Monday, December 23, 2019

What Might've Been: Strange Report (1969)

ITC's first import for NBC had been The Saint. In 1971, the network placed two more ITC entries on the schedule as mid-season replacements. One was From a Bird's Eye View, which had been on the NBC shelf for a couple of years before finally being put on the air, and our next subject, Strange Report.

Strange Report used a by this point familiar casting formula also used on The Champions and, the next year, Department S. That is to say, two male leads and one female lead. American audiences may be more familiar with Anthony Quayle from numerous movie roles, plus the fact that he would host the anthology series, The Evil Touch, later in the 70's. Kaz Garas would become a frequent guest star on a number of crime dramas, usually for Quinn Martin. Anneke Willis, the female lead, might not have been heard from much again on this side of the ocean.

Quayle played retired criminologist Adam Strange (not to be confused with the DC comics hero, who was also an archeologist), called into duty to handle some odd cases.

In  the opener, Strange investigates a cult and the apparent murder of a musician.

The Legend of Pamela Franklin, a YouTube fan channel devoted to the actress, who guests in this episode, uploaded this entry.

Department S followed the same tack the next year, and while it, like Strange, lasted just one season, it would spawn a spin-off, something Strange didn't do.

No rating.


Spuddie said...

Anneke Wills was better known as the Doctor Who Companion "Polly" in its 4th and 5th season. Unfortunately only one story with her that survived and wasn't broadcast in the US until 20 years after the fact.

Mike Doran said...

Strange Report was a British-American co-production; Norman Felton was the US side of the deal.
Felton supplied about half the writers, from his Man From UNCLE days.
This episode was directed by old Ealing hand Charles Crichton, who went on to A Fish Called Wanda.

hobbyfan said...

As memory serves, Mike, Felton & Arena Productions had left MGM by that point, after UNCLE ended its run. Arena had at least one more American-produced series for a studio other than MGM after Strange Report.

@Spuddie: Thanks for the heads-up.