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Susan Saint James
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Thomas Banacek is a clever and well-to-do insurance investigator living in Boston. He makes good money by solving the most intricate and unusual mysteries, and is very proud of his Polish heritage. His contacts include his street-smart chauffeur Jay and British bookstore owner Felix. Written by
Marty McKee <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The adventures of the coolest Polish detective ever conceived
"Banacek" was one of the four rotating show that came on during NBC's Mystery Movie Series that was produced in the 1970's. The show lasted from 1972-1975(three years),and it was rotated among the other mystery shows that came on before this including "Columbo","McMillian and Wife", "McCloud". I got the chance to see this seldom seen series recently and to me it was throughly enjoyable watching the late George Peppard ten years before he would go into his most entertaining roles as Hannibal in "The A-Team". Peppard's character wasn't your average run of the mill P.I. or police detective by the way,but he was an insurance investigator for a huge Boston firm who tracks down stolen merchandise for a generous commission. But the interesting part of the show is how the items were stolen and towards the end it was how the items were recovered,giving all the clues and necessary to solve the case and Banacek always had a knack of figuring out step by step how the items were taken,how the culprits planned their heist and how the left the clues behind to where the stolen items were located which Banacek systematically broke it down the premise into solving the case,and Peppard's character was a master of this that really provided the bulk of the entertainment,and also the brilliant strategy to every episode,even though the show ran for 90 minutes which was the best part of the show. By the way,every episode had a "Old Polish Proverb' that Banacek would recite to give the show some great humor.
The show had great plots,wonderful locations,even though the show's setting is in Boston,but in provided Banacek to travel to distant locations to solve baffling mysteries. Several episodes are very good including one intitled "Ten Thousand Dollars A Page",directed by Richard T. Heffron,and had special guest stars David Doyle,and George Lindsey (yes,Goober)as a police detective,and Ted Cassidy. Another one is titled "To Steal A King",directed by Lou Antonio. There is also fast work from other directors who contributed to this series as well including Jack Smight,Andrew McLaglen,Virgil Vogel,and Oscar Rudolph.
Banacek had it all,sense of style,extremely wealthy,always around a array of females which some were equal,and had the ability to solve the most impossible crimes for the reward money....it other words Banacek was the coolest!!!!
The show didn't last very long,because George Peppard walked away from this successful series because of the grind of the show and also contract disputes. It would have been nice enough if Peppard came back to the role but Peppard made the role,and made the show as well. Great series from the golden age of the early 1970's. Catch the episodes on the Hallmark Channel.
The theme song was written by Quincy Jones.
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