Robert Arnold, an ex-con who's "gone straight," is at the scene of a drug store hold-up by a former cell-mate that leaves one cop dead. To clear Arnold's name, Maris goes in search of the ...
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Robert Arnold, an ex-con who's "gone straight," is at the scene of a drug store hold-up by a former cell-mate that leaves one cop dead. To clear Arnold's name, Maris goes in search of the killer, George Gault, and the blonde babe with him known only as Margie. Written by
Jay Phelps <firstname.lastname@example.org>
My Analysis: In this series the plot is the classic lawyer story: save the innocent from injustice. There are no surprising revelations and the class of criminal doesn't rise above the mundane. The short 1/2 hour format does not give rise to any significant plot development and all the episodes revolve around the interaction of only two characters: Herb Maris, the lawyer and the Police Lieutenant John Weston. The former reluctantly accepts to defend someone, he believes innocent, accused of a crime where the evidence seems cut-and-dry while the latter stubbornly sticks to the evidence.
There are four parts to each episode: i) the before-credits crime scene which usually lasts for 3-4 minutes, ii) the initial investigation by Herb Maris in the Maris-accepts-to-defend-the-accused-against-the- advice-of-Lt-Weston part, lasting about 10 minutes, iii) the Maris- discovers-and-stops-the-real-criminal-with-the-help-of-Lt-Weston part also lasting about 10 minutes, and iv) the final post-credits scene which lasts for about 1 minute where the innocent is usually seen being released. Total time: 25 minutes.
These black-and-white 50s &60s style classic television seem to pale in comparison to the modern high-budget hour-long crime dramas currently produced for television, but they do make for a nice retro trip into the television of another bygone age. I particularly enjoy watching episodes of early performances by well known actors such as Leonard Nimoy and Robert Conrad among others. The episode directors and script writers change constantly and while the scene formula is rigidly adhered to quality of episodes varies noticeably. For example in this first episode I noticed a number of "I've just read your mind!" moments of Maris' almost telepathic like powers to get inside the head of one of the protagonists and his ability to use that insight to persuade them one way or another to help him in his pursuit of the truth. This aspect was not usually brought out by other script writers of other episodes.
This first episode contains four such "I've just read your mind" moments as Maris sees into the heads of not only Robert Arnold, an ex-con charged with a crime, but also those of Lt. John Weston, a no-nonsense police investigator, Ed Stark, another ex-con who tries to put other ex- cons on the straight and narrow path, and finally Margie, the main criminal's girlfriend and weak spot, all of whom play a part in Herb's pursuit to overcome damning evidence and to prove innocent, or not, an ex-con charged with complicity in the murder of a policeman.
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