I rank THE OUTSIDER as the third best P.I. series ever made for television, Just behind The Rockford Files and Harry O. Created by Roy Huggins, it only had twenty-six episodes produced and this original novel.
David Ross is your prototypical private eye. Money is always a problem, but he is that eye that will help people who need it. He himself served six years in prison for murder until his name was cleared.
In this novel, Ross is headed to meet his new client, movie producer Leonard Caldwell, when an attractive redhead jumps into his car begging a ride. She then refuses to get out of the car at her previously announced destination, She starts screaming when he refuses and attracts a Beverly Hills police cruiser.
It turns out she’s a P.I. herself and wants to find her partner, Tex McCloud who’d disappeared shortly after going to work for Ross’s new client.
Caldwell wants his wife found. Ex-actress Vania Dare had dropped out of sight shortly after her first husband, long thought dead twenty years now, had reappeared and seemed on a course to exact revenge on everybody that had wronged him in the past.
Caldwell simply wants to know if she left willingly or was kidnapped. If the former that was fine. Caldwell also seemed interested in keeping quiet that she might be a bigamist, even an unintentional one, as he is aiming for a run in the California Senate.
Ross soon has someone following him in a corvette with lethal intent. The “dead” husband grabs him and seems interested in adding him to the growing list of people who had “wronged” twenty years earlier. And the cops are giving him a hard time.
Liked this one.
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With a new interpretation of the Ranger almost upon us, I thought it time to look at another, the one most of us are familiar with: the television version. The Ranger was around long before 1949, but television forever locked most of us that were kids at that time into Clayton Moore and Jay Silver heels as our favorite heroes. This one tells the same story, the origin tale so to speak, in a different manner. The role of Butch Cavendish was played by Glen Strange better known for his bartender role in the Long Branch saloon on Gunsmoke.
And I’m still not sure about Johnny Depp as Tonto and the actor playing the title role, Armie Hammer, gets third billing.
For overlooked movies, telkevision, and related matters, Todd Mason does the gathering on Tuesdays over at SWEET FREEDOM.