Burke's Law: Season 3, Episode 1

Balance of Terror (15 Sep. 1965)

TV Episode  -   -  Action | Adventure | Crime
7.7
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Ratings: 7.7/10 from 12 users  
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Burke replaces and pretends to be pilot and deliveryman Schreiner to infiltrate a syndicate which receives "Red Chinese" gold to distribute to Latin American to finance rebels.

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Title: Balance of Terror (15 Sep 1965)

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Cast

Episode credited cast:
...
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Arthur Batanides ...
Spaniard
Lynette Bernay ...
Theresa Rao (as Lynn Bernay)
...
Bianca Andrade
Susanne Cramer ...
Elsa Werner
Will Kuluva ...
General Edrego Barrata
Peter Mamakos ...
Carlos Delgado
Theodore Marcuse ...
Hugo Sihler (as Theo Marcus)
...
Paul Schreiner
...
Franz Werner
Carl Benton Reid ...
The Man
Christopher Riordan ...
Spy
Michael St. Clair ...
Volkers
Ben Wright ...
Alan Rycroft
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Storyline

Burke replaces and pretends to be pilot and deliveryman Schreiner to infiltrate a syndicate which receives "Red Chinese" gold to distribute to Latin American to finance rebels.

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15 September 1965 (USA)  »

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(RCA Sound Recording)

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1.33 : 1
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This was the first episode broadcast under the title "Amos Burke - Secret Agent". See more »

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User Reviews

 
Burke Swaps His Police Badge For A Licence To Kill
18 December 2009 | by (Ambrosia) – See all my reviews

In the autumn of 1965, the major U.S. television networks deluged the airwaves with spy shows, in the wake of the smash success of 'The Man From U.N.C.L.E.'. Most, such as 'I Spy', 'Mission Impossible', 'The Wild Wild West' and the sitcom 'Get Smart' were original creations, but one stood out because it had started life as something else. 'Burke's Law', created by Frank D.Gilroy, was a light-hearted mystery show that starred Gene Barry as millionaire police captain 'Amos Burke'. The show's title was also his catchphrase.

Four Star, the company responsible for the series, decided to upgrade the format from detective to spy fiction. Hence 'Balance Of Terror', the first transmitted episode, begins with Burke boarding a D.C.-9 belonging to his new supervisor, known only as 'The Man' ( Carl Benton Reid ). Red Chinese gold is being smuggled into Latin America, and it is safe to assume it is not being used to train bullfighters. Posing as a Syndicate assassin named 'Paul Schreiber' ( Gerald Mohr ), whom the Swiss police have arrested, Burke flies to the land of cuckoo clocks to learn whom is behind the operation. He is taken to the house of 'General Edrego Barrata' ( Will Kuluva ), a deposed dictator who has stripped his country of its wealth. Barrata wants Burke to eliminate one of his own men, 'Hugo Sihler' ( Theor Marcuse ), whom he believes to be plotting against him. Sihler tries to get Burke first by trapping him in a bathroom where super-hot steam emaneates from the shower. Burke survives, killing Sehler after a short fight.

Burke's problems are not yet over. The real Schreiber has escaped and is on his way to the General's house to expose him as an impostor...

A fairly sober start to the series. No gadgets or gimmicks, and the villains could have stepped out of any pre-Bond cold war spy drama. That would soon change, though. The casting of Will Kuluva is interesting, as he was 'Mr.Allison' in the first version of the 'U.N.C.L.E.' pilot - 'The Vulcan Affair' - before being replaced by Leo G.Carroll's 'Mr.Waverly'. The beautiful Michele Carey ( the voice of 'EFFIE' the computer in Quinn Martin's 1979 spy show 'A Man Called Sloane' ) plays 'Bianca', whom Burke is attracted to.

Two things worked against the revamped show; firstly, fans of the old 'Burke's Law' were not pleased at the evolution of their hero from a police captain into a spy. Secondly, the decision to shoot it in monochrome was a mistake as the other networks had gone over to colour. As if that wasn't bad enough, on the very night this episode premiered, the ground breaking 'I Spy' starring Robert Culp and Bill Cosby made its debut. It ran for three seasons, whereas poor Amos was grounded after only seventeen episodes.

'Amos Burke Secret Agent' is not at all a bad show though. It just seems a shame the dice was loaded against it from the onset.


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