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JohnHopper

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THE FBI SEASON 6

Episode #25

“The Natural”
written by Ed Waters
story by Norman Jolley
directed by Virgil W. Vogel
cinematography by William W. Spencer
guests: Anthony Costello, Susan O’Connell, Peter Mark Richman, Victor Holchak, Walter Burke, Morgan Paull, Vic Tayback, Charles Bateman, Jesse Vint, Meg Wyllie, John Sylvester White , Dani Nolan, Rickie Sorensen

INTERSTATE TRANSPORTATION IN AID OF RACKETEERING, EXTORTION, SPORTS BRIBERY

It’s a very minor organized crime entry about youth corruption combined with a corny social misery backdrop—i.e., a poor and very proud basketball player with a very old sick mother. As in “Turnabout”, they use an amusement park as a hideout for an illegal activity. The old-fashioned stock music doesn’t help. The third ritual is back but without the convict costume. The cast of the basketball racketeers is good: Peter Mark Richman as the fancy big shot, Vic Tayback as the enforcer, Morgan Paull as the henchman, Victor Holchak as the young liaison man.

QM actors notes: Peter Mark Richman guests in some QM series like The Fugitive (2), 12 O’Clock High, The FBI (8), The Invaders (2), Cannon, The Streets of San Francisco, Barnaby Jones (2), Caribe, Bert D’Angelo/Superstar.

Returning guest actors: Peter Mark Richman (the season 5 “Return to Power”), Walter Burke (the season 5 “Silent Partner”), Charles Bateman (the season 6 “The Fatal Connection”), Meg Wyllie (the season 2 “The Cave-In”), Dani Nolan (the season 6 “The Innocents”).
 

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THE FBI SEASON 6

Episode #26

“Three-Way Split”
written by Gerald Sanford
directed by Philip Abbott
cinematography by William W. Spencer
guests: Peter Haskell, Albert Salmi, Richard O’Brien, Edward Andrews, Lex Barker, Mary Wilcox, Jennifer Billingsley, Ted Hartley, Gilbert Green, Don Keefer, James Sikking, Joel Lawrence, Noel Shire, Paul Camen, Buck Young, Keith Walker

BANK BURGLARY

As the season opener “The Condemned”, this is another bank money thieves entry and a good one that is treated as a sociological study on three men with specific backgrounds—two of the three thieves have a common denominator: they are attracted by an impossible love that makes them fall. Fashion-wise, Peter Haskell and his girlfriend wear flower people clothes at his flat. The script borrows a lot from a season 1 episode entitled “The Plunderers”, also guest starring Albert Salmi. This is the second and last episode directed by co-star Philip Abbott—for the anecdote, actor Richard O’Brien appears in his directional debut: “The Quest”. The third ritual is omitted. The cast of the bank robbers is good: Peter Haskell as the nameless and Palm Beach mastermind-leader, Albert Salmi as the countryside blue collar thief, Richard O’Brien as an old self-conscious and former alcoholic thief that calls Salmi by the moniker of kid (sic) and dreams to become a conventional store owner. The cast of the countryside businessmen is fun: Edward Andrews and Don Keefer.

QM actors notes: Peter Haskell guests in some QM series like The Fugitive, 12 O’ Clock High (2), The FBI (2), Cannon (2), The Streets of San Francisco, Barnaby Jones (3), The Manhunter, Caribe.

Returning guest actors: Albert Salmi (the season 1 “The Plunderers”), Richard O’Brien (the season 5 “The Quest”), Edward Andrews (the season 4 “Breakthrough”), Don Keefer (the season 5 “Journey Into Night”), James Sikking (the season 6 “The Condemned”), Joel Lawrence (the season 6 “The Condemned”), Buck Young (the season 6 “The Innocents”).
 

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the fbi season 6 publicity shot

fbi6_promo16.jpg
 

JohnHopper

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TOP FBI SEASON 6 EPISODES
“The Condemned”
“The Architect”
“Time Bomb”
“The Witness”
“The Hitchhiker”
“Incident in the Desert”
“Unknown Victim”
“The Savage Wilderness”
“Death Watch”
“Eye of the Needle”
“Antennae of Death”
“Turnabout”
“Three-Way Split”
“The Traitor”
“The Target”
“Center of Peril”
“The Stalking Horse”
 

JohnHopper

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THE FBI SEASON 6THE SCORES

INDEX OF COMPOSERS ONSCREEN CREDITS

Sidney Cutner

“The Deadly Pact”

John Elizalde
“The Savage Wilderness”

Hugo Friedhofer
“The Traitor”

Willard Jones
“The Architect”

Duane Tatro (2)
“The Condemned”
“Incident in the Desert”

Notes
All composers worked for Quinn Martin but Duane Tatro had the longest career at QM Productions, starting with the second season of The Invaders along with Sidney Cutner. Duane Tatro’s scores are the best ones of the season and reflect the era very well and completely renews the series identity by the introduction of a jazz-infused tone. Notice a rare credits for Golden Age film composer Hugo Friedhofer. As in previous QM series, find the presence of music supervisor John Elizalde and music editor Ken Wilhoit. For the record, the lush main theme music by Bronislaw Kaper is very Golden Age style.
 

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THE FBI • SEASON 7 (1971-1972) (26 episodes • 50 mins • color)
This is the third assignment for the second producer team led by Philip Saltzman. This is the last season for associate producer Mark Weingart. We are still diving into the Seventies era and its renewed cast of characters and the show eventually displays the style of that particular decade but the general writing is on its way out and repetitive. As a side note, Inspector Lewis Erskine goes undercover (see “The Minerva Tapes”, “The Buyer”, “Arrangement With Terror”) as well as Special Agent Tom Colby (see “Superstition Rock” and “Bitter Harbor”). Meanwhile, a brand new private eye series by QM begins: Cannon, led by William Conrad. This season sees some interesting directors: Michael O’Herlihy and Virgil W. Vogel who shoots the greatest amount of episodes. For the record, co-star Philip Abbott manages two episodes: “The Deadly Gift” and “Dark Journey”. Oddly enough, director of photography William W. Spencer tends to light and shoot the female guests by applying the old-fashioned 1940’s chiaroscuro gimmick. For the anecdote, the season 7 promo film consists of scenes from “Dynasty of Hate”, “The Last Job” and “Recurring Nightmare”. The 1972 ABC Fall Preview shows a selection of scenes from “End of a Hero” and “The Break-Up”.

THE CONCEPT AND THE ZEITGEIST
Considered as a television version of Mervyn LeRoy’s 1959 film The FBI Story (starring James Stewart), it’s a holistic character study or a study on ordinary evil disguised as a criminal-oriented series, in other words, the stern leads are abstract and idealistic figures because they are depicted as the hand of justice in the line of The Untouchables and the guest heavies are the main interest and, above all, are the untamed beasts betrayed by their passions of a well-ordered frame which gives the series the format of an anthology. Unlike Robert Stack, leading star Efrem Zimbalist Jr. acts in the manner of the quiet, smooth and fatherly John Forsythe in the Golden Age tradition. The original rigid structure of this federal narrative that includes a prologue/pre-titles, four Acts and an epilogue, appears for the last time. Unfortunately, this Sixties series shows its age and the leads appear as relics from another time especially when confronted to the guests and the interior scenes look very cheap and artificial. But don’t worry, this season offers the last two-parter entitled “The Mastermind” (guest starring Bradford Dillman, Steve Ihnat, Scott Marlowe, Clu Gulager) which happens to be a masterpiece of action-adventure! At the same time, the plot-driven CBS series Mission: Impossible (led by Peter Graves) ceases its battle against international spies and only focuses on fighting the Syndicate in America as a commonplace federal police series and, in a way, taking the place of the short-lived The Silent Force and recycling its female lead (actress Lynda Day George).

THE QUOTE
“I always thought the villains were the most interesting characters,” says Saltzman. “My villains weren’t just black-and-white evil people.There was always some driving force that turned them into that. I tried to do stories with interesting villains. I used women killers too. I liked the idea of having women be the killers. It made the shows more interesting.”
—Producer Philip Saltzman about The FBI, page 82 in Quinn Martin, Producer: A Behind-the-Scenes History of QM Productions and Its Founder.

PRODUCTION TEAM
executive producer: Quinn Martin
producer: Philip Saltzman
associate producer: Mark Weingart
story consultant: Robert Heverly
directors of photography: William W. Spencer (24), William Margulies (1), Harold E. Wellman (1)

Independant company man Quinn Martin started his career as a producer in the 1950’s and launched the first season (1959-1960) as an executive producer of the groundbreaking retro feds show The Untouchables (led by Robert Stack) for Desilu Productions. His first series under his company was the 1961 contemporary police drama The New Breed (led by Leslie Nielsen). The FBI was QM’s fourth series and the longest one. For the record, Quinn Martin was always credited first which made no sense because the producer is supposed to be the man in charge who set the tone.

Producer Philip Saltzman started his job from season 5 (1969-1970) and will end it at season 8 (1972-1973). His first commitment as a producer for QM—as an associate producer, by the way—was for the third season of 12 O’Clock High and will later work on Barnaby Jones along with cinematographer William W. Spencer. Prior to this, he was involved in the police series The Felony Squad (1966-1969) as an executive story consultant during season 1 and as a producer during season 2 and 3 along with writer Robert Heverly.

Associate producer Mark Weingart was a writer and started from season 4 (1968-1969) under the first regime of producer Charles Larson and will cease at the end of season 7 (1971-1972). He used to manage the WWII series The Rat Patrol as both writer and producer. For the anecdote, he was a story editor during the first season of The Wild Wild West under the guidance of the second producer: Collier Young.

Story consultant Robert Heverly worked from season 5 to 7 during the regime producer Philip Saltzman of but was first hired as a writer from season 4 to 8 and later replaced Mark Weingart as an associate producer during season 8. The majority of this season scripts was directed by Virgil W. Vogel.

Apart from the regular FBI cinematographer William W. Spencer who used to work on 12 O’Clock High and will later participate at Barnaby Jones, find two additional craftsmen: William Margulies (see “The Minerva Tapes”), known for his input at Universal television, and Harold E. Wellman (see “The Game of Terror”).

CAST OF CHARACTERS
regular cast: Efrem Zimbalist Jr. (Inspector Lewis Erskine), Philip Abbott (Assistant Director Arthur Ward aka the representative of J. Edgar Hoover), William Reynolds (Special Agent Tom Colby).

supporting cast: Lew Brown (Special Agent in Charge Allen Bennett), John Mayo (Document Examiner),

various cast: Marvin Miller (Narrator), James W. Gavin (Federal helicopter pilot).

The strength of season 7 is the colorful guest actors that add weight to the story: see Sharon Acker, Claude Akins, Lou Antonio, Barbara Babcock, Fred Beir, David Canary, Linden Chiles, Dabney Coleman, John Colicos, Frank Converse, Jim Davis, Joan Delaney, Bradford Dillman, Robert Drivas, Marj Dusay, Dana Elcar, Meg Foster, Robert Foxworth, Arthur Franz, Penny Fuller, Kaz Garas, Harold Gould, Dabbs Greer, Clu Gulager, Mark Hamill, Donald Harron, Hurd Hatfield, David Hedison, Earl Holliman, Diana Hyland, Steve Ihnat, L.Q. Jones, Louis Jourdan, Katherine Justice, Richard Kiley, Robert Loggia, Gene Lyons, Marian McCargo, Tim McIntire, Monte Markham, Scott Marlowe, Linda Marsh, Ralph Meeker, Diana Muldaur, Frank Marth, Lee Meriwether, Donna Mills, Cameron Mitchell, Belinda Montgomery, Ed Nelson, Jeanette Nolan, Tim O’Connor, Gerald S. O’Loughlin, Roger Perry, Robert Pine, Stefanie Powers, Andrew Prine, William Schallert, Martin Sheen, Henry Silva, Tom Skerritt, Guy Stockwell, Jessica Tandy, Joan Van Ark, John Vernon, George Voskovec, Lindsay Wagner, Jessica Walter, Jess Walton, Fritz Weaver, Stuart Whitman, Joseph Wiseman, Dana Wynter.

THE DVD SETS
The prints are not restored and still look good enough. The chromatic calibration is the blatant weak spot because the colors are too saturated and the contrast is too high and they suffer from a dominant color (magenta or cyan or green) in the white tones and the skin tones. The DVDs are MOD (Manufactured On Demand) and this is another season sold in one set. Unfortunately, there are no extras and no English subtitles.

THE QM BOOK
See Chapter 5 (p. 62-87) - The FBI
Quinn Martin, Producer: A Behind-the-Scenes History of QM Productions and Its Founder

by Jonathan Etter
(North Carolina, McFarland & Company, 2003, 232 pages, ISBN 0-7864-1501-0)
 

JohnHopper

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the fbi season 7 promo films

‘The FBI’ TV Series Promo (1972)

The season 7 trailer film consists of scenes from “Dynasty of Hate”, “The Last Job” and “Recurring Nightmare” and punctuated by Duane Tatro’s “Incident in the Desert” from season 6.



The 1972 ABC Fall Preview
This second season 7 trailer film consists of scenes from “End of a Hero” and “The Break-Up”.

 

JohnHopper

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THE FBI SEASON 7

Episode #1

“Death on Sunday”
written by Mark Weingart
directed by Virgil W. Vogel
cinematography by William W. Spencer
guests: Frank Converse, Andrew Prine, Linda Marsh, Solomon Sturges, Lew Brown, Paul Bryar, James Devine, Pamela Stratton, Jon White, Jim Boeke, Mitchell Silberman, Ron McIver, David Sharpe, Stu Nahan, Pamela Brown

EXTORTION

It’s a flawed and corny above average episode about revenge, death threat and blackmail that is shot with typical Seventies gimmicks (hand-held camera, rack focus, long lens, slow zoom out, quick zoom in) and still plays Sixties and both Erskine and Colby look like men from the past because of the generation gap—Efrem Zimbalist Jr. acts like an old uncle during the epilogue. To get into the zeitgeist, Colby investigates in a macrobiotic restaurant called the Wild Carrot and interrogates a hip young woman named Joyce David that appears to have a crush on him despite his heavy federal label. The best scenes remain the night intrusion of the extortionist—poorly lit—in the house of the wife, shot with a wide angle lens mounted on a hand-held camera and from the rear and also the final stadium arrest sequence that was used to promote the series during the ABC Fall Preview that really misleads the audience. The only drawbacks are the dense and contrived family aspect and actress Linda Marsh playing an upper class wife who is out of place and ill-fitted for a football player and lit with chiaroscuro shots from the 1940’s and complains about her odd wedding: too bad, the talent of Frank Converse is wasted and Andrew Prine should have been the center of this story. The script is penned by associate producer Mark Weingart and doesn’t focus on the criminals enough and make them as shallow as the authorities. The cast of the blackmailers is hardly interesting: Andrew Prine, Solomon Sturges.

QM actors notes: Andrew Prine appears in some QM series like The New Breed, The Fugitive (2), 12 O’Clock High (2), The FBI (3), The Invaders, Dan August, Cannon (2), Barnaby Jones (3).

Returning guest actors: Andrew Prine (the season 3 “The Mechanized Accomplice”), Linda Marsh (the season 6 “Escape to Terror”), Solomon Sturges (the season 6 “Death Watch”), Lew Brown (the season 6 “The Inheritors”), Paul Bryar (the season 6 “The Inheritors”), James Devine (the season 2 “The Plague Merchant”), Jon White (the season 5 “The Sanctuary”).

The FBI ABC Promo (S7/1971)
It’s the season 7 premiere entitled “Death On Sunday”, guest starring Frank Converse.

 

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THE FBI SEASON 7

Episode #2

“Recurring Nightmare”
written by Robert Lewin
directed by Virgil W. Vogel
cinematography by William W. Spencer
music by Duane Tatro
guests: Belinda Montgomery, Barbara Billingsley, Nellie Burt, Phil Chambers, Richard Derr, Tim McIntire, Ralph Meeker, Kenneth Tobey

KIDNAPPING

It’s a discreet psychological study on a shy young woman with a traumatic childhood paired with a good mystery and disguised as an unusual kidnappers/journey entry because the criminals ask no ransom but uses the victim to spot an old loot from a bank robbery but, in the very end, the episode turns into a manhunt in the high mountains led by Erskine and Colby in casual cowboy outfits as in the season 6 “The Savage Wilderness” (also directed by Virgil W. Vogel) that share the same thematic case and that can be seen as an extension. The scenery helps to support the drama. The character of Ralph Meeker acts as the wild rifle man from the season 6 “Eye of the Needle” (also directed by Virgil W. Vogel). As the previous “Death on Sunday” (also directed by Virgil W. Vogel), the story is more focused on the victim. One brief fight scene in the mountain between Ralph Meeker and an actor playing a National Forest official is used in the season 7 promo film. The cast of the criminals consists of Tim McIntire and Ralph Meeker. The music score by Duane Tatro is good and subdued and he fashions an effective distorted waterphone cue used to highlight the young woman’s tormented memory.

QM actors notes: Belinda Montgomery guests in some QM series like The FBI (2), Cannon, The Streets of San Francisco (2), Barnaby Jones, Most Wanted. She is associated to the short-lived series Man from Atlantis.

Returning guest actors: Barbara Billingsley (the season 6 “The Fatal Connection”), Nellie Burt (the season 5 “Journey Into Night”), Phil Chambers (the season 5 “The Dealer”), Tim McIntire (the season 6 “The Condemned”), Ralph Meeker (the season 2 “The Raid”).
 

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THE FBI SEASON 7

Episode #3

“The Last Job”
written by Robert Heverly
directed by Virgil W. Vogel
cinematography by William W. Spencer
music by John Elizalde
guests: John McIntire, David Canary, Guy Stockwell, Jeanette Nolan, John S. Ragin, Joe E. Tata, Len Wayland, Jess Walton, Mark Allen, Todd Martin, Paul Sorensen, Tom Palmer, San Christopher, Robert Patten, John Yates, Nola Thorp, Mia Bendixsen, David Cass

UNLAWFUL FLIGHT TO AVOID CONFINEMENT, ARMED ROBBERY, INTERSTATE TRANSPORTATION OF STOLEN VEHICLE

It’s a good study on a sentimental old-timer (former demolition expert, family man, convict with a heart condition and a conscience) and the return of the hard-nosed robbers stagging a road job. The script is penned by story consultant Robert Heverly. Notice a cheap background shot of a man interrogated in a penthouse. Erskine and Colby are back inside a helicopter to chase the robbers. As in “Death on Sunday” with Andrew Prine, one hood (Guy Stockwell) wears a black-leathered jacket. One very brief explosion scene at the exit of a tunnel is used in the season 7 promo film. The cast of the criminals consists of John McIntire as the old pro, Guy Stockwell as the nice blue collar, David Canary as the ruthless fancy dude, Jess Walton as the girlfriend of the fancy dude, Joe E. Tata as the disposable henchman.

QM actors notes: John McIntire guests in some QM series like The Untouchables, The Fugitive, The FBI (3).

Returning guest actors: John McIntire (the season 2 “The Cave-In”), John S. Ragin (the season 6 “The Inheritors”), Joe E. Tata (the season 6 “Turnabout”), Len Wayland (the season 6 “Death Watch”), Mark Allen (the season 6 “Escape to Terror”), Paul Sorensen (the season 6 “The Inheritors”), Tom Palmer (the season 5 “Tug-of-War”), San Christopher (the season 6 “Target”), Robert Patten (the season 6 “Death Watch”), John Yates (the season 6 “Antennae of Death”), Nola Thorp (the season 5 “The Doll Courier”).
 
Last edited:

Lecagr

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I watched the episode Recurring Nightmare on the DVD a little while back and thought it's a pretty good episode. I was surprised to see Barbara Billingsley in this episode, I had only seen her previously as Mrs. Cleaver in episodes of Leave It To Beaver.
 

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I watched the episode Recurring Nightmare on the DVD a little while back and thought it's a pretty good episode. I was surprised to see Barbara Billingsley in this episode, I had only seen her previously as Mrs. Cleaver in episodes of Leave It To Beaver.

This episode is on my top list.
 

JohnHopper

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THE FBI SEASON 7

Episode #4

“The Deadly Gift”
written by Ben Masselink
directed by Philip Abbott
cinematography by William W. Spencer
guests: Dana Wynter, Joan Van Ark, Fritz Weaver, John Lasell, Maurice Marsac, Bart La Rue, Scott Graham, Nora Marlowe, Ed Begley Jr., Bill Erwin, Paul Todd, Richard Rowley, Jerome Guardino

INTERSTATE TRANSPORTATION OF STOLEN PROPERTY

It’s a cynical yet interesting study on the theme of gullibility and manipulation throughout a rich widower but disguised as an ESP/psychic fraud/thief entry that is enhanced by the smooth and elegant performance of Fritz Weaver, bothered by a barkeep who blackmails him. Find the third woman-oriented narrative after “Death on Sunday” (Linda Marsh) and “Recurring Nightmare” (Belinda Montgomery). That kind of folkloric plot fits Mission: Impossible better and plays like the flip side of the dead-serious The Sixth Sense (1972). For the anecdote and in the course of the investigation, Erskine and Colby meet and question an architect with real clairvoyance abilities. The episode is directed by co-star Philip Abbott. As in “Death on Sunday”, the DP uses 1940’s chiaroscuro shots on the main actress. The cast of the victims is interesting: Maurice Marsac to start with and then Dana Wynter as the strong-willed main prey. The cast of the swindlers consists of Fritz Weaver as the seducer-predator with a conscience and Joan Van Ark as the charming accomplice/infiltrator. The DVD print of that episode is poor.

Mission: Impossible notes : Along with a female partner, Fritz Weaver used to play in the same kind of cynical plot that you find in the season 2 episode “Charity” but without the ESP tapestry.

QM actors notes: Dana Wynter guests in some QM series 12 O’Clock High (2), The FBI (5), The Invaders, Cannon (3). By coincide, both Dana Winters and Fritz Weaver used to play in the same Invaders episode: “The Captive”.

Returning guest actors: Dana Wynter (the season 5 “Deadly Reunion”), Joan Van Ark (the season 6 “The Condemned”), Fritz Weaver (the season 5 “The Challenge”), John Lasell (the season 6 “Unknown Victim”), Maurice Marsac (the season 6 “Center of Peril”), Scott Graham (the season 6 “The Deadly Pact”), Nora Marlowe (the season 1 “An Elephant Is Like a Rope”), Bill Erwin (the season 5 “Deadly Reunion”), Paul Todd (the season 6 “Incident in the Desert”), Jerome Guardino (the season 5 “Return to Power”).
 

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