Mannix: Season 6, Episode 3

The Crimson Halo (1 Oct. 1972)

TV Episode  -   -  Action | Crime | Drama
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Mannix is hired by attorney Noah Otway to find out why someone tried to kill Otway's client, Dr. Graham Aspinall, a renowned surgeon whose specialty is removing tumors that are otherwise ... See full summary »


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Title: The Crimson Halo (01 Oct 1972)

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Episode credited cast:
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Dana Croft
Robert Burr ...
Dr. Felix St. Ives
Joseph Campanella ...
Dr. Graham Aspinall
Gloria Paget
John Francis ...
Noah Otway
Carol Ohmart ...
Gerda Aspinall
Luanne Roberts ...
Laraine Stephens ...
Charlene Tolliver
Sandy Ward ...
Walter Wyatt ...
Hit Man


Mannix is hired by attorney Noah Otway to find out why someone tried to kill Otway's client, Dr. Graham Aspinall, a renowned surgeon whose specialty is removing tumors that are otherwise believed to be inoperable. Despite the doctor's denials that anyone has a motive to kill him, Mannix comes to believe otherwise when he barely saves Aspinall from a second attempt on his life. And Mannix discovers that there are several people who might have a motive to kill Dr. Aspinall -- including the second-in-command at his medical institute; the boyfriend of one of Aspinall's research assistants; and even his wife. Written by aldanoli

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Release Date:

1 October 1972 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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User Reviews

The Return of "Lew Wickersham"
26 March 2012 | by (Ukiah, California) – See all my reviews

Joseph Campanella, who co-starred in the series' first season, makes his one return appearance in this episode, more than four years after his last bow as "Lew Wickersham," Mannix' boss at the private detective firm "Intertect." As the head of Intertect, Wickersham/Campanella had a fondness for state-of-the-art electronic gizmos (well, 1967 vintage, anyway, like tracking devices), including a bank of closed-circuit televisions with which he could spy on his subordinates' offices, including -- especially -- Joe Mannix.

This could have provided an opportunity to have a trip down memory lane, re-visiting the wonders of Intertect's electronic wizardry, and once again contrasting it with lone wolf Joe Mannix' preference to eschew those devices in favor of his fists and his easy charm. It also would have given the series a sense of continuity by bringing back the one continuing character besides the rotating police officers played by folks like Larry Linville, Robert Reed, Jack Ging, or Ward Wood.

But it was not to be. Unfortunately, Campanella is instead cast here in the role of an arrogant, trail-blazing surgeon named Graham Aspinall, who apparently survives an attempt on his life by a prowler, prompting his attorney to ask Joe Mannix to find out why anyone would want the good doctor dead.

Sadly, the story is also riven with lots of plot points that don't hold up well under even cursory examination, and Campanella has some odd encounters with Joe Mannix -- beginning with a confrontation at his tennis club where Mannix, dressed in his usual sport coat and tie, follows Aspinall into the locker room -- and even tries to interrogate him while he's taking a shower! You couldn't wait outside until the poor guy had a chance to get showered and dressed, Joe?

Equally odd are the conversations Mannix has with two of the women in Dr. Aspinall's life -- one with his research assistant played by Laraine Stephens, who trades barbs with Mannix while garbed in a slinky orange dress and then disappears from the episode for good; and one with Irish actress Fionnuala Flanagan as Aspinall's secretary, who offers to let Mannix look at the doctor's patient records apparently because the script calls for it. Weren't medical records confidential back in the 1970s?

Still, if the episode has a redeeming feature (apart from seeing Connors and Campanella together one last time, even in such a disappointing episode), it's that old warhorse Burgess Meredith playing Aspinall's lawyer, who summons Mannix to his office -- which is large enough to play basketball in -- where Mannix finds the leprechaun-sized Meredith hunched over his desk wearing a gold vest. On anyone else the outfit would look pretentious, but Meredith carries it off. Sadly, he's only in the episode for three or four brief (though important) scenes, but his scenery-chewing is reason enough to see this episode, even if Campanella weren't in it.

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