Ellery Queen: Season 1, Episode 17

The Adventure of the Sinister Scenario (8 Feb. 1976)

TV Episode  |   |  Crime, Drama, Family
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Gil Mallory, an actor playing Ellery Queen in a motion picture, is supposed to be shot on camera, then jump up and nab the woman who shot him, exclaiming "Bulletproof vest!" The rehearsal ... See full summary »



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Title: The Adventure of the Sinister Scenario (08 Feb 1976)

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Episode cast overview:
Lionel Briggs (as Noah Beery)
Don DeFore ...
Jack Murdoch ...
Al Garvin (as Jack Murdock)
Rod Porter ...
Karl Lukas ...


Gil Mallory, an actor playing Ellery Queen in a motion picture, is supposed to be shot on camera, then jump up and nab the woman who shot him, exclaiming "Bulletproof vest!" The rehearsal with blanks goes fine. But the ensuing take with the same gun finds it loaded with real bullets, and Mallory drops dead. The film crew tries to carry on, and soon stunt man Mike Hewitt is killed when the car he was driving is rigged to wipe out before he was ready. Are the two murders linked -- and how? Written by Peter Harris

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Crime | Drama | Family | Mystery





Release Date:

8 February 1976 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Ellery and Richard Queen spend the entire time complaining about the poor choice of actors that are portraying them in the film. Richard Queen makes references to Lee Bowman and Hugh Marlowe, who actually played Ellery Queen on TV in the 1950s. See more »


Gossip Columnist: Darling! I almost didn't recognize you! What have you done to your face?
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User Reviews

Hollywood beckons for Ellery Queen
1 November 2009 | by (Youngstown,Ohio) – See all my reviews

Episode 17, "The Adventure of the Sinister Scenario," is a hugely enjoyable departure for the series, with Inspector Richard Queen and son Ellery in Hollywood, at the low budget Crown Eagle Studios, where director Michael Raynor (a shrill and hammy Vincent Price) is shooting a mystery film about both Queens. Lionel Briggs (Noah Beery, then busy on THE ROCKFORD FILES), cast as the Inspector, is upset that many of his lines have been given to the temperamental star playing Ellery, Gilbert Mallory (Troy Donohue), who owns a piece of the picture. Mallory is having an affair with his co-star, Pamela Courtney (Susan Damante), a constant source of humiliation for his wife Claire (Barbara Rush, previously seen as a less glamorous suspect in episode 1). Studio publicist Dave Pierce (Don De Fore) treats the Queens to lunch before shooting resumes with a rewritten scene which has Pamela Courtney shooting Mallory, wearing a bulletproof vest to 'finesse' her into thinking she had killed him; however, the prop gun fires three real bullets, and the phony vest worn by the actor fails to prevent a real murder from taking place on the set. Capt. Benjamin Blake (Paul Fix, of THE RIFLEMAN), an old friend of Inspector Queen, allows them both to remain and assist the reluctant investigation conducted by Lt. Braden (Paul Carr) and Sgt. Harris (Karl Lukas), offering an amusing battle of wits between New York and L. A. police procedures. Property man Al Garvin (Jack Murdock), swearing he loaded blanks in the prop gun that morning, believes he may be a suspect due to a recent threat against Mallory. But when the stunt man, Mike Hewitt (James B.Sikking, later of HILL STREET BLUES), gets killed in a car with faulty brakes, Ellery learns the key to the mystery, and 'directs' the final gathering of the suspects (and winds up 'finessing' the murderer). The diminutive Inspector Queen 'shoots' his son in a reenactment of the initial crime, after bitterly complaining about the casting of the equally diminutive Lionel Briggs in his part, suggesting Chester Morris ("Boston Blackie"), Brian Donlevy, or Pat O'Brien (and Lee Bowman for Ellery's part). Preferring instead to go sightseeing (name dropping such luminous starlets as Alice Faye, Hedy Lamarr, Dorothy Lamour, and Norma Shearer), the distracted Inspector confuses Sgt. Harris for Sgt. Velie (which explains the absence of Tom Reese, the only episode in which Velie does not appear). The unbilled Jack De Mave shows up briefly as Sonny North, the actor replacing the deceased Gilbert Mallory in Ellery's part.

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