Barnaby Jones was a former private eye who temporarily came out of retirement to track down the killer of his son Hal, who had taken over the family business. After bringing Hal's murderer to justice (with the assistance of fellow CBS gumshoe Frank Cannon), Jones decided retirement just wasn't his bag after all, and rehung his shingle with the assistance of daughter-in-law Betty, who ran the office and Barnaby's personal crime laboratory, and (later) young distant cousin Jedidiah, who did the cases' legwork. Written by
Marty McKee <email@example.com>
Come and listen to a story about a 'good ole' boy' type detective
During the seasons it was popular, my late father used to say that it was hard to believe that the same man who played Barnaby Jones had once played Jed Clampett. To be sure, for many years Buddy Ebsen had been an outstanding, versatile actor. Just the opening music allowed the viewing public to notice this: "Bevery Hillbillies" started off with light, banjo-playing music, followed by the singing of Lester Flatts and Earl Scruggs, whereas Barnaby Jones started off with "cold", "rough", and serious music. While Barnaby Jones was, again, "a good ole' boy", even if he was in his middle 60's in 1973, he was a sophisticated man, having studied chemistry and clinical psychology, (again, unlike Jed Clampett.) Simultaneously, he was good at his job, so much so that even the most sophisticated of criminals were, in one sense of the phrase, in awe of him. He also occasionally portrayed the fact that the widower was quite a lady's man: in one episode the first season, it was agreeably surprising to see him and Kathy Crosby (ca. forty years his junior) ride away together in his new Ford. Along with him, Mark Shera (Barnaby's cousin Jedediah Romana, or J.R.) was a welcome addition, but my favorite icon was Lee Meriwether, who played his daughter-in-law Betty; that beautiful lady was still that way ca. twenty years after being chosen Miss America in 1955. Also, as a minster, (though I wasn't that in the 70's) I liked it that the show was wholesome in a decade when wholesomeness was gradually deteriorating. Though he wasn't a suave Mannix, a mean-but-kind bouncer Cannon, (though the late 60's man could handle himself well when necessary) he was one who was capable of putting pieces together and, thus, of solving the crime. Because of the show's wholesomeness, the complicated nature of the plots, as well as the other reasons, it was a show I virtually never missed, all the way from 1973 to 1980. A great T.V. series
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