Sunday, June 24, 2018

YouTube Theatre: Cop of The Year (McMillan & Wife, 1972)

This second season episode of McMillan & Wife puts the focus squarely on Det.-Sgt. Charles Enright (John Schuck), who, after receiving an award for "Cop of The Year", is framed for the murder of his ex-wife.

John Astin, who directed a first season episode, moves back in front of the camera as a forensic scientist, in a rare dramatic turn. Charles Nelson Reilly (ex-Ghost & Mrs. Muir, Lidsville) appears briefly, as does ventriloquist-actor-scientist Paul Winchell. Kenneth Mars, a favorite of creator-executive producer Leonard Stern from his He & She days, makes his 2nd appearance in the series. Edmond O'Brien & Michael Ansara also guest.

Rating: A.


Mike Doran said...

Fun Facts:

- A few years before this episode aired, I happened to read the short story that it was based on: "The Leopold Locked Room", by Edward D. Hoch, in Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine.
The 'Leopold' of the title was Captain Leopold of Homicide, one of many characters that Ed Hoch wrote short stories about for EQMM.
Hoch had a short story in every issue of EQMM for well over thirty years; the streak ended only with his passing in 2008.

- The ex-wife/"victim" here was played by Lorraine Gary, who off-camera was the wife of Sid Sheinberg, one the head honchos at Universal Pictures.
Also appearing: movie director George Seaton, whose most recent screen credit was Showdown, a Universal Western starring Rock Hudson; this kind of quid-pro-quo was (and still is) commonplace in Hollywood.

- As I said above, I'd read the original story in EQMM long before this show was filmed; when I read the logline in TV Guide, I recognized the plot on sight.
I watched McMillan that Sunday night anyway, and you know what?
I thought it was great!
In subsequent seasons, McMillan adapted at least two other Ed Hoch stories, both with impossible crimes; I'll let you find those for yourself.

hobbyfan said...

That's easily done with a search through the series' episode list, Mike. Hasn't this plot been reused since?