Burke's Law: Season 2, Episode 11

Who Killed Merlin the Great? (2 Dec. 1964)

TV Episode  -   -  Action | Adventure | Crime
8.5
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Escape artist Jack Merlin at a convention of competitive magicians attempts his stock in trade trick of staying under water for five hours sealed in coffin with an hour air supply but he dies - from a gunshot wound.

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Title: Who Killed Merlin the Great? (02 Dec 1964)

Who Killed Merlin the Great? (02 Dec 1964) on IMDb 8.5/10

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Cast

Episode cast overview, first billed only:
...
Gary Conway ...
...
Leon Lontoc ...
Nick Adams ...
Max the Mysterious
...
Violet
...
Dr. McCoy
...
The Great Grindle
...
O. B. Danberry (as Charlie Ruggles)
...
Pinky Likewise
Joan Huntington ...
Dr. Johnson
...
Hapless Magician
Michael Fox ...
Ralph Moody ...
Cemetery Caretaker
William Woodson ...
Newscaster (as Bill Woodson)
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Storyline

Escape artist Jack Merlin at a convention of competitive magicians attempts his stock in trade trick of staying under water for five hours sealed in coffin with an hour air supply but he dies - from a gunshot wound.

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2 December 1964 (USA)  »

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(RCA Sound Recording)

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1.33 : 1
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User Reviews

 
Very nice job, an archetypal episode
10 May 2008 | by (Upstate New York) – See all my reviews

Sorry, folks. I had to give this a "10." But this episode is very typical of the episodes seen on "Burke's Law." Here, Amos Burke has the task to investigate the murder of a magician and goes through a typically odd assortment of suspects.

What makes this episode notable is that Richard Levinson and William Link, who created Columbo, wrote this outing. As always, the guest stars are pretty much a "Who's Who" of Hollywood actors; here, it's Paul Lynde, Jill St. John, Charles Ruggles and Nick Adams, among other people. The ending is a good one, too, with plenty of tension.

As for the regulars, it is clear that "Burke's Law" was truly an ensemble effort. Gene Barry carried quite a bit of his Bat Masterson persona over into Amos Burke, and does so with his usual flair. I would rather have him arrest me than Joe Friday anytime!!! Gary Conway, Leon Lontoc and Regis Toomey are also fun, as are Eileen O'Neal and Michael Fox.

My only gripe about this episode and the series in general is that it was not shot in colour. Had the show been in colour, and had it retained its glitzy/kooky élan, it would have stayed on the air longer. Changing the format to a spy series in 1965 did it no favours. Still, this is one show that did Aaron Spelling proud, and it was ahead of its time as well as of its time, for its unconventionality. It is also of its time in portraying the Los Angeles of the 1960s, and it is a sort of successor of "77 Sunset Strip" when it came to mystery shows.

A great show that deserved better than it got!


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