Dragnet: The Big Will

Jack Webb

Friday and Smith investigate the murder of a wealthy business owner.

Original Air Date: June 7, 1953

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TV Episode Review: The Avengers: The House that Jack Built

Series: The Avengers
Season 4, Episode 23
Original Air Date: March 5, 1966

“The House that Jack Built” begins atypically for an Avengers episode. Mrs. Peel (Diana Rigg) shows up to find John Steed (Patrick Macnee) developing photos. There’s no big case. She just stops by for a friendly chat before heading off to look at a house her solicitor sent her a letter saying she’d inherited.

When Mrs. Peel arrives, she’s trapped inside the house and forced to wander through a series of confusing rooms, traps, and weird contraptions seemingly meant to reduce her to a state of terror.

This is a brilliant episode. The directing is superb, giving this situation a very haunting claustrophobic atmosphere throughout. The design of this house and the all related traps lends to the suspenseful feel.

This episode is also a showcase for Diana Rigg. While Steed finds clues that put him on Mrs. Peel’s trail and allow him to be in on the finale, the focus is on Mrs. Peel as she creeps through this house with few words. Rigg is superb. Mrs. Peel is one of the few female characters on television in this era who wouldn’t break out in hysterics. Rigg plays Mrs. Peel with appropriate coolness, without portraying a flippant bravado that would take the viewer out of the episode.

While the Avengers had a fun light touch, this episode shows the series could work with a serious and suspenseful tone, too. This episode is a classic that’s well worth watching.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

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EP2521: Yours Truly Johnny Dollar: The Shifty Looker Matter

Mandel Kramer

Johnny is called in by an insurance company because an insured child is kidnapped. Johnny’s informed he can’t call the police or the FBI because of the terms of the policy.

Original Air Date: August 27, 1961

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EP2520: Boston Blackie: The Stalking Killer

Richard Kollmar

A friend of Mary’s who’s being stalked by a blackmailing killer comes to Blackie for help.

Original Air Date: June 4, 1947

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EP2519: Rocky Jordan: Ace High Straight

Jack Moyles

Rocky lost big in a card game and is ready to payoff but several cards (men named Jack, Queen, and King) distract Rocky and the gun that killed Ace, the man he owed money to, is found in his desk.

Original Air Date: December 12, 1948

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Support the show on a one-time basis at http://support.greatdetectives.net.

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