Dack Rambo plays millionaire playboy Jack Cole, who, after the death of his parents, is framed on charges of embezzlement. In prison, Cole learns various tricks of the criminal trade - lockpicking, safe-cracking, electronic surveillance, etc. Upon his release, Cole uses his wealth and his newly learned talents to help others, leaving his calling card, a "sword of justice", at the scene.Written by
Marty McKee <email@example.com>
Trademark: During each show, the villain would get four playing cards distributed anonymously. The cards were the threes of the various suits, with the spade three always coming last. In the pilot and the opening credits of each show, Jack Cole plays solitaire and deals himself four threes in succession, to match his three years of imprisonment. The cards are marked on the back with a Jack Cole quotation, ending with "The spade is the sword of justice. Its rapier marks the end." See more »
The spade is the sword of justice. Its rapier marks the end.
[Jack Cole's catch phrase, spoken in voiceover as the villain reads the back of the three of spades just before being arrested]
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When I was a teenager, i would excitedly await each episode each week on British TV. Part of the delight about it was the ingenuity of the way that he would take down the criminals that he was challenging, rather than the standard punch up and corner the baddie in the control room that is common in the genre (cf James Bond). Indeed, Jack Cole wold usually find a way to ensure that the villains would turn on each other or defeat themselves.
For a TV series that lasted only 9 episodes, it certainly went out on a high note with Blackjack, regarded by many as the best episode. After Union funds have been embezzled to finance a mob-run Casino, the Feds have the problem that by the time they audit the books, the Casino will have been able to repay the money. Cole's solution? Stop the Casino repaying the money by bankrupting it on its own Blackjack table. His plan is so ingenious that it is said to have scared various real life Casinos in Las Vegas who realised that it might actually be possible.
As a period piece, it is also glorious to watch.
The one sad fact about the show though is that it is utterly unobtainable now. If only they would bring it out again as some sort of cult classic.
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