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TELEVISION

The Alfred Hitchcock Hour episode:
      "Terror at Northfield"

Shamley Production with Revue Studios,Universal Studios 1963
Aired first time CBS Oct,11 1963 -  60 minutes
Director: Harvey Hart
Script after EQ novellette: Leigh Brackett
Cast:
Mr.Jones: William Newell
Sheriff Will Pearce: Dick York
Mayor Sanford Brown: Harry Harvey
Susan Marsh: Jacqueline Scott
John Cooley: R.G.Armstrong
Flora Sloan: Gertrude Flynn
Frenchy LaFont: Denis Patrick
Mrs.LaFont: Katherine Squire
Bib Hadley: Peter Whitney
Dr.Burton: Curt Conway
 

When his teenage son Tommy is found murdered in the town of Northfield, John Cooley sets out to avenge the boys death. John is a religious fanatic who believes he is on a mission from God. When he finds a piece of car headlight at the murder scene, he seeks out and kills the car's original owner Frency La Font and an elderly librarian who had some connection to the car. With all the murders, the residents of Northfield are unstandably shaken. They demand that Sheriff Will Pearce solve the case. Unfortunately, Pearce's girlfriend Susan Marsh falls under Cooley's suspicions since she bought the car from La Font. His attempt to kill her, however, is foiled at the last second by the timely arrival of Sheriff Pearce.
EQ doesn't appear in this story, but it is a genuine Dannay and Lee article, adapted from a story first published in Argosy magazine "Terror Town" (from Argosy, 8/56; also called "The Motive") and reprinted in 'Tragedy of Errors".

Ellery Queen: Don't Look Behind You

NBC,  11/19/1971 or 11/11/1971
Peter Lawford96 minutes
Producer: Leonard J.Ackerman
Executive producer: Edward J.Montague
Director: Barry Shear
Screenplay from EQ-novel: Ted Leighton
Music: Jerry Fielding
Cast:
EQ: Peter Lawford
Inspector Queen: Harry Morgan
Sgt.Velie: Bill Zuckert
Dr. Edward Cazalis: E.G. Marshall
Mrs. Cazalis: Coleen Gray
Celeste Phillips: Stephanie Powers
Police Commissioner: Morgan Sterne,
Christy: Skye Aubrey

Queen remained off the home screen for thirteen years. Universal Pictures prepared a 2 hour pilot for a new series. Originally announced as 'Catch me if you can' this easily forgettable murder mystery has famed detective taking over police-baffling Hydra case. Relationship between Lawford and Morgan starts out well but disappears as film progresses. The plot structure of "Cat of Many Tails" is present here, but all Lawford (left) and Harry Morgan in "Ellery Queen Don't look behind you" of the story's subtleties and insights are tossed away. The script was written by Richard Levinson and William Link (billed as "Ted Leighton" because they disapproved of changes made). The casting of Ellery is preposterous: Lawford plays him as an overaged, mod "Swinging London" hipster. Harry Morgan, well-suited as the long-suffering Dad, has been rewritten as a long-suffering uncle. Thus resolving the difference in accents between the two actors.

Ellery Queen

Click on left and/or right sidePublicity shot of the 'Dynamic Duo' David Wayne & Jim HuttonNBC, 1975-1976


Creator/Executive Producers: Richard Levinson, William Link
Music: Elmer Bernstein, Hal Mooney 
Cast:
Ellery Queen: Jim Hutton
Inspector Richard Queen: David Wayne
Sgt. Velie: Tom Reese
Simon Brimmer: John Hillerman
Frank Flanagan: Ken Swofford
Deputy Commissioner Hayes: Arch Johnson

In 1975, Levinson and Link, lifelong Queen fans, were allowed by NBC to do Queen the way they wanted. The result was "Ellery Queen" ran one full season and the producers went back to the radio show, setting this series in 1947. Although the pilot was based on a Queen novel and one episode on a short story. Jim Hutton played Ellery as a good-natured, absent-minded young man for which. There were legitimate bases in the books for most of the characteristics that Jim Hutton displayed in the role.
Frederic Dannay said Hutton's portrayal reminded him not so much of the fictional Ellery, but of himself at about Hutton's age. Hutton's charm and natural manner played perfectly against David Wayne's crusty Inspector (despite lacking the moustache so often mentioned in the books, the definitive depiction of 'The Old Man'). The show had a sense of good humor, and its setting in 1947 made nostalgia an important component of its success.
Though the episodes varied in quality, none was poor, and even the weakest of them are redeemed by the plots, the production values, and the marvelous casts.



  In September 2010 t
he dvd box was
  released
with the complete pilot and an
  Ellery Queen Featurette with
  participation by series Co-Creator
  William Link (see left).David Lambert of
  tcshowsdvd provided this sneak preview
.
1



In his article  "Confessions of a Mystery Writer" (Written By, 2002) William Link says: "Thinking back, the Queen series was too complicated for its own good. I remember spending an entire afternoon with Dick trying to figure how keys on a keychain would fall into what configuration in one's pocket when placed there." And also "Our failure with Ellery Queen was our template. This photo was distributed by NBC Television in the fall of 1975 to promote the "Ellery Queen" series that lasted just one season. Jim Hutton played the famed detective. The original NBC caption sheet reads: DETECTIVE AT WORK -- Jim Hutton stars in the title role of "Ellery Queen," NBC Television Network's new suspense series about the exploits of one of America's favorite fictional detectives, to be colorcast Thursdays (9-10 p.m., NYT). Click for the TVue cover (October 26. 1975 ) based on this photo of Jim HuttonWe deliberately made the clues on 'Murder She Wrote' easier to decipher, including a very guessable murderer now and then. Part of our psychology was to reward the focused viewers because they might then be motivated to return the following week. Another unexpressed reason was that it was far easier to come up with facile clues than sweating bullets over keys in a pocket. I remember we did solve the key problem, however. The upshot was that 'Murder She Wrote' thrived for 12 seasons, Ellery Queen less than one."

Click for list of episodesList of '75 episodes - List of '76 episodes

Tragedy of Y (Y-no-higeki) (Japan)

Photo from the Japanese TV-drama The Tragedy of Y (dvd cover)
Fuji TV, 1978
Director: Shigemichi Sugita
Producers: Tani Kou Qian / Ken
Scenario: Kunio Shimizu
Music: Masaru Sato
Cast:
Nango (Drury Lane): Koji Ishizaka
Inspector Sahara: Nobuo Kaneko
Kiyoko Sahara:
Masako Natsume
and also with Kaoru Yachigusa, Sachiko Hidari, Ehara Makoto, Muramatsu Eiko, Takeshi Hara


This is a first. A television play about Drury Lane. Masako Natsume plays a daughter of an assistant police inspector. The Drury Lane part is called Nango. The 6 episode series is available as a 3 dvd box.

 

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