A supporting character, who is an influential figure in the community, is accused of murder. Our hero is certain that he didn’t do it, but the supporting character will not give a satisfactory account of his actions. The hero is sworn to secrecy; he knows certain information that could set the supporting character free, but has not been given permission to reveal it. The supporting character is being tried by a special court as befits a man of his rank and stature, and the evidence that will clear him can be found in another country, so the hero has to make a dangerous trip there to obtain it. I’m talking, of course, about Dorothy L. Sayers’ wonderful 1926 novel Clouds of Witness. And “Last Chance Louie,” I suppose.
I kid, but this is a really entertaining episode, and not just because I said “wait a second” to myself about halfway through it. Roddy McDowall gets center stage and he’s completely amazing. He was such a terrific actor! He says goodbye to some of his friends and it’s really gutpunching. He was great in everything. There are also supporting appearances by familiar faces Henry Darrow and Jay Robinson. Darrow was in everything then, as I’m sure I’ve mentioned before, and it’s always nice to see Dr. Shrinker having the chance to play a straight role without eating all the scenery. Sadly, Jeff Mackay, who played one of the “Shrinkies” in that show, doesn’t get a scene with him.
So here’s the episode where Wonder Woman wears a red blouse and long white trousers instead of her usual outfit. According to legend, Roy Rogers agreed to guest star in this episode of Wonder Woman on the condition that Lynda Carter put some clothes on. I’m not 100% sure I believe that producer Greg Berlanti would agree to host any actor on Supergirl who’d make a similar demand about changing Melissa Benoist’s costume.
Was it worth it? Well, the episode is dull and dry – it’s about rustlers stealing cattle for “the mob” and the black market during wartime rationing and targeting a kindly rancher who’s taken in five war orphans – but I distinctly remember my parents being really impressed that Roy Rogers was in this episode. All the kids in the 1940s who could see Rogers’ cowboy movies loved them. Maybe it meant a spike in the ratings that week? I’m actually a little curious now.
Sadly, our son really didn’t enjoy this story. He was squirmy and restless and very disappointed, especially since he told us after last night’s episode of Ultraman that he had really wanted to watch Wonder Woman instead. Maybe the next one will go over better.
Henry Darrow plays the villain in this one. A couple of years previously, when Harry O, in which Darrow co-starred as Lt. Quinlan, moved production from San Diego to LA, they gave David Janssen a new police contact, freeing him up to guest star in practically everything made for TV in the 1970s. In fact, he’d be back on Wonder Woman just ten months later playing a different villain.