Barney Miller (1975–1982)
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Lieutenant Scanlon investigates an anonymous letter that identifies a member of the precinct as a homosexual. An angry shopper destroys to an elevator's MUZAK machine.


Noam Pitlik


Tony Sheehan (teleplay by), Jim Tisdale (story by) | 3 more credits »


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Episode complete credited cast:
Hal Linden ... Capt. Barney Miller
Max Gail ... Det. Stan 'Wojo' Wojciehowicz
Ron Glass ... Det. Ron Harris
Steve Landesberg ... Det. Sgt. Arthur Dietrich
Ron Carey ... Officer Carl Levitt
Dino Natali ... Officer Zatelli
Norman Bartold ... Jack Corwin
Peter Jurasik ... George Alsop
David Darlow David Darlow ... Burglar
George Murdock ... Lt. Ben Scanlon


Lieutenant Scanlon pays an unwelcome visit to the 12th precinct to investigate the origins of an anonymous letter sent by an officer who admits to being a homosexual. Barney doesn't see the issue, but homophobic Scanlon is itching to weed out the author of the letter, and decides to question each officer of the 12th precinct in hopes finding out who it is. During the investigation Barney finds out, in confidence, that it is Officer Zetelli but refuses to tell Scanlon. Meanwhile, a frustrated office worker is arrested when he destroys the MUSAK system in his office because he believes that it is delivering subliminal messages. Written by Jerry Roberts <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Comedy | Drama


Did You Know?


When this episode airs in repeats, the name of the Muzak Corporation is masked out. The actors lips move, but the sound is cut. It is still easy to tell what the line is due to context. While it has come to be a generic term for inoffensive music (as "Kleenex" has for facial tissues), the Muzak Corporation is a real corporation extant as of 2020. See more »


Referenced in Barney Miller: The Child Stealers (1980) See more »


Romeo and Juliet: Fantasy Overture
Written by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (as Peter Il'yich Tchaikovsky)
Courtesy of Extreme Music
See more »

User Reviews

Sixth season opener
8 June 2014 | by kevinolzakSee all my reviews

"Inquisition" marked the sixth season opener, featuring George Murdock in his fifth of 12 appearances as Lt. Ben Scanlon from Internal Affairs, this time investigating an anonymous unsigned confession from someone at the 12th Precinct, revealing himself to be homosexual. Scanlon interviews the entire squad room, hoping to discover if the incident is "widespread, or just some isolated pervert!" Barney is made aware of just who the culprit is, but insists that he remain anonymous (Scanlon: "I want to hear that from him!"). David Darlow (second of two) plays a burglar who struck at an adult bookstore, railing against 'filthy' merchandise he can't hock. Peter Jurasik (second of two) plays George Alsop, campaigning against department store elevator music, which he insists are planting subliminal messages intended for mind control. Norman Bartold (second of five) plays Jack Corwin, from Automated Moods Inc., casually humming "The Sound of Music" as he goes about his business, deciding not to press charges against Alsop because his company wants to keep a lid on their 'subliminal' practices. Dino Natali makes his third of five appearances as Officer Zatelli.

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Release Date:

13 September 1979 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Four D Productions See more »
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Technical Specs



Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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