There’s a bit in part two of this story where Jaime punches a hole in the trunk of a runaway car in order to hold on. Our son loved that. He also really liked it when George Maharis’s character rides a motorcycle through a door. I didn’t like much of anything about this. At least part one had an interesting mystery about which cadet was the foreign agent. This is just another seventies cop show. There were dozens of cop shows on the air in 1976. The Bionic Woman should have been doing something with lions or Fembots in it, and not what every other series of the time was doing.
We’ve deliberately skipped a lot of episodes in which Jaime goes undercover in some unlikely profession. Steve got to go undercover in various blue collar jobs, never anything exciting, but Jaime got to do the inevitable beauty contest, and she was a wrestler, and a nun, and, in this two-part story, she gets sent to the nation’s quickest police academy for a week or possibly two as a cadet before getting assigned to the town of Santa Regina’s Fifth Precinct. I wanted to see this one because George Maharis plays a beat cop. His Route 66 co-star Martin Milner had played a beat cop for years on Adam-12. James McEachin plays the academy’s captain. This is one of what looks like seventy-two police roles in McEachin’s career. He must have played every single rank at one time or another.
As befits a basic counterfeiters-in-turtlenecks story, there’s really not a lot to this one, and certainly not enough to warrant a two-part story. It’s written by James D. Parriott, and his then-wife Diane Cary plays one of the other cadets. The most interesting part, honestly, was the strange decision to take the cadets to a “Tinseltown studio” for their final exam, in which they drive around the backlot on a fake chase. I enjoyed the chance for our son to see what a backlot looks like when they’re not pretending it’s a real street.
I honestly wasn’t expecting a haunted house story in this show, but here it is. George Maharis, Barbara Babcock, and Paul Mantee play “Satanic ghosts,” I guess you’d call them, who sold their souls to the “Prince of Darkness,” probably because you couldn’t say “Satan” at 8 pm on CBS in the seventies, and now want Jessica to join their coven.
Fortunately, Logan doesn’t have to get into a fistfight with Maharis’s character, because I’ve seen all the fights that Maharis had in the first season of Route 66, and I don’t care that he was fifteen years older when this episode was made; I wouldn’t be able to believe Gregory Harrison would win any such scrap with him.
Our son did not enjoy this one even a little bit. All the ghost and haunted house imagery scared him senseless and he watched most of the episode from behind the safety of his security blanket.
Most of the episode was filmed in this house, which is full of antique furniture. It seems to be one of those historic homes in California that are open for tours. If anybody can identify the house, leave us a comment!