The adventures of proud Polish-American freelance insurance investigator Thomas Banacek.

Creator:

Reviews

On Disc

at Amazon

Episodes

Seasons


Years



2   1  
1974   1973   1972  
Nominated for 1 Primetime Emmy. See more awards »

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

The Blue Max (1966)
Action | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A young pilot in the German air force of 1918, disliked as lower-class and unchivalrous, tries ambitiously to earn the medal offered for 20 kills.

Director: John Guillermin
Stars: George Peppard, James Mason, Ursula Andress
McMillan & Wife (1971–1977)
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

San Francisco Police Commissioner Stewart "Mac" McMillan and his amateur detective wife keep their marriage unpredictable while solving the city's most baffling crimes.

Stars: Rock Hudson, John Schuck, Susan Saint James
McCloud (1970–1977)
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Sam McCloud is a Marshal from Taos, New Mexico, who takes a temporary assignment in the New York City Police Department. His keen sense of detail and detecting subtle clues, learned from his experience, enable him to nab unsuspecting criminals despite his unbelieving boss.

Stars: Dennis Weaver, J.D. Cannon, Terry Carter
Black Sheep Squadron (1976–1978)
Action | War | Adventure
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

The dramatized World War II adventures of U.S. Major Gregory "Pappy" Boyington and his U.S. Marine Attack Squadron 214, (The Black Sheep Squadron).

Stars: Robert Conrad, Simon Oakland, Dana Elcar
I Spy (1965–1968)
Action | Adventure | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A pair of intelligence agents posing as a tennis pro and his coach go on secret missions around the world.

Stars: Robert Culp, Bill Cosby, Kenneth Tobey
Harry O (1973–1976)
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Harry Orwell is a world-weary private investigator who was forced to leave the San Diego Police Department after a bullet became lodged near his spine. He lived on the beach, and, when not ... See full summary »

Stars: David Janssen, Anthony Zerbe, Paul Tulley
Columbo (1971–2003)
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

Los Angeles homicide detective Lieutenant Columbo uses his humble ways and ingenuous demeanor to winkle out even the most well-concealed of crimes.

Stars: Peter Falk, Mike Lally, John Finnegan
Vega$ (1978–1981)
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Dan Tanna is a private investigator in the gambling town of Las Vegas, Nevada. Vegas can be seedy or glamorous, depending upon the point of view. This show is also notable for perhaps the ... See full summary »

Stars: Robert Urich, Bart Braverman, Phyllis Davis
Cagney & Lacey (1981–1988)
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Two female police detectives cooperate with each other both in their professions and in their personal lives.

Stars: Tyne Daly, Sharon Gless, Al Waxman
The Champions (1968–1969)
Adventure | Sci-Fi | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Craig Stirling, Sharron Macready and Richard Barrett were agents for Nemesis, an international intelligence organization based in Geneva. Their first mission as a team was to investigate ... See full summary »

Stars: Stuart Damon, Alexandra Bastedo, William Gaunt
The Equalizer (1985–1989)
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A retired Intelligence Agent turned private detective helps various threatened clients to equalize the odds.

Stars: Edward Woodward, Keith Szarabajka, Robert Lansing
L.A. Law (1986–1994)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

The lives and work of the staff of a major Los Angeles law firm.

Stars: Corbin Bernsen, Jill Eikenberry, Alan Rachins
Edit

Cast

Complete series cast summary:
...  Thomas Banacek 17 episodes, 1972-1974
...  Jay Drury 17 episodes, 1972-1974
...  Felix Mulholland 16 episodes, 1972-1974
Edit

Storyline

Thomas Banacek is a clever and well-to-do freelance insurance investigator living in Boston. He makes good money by solving the most intricate and unusual mysteries, and is very proud of his Polish heritage. His contacts include his street-smart chauffeur Jay and British bookstore owner Felix. Written by Marty McKee <mmckee@soltec.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Mystery

Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

20 March 1972 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Banacek: Kova kyttä  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show more on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(16 episodes)

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

4:3
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The show had good ratings and was set to go for a third season until George Peppard pulled out. He was going through a divorce at the time, and he quit to prevent ex-wife Ashley from receiving a larger share of his earnings. Sadly, this permanently ended the show's run. See more »

Quotes

Thomas Banacek: Twelve good horses and silver candlesticks won't stop the snow from falling in Bialystock.
See more »

Connections

Followed by Banacek: Detour to Nowhere (1972) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
"It's Bana-CHECK"
9 September 2004 | by See all my reviews

After years of playing what he described to TV Guide as "tight-jawed men of action" in routine theatrical films, George Peppard made his small-screen bow as the star of "Banacek," one of three series ("Madigan" and "Cool Million" were the others) that rotated under the umbrella of The NBC Wednesday Mystery Movie when it premiered in September 1972 (following in the successful footsteps of the original Mystery Movie trio of "Columbo," "McCloud," and "McMillan and Wife" which moved to Sundays for their second season).

Almost every TV cop had a gimmick in that era, be it a wheelchair ("Ironside"), a Stetson ("McCloud"), or a walking stick ("Longstreet"). Thomas Banacek's appeal had much to do with his being Polish, and the sleuth (actually an insurance investigator) had enough confidence and sex appeal to counter any ethnic joke that came his way. When he wasn't seducing the leading ladies, he was correcting those who mispronounce his name ("It's Bana-CHECK"), more often than not with a smart-a** response.

Like "Columbo," this show's mysteries weren't who-done-its so much as they were how'd-they-do-it? Each episode opened with a mysterious disappearance (a football player vanishes after being tackled in one show, a priceless artifact or an airplane disappears in another) that Banacek would spend the bulk of each 90-minute episode attempting to solve. Smoking fine cigars, and displaying an expertise on the more elegant things in life that would make James Bond envious, Banacek could be insufferably arrogant, and Peppard inhabited the character to perfection.

"Banacek" was introduced in a two-hour World Premiere movie which aired on NBC in the 1971-72 season, then went on to headline 16 episodes from 1972-74. Despite healthy ratings, Peppard, whose contract with Universal and NBC originally called for a weekly series, and was therefore easily broken, bowed out in the hope of producing and directing a film about Long John Silver. When that project failed to materialize, he returned to series TV in the lesser "Doctors Hospital" in 1975 but enjoyed his greatest success as the leader of "The A Team" in the 80s. But "Banacek" remains his finest work in the television medium.


44 of 45 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 15 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page