Longstreet (TV series)
James Franciscus as Longstreet, 1971.
Peter Mark Richman
|Country of origin||USA|
|No. of seasons||1|
|No. of episodes||23 + pilot movie|
|Executive producer(s)||Stirling Silliphant|
|Running time||60 mins.|
|Production company(s)||Edling Productions
Paramount Network Television
|Distributor||CBS Television Distribution|
|Original release||September 16, 1971 – August 10, 1972|
Longstreet is an American crime drama series that was broadcast on the ABC in the 1971-1972 season (see 1971 in television). A 90-minute pilot movie of the same name aired prior to the debut of the series as an ABC Movie of the Week.
The series starred James Franciscus as insurance investigator Mike Longstreet. After a bomb (hidden in a champagne bottle) kills his wife, Ingrid, and leaves him blind, the title character pursues and captures the killers. He then continues his career as an insurance investigator despite his blindness. Longstreet's seeing eye dog was a white German Shepherd called Pax. The series was set in New Orleans, but was actually filmed in Los Angeles. Coincidentally, exactly a decade earlier, Franciscus had appeared as insurance investigator Russ Andrews in a 13-week CBS series The Investigators, with James Philbrook as his principal co-star. Both series aired at the same time, Thursday 9 PM (Eastern).
Mystery novelist Baynard Kendrick was credited in each episode as the creator of the source material for the series, although his character, Captain Duncan Maclain, had little in common with Longstreet aside from their both being blind private detectives.
Twenty-three episodes of the show were aired before it was canceled in 1972.
Regular and recurring characters
- Mike Longstreet - James Franciscus
- Nikki Bell - Marlyn Mason 22 episodes
- Duke Paige - Peter Mark Richman 20 episodes
- Mrs. Kingston - Ann Doran 17 episodes
- Li Tsung - Bruce Lee 4 episodes
|Title||Directed by||Written by||Original air date||Production
|"Longstreet"||Joseph Sargent||Stirling Silliphant||February 23, 1971||100|
|Pilot TV-movie: The story of Michael Longstreet, an insurance investigator recovering from an explosion that killed his wife and took his sight. He decides to remain an investigator and find those responsible for his wife's death and his blindness.|
Season 1 (1971–72)
|No.||Title||Directed by||Written by||Original air date||Production
|1||"The Way of the Intercepting Fist"||Don McDougall||Stirling Silliphant||September 16, 1971||102|
Mike enlists the teachings of martial arts expert Li Tsung in order to defend himself despite his blindness.
|2||"A World of Perfect Complicity"||Jud Taylor||Stirling Silliphant||September 23, 1971||101|
|Mike and Nikki go undercover as husband and wife in an exclusive apartment building, in an attempt to discover the identity of a thief who is robbing its wealthy residents.|
|3||"One in the Reality Column"||Don McDougall||Lionel E. Siegel||September 30, 1971||106|
|To prevent Mike from identifying the voice of a murderer in court, he is put through an ordeal where he is kidnapped, drugged with a hallucinogen, and left alone on a deserted ship.|
|4||"So, Who's Fred Hornbeck?"||David Lowell Rich||Sandor Stern||October 7, 1971||103|
|A man who spent several years in prison for a murder he didn't commit enlists Mike's help in finding the real killer.|
|5||"Elegy in Brass"||David Lowell Rich||Stephen Lord||October 14, 1971||105|
|When Mike begins investigating the murder of a Jazz Society director and the theft of two rare and valuable instruments, it leads him on a path into greed, ambition, hidden family secrets and the world of jazz music.|
|6||"Spell Legacy Like Death"||Paul Krasny||Mark Rodgers,
|October 21, 1971||109|
A dying man sets bombs around the city, and then calls Mike demanding $500,000 in ransom money. Mike suspects the bomber is someone from a case he worked in the past, as he meets with the bomber to pay the ransom.
|7||"The Shape of Nightmares"||James Neilson||Stirling Silliphant||October 28, 1971||107|
|A young widow asks Mike to look into the apparent suicide of her husband, who died in prison. Mike enters the prison to investigate, and discovers evidence that he was actually murdered. A convict that Mike had sent to jail is now the "Head of the Yard," running the other inmates like a mob-boss from inside the prison walls, intent on getting revenge on Longstreet. Mike must use all his wits to solve the murder and stay alive.|
|8||"The Girl with the Broom"||Lee Philips||Reuben Bercovitch||November 4, 1971||104|
|A Rembrandt is stolen from a wealthy couple's home, and the owner doesn't think a blind insurance investigator is able to handle the job. Mike's investigation into the theft takes him into a web of hidden family secrets and lies.|
|9||"Wednesday's Child"||Jeannot Szwarc||Howard Browne,
|November 11, 1971||110|
Nikki is kidnapped after purchasing an antique sewing machine at an auction, and held for ransom. Mike must discover what's hidden within the machine that's of value, and then with Li's help find a way to rescue Nikki.
|10||"'I See', Said the Blind Man"||Leslie H. Martinson||Sandor Stern||November 18, 1971||112|
Mike overhears a woman being killed in a darkened alley, and sends Pax to help her. Pax is critically stabbed, and the attacker simply walks away, realizing Mike is blind. Longstreet must try to find out who the killer is.
|11||"This Little Piggy Went to Marquette"||Charles S. Dubin||Robert M. Young||December 2, 1971||113|
|Mike investigates a series of thefts of semi-truck trailers (known as "pigs") and uncovers a ring of thieves.|
|12||"There Was a Crooked Man"||Don McDougall||John Furia,
|December 9, 1971||114|
|A valuable racehorse is stolen and held for ransom. The kidnappers want Mike to deliver the ransom money, because they figure he won't be able to identify them. After the money is paid and the horse recovered, Mike begins to piece together clues that lead him to the kidnappers' identities. The investigation takes Mike down a winding path of murder, infidelity, family secrets, greed and betrayal.|
|13||"The Old Team Spirit"||James Sheldon||Robert Hamner||December 16, 1971||108|
|There has been a series of armored-car robberies, and Mike's old mentor, Harold Kemp, is in charge of the investigation. As Mike assists Harold in the investigation, he begins to suspect his mentor is involved.|
|14||"The Long Way Home"||Don McDougall||Richard H. Landau||December 30, 1971||111|
|Harper Electronics specializes in hiring handicapped employees, but the company is hit with a string of robberies. Going undercover to investigate, Mike becomes an employee with the firm.|
|15||"Let the Memories Be Happy Ones"||Jeffrey Hayden||Mark Rodgers||January 6, 1972||115|
|Mike finally meets his sister-in-law Hannah, but their encounter is marred by an attempt on the life of Hannah's husband Sven, who is with the Swedish State Department and currently involved in sensitive discussions with other countries.|
|16||"Survival Times Two"||James H. Brown||Mark Rodgers||January 13, 1972||116|
|Mike and Duke are stranded in the bayou while on a fishing trip. Duke is bitten by a water moccasin and falls deathly ill, forcing Mike to find a way to survive in the wild and fend off a crazed Cajun trying to kill them.|
|17||"Eye of the Storm"||Don McDougall||Shimon Wincelberg||January 20, 1972||117|
|Mike travels to a lonely roadside diner to meet the representative of a gang that stole a valuable jade chess set, in order to pay the ransom for its return. The man he is supposed to meet is a no-show as a hurricane blows through, stranding Mike and a group of fellow travelers. When the power goes out and plunges the café into total darkness, one of the customers is murdered with a steak knife. With a restaurant full of suspects, Mike wonders if the dead man is related to his insurance case.|
|18||"Please Leave the Wreck for Others to Enjoy"||Alexander Singer||Stirling Silliphant||January 27, 1972||119|
|Nikki is run down by a hit-and-run driver while working on a case with Mike, placing her in the hospital in critical condition. Mike blames himself and begins to question his real motives for being an investigator, as he falls into a deep depression. Duke fears he might give up and never recover, so he calls Mike's initial teacher after his accident, Dr. Dan Stockton. Packing up Mike's belongings, Dr. Stockton takes him to the blind school to help a young man who recently lost his sight and has given up on living, in hopes that Mike will find the desire within himself to keep on fighting.|
|19||"Anatomy of a Mayday"||James Harmon Brown||Robert W. Lenski||February 3, 1972||118|
|When Mike's friend Barry sends out a mayday and then disappears at sea, Mike feels someone may have tried to murder him. Investigating several potential suspects leads him to believe his friend is really still alive.|
|20||"Sad Songs and Other Conversations"||Don McDougall||Sandor Stern||February 10, 1972||120|
|When a fire breaks out in a hospital room, the patient inside dies. Mike investigates and suspects arson, but must sift through several suspects to find out who and why.|
|21||"Field of Honor"||Charles S. Dubin||Herman Groves||February 17, 1972||121|
|Mike's good friend Jim Collins is the starting quarterback for the New Orleans football team. After suffering a terrible accident, Jim finds he may never walk again. Mike suspects the accident involved foul play.|
|22||"Through Shattering Glass"||James H. Brown||Jackson Gillis||February 24, 1972||122|
|When Mike hears a man being murdered, he pieces together enough clues to guess the killer's identity. He then plays a dangerous game as he pretends to be an eyewitness to the killing, hoping to draw the killer out into the open.|
|23||"The Sound of Money Talking"||Don McDougall||Richard Alan Shapiro||March 2, 1972||123|
|An elderly janitor robs the bank in which he works and is found murdered not long afterward. As Mike investigates he uncovers several suspects, including Nikki's former boyfriend, who works at the same bank.|
Syndication and DVD release
The series has rarely been re-aired, but appeared on Canada's Mystery TV in 2005-2006. The series was released on commercial DVD in Japan (region 2) in late 2007, and will be commercially released on DVD in the U.S. by VCE in 2016.
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