Masquerade (TV series)

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Created byGlen A. Larson
StarringRod Taylor
Kirstie Alley
Greg Evigan
Opening theme"Masquerade"
performed by Crystal Gayle
ComposerStu Phillips
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons1
No. of episodes13 (1 unaired)
Running time44 minutes
Production companiesRenee Valente Productions
Glen A. Larson Productions
20th Century Fox Television
Distributor20th Television
Original networkABC
Original releaseDecember 15, 1983 (1983-12-15) –
April 27, 1984 (1984-04-27)

Masquerade is an American espionage television series that aired on ABC from December 15, 1983, until April 27, 1984.


Considered an amalgam of Mission: Impossible (indeed, Mission: Impossible alumnus William Read Woodfield was the series' executive story consultant) and The Love Boat, the tongue-in-cheek series starred Rod Taylor as Mr. Lavender, the leader of "Operation Masquerade", a top-secret branch of American Intelligence that conducts missions using ordinary civilians, recruited for their anonymity and their specialized skills. Two trained field agents, Casey Collins (Kirstie Alley) and Danny Doyle (Greg Evigan) are assigned to chaperone the amateur spies. This concept was essentially identical to Call to Danger, a series concept that had been attempted with three unsuccessful pilot films in the 1960s and 1970s, the last two starring Mission: Impossible's Peter Graves.

The Love Boat comparison (frequently used in contemporary reviews of this series) stemmed from the show's casting of a different ensemble of well-known actors each week, much as Love Boat populated its episodes. The first act of every episode depicted the recruitment of a new group of agents, which was invariably followed by a briefing by Mr. Lavender aboard his private plane, ending with Lavender saying, stone-faced: "Welcome to Operation Masquerade".[1]

The budget was a reported $750,000 an episode.[1]

The series debuted with a 90-minute pilot film, followed by 12 episodes before the series was cancelled. This was Kirstie Alley's first television series after her debut in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan the previous year. Country singer Crystal Gayle performed the theme song.

Ratings were weak, and attempts to improve them by changing the time slot did not work either.[1]



Season Episodes Start Date End Date Nielsen Rank Nielsen Rating[2] Tied With
1983-84 13 December 15, 1983 April 27, 1984 78 12.0 "NBC Friday Movie of the Week"


No.TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air dateProd.
1"Pilot"Peter H. HuntGlen A. LarsonDecember 15, 1983 (1983-12-15)N/A
A KGB agent codenamed Wolfen (Oliver Reed) is systematically killing NIA operatives. With no viable agents left and Wolfen the top candidate to become the next director of the KGB, Lavender comes up with a desperate plan to use untrained civilians to discredit Wolfen in the eyes of his Soviet superiors before the ruthless killer becomes the new KGB director.
2"Diamonds"Peter CraneWilliam Read WoodfieldDecember 22, 1983 (1983-12-22)2J02
Lavender and his team go to Amsterdam, after a rogue spy who is going to sell missile frequency codes for $1 million in diamonds. Believing that the Soviets will get the codes and jam NATO defenses, they set out to stop the diamond transaction.
3"Girls for Sale"Sidney HayersGlen A. LarsonDecember 29, 1983 (1983-12-29)2J03
In Hawaii, a senator's daughter is kidnapped in order to blackmail the senator into giving up information from the intelligence committee he serves on, and Lavender and his team must face ninja assassins to rescue her.
4"The Defector"Peter CraneAndrew SchneiderJanuary 5, 1984 (1984-01-05)2J04
A Soviet physicist wants to defect, and needs protection from a KGB death squad known as "Section 9". To throw them off the track, Lavender and his team try to make it appear as though the physicist has been killed.
5"Caribbean Holiday"UnknownMark RodgersJanuary 12, 1984 (1984-01-12)2J07
An NIA agent has turned traitor, and is hired by an ousted Caribbean dictator to help him start a coup that will return him to power. Lavender and his team board a cruise ship and try to stop the traitor and a group of mercenaries who have a cache of weapons stored below decks to arm the rebels once they arrive.
6"Five Days"John Llewellyn MoxeyMark RodgersJanuary 19, 1984 (1984-01-19)2J05
A Bulgarian woman working for the NIA is kept in a top-security women's prison by a corrupt commissioner in Portugal. As the woman holds information vital to saving the crew of a sunken American submarine, Casey gets arrested to contact her. Meanwhile, the team works to discredit the commissioner.
7"Oil"UnknownWilliam Read WoodfieldJanuary 26, 1984 (1984-01-26)2J06
Lavender and his team race to rescue hostages a terrorist will kill if his demands are not met by his deadline.
8"The French Connection"Peter CraneAndrew SchneiderMarch 30, 1984 (1984-03-30)2J10
Lavender and the team try to track down a shipment of serum that was hijacked from a French airliner en route to Africa.
9"Winnings"Sidney HayersWilliam Read WoodfieldApril 6, 1984 (1984-04-06)2J09
Lavender enlists professional gamblers to stop a casino owner from selling a military tracking device to the KGB.
10"The Sleeper"UnknownMark RodgersApril 13, 1984 (1984-04-13)2J11
Lavender and his team go after an American general who is a double agent planning to sell recordings of a Middle Eastern conference to the Soviets.
11"Spanish Gambit"Phil BondelliHoward Berk,
Andrew Schneider
April 20, 1984 (1984-04-20)2J08
Lavender and his team are up against another U.S. agent and the Soviets in recovering stolen satellite defense hardware.
12"Spying Down to Rio"Sidney HayersAndrew SchneiderApril 27, 1984 (1984-04-27)2J12
13"Flashpoint"Phil BondelliCharles KinboteN/A2J01


  1. ^ a b c Stephen Vagg, Rod Taylor: An Aussie in Hollywood (Bear Manor Media, 2010) p210-212
  2. ^ "1983-84 Ratings History -- The Networks Are Awash in a Bubble Bath of Soaps".

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