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 Posted:   May 28, 2008 - 8:11 PM   
 By:   Eric Paddon   (Member)

Episode #6, "Who Killed Alex Dabbs?" concerns the murder of a Hugh Hefner style publisher. The episode was written by none other than Harlan Ellison, who indulged in an in-joke those familiar with Ellison fans could spot when he made the Playboy style magazine's humor editor (played by Sammy Davis, Jr.) "Cordwainer Bird", the pseudonym Ellison would always adopt whenever he didn't want his name on the final work of something. (Davis's scene and Barry's reaction to him is priceless).

Male suspects, in addition to Davis, include Burgess Meredith (as a cartoonist for the magazine) and John Ireland.

The female suspects gallery in this episode include Arlene Dahl, a one-time film actress turned European princess! (who posed for some pictures for the publisher in the distant past she'd like to get back)

And there's also Diana Dors, the British Jayne Mansfield, as a woman from the publisher's past, now working as a beatnik musician.

 Posted:   May 28, 2008 - 8:14 PM   
 By:   Eric Paddon   (Member)

Back for her second appearance in six episodes is Suzy Parker, as a leading pin-up model for the magazine.

 Posted:   May 28, 2008 - 11:48 PM   
 By:   CindyLover   (Member)

Diana Dors, the British Jayne Mansfield

I think her fans would rather call her the British Marilyn Monroe...

 Posted:   May 29, 2008 - 12:15 AM   
 By:   Eric Paddon   (Member)

I actually debated whether I should say Monroe or Mansfield when characterizing her, but figured that while she might have been billed as the Brit's answer to MM, her overall career tended more to resemble JM's when all was said and done. Though if her fans take offense to that, I offer a humble apology. smile

I think she was still married to Richard Dawson at the time she did this episode.

 Posted:   May 29, 2008 - 6:35 AM   
 By:   Thread Assasin   (Member)

I've just received this set and have watched the first four episodes. What a time capsule! I love some of the then-current humor - (upon meeting the former actress character played by Zazu Pitts in one episode, Burke quips "Now we know what happened to Baby Jane,") and the vintage commercials are interesting (Arnold Palmer for L&M cigarettes, for example). The transfers are great and the guest star line ups, as Eric mentioned above, are a feast for fans of vintage character actors. A treat, this one. smile

 Posted:   May 29, 2008 - 10:31 AM   
 By:   Eric Paddon   (Member)

Glad you've enjoyed it! smile And yes, those bonus commercials are also priceless like the aforementioned Palmer one for L&M. The later releases of "Naked City" was the only other title I know of that did something similar with the ads.

 Posted:   May 30, 2008 - 6:08 AM   
 By:   Gary S.   (Member)

I actually enjoyed the revival episodes of Burke's Law from a few years back. Hope those get released on video as well.


 Posted:   May 30, 2008 - 7:11 PM   
 By:   Eric Paddon   (Member)

Episode #7 "Who Killed Sweet Betsy?" is a little different from the norm. Producer Aaron Spelling got a big spotlight in this for his wife at the time, Carolyn Jones, who ends up playing *four* roles, all of them sisters with very different personalities.

First, there's the murder victim, Betsy, who falls victim to a glass of poison cyanide.

And then Captain Burke realizes that the guilty party is one of Betsy's three sisters, one of whom is a psychopath. Could it be sweet, girl-next-door Meredith?

Or wild, fun-loving Olivia?

Or plain-Jane gardener Jane? (If you want to see how she looks in that part, you'll have to watch it yourself!) smile

A year later, Carolyn would get her most famous role on "The Addams Family" (meaning that "Burke's Law" in it's first seven episodes already had among its guests the future female leads of three of the biggest cult sitcoms of the decade!)

 Posted:   May 31, 2008 - 10:34 PM   
 By:   Eric Paddon   (Member)

After the Carolyn Jones spotlight of episode #7, episode #8, "Who Killed Billy Joe?" (an Elvis Presley type singer) gives us a bigger set of names to profile! (and it's worth noting incidentally that none other than David Niven, makes a brief *credited* cameo in the episode, which was a major coup for a TV series of the day!)

A brief nod first to the one with the least screen time, as the girlfriend of suspect Nick Adams, Valora Noland who is best remembered from the Star Trek episode "Patterns Of Force".

A bigger name in the up and coming department is a lady who's received several profiles elsewhere, Marlyn Mason, who appears in the opening sequence as a party guest who witnesses Billy Joe's murder (that's Ken Berry, two years before "F-Troop" next to her).

 Posted:   May 31, 2008 - 10:39 PM   
 By:   Eric Paddon   (Member)

Burke's "Sylvia Trench" for this week is Elaine Stewart, a 50s starlet whose credits included "Brigadoon" and "Young Bess." She married game show producer Merrill Heatter ("Hollywood Squares") and in the 1970s was the card-dealer on her husband's game show "Gambit", hosted by Wink Martindale.

 Posted:   May 31, 2008 - 10:44 PM   
 By:   Eric Paddon   (Member)

The suspect list also includes two beauties from decades past with Ida Lupino as the dominating manager.

And Laraine Day, the older woman who had a brief and pathetic love affair with Billy Joe.

 Posted:   May 31, 2008 - 10:49 PM   
 By:   Eric Paddon   (Member)

By far, the biggest sizzle in the female guest department in this episode comes from Tina Louise, as the victim's sister (now working as a stripper). Tina affects a hillbilly accent in this episode, sounding more like a southern Mary Ann than Ginger!

 Posted:   Jun 1, 2008 - 3:43 AM   
 By:   Thread Assasin   (Member)

Hi, Eric:
I think both Niven and Lupino were part of "Four Star," the company that produced the series. I had just finished watching the "Billy Jo" episode before reading this post; I'm enjoying the series very much and hope it will see a complete release. The "before-they-hit-it-big" cameos are a lot of fun.

 Posted:   Jun 1, 2008 - 5:35 AM   
 By:   Eric Paddon   (Member)

Thanks for that info on Niven being part of the Four Star group, Castile, I hadn't realized that!

I think the liner notes indicate a committment on VCI's part to do the whole series right through the misguided "Amos Burke-Secret Agent" reimagining of Season 3. The only question is how far apart the releases will be, with four more to do the entire series. (We still haven't even seen a formal release date announced for "Honey West", the show's spinoff, even though the box art promo is on Disc 1).

 Posted:   Jun 2, 2008 - 4:59 AM   
 By:   Thread Assasin   (Member)

In the "Legends" category (because, in her day, she was, IMO, a knockout...) Gloria Swanson's cameo in the "Who Killed Purity Mather?" episode is a hoot. She must have had an admirable sense of humor about herself to let them doll her up the way they did in this one! (Also, in the same episode, Nancy Kovak's turn as "Girl-Girl" has to be seen to be believed.) I am enjoying the hell out of this show.

 Posted:   Jun 2, 2008 - 8:44 AM   
 By:   Eric Paddon   (Member)

Since I regard Nancy to be one of the most beautiful women of that decade (if not all time), I'll be looking forward to spotlighting her brief appearance! smile (8 episodes to go, and I'm trying to not get through them all too fast).

 Posted:   Jun 6, 2008 - 12:35 AM   
 By:   Eric Paddon   (Member)

A lot of names to profile in episode #9, "Who Killed Wade Walker?", a tale of a millionaire whose private plane blew up.

The ever reliable Sergeant Ames remains on duty! (To see Eileen O'Neil on the other side of the law, catch her in the "Batman" episode where she's the moll of Walter Slezak's villainous Clock King).

The jilted girlfriend for this week is Joan Staley.

 Posted:   Jun 6, 2008 - 12:39 AM   
 By:   Eric Paddon   (Member)

In one of her first roles, and before her bigger singing fame, is Nancy Sinatra, playing the secretary to the deceased's partner (and taking an immediate fancy to Burke's always-eager-to-please partner, Detective Tim Tilson).

The visit to business partner Frankie Laine, reveals the deceased had four steady girlfriends, all of whom become suspects!

 Posted:   Jun 6, 2008 - 1:00 AM   
 By:   Eric Paddon   (Member)

Suspect #1 is superficially sensible and practical, nurse Dana Wynter (we get to see how much of a facade that really is!).

 Posted:   Jun 6, 2008 - 1:12 AM   
 By:   Eric Paddon   (Member)

Suspect #2, winner of the "Miss International" beauty pageant, Anne Francis (one year away from a repeat guest appearance that would spin her off into her own show, "Honey West").

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