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What do you get when you combine "I Spy" with "The Love Boat"? You get this interesting show. Imagine a show in which ordinary citizens are recruited by the government to do extraordinary things. Also, you get to see Kirstie Alley in one of her early roles on television. But perhaps the biggest strength of the show was Rod Taylor as the master spy Lavender. Too bad this show never made it past the summer, it could have probably been a hit if it had lasted.
..and that's about it. I haven't thought about this show for quite some
time, only to be reminded of it while looking over the credits for Rod
Taylor (someone whom I have always felt resembles Robin Williams...or
does Robin resemble Rod?).
At any rate, it's interesting to see that of the few credits posted, the writers for the theme song are listed. I believe (if memory serves) that Crystal Gayle sang it.
I remember now that Kirstie Alley and Greg Evigan were the stars along with Rod Taylor. Post Star Trek 2, Pre- "Cheers," and very very Pre- Pier One commercials, Kirstie Alley proves here that she is definitely a star in the making
Being a big Rod Taylor fan, I got a kick out of this show just for his appearance alone. It was a fun, offbeat concept, and really should have been given a chance to survive. Its run was so brief, I don't think it was ever made available to DVD and as far as I know, has never been rebroadcast anywhere, which is a shame. Kirstie Alley was really gorgeous too, a long way away from the tabloid 'fat-joke' fodder she became. I thought the only weak link in the cast was Evigan, a standard issue pretty-boy whose acting left no particular impression. He wasn't awful, just kind of blah next to Rod and Kirstie. Most of the guest stars were quite good. This was made during the height of Reagan's attempts to reignite the Cold War. Spy shows were making a comeback, but the trend was fairly short lived. All the same, 'Masquerade' was one that ought to have lasted for a while.
This was a good show wished it had lasted longer. I guess it could be considered the forunner of the "real life" shows of today. They didn't have the time to build a solid foundation of story plots (the actual organization, the overall enemy) or even set it up as a "Twilight Zone" for the James Bond types :) I hope they will release it as a "Series that didnt run long" event some time.
. . .however, it did have a neat opening series. I remember one episode starred former L.A. Dodger Steve Garvey, who I believe played himself. He ends up helping to save the day (and a few lives) by catching a throwing star (martial-arts weapon) in his glove (right after taking the baseball out of it), and then throwing the ball at a bad guy and taking him out. Pretty cool. I don't recall any other guest stars, but I did watch all the episodes (few that there were). I recall Rod Taylor who I remembered from the old Hong Kong TV show many years earlier. I think Greg Evigan played a hot-shot, and Kirstie Alley was very hot-looking. That was a long time ago.
I dunno.I kinda liked it. Tour Guides who conduct a little spook work
on the side? Yeah, a lot of "Mission Impossible" type plots etc but
still, for 1983, it was alright. Anyway I noticed Kirstie Alley
straight off the bat with that sexy husky voice and she did at least
have a waist in those days.
The guest stars which changed at each episode were usually well known TV personalities during the late 70's & early 80's, so it was nice to see them acting in different roles and settings without the sickly sweet sugar coating which glazed "The Love Boat" or "Hart to Hart"
Yeah and that song by Crystal Gayle....I can still recall the lyrics....
So yeah, lighten up everyone and give a little credit where it's due..."Masquerade" was alright!!!!!
This was a mildly interesting variation on "Mission: Impossible." The
twist is that the bad guys had found out the identities of all the
established agents, so Operation: Masquerade was created. Civilians
with the necessary skills were recruited for one-time missions,
assigned by Mr. Lavender and backed up by freshly graduated agents
Casey and Danny. With no background in spying, the civilians wouldn't
be known to the intelligence community at large. As a hook for viewers,
it should have worked. Think wish fulfillment. Your country needs you
and your inimitable skills, and you don't even have to spend six months
at Camp Peary before heading out on your mission.
This appears to have been inspired by the 1966 pilot "Call to Danger." In that, the government had a database of ordinary people with special skills whom they would call upon for important missions. That show was never picked up, but one good thing did come of it, giving that a bona fide "Mission: Impossible" connection. Writer/producer Bruce Geller saw the pilot. When Steven Hill, the lead actor of M:I, became too difficult, Geller replaced him with the lead actor of "Call to Danger" who had impressed him, one Peter Graves. The rest is television history.
It's been almost 25 years? Time flies. Still, the show does date itself. There's that '80s big hair, glitzy wardrobe and lots of makeup. The theme song, sung by Crystal Gayle, has a very '80s instrumental backing. It's nonetheless one of the better theme songs of the decade.
Daft series; silly premise; utterly charming. Rod Taylor was solid, as always. The supporting players were of variable quality but nevertheless it was great fun. The theme song, not a classic by any means, sticks in the mind even after all these years. And, besides, wouldn't we all like to be whisked away to be adventurers for a weekend?
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