The credits for "The Button Down Break" read, "Intoducing Jack Betts." Betts had a few TV appearances to his credit before this; likely, this referred to his taking over for six episodes the spot held by Anthony George. See more »
This episode gave Tony Randall a chance to be a villain, something unusual for him. He played a few comic villains to be sure on the big screen, but this is the only appearance of Randall as a most serious villain, a brilliant master criminal in fact.
Whose capture was affected by Sebastian Cabot as we see in the beginning. Flash forward to a year later and Randall sends a cryptic message to Cabot stating he will avenge himself.
The Checkmate team sends in Jack Betts in the first of six appearances Betts made as Chris Devlin a kind of east coast associate for the Checkmate team. He goes undercover into prison to find out what Randall is up to.
The bulk of the show is a battle of wits between Betts and Randall and Randall is no one's fool. Anthony George was giving the producers all kinds of grief and I think they were holding Betts over his head so George would come to heed. It didn't work as we know Checkmate was canceled after the second season.
I also think that had a third season been in the offing Tony Randall might have made more appearances in his role. He was foiled rather easily in the end and it seemed their might have been plans to bring him back.
Randall is quite a revelation as a villain.
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