Saturday, December 5, 2020

YouTube Spotlight: Darkroom

One of the more obscure clips in this week's Darkroom video playlist is this Ernie Anderson promo for two premiering shows on ABC:1979's Beach Patrol and Samurai!

Beach Patrol? Samurai?

First of all, why are these even IN a playlist devoted to Darkroom?

Well, it's because Michael V. Gazzo, one of the stars of the "Catnip" segment in the Darkroom episode we discuss, has a role in Beach Patrol.  According to IMDB, he is "Banker."

Both these movies are failed pilots that ABC burned off on April 30, 1979. Patrol is a Spelling/Goldberg production co-starring Paul Burke, Jonathan Frakes, and Robin Strand, but the focus is apparently the "comely female cop who transfers from the narcotics division...and is assigned to a special police team patrolling California's beaches in dune buggies..." (IMDB)

Christine De Lisle is the "comely female cop." Lee Goldberg's book of unsold pilots says she is targeted for assassination after spotting a fugitive mafioso. Sadly, it appears Gazzo may not be the mafioso. Is that Banker? I do not know.

As for Samurai, check this out: It's not obvious from the promo, but the lead character is a half-American, half-Asian DA/samurai played by...James Shigeta? No, though he is in the cast. It's Joe Penny!

Goldberg calls this a "ludicrous and unintentionally funny pilot." Other interesting names involved: Dana Elcar, Norman Alden, Phillip Baker Hall. Credited co-exec producers are Danny Thomas and Fernando Lamas!

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