Miles C Banyon was a hard-working, straight-down-the-line private detective willing to handle any case that came his way, from murder to missing persons.
The series novelty, in a decade when TV schedules were crowded with lone detectives working the streets, was to give its eponymous hero a period setting, taking us to Los Angeles in the 1930s. Banyon’s girl, Abby Graham, was a nightclub singer, but he was in no hurry to settle down.
His main source of support was elderly Peggy Revere (played by one-time Busby Berkeley high-kicker Joan Blondell), patroness of a secretarial school based in the same building as his office.
Each week she supplied him with a different secretary for no charge, an arrangement that gave her girls thrills and experience, provided the private eye with valuable resources, and offered him and the viewer a lively procession of characters from glamour-girl to farm-girl.
The series’ executive producer was Quinn Martin, a name behind a long list of solid sleuthing series that included the likes of Cannon, The Fugitive, The Untouchables, The FBI, The New Breed, Dan August and The Streets of San Francisco.
Robert Forster (real name Robert Foster) went on to a somewhat lacklustre career of cops, gangsters and remakes via a spell of dubious titles – Kinky Coaches and the Pom Pom Pussycats (1980) and Linda, aka Naked Super Witches of the Rio Amore (also 1980).
In the pilot broadcast 15 March 1971 Hermione Gingold had the role of Peggy Revere and Darren McGavin played Lt. Pete Cordova.
USA / NBC – Warner / 1×96 minute episode 15×60 minute episodes / Broadcast 15 September 1972 – 12 January 1973
Executive Producer: Quinn Martin / Writers: Ed Adamson, William P. McGivern, Milton S. Gelman, Carey Wilber, James D. Buchanan, Ronald Austin, George F. Slavin, Mann Rubin, Mort Fine, N. Gidding, Robert C. Dennis / Directors: Ralph Senensky, Daniel Petrie, Lawrence Dobkin, Charles S. Dubin, Marvin Chomsky / Producer: Ed Adamson / Story Editor: Norman Katkov / Music: Johnny Mandel
Robert Forster as Miles Banyon
Richard Jaeckel as Lt. Pete McNeil
Joan Blondell as Peggy Revere
Julie Gregg as Abby Graham
PILOT (15 Mar 1971)
SEASON ONE 15 September 1972 – 12 January 1973
1. THE DECENT THING TO DO (15 Sep 72)
2. THE OLD COLLEGE TRY (22 Sep 72)
3. THE GRAVEYARD VOTE (29 Sep 72)
4. COMPLETELY OUT OF PRINT (6 Oct 72)
5. MEAL TICKET (13 Oct 72)
6. THE CLAY CLARINET (27 Oct 72)
7. DEAD END (3 Nov 72)
8. TIME TO KILL (10 Nov 72)
9. THINK OF ME KINDLY (17 Nov 72)
10. A DATE WITH DEATH (24 Nov 72)
11. SALLY OVERMAN IS MISSING (1 Dec 72)
12. THE LADY KILLER (8 Dec 72)
13. THE MURDER GAME (15 Dec 72)
14. JUST ONCE (22 Dec 72)
15. TIME LAPSE (12 Jan 72)