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Saturday, 23 February 2008 08:41

2005

Cult TV heads inland and to a hotel once more, the Renaissance Solihull Hotel, right in the heart of the country ...

 

With two successive downturns in attendee numbers, it was obvious that something had to be done in terms of choice of venue, just to see if this would have any effect on increasing support for the Weekender. Whilst the experience of using hotels over the years had been variable, it was decided that Cult TV should take another swing at exploding the myth that most potential attendees prefer hotels and also prefer central locations. You could not get more central in the UK that Renaissance Solihull Hotel, near Birmingham, West Midlands, and the guest list was one of the hottest that has ever been put together for a Cult TV Weekender.

John Saxon, Peter Tork, George Sewell, Kim Darby, David Graham, William Russell, Carole Ann Ford, Prentis Hancock, Phlip Madoc, Michael Keating, Sammie Winmill, Peter Vaughan Clarke, Ronald Wolfe, Johnny Crawford, Jean-Pierre Dorleac, Philip Brodie, Annette Badland, Brian Grant, Sheenagh Pugh and Mitch Benn were just some of the stars who were lined up to entice along attendees. However, two major autograph shows thought it would be a jolly wheeze to move their dates to those already long-announced for the Cult TV Weekender, and this meant another huge hit on attendance numbers - not just for Cult TV, but for them as well - after all, people can't be in two places at once!

However, Cult TV attendees in 2005 agreed that this was one of the most smoothly-run Weekenders that there had ever been, and the Production Team played their part in making it one of our most friendly, organised and efficient events to date.

Saturday, 23 February 2008 08:39

2006

Over the weekend of 20-23 October 2006, we returned to where it all began - the Seacroft Holiday Village in Hemsby, on the east coast of England...

 

Seacroft had certainly improved in the 12 years since Cult TV last came visiting, and there was a degree of optimism that the right choice had been made.

The whole production team were impressed with Seacroft, following a familiarisation visit in the May of 2006. However, the clues that the background administration for the venue was not all it could be came very early on – with Seacroft’s inability to confirm accommodation bookings to attendees until more than six months after the first wave of bookings were presented to them. The installation of a new computerised booking system was to blame, but this was a warning sign of things to come.

Celebrity guests at the weekend included Elisabeth Sladen, Terry Carter, Herb Jefferson Jr, Norman Lovett, Terry Molloy, Francis Matthews, Dave Prowse MBE, Jeremy Bulloch and the team from Starhyke, Richard Gibson, Kim Hartman, David Barry, Stewart Bevan, Ruth Boswell, Richard Bonehill, Ian Fairbairn, Ron B Moore, Jim Mortimore, Mike Trim, Ken Rock, Ken Basford, John Ainsworth, and a surprise appearance by Stephen Greif.

Behind the scenes, all was not good. Heating was turned off in screening rooms meaning they were far too cold to occupy, lunchtime meals weren’t available where people expected them to be (as agreed in advance and noted in our schedules booklet), and bar opening times were not as had been agreed. Attendees, following the event, made their views on these and other issues well-known to the Production Team when feedback was requested, which left Cult TV with a dilemma – the venue had already been provisionally booked for the following year, and there were many people unhappy with this prospect.

That said, a considerable number of late guest cancellations did not dent the enthusiasm of those who had attended, and even with another reduction in our anticipated attendance, we still managed to raise £3,000 for our chosen charity, MSF.

Saturday, 23 February 2008 08:37

2007

The final year of the Cult TV Festival Weekender, and we took over a stately home and conference centre in Oxfordshire...

 

Back at the familiarisation weekend in May 2006, the Cult TV Production Team had immediately booked the dates of 31 August to 3 September for 2007 with Seacroft - such was the confidence in the venue. After receiving an overwhelming amount of negative feedback towards the venue (rather than the event itself), action had to be taken to satisfy the majority of our regular audience.

The first change may have seemed a little cosmetic, but as marketers will tell you, words are everything. Having been called a "Festival" for the last few years, the Production Team made the decision to revert back to the name that had been used right back in the early years of the event - "An Appreciation Weekend", also adopting the moniker "Weekender" as a short-hand for this (the term is very popular for music events around the world, who follow a similar all-inclusive format as to that which Cult TV has always offered). It seemed to be the case that the word "Festival" was simply not describing what it was our attendees were part of.

The second change was a little more major – as a majority of attendees were not happy with Seacroft as a venue, to go back there would be counter-productive to our aim of growing Cult TV back to the size of event it was in its heyday. Many of our attendees had been with us for years, and times move on for all of us. As we get older, ‘home comforts’ become more and more important, so it becoming necessary to have a room to sleep in at night that was as comfortable as possible.

We also appreciated that whilst we ask people to treat Cult TV as a holiday break, none of us seem to want to be too far away from home, so journeys have to be made as short as possible for as many potential attendees as possible. We needed a location in the centre of the country, well served by the road and rail networks.

Finally, it was clear that the proposed new date at the end of August was proving to be problematic for more of our regular supporters than those who liked it. People wanted us back to an October date, so we had to factor this in to our choice of venue.

After a nationwide search, inspecting over half a dozen prospective venues and approaching over a dozen others, Cult TV made plans to move to the Dunchurch Park Hotel, Warwickshire, over the weekend of 19-22 October 2007.

All went well until early February 2007, when bad news came from Dunchurch. They had never previously been considered to host a Cult TV Festival Weekender before, as they had a shortage of bedrooms compared to what was needed as a minimum – this was going to be solved with them bringing builders in to increase their bedroom capacity by over 50%. Unfortunately, the builders went bankcrupt, and this meant there was no way that the expansion would be ready in time.

So, calling upon our friends at Hotelsmart, and also thanks to a recommendation by Dunchurch themselves, Cult TV ‘upgraded’ even further than before, but at what has turned out to be more competitive bedroom rates overall. The Festival Weekender was scheduled for the same dates in October as those secured at Dunchurch, but now we would be at the Heythrop Park Hotel, Enstone, Chipping Norton, Oxfordshire, UK.

The decision was also made to make this the final live Cult TV Weekender - our audience demographic has shifted over the years, and we were no longer appealing to the essential 18-25 year old market that we had done in our early years. Our audience has basically shifted to 30-somethings, Baby Boomers and older. Whilst it would be terrific to see there being a continuing enthusiasm amongst those under 30 for the TV fiction of years gone by, the throwaway disposable culture means that if it's not new and shiny, it's consigned to history.

Unfortunately, the 30-somethings and older are now not in a position, in the main, to spare us a whole weekend away from home. Family and work commitments mean that days off are precious, so Cult TV has to find a way to come to them, rather than them come to us. This will be the way we will be moving things in the months to come!

However, with the 2007 Weekender, we definitely left people wanting more. Our guest list included Philip Glenister, Antonio Fargas, Ron Harper, Jared Martin, Ike Eisenmann, Ben Miller, Kent McCord, Heather Menzies, Allan Hunt, Matthew Graham, Georgina Hale, Liz Morgan, Deborah Watling, Nigel Rhodes, John Hasler, Alistair Lock, Ben Aaronovitch, James Swallow, Alan Shubrook, Kevin Davies, Grant Cathro, Lee Pressman, Marc Blake, and Andrew Mark Sewell. Suffice to say that the Cult TV Weekender concluded as it had begun - bringing stars and production staff never before seen on the convention circuit to the UK. In 2007, four of our guests had never attended a convention anywhere in the world before, whilst for another six this was their first ever UK convention (or signing event, for those who like to distinguish one from another!).

Cult TV has existed because of the support of not only our celebrity guests but also our attendees. We hope that you will join us for the debut of the Cult TV Weekender in the vitual world. As Bachman Turner Overdrive once said: "You ain't seen nothing yet!" ...

Friday, 22 February 2008 09:12

Richard Anderson

Oscar Goldman speaks out about all things bionic ...

 

Over the phone, Richard Anderson takes great pride in telling me that on his side of the Atlantic it's a sunny 75 degrees. I decide not to make much of the fact that in England it's wet, extremely windy, and only just above freezing.

Anderson has had a long and varied career, and from appearances on both the big and small screen, he has moved on to become a wheeler-dealer behind the camera.

The interest in production was triggered in 1988. He and Lee Majors came to England for a benefit for blind children spear-headed by Princess Margaret. The two of them continued on to the south of France for a barge holiday with a group of friends. Majors went off running one day, and Richard and friends headed off on bikes. The two of them met up in the middle of nowhere and improvised a short scene.

"Hi, Steve", said Anderson. "Hi, Oscar", replied Majors. "I've got one more mission for you", expanded Anderson, who was being met with the sort of reluctance you would expect from a retired bionic man. With the series having been out of production for over a decade, a revival was difficult to set up, and it took Anderson over a year to get the project moving. Since then, that first TV movie, "The Return of The Six Million Dollar Man and The Bionic Woman" has been followed up by two further movies - "Bionic Showdown" and "Bionic Ever After".

"We're looking at doing a theatrical feature next", comments Anderson. "It was while we were editing the last one that it seemed time to do a motion picture. I'd tried once before, but this time around the studio were more receptive. We're currently in development, for what will be a high adventure movie with the latest special effects. "Mission: Impossible" made $450 million, so perhaps the time is right".

Anderson's personal view is that the movie should involve as many of the original cast as possible, but they're not yet up to that point in the film's development. Anderson is in partnership with producer Larry Gordon on the project, and they've considered that the show's original child audience between 1973 and 1978 will now be in their 30s and 40s. Add to that daily reruns of both Steve Austin's and Jaime Summers' adventures on Sci-Fi on both sides of the Atlantic, and the new young audience will have familiarity with the show, too. Australia has even been screening the shows again in prime time. It all adds up to a ready-made worldwide theatrical audience for the project.

Will Anderson himself be appearing again as Oscar Goldman? "Look at Bond", he notes, "They've changed him before without changing 'M'. The same could be true in this case".

Richard Anderson made 29 motion pictures for MGM at the start of his career in the 1950s. In fact, there's so much to Anderson's wide-ranging career that he's due to soon have his own Home Page on the Internet! Of particular note was the SF blockbuster "Forbidden Planet" in 1956, "The Long, Hot Summer" with Orson Welles and Paul Newman in 1958, and the Kubrick movie Paths of Glory in 1957. "That was tough to get made", he advises. "Stanley was a very visual director, he had an overall concept in mind, and his interest was always in telling the story. He had read something at 11 years old about a British Army outfit who had shot five people in their battalion, and that influenced the movie. He got me being a dialogue coach while he was attending to other things".

Richard began his TV career in 1961. He was a series regular in "Bus Stop", playing District Attorney Glenn Wagner. One episode, directed by Robert Altman, caused concern at the time, with a story about a teenage psychopath, and was widely criticised for its violence. "Altman was way ahead of his time. I remember there being concern about it", notes Richard.

A regular role in the war drama "Twelve O'Clock High" followed, before he went on to join the cast of "Perry Mason" for its final season, as police lieutenant Steve Drumm. A few years later, he was back in series television alongside Burt Reynolds in "Dan August", playing Chief George Untermeyer. "Burt is very magnetic, very bright, and has a great sense of fun", Richard says warmly about his series co-star. Reynolds went on to major stardom soon after the series finished, and reruns of the series on the back of this celebrity meant the show did better than ever.

Richard is very proud of his involvement in the career of Sandra Bullock. She got a major break when she was cast as the new bionic woman in "Bionic Showdown". "We saw some tapes of her, and I knew we had to get hold of her", notes Richard with his producer's hat on. "We spoke to the network about doing a series with her, but nothing happened. I admired her presence, and she's a very interesting lady. She stepped in to do "The Glass Shield" a couple of year ago with me, and was great. I have a sense about actors, and it takes time for them to develop. I knew Kristen Scott Thomas was going to make it big, for instance".

Rumours of on-set friction between bionic stars Lee Majors and Lindsay Wagner were commonplace in the 1970s when the shows screened in the UK. Could Richard confirm if this had been the case, him having worked on both shows at the same time? "As you know, Lindsay came in as a guest star, and then got her own show. There's a lot of puff going on in many a series, and it all helps to hype the shows. Everyone worked extremely hard, for instance the SIX MILLION DOLLAR MAN episodes were turned around in six days, with THE BIONIC WOMAN taking just slightly longer. With that sort of turn-round, and the long hours, there will always be some disagreements".

Richard is getting much more fan mail from England now that SCI-FI are rerunning the bionic adventures.

 

Friday, 22 February 2008 09:09

Robert Davi

A profile of Profiler's Bailey Malone ...

 

Make no mistake about it. Robert Davi is Bailey Malone. If an actor could write a character to suit himself, Robert would have sketched out the male lead in Profiler. The actor and the character share common interests, and if anything that makes the fiction all the more compelling.

Profiler has previously screened this side of the Atlantic and what was once called NBC Europe - the first two seasons of the show, that is. The series continues Stateside, lumbering through a fourth season, still with Mr Davi aboard, but star Ally Walker decided to jump ship at the end of Season Three.

Robert has been an actor all his life. "In the 8th Grade I found I had a voice for opera, so I followed that path a little, but my impulse has always been an actor", he notes, correcting press releases that have placed his career development the opposite way round. "I have always liked cinema, and let's face it, opera singers are just bad actors! I didn't want to translate myself in that direction. My heroes were people like Spencer Tracey, Bogart, Mitchum, Marvin, Richardson, Caine, all those sort".

One hero he played opposite was Frank Sinatra, in his big break, the lead role in the 1978 film Contract on Cherry Street. "To an Italian American kid, I was working with a legend. I'd seen his movies, and his interpretive ability with a song is unrivalled. He appealed to all my interests".

Robert began finding himself playing villains more often than good guys throughout the 1980s. He never felt typecast, though. "If you look at the careers of people like Anthony Quinn, Cagney, even Tommy Lee Jones, they all were cast as villains. There comes a certain point in your life, in your late 30s, early 40s, when suddenly that can change. Maybe a director sees a glimpse of something else within you along the way. I played comedy in The Goonies, which showed something else was going on. Even when I played the Bond villain in Licence to Kill, there were some people who were rooting for that character ahead of the traditional hero. Now, in Profiler, I get to play Bailey Malone, and I get to show another essence of myself. Stage performances show off multi-varied aspects of an actor, film has always been something else entirely. You always have a prejudice as to what you can and can't do, but your soul is able to come out more".

And now Davi finds himself a leading man on network television. "Who'd have thought that? I have a certain look, and while certain characters were for me, others would get the parts as they had the look rather than the soul. I was always cast older than I was in reality, having a certain look, and I grew into that look".

Getting back on the trail of information about his appearance with James Bond, I asked if there had been any pressure on the set, given that Licence to Kill was Timothy Dalton's second 007 film, and there may have been a need to better their first effort with him in the lead role. "It was a relaxed set. The Living Daylights had been successful, and it had even taken Sean Connery until Goldfinger, his third film I think, to really get there with it. What Cubby and Barbara Broccoli tried to do was make Bond more acceptable in today's society. They changed his attitude to women, and I think that was a mistake. The enjoyment of Bond is seeing him in Monte Carlo, with a Ferrari and five babes. Timothy didn't want that kind of image, and that was the mis-step. Tim got reality, not enjoyment. After all, no-one's ever played the role as well as Sean Connery - the presence, the ease, and he made it the greatest screen character of all time. Sean epitomises the essence of what everyone else aspires to be".

I turn the focus onto Profiler. Was it Robert's idea to have Bailey a cigar smoker? "That was part of the deal", he says smiling, and then lights up a Cuban cigar called Punch Punch. "I was featured in an eight page spread in a cigar officiando magazine recently. Cigars have become trendy in America, even women are smoking them". Bailey Malone is also an opera fan. "Again, my idea. I hope to soon have him taking an interest in motor cycles". No prizes for guessing this is another of Davi's hobbies.

So, who's his favourite leading lady? Robert immediately cites Ally Walker, who played female lead Sam Waters in Profiler seasons 1-3, those episodes which have been snapped up by Satellite Channel Living. "Ally is bright and funny. As for other actresses, Joan Severence was okay, Talisa Soto in the Bond film was good. There's so many ladies I'd like to work with, but I guess Catherine Deneuve would be a favourite".

Did he have any reservations about moving from film leads to a lead in a TV show? Did he see it as a retrograde step? "I had no anxiety about it at all. I'm not the kind of actor to worry. Certain actors can't translate to the big screen, so I'm glad I can do both. If 60% of an audience know your name, a lot more will know your face. I have a name which has a certain level of recognition now, which also means producers and directors know me, and are able to recognise the range of things that I can do. I like Bailey Malone, he's a positive character, and playing him each week will help add to the range that I am perceived to be able to cover. Look at George Clooney - he's moved from ER to the big screen". Certainly, Clooney's small screen success has led to him playing Batman as well as an overall extremely bankable commodity.

I ask about the striking similarities between Profiler and Millennium. Both feature characters with similar skills, and the investigation of similar cases. "You have ER and Chicago Hope, they're both hospital dramas. You have cop shows, medical shows, so why not two profiler shows. The difference between the two is that Millennium is a one note show. Profiler is more of an orchestra, an ensemble. People interact with each other, making it more human. Yes, Profiler can scare you, but it can also move you to emotion".

Does he think that Profiler is something that children should be allowed to watch? "It's definitely not for under 10s. As for over 10s, that's questionable. It depends on the child and the parent. We deal with human issues, and there is a moral sensibility in the shows. It gives hope in today's society, where we have rampant violence all around. Role models are being torn down. Malone and Waters, our central characters, have moral fibre. JFK said 'power corrupts, poetry cleanses,' and I hope that we show that the power of the FBI and the poetry of humanity leads to the exchange of lessons".

As for the future of the Bailey Malone character, Bailey has firm ideas. "I'd like to see him develop his own profiling powers. After all, Sam was his protegee, and it would be good to see him making use of that knowledge. He's got a military background, and already has a researching ability. I'd also like to see him gain a personal life. We have many interesting character arcs developing for Bailey over the seasons, as things really start to open up. We even have James Coburn guesting in a two-parter, and that's worth watching out for".

 

 

 

Friday, 22 February 2008 09:07

Mitch Pileggi & Nicholas Lea

In conversation with Skinner and Krycek from The X-Files ...

 

Mitch Pileggi plays Assistant Director Skinner, Nicholas Lea is Agent Alex Krycek in the mysterious world of THE X-FILES. Fans have a very specific idea of what Skinner, the long-term boss of FBI Agents Scully and Mulder, is like. Round-rimmed glasses, over-starched shirts, and a cold demeanour, and Nicholas Lea is the man they all love to hate -- the weasel-like, shadowy character whose motives are almost always unclear. The transformation from well-to-do new partner for Mulder to a force for pure evil is gradual, and his is certainly one of the most well-drawn characters in the entire series. With these visions of the pair of them in your head, it's difficult to come to terms with them in real life. Both are easy going, dressed in jeans and causal shirts. If it wasn't for their striking features, you'd probably pass them by on the street.

Landing the role of Skinner was a case of third time lucky for Mitch Pileggi. On two previous occasions, he had auditioned to play FBI agents on the series, but when the original Section Chief, Blevins (Charles Cioffi) was unavailable for the episode "Tooms," Skinner was created. Skinner's been helping keep The X Files active, despite many attempts to shut them down. Mitch came to fame in the Wes Craven movie SHOCKER, playing the murderous Horace Pinker. TV work has included roles in KNIGHT RIDER 2000, DALLAS, and CHINA BEACH.

As for Nick Lea, he's appeared in such series as HIGHLANDER and THE COMMISH in guest roles. He made his first appearance in THE X-FILES as a survivor of a nightclub attack by a sex-swapping entity in the episode "Gender Bender."

 

That was enough to get him noticed, and director Rob Bowman immediately thought of Nick to play the part of Agent Alex Krycek in the episode "Sleepless." Since then, Krycek has turned from Goody Two Shoes into a double-crossing double agent. It's now 1996, and since I last caught up with the guys in October 1995, when the Cult TV Production Crew flew the pair of them over for CULT TV 1995, Nick Lea has been working on other projects, as well as making a couple of appearances in THE X-FILES.

"I filmed a new pilot, which is going to be picked up in the Fall (Autumn)," announces Nick. "It's called ONCE A THIEF, and it's Executive Produced and directed by John Woo. It's basically the story of three people who come from different backgrounds, my character being an ex-cop, the two others being ex-thieves, and w form an international crime-fighting group. It's sort of THE MOD SQUAD for the 1990s!"

And Mitch? Has he had time for anything else other than playing Skinner? "I have to keep myself available for the possibilities of Skinner being written into an upcoming show, and they've got me under contract now, so it's hard for me to really go out and book something else. If they need me, they need me, and I've got to be there." This being their second appearance in the UK, they seem to have acquired the roles of Ambassadors for THE X-FILES. I wonder if it ever gets boring answering the same questions over and over, having to deal with the media's obsession in asking what David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson are really like?

"At times you're just tired of it," comments Nick, "but when we're not, you realise that different groups of people are going to be reading it, or seeing it, listening, viewing or whatever, and you want to make it interesting for them, too -- there's responsibility there to represent the show in a positive light. We both have a great loyalty to it, and I think that it's important to give it our best shot."

"Occasionally, when I get real tired, I just want to start making stuff up", jokes Mitch. So what's the best gag they've come up with? "That David's having a testicle reduction", Nick announces, straight-faced, and the pair of them then crack up with laughter.

We've seen Skinner get shot in an episode. Did Mitch think his number was up when he saw the "Piper Maru" script, where this takes place? "No, not at all. Chris likes the character and he's not going to kill him off...yet. I know that he realises the popularity of the role, and the writers like writing for Skinner, so I don't think that they would even consider it."

Krycek was once imprisoned in a UFO silo, seemingly with no chance of escape. But Nick does make a comeback from that. "Yes, and you can be sure I will keep doing so! I've been told I'm now over the death hump, because they were originally going to kill me - Chris Carter saw no other way that my character could go other than being erased, after having done so many awful things. I called Chris on the phone, a little irregular, I know, and pleaded for him not to kill Krycek, as I enjoy being on the show too much. Lo and behold he didn't. He said that I brought too much to the show to kill me off, which is something of a compliment. I didn't cry, though, to influence him - I didn't stoop quite that low."

But what about the silo he was in? It's a little bit difficult to get out of. "How Krycek gets out of that predicament happens in the following season, very early on". Some jolly japes had surmised Krycek had a key in the heel of his shoe. "I heard a better one", Nick remarks, "somebody suggested at one of the conventions we were at that there was a back door to the silo!"

The final episode of that third season was again a cliff-hanger. Were there any major revelations that Mitch could tell us about at that time? "Skinner pops up briefly in the last couple of episodes, and isn't an integral part to what is happening. What it's going to translate into for the beginning of Season Four, even we don't know".

What do they enjoy most about the UK, now that they've become regular visitors? Nick is gushing in his praise. "I really enjoy the people. I find them to be better educated and wittier."

"It's really vibrant here," notes Mitch. "We went to the theatre last night, and afterwards walked down the streets, and they were packed, the pubs full of people enjoying life."

Nick has family connections which add another dimension to his trips. "My heritage is English, so I'm proud to be back here. We went to the British Museum, and I was looking up my family in the books - pages and pages on it. I really enjoy it here -- at one point I was going to come over to live, maybe even try and get in at RADA - it's probably a little too late for that now. Life seems less complicated here. Another thing I didn't realise, when I went out for a run in Hyde Park, we come over to England thinking we're so different, that life is different, as we live on the other side of the world, but you watch people doing exactly the same things you're doing - Hyde Park looks so much like my home town. It makes you realise that people are the same wherever you go".

Both of them have come to terms with being recognised out on the streets. Mitch certainly has the presence not to be missed. Storyline wise, I note that some people reckon the series should stick to developing the conspiracy theory story, and not be distracted by other plotlines. Mitch ponders for a moment. "I think it's smart for them to continue having all these different avenues to take. You get the monster shows, you get the paranormal stuff, you've got the X-FILES mythology that revolves around the conspiracy. I think it's refreshing to not stay on one track too long, as the audience might get bored of that quickly. Every once in a while, throw in something different - it's very wise and astute to do so".

Nick knows what he would like to see. "A few more mythology episodes would help, because that would mean I could be in it a little more! The mythology shows are the backbone of the series. In STAR TREK, they're normally revolving around the same theme, finding a new life form or intelligence, but in THE X-FILES we go all over the map, both in terms of people and format."

A lot of people discovered THE COMMISH, when it was on Sky One, in which Nick was a recurring character, the easy going cop Ricky Caruso. "I did about two and a half years on that show. It was a great experience in terms of being in front of the camera and learning technique. It changed my life in a lot of ways - before I got that role I was just going from job to job, not really having enough money to be able to do what I wanted to do. You can be in an acting class all you want, but you don't fully learn until you get off that stage and in front of a camera".

I knew that guest stars in the early X-FILES had always been unknowns, at least that had been the rule up until this point. The reasoning had been that such a celebrity appearance would detract too much from the storyline (not to mention the possible ramifications to the budget!).

However, in the final episode of the third season, Roy Thinnes (who played architect David Vincent in the long-running 1960s series THE INVADERS is a guest star. Was this a conscious decision by series creator Chris Carter to pay homage to one of the inspirations of THE X-FILES? Mitch hadn't considered this before. "I honestly don't know, but you have to admit, it was a piece of very smart casting". Nick adds, "I know they were trying to get Darrin McGavin, who played KOLCHAK: THE NIGHT STALKER, to have played Mulder's father. That would have been a real homage to the show's influences, but unfortunately he wasn't able to do it. I think Chris knows the legacy that THE X-FILES is going to leave behind, the excitement that it produces, and wanted to acknowledge the shows that motivate him from what he's watched in the past". Mitch liked sharing screen time with the one-time star of THE INVADERS.

"Roy Thinnes is brilliant, just wonderful. It was so neat working with him". Some people have suggested that psychological horror that was more evident in the earlier episodes of the show has been replaced with more horror of a graphic nature. How does Nick see it? "I think the show has become more violent. Why this is happening, I couldn't even begin to tell you. I've noticed it, but I also think the quality of the show has stepped up at the same time. When you're doing a series like this, you're constantly looking for new ways to excite your audience. The programme's evolving constantly, and it may well go back into more psychological horror - these things tend to go in cycles in long-running shows. They're still keeping up the wonderfully inventive storylines, but for instance that movie, SEVEN, it's fairly graphic, but still very good".

Speaking of clever shows, we move on to SLIDERS. Did Nick feel any remorse in passing up the chance to become a regular in the series? "There was certainly talk at one point about me joining the cast. Tracy Torme, the show's creator, called me up a while ago and told me he was under pressure from the network to do particular things in the series, which unfortunately didn't involve me. But he did want to have me back as a guest star."

And what next for Walter S Skinner? Where did Mitch see the role going? "They're opening up the character. He has an ex-wife who's a succubus, had a relationship with a hooker, and will continue to evolve. It opens up a whole bunch of possibilities. The episode where they spotlighted Skinner ('Avatar') was a real treat to do, and my favourite of last season".

And what was Nick's favourite from last season? "It's the one called 'Wet-wired', all about manipulation by the media. It was written by our special effects supervisor Mat Beck. My other favourite is 'D.P.O.' the one about a kid who attracts lightning. I mean, that's a story that doesn't work on paper, but when you see it, the performance by the kid makes it. I'm much like everyone else now - I sit home and watch the show."

Does Mitch ever put forward script ideas to the writers and producers? "No, I'm just too lazy. I come up with typical X-FILES character names sometimes - SAM CLUTCH, for instance. That's a character from my childhood - he was the bogey man who would feature in scary stories my mother would tell me. Stuff that had been passed on down my mom's family - maybe that might be the basis of a good episode..."

Indeed in the world of THE X-FILES, the unexpected is never too far away.


Interview conducted in 1996 by Alex J Geairns.

 

 

Friday, 22 February 2008 09:05

Mira Furlan

This actress may have been Delenn in Babylon 5, but now she's much more ...

 

I had a certain trepidation about interviewing Mira Furlan. Not every actress you speak to has fled from a war zone to the relative peace of the good ol' USA.

"I had to stop giving interviews in my former country," notes former Yugoslavian Mira Furlan, "because both sides would try and twist my words to suit their purpose". We sit together in the plush penthouse suite of the Warner Brothers London office, and she sips fresh orange juice, pausing to contemplate the radical change in lifestyle the 1990s have brought her.

Mira was a household name in her former country, known for a string of features and a couple of TV series. She had been a shining star on their silver screen, winning two Golden Arenas (the Yugoslavian Oscar) for Best Actress. With the start of the troubles, neither side would allow her to stay neutral. Frosty attitudes from former friends and neighbours, and eventually even death threats, meant that Mira and director husband Goran Gajic had no choice but to emigrate, choosing to relocate to the States.

While there is obvious sorrow in her voice, she has been able to find positive points about her move. "I had a long-term frustration as a human being and an actress with the roles I used to be given in TV and film back home. I would always be cast as a bad woman, the femme fatale, in very sexist scripts. While I used to get to play the entire classical repertoire in theatre, I longed for characters on film with dignity, strength and intellectual powers. These never came - until now."

Mira struggled to find work when she arrived in America. The idea of auditions was new to her, having been such an established actress. Agents were something that she couldn't come to terms with, either. Facing a brick wall of a system which doesn't allow you to go to an audition unless you are on an agent's books somewhere, she finally decided to enlist with one.

The benefits soon became apparent. Within days she had a demanding theatrical role, and the Babylon 5 auditions were some of the first she attended, 'under new management'.

"America is just so huge compared to Europe, and there are so many wannabees, with no schooling, trying to get on in Hollywood. Even my dentist has a script he wants to sell!"

As Delenn, the ambassador of the spiritual Minbari, Mira has found a character with all the qualities she always hoped for. "Strangely, I felt frustrated in the opposite way when I first began to play her. With so much make-up, it was difficult to see how I really looked. I guess that was my vanity taking over!"

That objection gradually melted away as Delenn transformed over the years. From the harsh, sexless form of the pilot movie, the image was immediately made more feminine for the first season - keeping the bald head and a wide bridge on her nose, with her ears "lowered". The episode "Chrysalis" at the end of that first season saw her transform into a much more human incarnation - long, dark hair and a sensuality emerging which represented, in physical form, the alliance being formed between Earth and Minbar.

Delenn's assistant is Lennier, played by Bill Mumy, whom those of a creaky disposition will remember as the cute kid on "Lost in Space", over twenty years ago. "That's just another of those strange coincidences happening in my life at the moment. I used to watch "Lost in Space" as a child in Yugoslavia. Now I get to perform alongside the grown up Will Robinson! We've become great friends."

Mira's starting to find out all she can about Science Fiction. Her enthusiasm for the genre has come about from having spoken to SF fans. "Conventions came as a big shock to me. I'd never gone to anything like them before. In my experience, the people I have met at them have had very admirable qualities - they're anti-racist, void of prejudice, intelligent, and with a positive, attentive approach to life - it's very uplifting."

She notes with pride how well the videos of Babylon 5 are doing in Croatia. "I might be unpopular with the government there, but obviously not with the people!"

In the first season of Babylon 5, we see an interesting relationship building up between Delenn and Jeffrey Sinclair, the former station commander, played by Michael O'Hare.

"We both had a common grounding in the theatre, which meant we got on very well together. And then we had Bruce Boxleitner in charge. Bruce brings an incredible amount of experience to the set in a very different way. He's very relaxed about things, a real charmer!" Captain Sheridan soon revealed his feelings for Delenn, which once more brought a new aspect to her character.

Like the rest of the cast, Mira is very evasive about the background of Michael O'Hare's departure. Some say he was pushed, perhaps by TV network executives. Others say it is all part of creator J Michael Straczinski's master plan, which noted experts describe as having echoes of "Lord of the Rings" about it.

"Weeks went by between my first auditions and being finally cast. Then we had the long wait between the pilot movie being made and finally going to a series. We have five seasons before we conclude telling our story. It's a big commitment".

Furlan has been receiving many offers of work following her high profile appearances on the show. "When I received my contract, it was for the pilot movie, with an option for five seasons. It was difficult imagining that far ahead. As far as I was concerned, it wasn't certain that we'd run for that long, so it wasn't a problem. Anyway, I managed to do other work in the summer breaks, including some theatre. Besides, while I have no objection to staying on until the end, I don't plan. You never know what Joe Straczinski has in mind."

She smiles broadly, keen to carry on the mystique which her fellow cast members help to maintain. The story arc is again protected until the big reveal on-screen, and who in truth really wants to spoil the surprises?


Interview conducted in 1996 by Alex J Geairns

 

Friday, 22 February 2008 09:01

Frank Gorshin

An interview with the Batman super villain The Riddler, the late, great, Frank Gorshin ...

 

"While we were filming Batman I often got asked if I'd got it together with Catwoman," Frank Gorshin remarks, taking a drag on a cigarette and fast recovering his vocal range after throat surgery.

"It was tough enough getting into my own tights, let alone hers!!"

A laugh more throaty than usual accompanies the punchline - the giggle is infectious and I find I have to join in. Mr Gorshin likes having fun, and that includes wit his interviews. Thinking we were settled down and ready to begin, I ask the usual mundane opener to settle him in. How did he get the part of The Riddler?

"I really like Brad Pitt", he says with a straight face, and then smiles widely, before the giggles start again between us. Sitting up straight, Frank slips on his serious cowl for a moment and fills in the story. It's a sunny day, and this is going to be a long session, so I was thankful of the shade.

"I had worked for a guy called Bill Gerringer on Naked City. He told me he had this project and asked me if I'd consider the part. I'd absolutely loved the Batman comics as a kid – and especially The Riddler, who was a genius. He just got away with pranks all the time. There was nothing he couldn't do. To suddenly be asked whether I wanted to bring him to life was just amazing. I didn't have to audition or anything."

With many appearances as the king of question marks (save for one outing where John Astin of Addams Family fame stepped into the tights), did he get the chance to develop the character at all?

 

"The key had to be his laugh. Life was such fun for him and I tried all sorts of laughs, but it had to be an honest laugh. I was really anxious to do this part – it was just bizarre. The outfits, the tights, everything. Adam West had to be careful not to be ridiculous, but I knew what I had to do and that was to have a lot of fun. I really looked forward to every new episode. I would do one show then I wouldn't do a show for another eight weeks – but I always looked forward to appearing again."

With Batman a success even now, over 30 years on, was there any feeling on the set that they were becoming part of a TV legend?

"Well, even to this day I certainly get recognised – ten year old kids still know me because of the re-runs. The first overnight ratings back in 1966 were phenomenal, and we kind of knew then that it was going to be something special. None of us knew or could anticipate just how long it was going to last. I certainly enjoyed the success and the exposure – but it has been a cross to bear. People identified me as that character for a long while. I had a tough time being considered again as a straight actor."

There were a great many props in the series. Had Frank encountered any problems with them?

"I got stuck in the automobile once. I was in the Batmobile and just couldn't get out. There were no handles, inside or outside, and they had to call a crew member in to get me out. I was stuck there for a long time. There was one sequence where I had to slide down a chute and come out standing up in a crowd of people. Believe me, that took quite a few takes!"

I wondered, as Frank is a comics fan, had he ever fancied a crack at another role in the series?

"Now, don't get me wrong, Burgess Meredith was so brilliant, but I would have loved to have played The Penguin. I would have maybe quacked more than him, and I would have waddled more. I was not the leading man type, so playing Batman would have been too straight. It was far more fun being the villain."

Frank was born on 5 April 1934 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Cult Film fans know him from a role in "Invasion of the Saucer Men" in 1957, and he has had a reputation as a comic and impressionist in the American equivalent of variety for a great many years. Kirk Douglas, Burt Lancaster, even Jack Nicholson are part of his mimic repertoire. With this thought in mind, I tackle the thorny topic of the Tim Burton Batman movies. Adam West is polite in his criticism of them, so how about Frank's opinion?

"They're terrific. I liked the first one with Jack Nicholson. They approached it from a very dry aspect. Ours was a spoof on the comic and these movies were dedicated to creating that dark look, Jack was absolutely brilliant as The Joker. I did think that somewhere along the way they would have had some of the original people doing cameos, which would have been fun. I don't know why they didn't."

So what is Mr Gorshin's favourite episode?

"It has to be the very first one. I set my character in that one and it got so much hype. It really was a big excitement in my life. We got ratings bigger than the Tonight show, and that was the biggest thing around. It was incredible"

Has Frank any memorabilia stored away from the series, as Adam West does?

"I never had any to keep. The costumes were just leotards and by the end of an episode it was just all shreds. I do have some old scripts and every once in a while I'll sell one at a convention."

As you can see from the TV credits at the bottom of this feature, Frank's been keeping himself busy on TV (and film, too - witness "12 Monkeys"). What have been his recent projects?

"Well, I've made a picture called "Everything's George". It's about George Burns, who I play, and they made me look like him. It was uncanny. I'm developing a one-man show with me as George, which we'll take on the road. I've also just done a picture with Eric Roberts."

And what has been the highlight of his career?

"I was nominated for an Emmy for playing The Riddler in that first episode "Hi Diddle Riddle". I was so thrilled just to have been nominated. I've been lucky and had a great life and everybody says to me to write a book, an autobiography, but who's going to read it? I haven't done enough to merit writing a book on me. But there's still time…" he muses, and smiles enigmatically. The riddles never cease.

 

FRANK GORSHIN'S TV SERIES WORK

  • "Black Scorpion" (1999-2000): Clockwise
  • "The Phantom Eye" (1999) (mini-series): Codger
  • "The Bold and the Beautiful" (1999): George
  • "General Hospital" (1999): Reverend Love
  • "Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman" (1995): Sharpie Lawyer in "Whine, Whine, Whine" ( #2.21)
  • "Are You Afraid of the Dark?" (1993): Brother Septimus in "Tale of the Carved Stone" (# 3.7)
  • "Ren and Stimpy" (1991): Reverend Jack Cheese in "Jack Cheese"
  • "Murder, She Wrote" (1988): Arnold Goldman" in "Mourning Among the Wisterias" (# 4.15)
  • "Monsters" (1988): appeared in "Parents From Space"
  • "The Fall Guy" (1984): Frakes in "Losers Weepers" (# 4.1)
  • "The Edge of Night" (1981-2): Smiley Wilson
  • "Goliath Awaits (1981) (mini series): Dan Wesker
  • "Buck Rogers in the 25th Century" (1979): Kellogg in "Plot to Kill a City" Parts 1 & 2
  • "Greatest Heroes of the Bible" (1978) (mini-series): Ocran
  • "Legends of the Super-Heroes" (1977): The Riddler
  • "Wonder Woman" (1977): Dr Hoffman in "The Deadly Toys" ( # 2.12)
  • "Charlie's Angels" (1977): Harry Dana in "Angels at Sea" (# 1.21)
  • "S.W.A.T." (1975): appeared in "Ordeal"
  • "Hawaii Five-O" (1974): Stash in "Welcome To Our Branch Office" (# 7.15)
  • "Don Adams' Screen Test" (1974): appeared as himself
  • "The ABC Comedy Hour" (1972): Regular appearances
  • "The Virginian" (1970): "Dutch" in "Follow the Leader" (# 9.11)
  • "The High Chaparral" (1969): Patrick 'Stinky' Flanagan in "Stinky Flanagan" (# 2.21)
  • "Star Trek" (1969): Commissioner Bele in "Let That Be Your Last Battlefield" (# 3.15)
  • ".Batman (1966-8): The Riddler
  • "Garrison's Gorillas" (1967): Destin" in "Thieves' Holiday" (# 1.10)
  • "The Munsters," (1966): Fair Deal Dan in "Herman, the Tire Kicker" (# 2.28)
  • "The Andy Williams Show" (1966): personal appearance
  • "Naked City" (1963): appeared in "Beyond This Place There Be Dragons" (# 4.19)
  • "Combat!" (1963): Wharton in "The Medal"
  • "Empire" (1962): appeared in "The Fire Dancer" (# 1.7)
  • "The Untouchables" (1962): Herbie Catcher in "The Pea" (# 4.5)
  • "Combat!" (1962): "Private Gavin in "The Hell Machine"
  • "Mr. Lucky" (1960): Jerry Musco in "The Last Laugh" (# 1.17)
  • "Frontier Doctor" (1959): appeared in "The Shadow of Belle Starr" (# 1.15)

 

Find out more about Frank Gorshin at the official website www.frankgorshin.com

 

 

Friday, 22 February 2008 08:56

Vengeance Unlimited

Not the Chapel of love ...

 

USA - 1998-99 - 16 episodes (60 mins) - colour

 

01. Cruel and Unusual
Guests: Ray Wise (Jack Schiller), Gregg Henry (Edward Pike), Daniel Roebuck (Hargess), Tom Billett (Kevin), Krystal Benn (Caroline Hargess), La Reine Chabut (Lucy Hargess)
Plot: When a secretary discovers evidence of her boss' drug smuggling and the widower is framed for her murder, Mr. Chapel, a man who rights wrongs, enlists the aid of KC Griffin, a previous recipient of his aid, to wreak vengeance in his own unique way.
writers: John McNamara & David Simkins
director: James Frawley

02. Victim of Circumstance
Guests: Keith Szarabajka (Dr Alan Walker), Gunther Jensen (Joe Riley), Christian Clemenson (Agent Brownsteen), Jennifer Bransford (Tilly McGinniss), Suanne Spoke (Director Green)
Plot: After an FBI Profiler buries evidence may jeopardize a lucrative book deal,Mr Chapel goes to bat for an innocent man convicted for a spate of killings, enlisting help from inside the Bureau.
w: Charles D Holland
d: James Frawley

03. Eden
Guests: Tony Denison (Sheriff Broll), Tom Wood (Deputy Hubbell), Cordelia Richards (Ellie Stensma), Stephen Tobolowsky (Mayor Laird), Philippe Bergeron (Dr Jeff Grant), Rex Linn (J J)
Plot: Mr Chapel and KC ride into Eden to put a halt to the law enforcement profiting from planting drugs on unsuspecting tourists andselling the impounded vehicles at state auction.
w: John McNamara
d: James Frawley

04. Bitter End
Guests: Clare Carey (Pam Broder), Tobin Bell (Teddy Hicks), Niklaus Lange (Steve Broder), Dayton Callie (Chuck Bidally), Louis Herthum (Guard Connor Gulch)
Plot: Protecting a woman stalked by a newly-paroled killer she helped put away, Mr Chapel finds himself in unfamiliar territory when the criminal becomes aware of his plans and then turns the tables.
w: David Simkins
d: Lou Antonio

05. Justice
Guests: Cliff Potts (Donald Block), Scott Patterson (Det. Swain), Mark Kiely (Officer Mason), Katy Boyer (Lauren Mason), Brion James (Franklin Dekker), Louis Herthum (Connor Gulch), Michael Harney (Officer Witherspoon)
Plot: When the wife of a key witness is kidnapped from protective custody, Chapel uses his sources inside the prison to mess with the arms dealer standing trial and weed out a corrupt cop.
w: Wendy Battles
d: Bill Norton

06. Ambition
Guests: Todd Allen (Senator Thomas Hayworth), Dina Merrill (Ellen Hayworth), Michael C Mahon (Eddie Farragut), Dakin Matthews (Governor Luke McElroy), Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa (Aung Myint)
Plot: When a pregnant friend of K C's is murdered by the married Senator who fathered the child, Mr Chapel starts his own campaign of vengeance against the power-hungry political family.
w: John McNamara, story: Gary Rieck
d: James Frawley

07. Security Denied
Guests: Francesco Quinn (Colonel Oscar Ponce), Kamala Dawson (Elena Amayo), Miguel Sandoval (General Rumano), Bruce McCarty (Joe Melvoy), Tim Thomerson (Krendle)
Plot: Mr Chapel poses as a State Department official to help a former war criminal experience the terrible suffering he inflicted upon the people of El Salvador.
w: Tom Chehak
d: Mel Damski

08. Dishonorable Discharge
Guests: Dayton Callie (Chuck Bidally), Travis Fine (Captain Aaron McClane), Silas Weir Mitchell (Captain Jesse Fisher), Lauren Tom (Samantha), Alexia Robinson (Marian), Amanda Carlin (Colonel Hammond)
Plot: A former client seeks Mr Chapel's assistance when two army captains escape conviction for raping a young girl because the statute of limitations has expired.
w: Valerie Mayhew & Vivian Mayhew
d: Bobby Roth

09. Noir
Guests: Richard Beymer (Douglas Bradford), Kristin Cloke (Tamara Harrington), Christian Leffler (Eric Harrington), Christopher Gorham (Jason Harrington), Scott Patterson (Detective Thomas Swain), Suzanne Ford (Barbara Harrington)
Plot: When a new trophy wife kills her rich husband and lays the blame on his bitter ex-wife, Mr Chapel poses as a hired bodyguard to expose more than just the truth.
w: Valerie Mayhew & Vivian Mayhew
d: John Patterson

10. Vendetta
Guests: Lisa Thornhill (Theresa Greco), Markus Flanagan (Gifford Marshall), Amanda Pays (Gail Dawson), Tom La Grua (Barry Hutchens), Scott Allan Campbell (Otto Carson), Cordelia Richards (Ellie Stenzma)
Plot: After a spiteful IRS agent uses his clout to destroy the life of a girl who rebuffs his advances, Mr Chapel poses as a spoiled millionaire to elicit his own unique brand of payback.
w: Charles D Holland
d: Adam Nimoy

11. Confidence
Guests: Steven Schub (Joseph Budnick), Mel Jackson (Jay Jackson), Kimberly Huie (Jackie Jackson), Alan Blumenfeld (Anthony Martinelli), Jeff Austin (Lester the Inspector), Patricia Gaul (Alice), Lewis Van Bergen (Tim Scanlan)
Plot: When a broker scams a young couple, Mr Chapel and KC pose as con artists to show the man, who claims to be a simple shoe salesman, that the boot is on the other foot.
w: Kim Newton
d: Alan J Levi

12. Judgment
Guests: Harris Yulin (Judge Harold Wabash), Cotter Smith (Stan Garcos), Robert Miano (Michael Sanricci), Frankie Jay Allison (Luke Sanricci), Al Israel (Joey)
Plot: Out to see that a corrupt judge doesn't queer the trial of a Mafia Don, Mr Chapel goes as far as befriending the hitman who put a bullet in him on the judge's instruction.
w: John McNamara & David Simkins
d: James Frawley

13. Clique
Guests: Elizabeth Barondes (Vivian Pratt), Brian Gaskill (Derek Wolf), Rick Peters (Brian Buckingham), Christopher John Fields (Adam Krieger), Gina Gallego (Suzie)
Plot: Mr Chapel poses as a paranoid schizophrenic to teach three reunited college friends a lesson for a prank that resulted in the brutal death of a student ten years earlier.
w: Kim Newton & Wendy Battles
d: Bobby Roth

14. Critical
Guests: Rafer Weigel (Ben Newton), Senta Moses (Gina), Ryan Bollman (Kevin Battles), Heather Dawn (Debbie Newton), Marshall Bell (Frank Newton)
Plot: Mr Chapel sets out to expose an avaricious man who murdered his father for the inheritance, even if it means letting a young computer genius expose him to the police.
w: Valerie Mayhew & Vivian Mayhew
d: James Frawley

15. Legalese
Guests: Michael B Silver (Michael Dearborn), Ken Jenkins (Jack Humphrey), Raphael Sbarge (Steve Bizzini), Markus Redmond (Nathan Cross), David Bickford (Elway), Karen Austin (Doctor Lorraine Simmons), Clyde Kusatsu (Judge Clyde Kurosawa), Leslie Hope (Mrs Thomas)
Plot: When a devious lawyer blocks the investigation into a fertilizer with lethal side effects for children, Mr. Chapel steps in to show them that it's not just evidence that can be buried.
w: Charles D Holland
d: Bill Norton

16. Friends
Guests: Robert Carradine (Darin Carver), Jere Burns (Steven Jensen), James Pickens Jr (Mr Hobbs), Sage Parker (Lori Carver) Jerry Mathers (Lucas Zimmerman), Twink Caplan (Madeline Chessly)
Plot: When a computer engineer commits suicide after being betrayed by an old friend who has stolen his invention, Mr Chapel creates a plan to drive the entrepreneur to the brink of insanity.
w: Kim Newton
d: Perry Lang


REGULAR CAST
Michael Madsen as Mister Chapel
Kathleen York as K C Griffin

 

Friday, 22 February 2008 08:52

Sword of Justice

The Spade in the Sword of Justice, its rapier marks the end ...

 

USA - 1978-79 - 13 episodes (60 mins) - colour

 

01 & 02. A Double Life (part I & II)
gs: Larry Hagman (Doyle Rettig), Christina Ferrare (Elena Novanti), June Lockhart (Noreen Cole), J.D. Cannon (Frank Blaine), Nehemiah Persoff (Carlos), Leigh Christian (Tanya)

Torn from his pampered jet-set lifestyle and jailed on phoney embezzlement charges, Released after being jailed on embezzlement charges, with the help of ex-con Hector Ramirez and the unusual skills he picked up inside, Jack Cole pledges the destruction of The Syndicate who framed him.

writers: Glen A. Larson & Michael Gleason
director: Dan Haller

 

03 & 04. Aloha, Julia Lang (part I & II)
gs: Belinda J. Montgomery (Julie Lang), Missy Gold (Nancy Martin), Sian Barbara Allen (Emily), Evan Kim (Jerry), Curtis Credel (Raphael), James Luisi (Brannen), Paul Lambert (Kier)

Determined to keep the soul remaining witness alive to testify at a Crime Baron’s trial, Jack’s work is complicated when she decides the best course of action is to run away from everyone.

w: Herman Groves
d: Ray Austin

 

05. The Destructors
gs: Marion Yue (Nancy), Len Birman (Nichols), John Lone (Richard Soo), Dennis Holman (Hanson), Richard Narita (Michael)

Jack and Hector’s problems escalate when they find themselves caught in the middle of a gang war when a local Chinese community takes on The Syndicate.

w: Herman Groves
d: Curtis Harrington

 

06. The Skywaymen
gs: Robert Alda (Ellit Stroud), Ed Byrnes (Reagar), Carol Lynley (Cyndy Rupert), John Carter (Collins), Adam Williams (Tex Jensen), Robert Hoy (Steve LeClair), Michael Keenan (Red Nolan)

Jack’s daredevil stunts prove not to Hector’s liking when the duo join an aerial circus, flying vintage biplanes, to bring to justice the leaders of a lucrative drug ring.

w: William R. Stratton
d: Ray Austin

 

07. The Gemini Connection
gs: Cameron Mitchell (Victor Radick), Cassie Yates (Angie Parker), Sarah Rush (Cathy Wilson), Carmine Caridi (Burson), Paul Picernie (Burcella)

Intrigued by the mysterious Gemini who is ripping off millions of dollars of laundered funds from a top Syndicate man, Jack and Hector plan to take The Syndicate to the cleaners.

w: Herman Groves
d: Michael Caffey

 

08. Girl on the Edge
gs: Bradford Dillman (Harry Gaedel), Clark Lindsley (Wilson), Phil Hoover (Anthony), Tony Miller (Court), Robin Mattson (Carol, Elaine Joyce (Diane)

Jack infiltrates a Syndicate-run film piracy ring to rescue Arthur Woods’ niece before the men in charge discover who her uncle is.

w: Frank Lupo
d: Larry Stewart

 

09. Judgement Day
gs: Don Porter (Judge Addams), Katherine Cannon (Alicia), Roz Kelly (Melinda), Charles Macauley (Ballentine), Ted Gehring (Bartelli), John H. Zee (Benedict)

On the golf course, Jack swings into action to prevent a seemingly incorruptible judge with old debts being called in, from presiding over an important Syndicate trial.

w: Michael Sloan
d: Chris Nyby

 

10. Port of Entry
gs: Robert Hogan (Moseley), William Prince (Rutherford), Richard McKenzie (Berardi), Trish Stewart (Maureen), David Buchanan (Nelson)

Wounded while planning to avenge an honest cop murdered for trying to expose his crooked bosses, Jack needs Hector’s fast talking to get them out of trouble and continue his vengeance.

w: Christopher Crowe
d: Rick Kolbe

 

11. Deadly Fashion
gs: Robert Loggia (Lubich), Larry Levine (Crawford), John Quade (Ellis), Ruth Britt (Maria), Spencer J. Milligan (Machlin), George E. Gonzales (Pepe)

When Hector’s cousin is wantonly killed by a corrupt police lieutenant, Jack helps his partner stitch up the cop and his Syndicate paymaster and parade them before the FBI.

w: Herman Groves
d: Joe Pevney

 

12 & 13. Blackjack (part I & II)
gs: George Hamilton (Paul Franks), Allan Miller (Vince Conley), John Karlen (Jerry Lombardi), Brenda Scott (Janice Lombardi), Cynthia Criswell (Mindy), Jay Varela (Sanchez)

With two union officials killed and a third kidnapped, Jack decides to play an ingenious hand in order to recover embezzled union funds from a crooked casino.

w: Glen A. Larson & Michael Sloan
d: Daniel Haller

 

REGULAR CAST
Dack Rambo as Jack Cole
Bert Rosario as Hector Ramirez
Alex Courtney as Arthur Woods
Colby Chester as Federal Agent Buckner

 

Page 6 of 18

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