Beauty and the Beast combined fairy-tale-styled fantastic elements with a genuine sense of the romantic. Created by Ron Koslow, the show was set in New York City and focused on Assistant D.A. Catherine Chandler. After being brutally beaten and left for dead by a group thugs one night, she was rescued by Vincent, a man-beast with the body of a human and the face of a lion.
Vincent took her down a huge subterranean city that existed beneath New York to heal her wounds and nurse her back to health. During this time, Catherine met Father, the hermetic genius and leader of the underground city, who had raised Vincent and his underlings, Kipper and Mouse. Catherine eventually returned to the surface world, but not before falling in love with Vincent.
As the show developed, so did Catherine and Vincent’s emotional bond. Vincent developed a psychic link with Catherine, allowing him to feel her emotions and thus be able to know when she was in danger. This came in handy because her work for boss, Deputy D.A. Joe Maxwell, seemed to put her in constant danger. Catherine also spent a good deal of time in the subterranean city, where she had been accepted as an honorary member of their clan.
Beauty and the Beast developed an instant cult following but never gained the large ratings necessary to make it a hit. Linda Hamilton (Catherine) chose to leave the show after the second season, necessitating a major change in the show’s plotting. At the beginning of the third season, Catherine was murdered by Gabriel, a wealthy criminal she had been investigating for the D.A.’s office. Catherine gave birth to Vincent’s son before she died, and the child was imprisoned by Gabriel. Joe Maxwell hired Diana Bennett, a top investigator, to find Catherine’s killer. Diana’s search led her to Vincent, who teamed up with her to rescue his son and bring Gabriel to justice.
The radical changes in plotting did not boost the show’s ratings, and it was subsequently canceled in August of 1990. Although it never caught on with a mass audience, Beauty and the Beast was a noble experiment that is still treasured today by fans of the fantastic for its emphasis on the poetic.
USA / CBS – Republic / 55×50 minute episodes / Broadcast 25 September 1987 – 4 August 1990
Creator: Ron Koslow / Theme Music: Lee Holdridge / Executive Producers: Ron Koslow, Junger Witt, Tony Thomas, Stephen Kurzfield
Linda Hamilton as Catherine Chandler (1987-89)
Ron Perlman as Vincent
Roy Dotrice as Father (Jacob Wells)
Jay Acovone as Deputy District Attorney Joe Maxwell
Ren Woods as Edie (1987-88)
Jason Allen as Kipper (pilot only)
Cory Danziger as Kipper (1987-88)
David Greenlee as Mouse (1988-90)
Ellen Greer as Mary (1988-90)
Zachary Rosencrantz as Zach (1988-89)
Ritch Brinkley as William (1988-90)
Jo Anderson as Diana Bennett (1989-90)
Stephen McHattie asGabriel (1989-90)
Edward Albert as Elliot Burch (1987-90)
Lewis Smith as Mark (1989-90)