Longstreet1James Franciscus starred in this 1971 series as blind insurance investigator Michael Longstreet. It was based, very loosely, on mystery writer Baynard Kendrick’s character blind private eye Duncan Maclain who appeared in fourteen novels starting in 1937. The only real connection was that the two investigators were blind. I covered three of the novels HERE, HERE, and HERE.

The pilot for the series was shown recently on ME Tv and I wondered how it would hold up. It had been a long time since I’d watched any of them. It did, though one could look at it as a period piece. Set in New Orleans, it was of it’s time with clothes, music, and slang.

Longstreet is blinded, his wife Ingrid killed, when a champagne bottle explodes. The pilot is invested with his learning to function as a blind man, taught by John MacIntire. Jeanette Nolan plays his mother in the pilot. He acquires a white German Shepherd named Pax and a cane with a device that sends sonar beams out, allowing Longstreet to gauge distance by the speed of sound.

Longstreet has a burning desire to find and kill whoever planted the bomb. To that end, they begin checking out past cases Longstreet had broken for the insurance company. Until a chance remark about ANOTHER jewelry heist just like the one that had happened the same night as the bomb blast.

Eventually three jobs are pulled. Same M.O. Three men in coveralls and Halloween masks. Never speak. Top floor of the building. Said building locked down before they can get away, but no trace can be found.

The series was notable for Bruce Lee joining for four episodes as his martial artsfranciscusandbrucelee instructor for Jeet Kune Do, the way of the intercepting fist, a discipline developed by Lee.

The show only lasted twenty-three episodes plus the pilot, which started as a movie of the week.