Small House of Everything

Small House of Everything

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

OVERLOOKED TELEVISION: CHECKMATE

A decade before The Streets of San Francisco, television viewers got a different look at those streets through the eyes Don Corey and Jed Sills (Anthony George and Doug McClure), who operated Checkmate, Inc., a detective agency which specialized in stopping crimes before they happened.  They were aided by consultant  (and former Oxford professor) Dr. Carl Hyatt (Sebastian Cabot).  Checkmate, Inc. had its offices in Corey's elegant apartment.

The show was created by mystery and suspense writer Eric Ambler.  Produced by Jamco, Jack Benny's production company, Checkmate aired on CBS from September 17, 1960 to June 20, 1962 -- a total of 90 episodes.  The show was a critical success but during its second season it was slotted against NBC's popular The Perry Como Show.  As Checkmate's rating fell so did its chances for a third season; it was replaced by the fish-out-of-water series The Beverly Hillbillies.  (Interestingly enough, Donna Douglas -- Ellie May in The Beverly Hillbillies -- appeared in four 1961 episodes of Checkmate as Barbara Simmons (A girlfriend?  An assistant? A secretary?  Who knows?  I haven't seen those episodes and "Waiting for Jocko" has only a four-person cast.)

"Waiting for Jocko" aired on October 21, 1961.  It was directed by don taylor from a script by Juarez Roberts.  A young John Williams wrote the theme music for the series.  Guest star Jeff Chandler plays a "constitutional psychopathic inferior" (Dr. Hyatt's words) who was denied parole based on Hyatt's professional testimony.  When he is finally released, Chandler's character holds Hyatt captive, planning to blow him up on his (Hyatt's) birthday at the exact hour and minute of Hyatt's birth.  (We did mention "psychopathic," didn't we?)

Enjoy.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3d7HGEl07Xc

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