Subsequent series much better than overwrought pilot
It's amazing that Arthur Hill eventually got to make Owen Marshall into an interesting lawyer who shared honestly with the audience how he sometimes needed to wrestle with ethical boundaries. It's amazing the character got to live for four years on network television considering this overwrought and failed attempt at contemporary (circa 1971) relevance. The normally redoubtable Buzz Kulik, normally among the best at taut made-for-TV drama, instead gets extremely overwrought and heavily cliched performances from the entire cast. As a result, Hill's Marshall comes across as unbearably stiff in comparison.
The far-fetched plot makes little sense, and Lee Majors is unbearably wooden as the purported voice of the new generation. If you have fond memories of the TV series and get the opportunity to see this made-for-TV pilot movie, preserve your image and hope that series episodes eventually wend their way to DVD. This hopelessly muddled mess is simply not worth watching.
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