept itself.

Overall, I always enjoyed McGavin's performance, his byplay with the regulars, the 'experts' and the cops. I felt the stories/gimmicks needed work. I actually liked the idea of Chopper. Perhaps with today's CGI, it could have worked.
 

JohnHopper

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Episode #18
“The Knightly Murders”
written by Michael Kozoll and David Chase
story by Paul Magistretti
directed by Vincent McEveety
music score by Jerry Fielding (stock)
guests: John Dehner, Hans Conried, Robert Emhardt, Jeff Donnell, Shug Fisher, Lieux Dressler, Bryan O’Byrne, Sidney Clute, Gregg Palmer, Ed McCready, Alyscia Maxwell, Jim Drum, Don Carter

Minerva Musso: “Robbery or rape?”
Carl Kolchak: “What?”


Item: It’s the best of the three remaining bottom of the range adventures and a fun one about an ancient medieval curse and the compromised future of the Hydecker Museum run by maverick curator Mendel Boggs that is bought by corporate man Brewster Hocking and planned to be turned into a discotheque by obscene interior decorator Minerva Musso that I simply adore for two reasons: the haunted suit of armor and its killing MO that includes the deadly intrusion at Minerva Musso’s and the final showdown against Kolchak at the museum—that mix cues from “The Trevi Collection” and “The Ripper”—, the iron and sadistic performance of John Dehner as Captain Vernon Rausch aka the Edward R. Murrow of homicide that gives wet with a stinking lady’s perfume Kolchak the third degree by blinding him with the bedroom’s floor lamp and threatens him by strongly holding his arm after the well-deserved murder of egotistical, arrogant and obnoxious Minerva Musso who lets her apartment open to strangers and is a blatant link of the fancy people from “The Trevi Collection”. Oddly enough, Kolchak used to enter an unlocked apartment in “Firefall” that ends up badly. The perfume of Minerva Musso is called Temptation of Adam, according to the lab man of Captain Vernon Rausch.

Carl Kolchak: “What about my photosensitivity?”
Captain Vernon Rausch: “This isn’t third degree, Carl. It’s only the first. Can you intuit my meaning?”


Item: In a way, curator Mendel Boggs is avenged by the lethal actions of the puritan black knight which saves his museum from the vulgarity and the blasphemy of third parties (Ward Captain Leo J. Ramutka, real estate agent Rolf Danvers, head of the CALC corporation Brewster Hocking, interior decorator Minerva Musso who knows pop singer David Bowie, by the way). Kolchak meets and is annoyed by educated informers: pompous Captain Vernon Rausch who likes listening to himself, pawnbreaker Pop Stenvold, whimsical curator Mendel Boggs who recites his own poetry, the coat of arms dealer who mentions Kolchak’s Polish lineage. As in “Demon in Lace” with a hammer to break a tablet, Kolchak borrows an instrument-weapon from a glass cabinet to destroy the artifact (suit of armor) related to the monster (the spirit of the black knight). As in the previous “Legacy of Terror”, Kolchak is forced to buy an item from his informer and the monster is an ancient warrior. As usual, Kolchak pretends and, here, make Brewster Hocking’s butler believe he is a good friend of his former employer. As in “Chopper”, find another replacement of Gordy the Ghoul and a maniacal curator. Contains stock music by Jerry Fielding (“Firefall”, “The Devil’s Platform”, “The Trevi Collection”, “The Werewolf”) and Gil Mellé (“The Ripper”, “The Zombie”).

Tony Vincenzo: “Now you come in here rambling about some blessed battle ax… and Pope Gregory and smelling like a vase full of dead begonias.”
Carl Kolchak: “No, that’s Minerva Musso’s perfume.”


police head: Captain Vernon Rausch (actor John Dehner).
monster: a medieval suit of armor possessed by the spirit of Burgundy knight Guy de Mettancœur which wipes the blood from his weapon on its victim’s clothes.
Tony’s tidbit: Tony worries about Kolchak’s mental health that he compares to his sister-in-law’s nervous breakdown.
featuring: morgue assistant Lester Nash (actor Don Carter).
 

JohnHopper

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the iron and sadistic performance of John Dehner as Captain Vernon Rausch aka the Edward R. Murrow of homicide that gives wet with a stinking lady’s perfume Kolchak the third degree by blinding him with the bedroom’s floor lamp

Carl Kolchak: “What about my photosensitivity?”
Captain Vernon Rausch: “This isn’t third degree, Carl. It’s only the first. Can you intuit my meaning?”

 

Matt Hough

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You like it more than I do. The clanging suit of enchanted armor is so noisy that I'd think anyone could hear it a mile away and take appropriate action to flee. But the episode is blessed by stupendous character actors that make it a joy to watch. Hans Conreid is one of those fabulous character actors from Hollywood's Golden Age that was unique and unmatchable.
 

JohnHopper

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You like it more than I do. The clanging suit of enchanted armor is so noisy that I'd think anyone could hear it a mile away and take appropriate action to flee. But the episode is blessed by stupendous character actors that make it a joy to watch. Hans Conreid is one of those fabulous character actors from Hollywood's Golden Age that was unique and unmatchable.

You're right when saying the suit of armor could not reach the flat of Minerva Musso because of the noise. It would be arrested by street cops.
 

JohnHopper

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Episode #19
“The Youth Killer”
written by Rudolph Borchert
directed by Don McDougall
music by Gil Mellé (stock)
guests: Cathy Lee Crosby, Dwayne Hickman, Kathleen Freeman, George Savalas, John Fiedler, Eddie Firestone, Michael Richardson, Penny Santon, James Murtaugh, James Ingersoll , Reb Brown, Joss White

Sergeant Orkin: “You’re Kolchak?”
Carl Kolchak: “Yeah, that’s right.”
Sergeant Orkin: “You’re the one the precinct captains are always talking about?”
Carl Kolchak: “What do they say?”
Sergeant Orkin: “That you’re a pinwheel.”


Item: It’s a modest, minor but nice episode dealing with the theme of the eternal youth which requires human sacrifices as in the second telefilm The Night Strangler with Dr. Richard Malcolm and also “Legacy of Terror” (also directed by Don McDougall and also focusing on a pagan rite) and what links these murders (stereo salesman and jogger William Cubby with a glass eye, professional convention hostess and gymnast Cynthia Tibbs, tennis player Lance Mervin with a phony name, first-grade teacher Rene Michele) is a ring belonging to the members of the Olympians from an elit matrimonial agency for people under 30 called Max Match Corporation and therefore Kolchak studies professional dating—far away from Grace’s Catering in “The Vampire” or Mel Tarter’s advices from “The Werewolf”—health and Ancient Greek mythology. It’s the last entry directed by Don McDougall and the last humanized monster led by Cathy Lee Crosby as Helen Surtees after “The Werewolf”, “The Devil’s Platform”, “The Trevi Collection”.

Taxi driver Kaz: “Hey, sport, you are not staying at the biggest hotel in the world. The Hotel Rossiya in Moscow has thirty-two hundred rooms and your hotel’s nothing.”
Conventioneer with a hangover: [pauses] “Who counts Communists?”


Item: As in previous episodes, Kolchak poses as someone’s else and, here, writer Mr. Kolak and blows his cover with the member ring. That bottle show recycles way too many ideas and elements from previous stories like a patchwork. As in “The Zombie”, Kolchak betrays himself and displays his clumsiness with the bad use of his tape recorder during a crucial event and, here, at a secret ceremony at Max Match that Kolchak defines as “the midnight interview”. As in “The Vampire” and “Demon in Lace”, find another beauty trapping men, as in “The Devil’s Platform”, find another worshipper and as in “Legacy of Terror” and “The Trevi Collection”, find another young person selling her soul to a superior entity. As in “The Energy Eater” and “Horror in the Heights”, Tony makes a derogatory remark about old people in front of Miss Emily. As in “Legacy of Terror”, find again Kolchak’s working idiosyncrasy: taking a random picture by accident in the scene of the crime or in front of the foe like an innocent bystander to avoid censorship: see the Max Match meeting with Helen Surtees. Witness if you will the return of Gordy the Ghoul from the early days of the series under Paul Playdon. Actor George Savalas—credited as Demosthenes—is the brother of actor Telly Savalas from the Universal series Kojak. Contains stock music by Jerry Fielding (“Firefall”, “The Werewolf”, “The Trevi Collection”) and Gil Mellé (“The Ripper”).

police head: Sergeant Orkin (actor Dwayne Hickman).
monster: a modern-day Helen of Troy and Hecate worshipper who absorbs the vitality of young people and make them age very quickly and can’t stand physical flaws.
Tony’s tidbit: Tony tries to loose weight, takes vitamines and practices Yoga at his own risk.
featuring: Dating agency head Bella Sarkof (actress Kathleen Freeman), taxi driver Kaz (actor George Savalas), Gordy the Ghoul.
 

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