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Burke’s Law (ABC 1963-1966 and 1994-1995, Gene Barry)

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Burke’s Law focused on Los Angeles chief of detectives, Amos Burke, who also was a millioniare. The character of Amos Burke was first seen two seasons earlier in a Dick Powell Theatre presentation – “Who Killed Julia Greer?”

Burke was high-living, witty and charming but could be tough when needed. He lived in a palatial estate and arrived at the scene of a crime in a Rolls-Royce driven by his chauffeur, Henry. Burke also had a strong passion for beautiful women and interrupted his romances only for interesting homicide cases. His partners were: Det. Tim Tilson, a smart, young college guy; Det. Les Hart, a seasoned veteran of the force and, in 1964-65, Sgt. Ames, a pretty policewoman.

A change in the format and title was made in September 1965. Glamour and sophistication remained the series’ trademark but Amos Burke severed his connection with the police and became a debonair, globe-trotting secret agent for a United States intelligence agency. His only contact at the agency was known simply as “The Man.” The title of the series was changed to Amos Burke – Secret Agent.

Title card for the new version of the series, cashing in on the then vogue for all things espionage.

Title card for the new version of the series, cashing in on the then vogue for all things espionage.

Almost three decades after the original series left the air, Burke’s Law returned to television. Gene Barry reprised his role as the suave, debonair cop, now chief of homicide for the L.A.P.D. During the previous years, Burke had been married and had a son, Peter. Peter had inherited his father’s good looks, charm, wit and love of the law. He was now a homicide detective solving cases with his dad. Peter was more impulsive and less patient than his father – together they made an effective team.

Other cast members included: Henry, Amos’s loyal and trusted chauffeur (still driving the Rolls Royce!); Lily, the forensics expert and Vinnie, Amos’s friend and gourmet chef who appeard in almost every episode.

The new Burke’s Law looked a little like a docked version of the Love Boat. The dialogue was corny and every episode was inundated with celebrity guests long past their prime! They included: Anne Francis, Connie Stevens, Eva Gabor, John Astin, Efrem Zimbalist, Jr., Don Knotts, Edd Byrnes, Tanya Roberts, Polly Bergen, Milton Berle, Audrey Meadows, Bonnie Franklin, Carol Channing, George Segal, Florence Henderson, Jack Carter, Ed McMahon and Roddy McDowall.

Amos Burke was highly promoted during its first season and featured several Hollywood stars such as: Sir Cedric Hardwicke and Annette Funicello. 63 stars appeared in the first eight episodes alone!

production details
USA / ABC / x50 minute episodes / Broadcast 20 September 1963 – September 1965

cast
Gene Barry as Amos Burke
Gary Conway as Tim Tillson
Regis Toomey as Lester Hart
Leon Lontoc as Henry
Eileen O’Neill as Sergeant Ames

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TV

Ape And Essence (The Wednesday Play BBC-1 1966, Alec McCowen)

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In Scifi drama Ape and Essence, based on the novel by Aldous Huxley, a group of New Zealand scientists conduct a survey on a Britain ravaged by atomic war 80 years previously.

Series: The Wednesday Play Season 2 Episode 29

cast
Alec McCowen as Alfred Poole
Robert Eddison as Arch Vicar
Derek Sydney as Chief
Jenny Lee as Flossie
Yvonne Antrobus as Young Girl
Sydney Bromley as Craigie
Martin Carroll as Director of Food
Hazel Douglas as Mies Hook
John Falconer as Patriarch
Petra Markham as Loola
Ken Parry as Science Praet
Amanda Reiss as Polly
Jonathan Scott as Int. Priest
Fiona Fraser as Part of Crowd
Ann Mitchell as Shaven-Head
Jacki Salt as Mulatto Girl
Carol Blake as Shaven-Head
Gordon Craig as Part of Crowd
Robert Cude as First Man

crew details
Writer: John Finch
Book: Aldous Huxley
Music: BBC Radiophonic Workshop
Producer: Peter Luke
Director: David Benedictus.

production details
Country: UK
Network and Production Companies: BBC One
Duration: 1×75 minute episode
Aired From: 18 May 1966

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TV

Plane Makers, The (ITV 1963-1965, Patrick Wymark, Barbara Murray)

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Plane Makers Patrick Wymark

Drama series The Plane Makers took us behind the scenes in the boardroom and shop floor of the Scott Furlong Aircraft Factory. After two seasons the lead character John Wilder took a place on the board of a merchant bank and the series was then renamed The Power Game.

cast
Patrick Wymark as John Wilder
Jack Watling as Don Henderson
Barbara Murray as Pamela Wilder (Seasons 1-2)
Ann Firbank as Pamela Wilder (Season 3)
Reginald Marsh as Arthur Sugden
Alan Dobie as David Corbett

crew details
Creator: Wilfred Greatorex
Producers: Rex Firkin (seasons 1-2), David Reid (season 3)

production details
Country: UK
Network: ITV – ATV
Duration: 57×50 minute episodes
Aired From: 4 February 1963 – 12 January 1965 black and white

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TV

Running Wild (ITV 1987, Ray Brooks, Janet Key)

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Sitcom Running Wild was about the ups and downs of separated couple, Max and Babs, trying to get on with their lives. In season two Max wants to return to his wife but Babs is not so keen.

cast
Ray Brooks as Max Wild
Janet Key as Babs Wild
Sharon Duce as Wanda
Michelle Collins as Stephanie Wild
Peter Amory as Rob
Berwick Kaler as Tom Coleman (Season 1)
Brigit Forsyth as Jenny (Season 2)

crew details
Writer: Philip Trewinnard
Producers: Marcus Plantin (Season 1), Derrick Goodwin (Season 2)
Directors: Vic Finch (Season 1), Derrick Goodwin (Season 2)

production details
Country: UK
Network and Production Companies: ITV – London Weekend Television
Duration: 13×25 minute episodes
Aired From: 6 March 1987 – 4 June 1989

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