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"Kojak" In Full Command (1978)

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10 out of 10 people found the following review useful:

An unusual episode of KOJAK due to Danny Thomas

7/10
Author: theowinthrop from United States
31 January 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Comedian and singer Danny Thomas was usually seen in light fare on television, especially after the super success of his 1950s to 1960s comedy series, MAKE ROOM FOR DADDY (a.k.a. The Danny Thomas Show). He branched out into television production, and was a great success. But he was usually a comic.

Except, apparently, in this episode of KOJAK.

Thomas plays a hard-nose, by the book, police official, Assistant Chief Inspector Howard Brocore, who is investigating Kojak's fellow detectives, and finding "glaring errors" made by them in procedural rules he regards as important. As this overlooks their success rate in solving crimes, Lt. Theo Kojak (Telly Savalas) is rather annoyed and curious about the stiffness of the man. But as the episode drags on, it turns out that Thomas has his own agenda, and Kojak and his men are advised to swallow his guff and just go on with their work as best as possible. It seems that Brocore was widely regarded in the department fifteen years before, rising rapidly to the Assistant Chief position at a young age. But he had a love affair, and the woman was the wife of a ranking figure in the New York Police Department - and suddenly no matter what Brocore suggested he was considered superfluous. Nobody was interested in him because word filtered down from the command that he was, until her retires, all but a non-person in the world of the Police Department. There were to be no more promotions.

The episode follows the gradual collapse and destruction of Brocore - ending with his having a total nervous breakdown. Thomas is oddly effective as a man who was a good, by-the-book cop but destroyed himself by one mistake. He is so far gone that when he is invited to meet a woman in the course of the episode, he comes wearing his official uniform. Thomas in his comedy performances could become strident at times, and here he took it full throttle. As a result his performance is memorable and suggests he should have tried more drama in his career.

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6 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

One Mistake

8/10
Author: bkoganbing from Buffalo, New York
5 November 2012

In the series finale Telly Savalas as Lt. Theo Kojak has a real thorny issue to deal with. He's been working an organized crime case with a woman informant played by Susan Tyrell and these things are never by the numbers. Still patience is required.

But it's Kojak's patience that is getting tried. One of the chiefs from 1 Police Plaza is jumping into the case and screwing it all up. As he outranks Kojak you can only do so much maneuvering around him. Even Dan Frazer as Kojak's immediate superior Captain McNeill can't help him that much.

Danny Thomas in a departure from his usual comedy roles plays the chief who is like a fifth wheel on an automobile. It seems years ago he was a young policeman of promise who rose rapidly through the ranks. But sad that the police bureaucracy can be unforgiving. He offended a prominent politician and his meteoric rise to the top was stalled. So he's been hanging around for years waiting for a chance to redeem himself.

He sees this case as his opportunity and his interference is both resented and counterproductive. But how do you handle it.

Thomas is wonderful in the part and believe me I can cite some examples of police who also got waylaid in their careers for similar things. What Thomas should have done was take the hint and retire, but he was too proud and too stubborn to do it.

After the case is concluded the coda finale with Kojak and Thomas at a police inquiry is superbly acted and staged. Shades of The Caine Mutiny as another reviewer said.

A really good finale to a fine series.

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