First prime time TV series starring a female private eye. See more »
The style of the detective agency's name changes from episode to episode. Sometimes it is "H. West & Company, Private Investigators" and other times it is "Honey West & Co., Private Investigators." In the novels on which the series is based, it was sometimes "H. West, Private Investigators" and other times "H. West, Private Investigations." The reason it was "H. West" in the novels and not "Honey West" was twofold: Honey did not want potential clients to know she was a woman before they met her, and the business, which she had inherited from her father, Hank West, had always been called "H. West." See more »
The same building housed "H. West & Company, Private Investigators" and "Charles Townsend Associates, Private Investigations." Whenever I see the camera shots of the exterior of that building I always wonder, did Hank West (Honey's father) and Charlie know each other? Did Honey West and Charlie's Angels ever run into each other from 1976 on? Surely Honey's macho partner Sam Bolt must have been aware of the Angels, hehe, but then again, he was secretly stuck on Honey.
Over a decade earlier it was September of 1965 and I was eight years old when Honey West sizzled the airwaves. Producer Aaron Spelling had been inspired to bring the pulp fiction heroine to television after viewing Honor Blackman play Dr. Catherine Gale, the blond anthropologist partner of secret agent John Steed in the original episodes of the British television series "The Avengers." All I remember about "Honey West" from that time is seeing her face in the honeycomb cells during the title sequence. Then it was off to another channel to watch good ol' Gomer Pyle.
Most people don't know that the enormously popular "Make Room For Daddy/Danny Thomas Show" spun off the enormously popular "Andy Griffith Show", which in turn spun off the enormously popular "Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C.". With Honey West in the same Friday night time slot as Gomer Pyle, how could she buck a tradition like that? On Friday nights the people who would be more devoted to watching "Honey West" would probably be out on the town anyway. What's more, Anne Francis said in an interview that the second season was going to be in color but there was a dispute between ABC and Four Star Productions, so ABC decided they could just air "The Avengers" cheaper than they could make "Honey West." They also thought they didn't need two catsuit-clad, karate-chopping women on the air at the same time. I disagree. Cathy Gale's successor Emma Peel was British -- played by Diana Rigg, she was the first Avenger woman to be seen in the States -- and Honey West was American. I would have watched both because I loved "The Avengers," and now I know I would have loved "Honey West" too.
When the TV Land channel aired a "Honey West" marathon during the late 1990's ("brought to you in VertiVision, the vertical stacking modern marathon miracle where you know what show is coming up next by the show you're watching now!"), a friend of mine videotaped several of the episodes for me. Yowsa! I soon realized that Honey West knew the secret of being a great entertainer: she left me wanting more! And not just because of her sex appeal; she was strong, she was smart, and the stories brought back that wonderful world of thirty-minute dramas and mysteries which we just don't see anymore. I also dug that crazy jazz score, which I can listen to over and over again without getting tired of it. With a little bit of suspension of disbelief, "Honey West" is credible to me; and contrary to the sleazy pulp fiction novels on which it was based, the TV series can be safely watched by the whole family. I'm so glad those DVDs are finally available!
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