Cases, based on real FBI files, were handled by Inspector Lewis Erskine and several coworkers over the years. Erskine reported to Arthur Ward, assistant to the director of the FBI. Written by
J.E. McKillop <email@example.com>
Quinn Martin became a successful producer with The Fugitive, but this series started just before that one ended. It really shows all the same trademarks that the David Jansen series showed. In fact, some of the same actors made appearances in both shows.
While the stories are all fiction, they are drawn from the files of the FBI with their cooperation. One of the real drawbacks of the series is it always tells you in the beginning what crimes the bad guys will commit. Evne though it is presented as a detective type series, this is what makes the show unique. In a way, Martin did this style with the Fugitive for 5 years too. Actually, the formula for this wore pretty well for a nine season run.
The show also seemed to draw big name guest stars like a magnet. William Shatner even did a show in 1970. When you go through a list of who guested on it, you will find a large number of names who did lots of other roles in their career. Men & even a fair number of well known women pop into episodes.
Of the principal players, the regulars, the star, Efrim Zimbelist Jr. is the only one still alive out of all the male leads (and this show's regulars were pretty much all male). That is because the FBI back then did not have many women agents which explains why J E Hoover wore all those dresses in the office. It also explains Hoover obsession of always getting his man.
The shows are well produced & always staged in acts with an epilogue. Erskine (Zimbelist) always gets the bad guy. One annoying thing is that every time he shoots his gun, he almost never misses. It became a running joke, just get Erskine in range with his gun & the bad guy has had it. If that were based upon reality, all the criminals in the US would have been shot down by the 5th season.
While this was Quinn Martins most long term success, The Fugitive was better drama to me & a bit above this series. Still, this is solid entertainment. This is one of the few long term shows that were never bought back in a bunch of reunion specials. Even TV Land never tried anything with this one.
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