Steel, Hammer and Friday


‘Best Detectives Of All Time’ Challenge

My favorite detective of all time is Remington Steele which was the name of a detective agency.  The show starred Stephanie Zimbalist as Laura Holt and Pierce Brosnan as Remington Steele, and it was a classic crime show as the series became an influential part of television history.  Laura a licensed private investigator opened up her own detective agency under the name Holt Investigations, but she found that all of her potential clients refused to hire a woman, no matter how qualified she was.  To solve the problem, Laura invents a fictitious male superior she names Remington Steele.  Suddenly she had cases around the block, her plan was working like a charm, until Pierce Brosnan a former thief and con man who is charismatic, debonair and has a slightly devilish image (whose real name even he proves not to know, and is never revealed), assumes the identity of Remington Steele.  Behind the scenes, a power struggle ensues between Laura and Steele as to who is really in charge, while the two carry on a casual romantic relationship.  Part of the show’s appeal was the sexual tension that existed between the main characters.  The show ran for 5 seasons and had a total of 91 episodes.  In Season 2, Doris Roberts was added to the show playing Mildred Krebs who was an IRS agent auditing Detective Steele and she ends up assisting Steele with his tax troubles and also becomes the agency’s receptionist.

Another detective show that I liked was Mickey Spillane’s Mike Hammer (later titled The New Mike Hammer), with Stacy Keach in the title role.  This show was set in New York City and lasted for 4 seasons, consisting of 51 episodes, although the show was interrupted when Stacy Keach was sentenced to nine months prison time for smuggling cocaine.  Hammer works to solve cases, and most of the ones he gets often involve murder.  Mike makes an emotional investment with the victims and he really seems to care.  He takes it personally when innocent people are taken advantage of by the bad guys.  Each episode balanced action with drama, humor with suspense.  Mike doesn’t work for money, Hammer seeks out revenge.  He is unapologetically masculine and has little to no concern for political correctness.  The show was full of action and many episodes featured female characters who would exchange a double entendre or two with Hammer while wearing very low tops and push-up bras emphasizing their ample cleavage.  Hammer would regularly wind up in bed with the highly sexualized female characters in the show, who would never fail to melt once they had fixed their eyes upon the brawny detective.  The show was a real hit with most men that watched it, but eventually they changed the format, as it was criticized as being sexist and they wanted to appeal to a wider audience.  I always enjoyed seeing Lindsay Bloom a former Miss Omaha as Hammer’s secretary Velda.  Don Stroud played Captain Pat Chambers and Kent Williams appeared as Assistant District Attorney Lawrence D. Barrington.  Detective Hennessey often showed up as a police detective (played by Eddie Egan) who worked alongside Captain Chambers and this is a character that Fandango often uses in his stories.  “I’ll make a note” became a trademark Hammer response.

Detective sergeant Joe Friday of the Los Angeles Police Department was always a favorite of mine on the show Dragnet, which started out with, “The story you are about to hear is true; the names have been changed to protect the innocent”. Marie Antoinette will always be known for saying “Let them eat cake”, Cary Grant for “Judy, Judy, Judy”, Clark Gable for “Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn”, Sherlock Holmes for “Elementary, my dear Watson” and of course, Sgt. Joe Friday played by Jack Webb for his famous business-like catch phrase, “Just the facts, ma’am”, when questioning women in the course of police investigations, but the strange thing is that Friday never actually said this.  Dragnet started out as a radio show, but went to TV in 1949–1959 and again from 1967–1970. Friday narrated every story, providing details of what went down and where and he had several bits of consistent dialogue that remained throughout the series.

Written for RayNotBradbury Cool Writing Prompt – ‘Best Detectives Of All Time’ Challenge

23 thoughts on “Steel, Hammer and Friday

    1. Yea I loved the Rockford Files and I think I remember you writing something about that show in one of your posts. Did you see that I mentioned you when I was talking about Detective Hennessey?

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  1. Two thoughts: First, Remington Steele was the best! I think it was Pierce Brosnan’s first really long audition for James Bond.
    Second, as someone who has heard “Judi Judi Judi” ALL. MY. LIFE., I’ve done some research and can safely say, Cary Grant never said it. You can hear him hilariously talk about it in the 1st half of this video:

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    1. Thanks for your comment and I loved the video. I read that when Cary Grant was in the film Only Angels Have Wings with his former girl friend who is called Judith or Judy (played by Rita Hayworth), that Cary has lines like “Hello, Judy. Come on, Judy. Now, Judy.” But he never said “Judy, Judy, Judy.” Also there is a real good chance that Marie Antoinette was not the first to say “Let them eat cake”, as that is thought to have originated from Marie-Thérèse, the Spanish princess who married King Louis XIV in 1660.

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