I’m coming up on the end of my time with Ralph (William Katt), Bill (Robert Culp) and Pam (Connie Sellecca), but there’s another Cannell series I grew up with cresting the horizon. I’m entering unusual territory here, in that from what I can garner from IMDB, this pair of episodes and next week’s were never aired…
First up is Wizards and Warlocks written by Shel Willens. This is a mostly fun episode, though I’m sure LARPers and D&D fans may have some issues with it.
A young Arab Prince, Aha (Shunil Borpujari) – a name that ends up being a running joke through the episode – is in America for his post-secondary education, and he’s caught up in a game known as Wizards and Warlocks.
The boy’s father approaches the Bureau through Carlisle (William Bogert) to ask Bill to find and protect his son, whom he believes is being targeted for kidnapping. But no one on the campus will talk to our trio… because they don’t understand the game.
So they turn to the games creator, Norman Fackler (James Whitmore Jr.) for help.
Through all of it, Bill is less than tolerant, and has some fantastic lines as he works his way through the case. Pam eventually gets the hang of it, and with her and Ralph leading the way, the chase is on to find Aha.
Not exactly the most sincere look at the D&D phenomena of the 80s, but it was still a lot of fun to watch, and there are appearances by Bob Saget and David Paymer.
In It’s Only Rock and Roll, Ralph and Bill come to the aid of a rock band’s lead singer. The episode was written by Babs Greyhoskyand featured a nice little sub-plot centering on the newlywed’s neighborhood taking issue with their garbage, the noise, and all the trouble that seems to surround Ralph.
The Bureau, who is learning to use their new phone lines, gets a call from band manager Chris Bunch (Anthony Charnota) about a bomb threat on the plane his band, Elvira, is flying in on. The main target, is the band’s lead singer, Dak Hampton (Judson Scott), but Ralph saves the day.
Afterwards, protective custody is suggested, and Dak and Bill need to share a safe house, though that goes south when the people who want Dak dead, a group of bikers, shows up there, guns ablaze.
Despite the fact Dak knows his life is in danger, he has a hard time keeping a low profile, and Ralph and Bill need to track him down (again) before the baddies catch up to him. When they do, they put him in the Hinkley household, which, thanks to an impromptu concert puts them in more trouble with their neighbors.
When it looks like another member of the band is responsible for arranging the attempts, Dak doesn’t believe it, and he may be right, there may be someone else behind it, and Ralph and Bill better find out soon, or Dak’s next performance may very well be his last!