'Mannix: Fourth Season'
(Mike Connors, Ward Wood, Gail Fisher, et al / 6-Disc DVD / NR / 2011 / Paramount)
Overview: One of the most violent detective series in TV history, 'Mannix' tells the weekly adventures of private eye Joe Mannix, who originally worked for a high-concept computerized firm known as Intertect, but later opened his own agency at 17 Paseo Verde, Los Angeles, California.
DVD Verdict: For those not in the know, as indicated above in the first season, Mannix worked for a company named Intertech. While the company relied on high-tech methods to solve crimes, Mannix used old-fashioned smarts and intuition. After the first season, the producers decided to dump the "new vs. old" conflict and put Mannix into private practice.
And for seven more seasons it was the best move they ever made! That said, and looking back at this fourth season, star Mike Connors seems rather bulletproof, to say the least! I mean, they don't really show the consequences of violence towards him. Like when he (Mannix) would get thrown down a flight of stairs in one scene and then appear without a scratch in the next!
Ahh yes, the golden age of TV at its finest, I guess! Anyway, Mannix was all about trying to do the right thing, for both himself and his clients. Indeed, he's seen with a phone in his car (a chunky handle receiver, telephone number KG6-21-14!) and even hires Peggy Fair (Gail Fisher) as his full time secretary. A woman who always has waiting his first cup of coffee of the day! He doesn't seem to spend much, lived in his office, and in one of these fourth season episodes it's revealed he only has $127.16 in his bank account!
Whatever, this was a man who loved his job and took it seriously - much like Jim Rockford, but with a sports jacket!
And so, 'Mannix: The Fourth Season,' is a six-disc, 24-episode collection that represents the series' 1970-1971 season. And what we get is an ongoing assortment of fights, time to entertain clients in his Spanish-themed office, the finding of suspects whilst driving in his sleek British racing green 1970 Plymouth Cuda 340 convertible, and a host of lovely ladies for his to chat with along the way!
Highlighting a couple of my personal episode favs, the opening episode, "A Ticket To The Eclipse" is a perfect way to set teh tone and to start things off. One of Joe's old Korean War Army buddies, the brilliant Darren McGavin, is a psychotic karate instructor who, having served ten years for massacring civilians, is out for vengeance on Joe.
Another is "Figures In A Landscape," for when Joe and love interest Loretta Switt (yes, that Loretta Switt!) get stranded out in the desert, due to the diabolical plan of killer Victor French, it takes all hs cunning to get the day back on track!
Another would be "To Cage A Seagull," for not only is Joe blowing up Nazis but it also finds him shoved down a twenty-foot deep stone cell; a tomb from which he escapes by using ... ahhh, I won't give it away! And so, let me leave you with an interesting "Mannix" tidbit: Over the eight seasons of the series, Mannix was knocked unconscious 55 times and shot 17 times! This is a Full Screen Presentation (1.33:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs.