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Det. Sgt. Steve Nelson
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Frank Worden

Comic-Con 2017: All Aboard the IMDboat

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July 20 to 23, 2017

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2 March 1962 (USA)  »

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(RCA Sound Recording)

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Murderer at Sea
19 May 2014 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

THE DETECTIVES – Night Boat - 1962

This one is episode 87 of the 97 episode run of, THE DETECTIVES. This series starred Robert Taylor and ran between 1959 and 1962. The first two seasons ran at a half hour and the last season had a runtime of an hour. The series followed the detective squad in a big city precinct. Cast regulars included, Mark Goddard, Russell Thorson, Tige Andrews, Lee Farr and Adam West. Robert Taylor headlines as Police Captain, Matt Holbrook.

The Police are looking for a serial killer who preys on bleached blonde types. He grabs them off the street in night-club and movie districts, then strangles them. The Police have been unable to discover anything about the killer since he never leaves any evidence.

Detectives Mark Goddard and Tige Andrews are pulled off the search and sent off on another assignment. They are to take a little boat ride. There have been complaints about a pleasure yacht that loads up every night at the pier, then, sails just outside the 3 mile limit. Then the booze is cracked, and several games of chance start up. The city is annoyed about the numbers of underage types taking advantage of these cruises. Goddard and Tige are going along to see if there is any way to pinch the owner, Stanley Adams.

Needless to say it turns out that the strangler had also decided on a midnight cruise. The man, Scott Marlowe, takes a look through the crowd looking for a suitable blonde. He runs into Joyce Van Patten. Marlowe soon has Van Patten alone on a pretext of, "Just talking." Of course Marlowe's wandering hands soon come to rest on Van Patten's neck.

When finished, he dumps her on the floor and heads back to the dance room. There, he runs into another blonde, Jena Engstrom, who he starts to chat up. He is pretending to be a medical student out for a night. He is however frightened off by Engstrom's friend, Adrienne Hayes. Engstrom is soon talking to a young fellow Steve Harris.

Now the first mate happens to find Miss Van Patten, and quickly lets the two detectives in on his discovery. The detectives have the mate tell the Captain, Stanley Adams to call in the harbour patrol. Goddard and Tige rush to the woman who is just barely clinging to life. Goddard stays with Van Patten while Tige make a quick trip to the main dance floor.

Tige asks if there is a doctor or nurse in the house. Engstrom points at Marlowe and says that he is a medical student. The less than pleased Marlowe is dragged along to the site of his unsuccessful murder attempt. Van Patten is out like a light, so Marlowe goes into a routine pretending to help her. He has to play for time to finish the job.

A Police launch with Chief of Detectives, Robert Taylor is soon aside the yacht. Taylor has also brought along several other detectives. He wants the ship passengers all checked while he sees Van Patten. Van Patten comes around but can't speak because of her neck injuries. Her eyes go wide as she sees Marlowe hovering over her. He says to Taylor that she needs rest, and can't be interviewed for several hours at least.

Taylor heads for the main room to help with checking the passengers. Marlowe sends the remaining detective, Goddard off for some water. When Goddard leaves, Marlowe grabs a handy pillow and starts to smother Van Patten. Goddard however returns too fast for Marlowe to finish. Goddard does not see the new attempt made on Van Patten.

Marlowe leaves to room to think, but he runs into Engstrom out on deck. Marlowe decides to go for a new victim and is soon dragging Engstrom below to the engine room.

Taylor is back checking on Van Patten who is desperately trying to speak. She manages two words. NO DOCTOR! Taylor is puzzled for a moment, and then it hits him. Marlowe is their man! Out the door and onto deck he races. He quickly has all the rest looking for Marlowe. Marlowe is below decks preparing to polish off victim number two when Taylor interrupts him. A brisk round of flying fists soon has Marlowe being bounced off various pieces of engine room equipment. He is cuffed and the yacht heads for shore.

This is a decently done episode, with plenty of story and action to go around.

The episode features a side plot where passenger, John Brinkley, tries to beat the ship craps game with bent dice.

Most will recall Stanley Adams from the classic STAR TREK episode, "The Trouble with Tribbles" from 1967.


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