Episode 44: Murder on Stage 17

Starsky and Hutch go undercover as stuntmen on a movie set where actor Steve Hanson’s life is being threatened by Wally Stone, an old comic friend believed dead.

Steve Hanson: Rory Calhoun, Wally Stone: Chuck McCann, Julie West: Susan Cotton, Harry Markham: Jeff Goldblum, Shotgun Casey: Layne Britton, Blackie: Read Morgan, Ruth Willoughby: Toni Lamond, Charlotte Rogers: Sandy Herdt. Written By: Ben Masselink, Directed By: Earl Bellamy.


Don’t judge a book by its cover. In the opening scene ruggedly handsome actor Steve Hanson seems okay because he’s nice to the dog, but when he sees the water delivery man his true nature shows itself: he’s cool and distant, calling him “obnoxious”, although Wally-as-waterman only attempts to engage in friendly banter. Is this meanness for its own sake, a movie’s star’s aversion to the nobodies around him, or is this a bit of psychic accuracy, some unconscious part of Hanson recognizing his nemesis? In the next scene, in the station, Steve talks cavalierly and insincerely about the death of his “best friend”, Phil Lovatt, but shows neither concern nor grief for his death. In fact, the only reason he comes forward at all is because he believes he’s next in line to be murdered. He says he has a lot of money invested in the movie and he doesn’t intend it to go “down the drain.” Do Starsky and Hutch ever notice Steve Hanson, rather than being a charming old-fashioned movie star, is actually a thoroughly unpleasant fake? They don’t seem to, or perhaps it doesn’t matter anyway. Still, I’d love to see the scene where Starsky turns to Hutch and says, “I loved all his movies. Too bad he’s such a creep in real life.”

Why doesn’t Steve recognize Wally when he sees him close up? He tells Starsky and Hutch he saw him right after his stay in jail, and he couldn’t have changed that much in a short time. Is it because Steve is so entirely self-absorbed he doesn’t see anything he doesn’t want to? Wally isn’t wearing that much makeup. Steve knows Wally well enough to know his sister’s married name, which makes one wonder if he slept with her too. (Now that would add fuel to Wally’s raging fire.) Steve’s inability to recognize him is even stranger when Wally says later that even Friendly the dog remembered him, “licked my face”. Conceivably the dog would be six or seven, ten at the outset (he does not appear to be infirm). That would mean Steve had seen Wally not less than ten years previously.

How would a washed-up actor like Steve Hanson get a director like Harry Markham? Harry’s young and hip, obviously an artiste – Hutch compares him to Bergman – and yet here he is, directing a cowboy movie, and a pretty bad one, too. Maybe he thinks he’s going to make an ironic post-modern take on the decline and fall of chivalry. If so, it appears he doesn’t achieve his goals – in the end, at the conclusion of the screening, rather than being baffled or impressed everyone is lukewarm, full of false cheer. (Markham is either a no-show at the the screening or hiding somewhere, probably too embarrassed to be associated with this film.)

Another inside joke along with Shotgun Britton is that Starsky and Hutch’s main sets were on ABC’s Stage 17.

The scene in which the guys emerge in full cowboy gear for the first time is a perfect encapsulation of the game: Hutch pretends not to know who Kate Jackson is, and Starsky pretends not to know who Ingmar Bergman is, saying “Ingrid?” just to twist the knife, which of course works, because Hutch furiously corrects him. Perhaps this irritable little exchange lessens their anxiety.

Of course Hutch trips – twice – on the stairs. No, three times. Four, no five times coming up the stairs to the stunt.

The stunt coordinator can’t possibly know they’re cops, and not professional stuntmen because it would compromise the undercover operation if he did. But the guy acts as if he knows because he’s annoyed by their lack of skill, and rushes them through the routine. And by the way, wouldn’t they’d have a few pointers from an old pro before going undercover? In other situations they’re well-prepared and convincing, but in this case they look like total dweebs. Seeing their incompetence, the coordinator never says, “hey, don’t you guys know what you’re doing?” Instead, to his buddy, he calls them “wiseguys” and “jerks” and conspires to teach them a lesson by genuinely fighting them (why? If he knows they’re cops and trying to solve a murder, why antagonize them? And if he thinks they’re merely inexperienced stuntmen, why risk injuring them and therefore risking the shooting schedule?). Of course this “joke” has a satisfyingly turnaround when Starsky and Hutch proceed to beat the crap out of both of them. Interestingly, Starsky twigs first and Hutch resolutely takes more than a few punches to realize he’s being set up, and to reacts accordingly.

What a treat it is to see a young Jeff Goldblum as Harry Markham, the ironic, preoccupied director of this fiasco. Markham is pleased with the fighting scene.  “Print it,” he says. Does this mean Starsky and Hutch’s characters were supposed to win this particular fight? What if they weren’t, would Harry have liked it anyway? And just who were they supposed to be playing in this movie? Or maybe this is just “Scene 12: Generic Fight on Balcony”.

Wally carries water across the set, he’s also on the bicycle following the death of Steve’s dog. While this is psychologically accurate, as many murderers exhibit extreme narcissism and grandiosity, a film set is a very secure place, guarded by security and crew. Later, Starsky speculates it must have been an actor because “how else could he gain access to the studio?” Well, conceivably he would have had to pass the checkpoint with proper identification and a valid reason for being there – none of which Wally has. Just having an Equity card doesn’t guarantee you a free pass. The only explanation is that Wally managed to sneak onto the lot days or even weeks previously, carving out a cosy little nest for himself in the little-used prop locker. There’s electricity down there, so a hot-plate and a bed would probably suit him just fine.

When, at the conclusion of their first long conversation with Steve, Hutch gets up, Starsky holds up his hand, indicating he wants help. Hutch pulls him to a standing position but it’s harder than he expects, and he – I’ll call him Soul, because this seems to be a break in character – laughs and then seems briefly unable to remember his next line, but soldiers on. Completely charming.

Hanson says Pete Elexy, husband to ill-fated Jane, died a few years back. Was Wally involved in that death as well?

The most genuine emotion Steve Hanson shows is when he tells the story of Wally Stone being spit upon by an outraged former fan. He seems truly upset by the unfairness of it, as well as the fact his former friend came begging for twenty bucks. Why, then, did Hanson cut ties with poor Wally following this poignant encounter years ago? He says he went to Europe and put the past behind him. You would think he’d care enough to help support his unfortunate friend, either financially or at least by keeping tabs on him. As the guys leave, Hanson seems to want to say something more. He opens his mouth, then abruptly changes his mind. What do you think he was about to say?

There is a question lingering here about Hanson’s involvement in the whole Elexy murder story. He insists Wally Stone was a “sweet guy” and seems to implicitly support him as well as express sorrow for his fall from grace. If Hanson had any direct association with the incident, i.e. guilt, wouldn’t he have diverted suspicion by throwing Wally under the bus at this point, even if it’s to cast aspersion on his character? “Wally Stone, well, he was an odd duck and I couldn’t really trust him” would have done the job nicely. But Hanson doesn’t do this, implying he is innocent of the charges Wally eventually levels. Either that, or he is so arrogant he doesn’t for a moment believe he is in danger of being found out. Frankly, anything is a possibility in this very oblique, confusing episode.

Harry Markham wants Hutch for a “bit”. The classic “here comes McCoy now” thing which is, to me, one of the most endearing scenes in the canon, not only because it’s cute and funny but because you can see the joy the actors take when given the chance to do classic comedy. Markham’s decision can only mean he’s noticed Hutch’s good looks and wants to use them. He mentions the “unfortunate accident” and pushes a script at him. Is Hutch expected to read the lines left open by Phil Lovatt? Does this mean he’ll have to drive the stagecoach, too? Notice Starsky isn’t the least bit jealous; if anything, he’s thrilled. Imagine Hutch if the situation was reversed.  Would he be as thrilled for his partner, or try to sabotage him? I can just see it. “Are you sure you want to do that, Starsk? Do you have any idea how many millions of people will see you? Do you really want to make a fool of yourself?”

Layne “Shotgun” Britton, does his first of two cameos, here as an assistant director named “Shotgun”. His extravagant clothing is notable. He’s terribly funny in his little role.

Dobey arrives at his office complaining of having to get out of bed in the middle of the night. Why did he put a suit on? Or better yet, just call Starsky and Hutch with the Sierra Springs information from a bedside phone? Did his sandwich detector go off?

If they couldn’t prove Wally pushed Jane out the window, what did he go to jail for?  It was bad enough to have a woman spit in his face later, but Steve says, “They never proved that Wally pushed” Jane.

It could be my dirty mind, but when Steve accepts Julie’s invitation to her trailer late at night (what a mere script supervisor is doing with her very own trailer I’ll never know) he seems awfully eager. He goes over, pours himself a drink and seems very pleased with himself. What’s he anticipating from someone he says is “like a daughter”? Also, what would Julie still be doing at work so late? Unless Harry Markham is known to demand midnight script meetings, she should be home. If she’s from out of town, is it usual for production crew to stay on set?

Why doesn’t Wally just shoot Steve? Why the time-consuming and potentially preventable fire? He had access to the security cop’s gun, and there was no one around Steve’s bungalow, so he could have set that on fire, or simply walk in and start shooting. He doesn’t act sensibly. His plans are fussy and prone to miscalculation. He takes far more time with costumes and accents than he does with what he ostensibly came for. Was he like this with the other five murders? Even the final “big act”, his enemy walking down the fake street, he fires from a totally improbable angle. He could have waited in Julie’s trailer and blown him away when he walked through the door. That’s what I would have done.

Chuck McCann once again, as in the earlier episode “Silence”, plays an intensely hermetic, misunderstood, lonely individual struggling with mental illness issues. He’s an interesting actor, compressed and explosive, and his characters are clownish and vaguely disquieting. He’s supposed to be misunderstood and even sympathetic, but the viewer is never quite able to trust his motives. His tragic character is much more interesting than Rory Calhoun’s blandly imperious Hanson.

Starsky is Steve’s double in the film, but he’s the wrong height and build, and has those dark curls. What sort of movie is this, anyway? Who’s in charge of continuity?

There is something amusing about the clatter of tea cups and saucers and the tinkling of spoons in the scene with Wally’s sister.

It’s not entirely fair for me to point this out – after all, it must be terrifying in the extreme – but when Wally points the gun at Julie and tells her to get into the cart, she should have turned and run. It’s harder than it looks to fatally shoot someone who is running away.

Wally’s tiny ponytail is mesmerizing.

Why does Steve Hanson have a bungalow and a trailer? Hutch has to ask him where the trailer is, which means he hardly ever uses it.

The Hero: Steve Hanson says it’s time he was a real hero instead of merely acting as one. There is an underlying bitterness to this statement that is very interesting to me. Even though I doubt his guilt in the Elexy murder, his determination to be the hero might mean he has been a coward in the past. Perhaps he’s disappointed in himself for not supporting Wally more publicly. Perhaps he knew more about the murder than he ever let on. Maybe he lied in court. Maybe he is thinking back over a lifetime of arrogance and oblivion (the opening scene with the water man certainly underscores this). Maybe he feels helping Julie is a way of erasing paternal failings in the past. But perhaps there is a more cynical take on this. Hanson is getting old, is out of money, and admits this movie is his last hope. Even though he seems sincere when insisting he go himself, what better publicity that a “real life” walk down Main Street? The press would go bananas, and the resulting publicity would rocket him back into the public eye. Whatever his secret motivation, if any, he looks unconvincing walking toward his trailer, despite Starsky’s warm encouragement. He keeps looking around and obviously talking into the microphone. Wally’s not stupid, the set-up is obvious, but he shoots anyway.

Hutch says he has a “full view” of the area and can’t see anything, yet Wally is standing at his full height with a rife not fifty feet away. Normally Hutch is more vigilant than this. Was there no time to grab a pair of binoculars when they were grabbing their walkie-talkies? Ask other security guards to get into position?

It’s not clear why Starsky has Hutch’s gun. In one scene Hutch is ahead, with his gun in his hand. Next shot, he’s behind Starsky, with no gun. When they confront Wally, Starsky has it. Strangely, when showing Wally he’s unarmed, instead of dropping Hutch’s gun, he hands it back to Hutch, possibly because he doesn’t want to damage his partner’s prized weapon by letting it fall to the concrete floor. Wally doesn’t scream “drop it!” but he should have.

Wally says the critics compared him to Chaplin and Starsky says “better!” The look Hutch gives him is priceless: don’t push it, buddy, he seems to be saying. However, throughout this scene Hutch is silent, willing himself to be invisible as he lets Starsky do what he does best: gently paint a nostalgic picture as a way of softening the situation. He does it here, in “Vendetta” with a retired baseball player, in “Sharman” with his old flame, and most remarkably in “Partners”, as succor to Hutch.

Tag: Hutch does a great job of being a spoiled superstar in camel coat and shades, upset that his scene was cut even though both acknowledge – in a sideways sort of way – that his performance was terrible. The tag provides an interesting glimpse into Hutch’s relationship with his mother. He may have told her about his part in the movie, knowing she’d boast about it to others, but maybe he’s done it to avoid more important subjects, like whether he’s ever going to get married again, or whether or not he’s in danger of getting killed. Funny how Starsky, in addition to giving comforting advice on how to lie to mothers has also made the effort to save the bit of film featuring his partner. He must have gone to quite a lot of trouble to get it, and it’s reminiscent of his presentation of the new car to Hutch in the tag of “Survival”.


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15 Responses to “Episode 44: Murder on Stage 17”

  1. Jill Says:

    One of the poorer episodes (IMO), as it doesn’t even have the campness of something like Voodoo Island to redeem it slightly. I think it’s just that the whole movie shoot doesn’t ring true; as you wonder why an allegedly hip young director as Harry Markham would be working on such an old-fashioned style western. It was of the type made in the 1940’s-’50’s, and well out of vogue by the ’70’s. Maybe it was just a vanity project for the awful Steve Hanson.
    I keep thinking this episode might have worked better if they had been filming a cop movie: there would have been an amusing irony about two actors playing cops, playing actors playing cops! And just imagine some of the asides between Starsky & Hutch during takes: “Hey, we would never do something like that…”

  2. King David Says:

    Well, leaving aside the poor plot and continuity errors, Starsky looks great in cowboy gear.
    I like the idea that it should’ve been a cop movie…I CAN think of a lot of interesting angles and dialogue.
    A good point is made, above, that Starsky isn’t jealous of Hutch’s ‘bit’. He’s a generous friend.

  3. Dianna Says:

    Merl calls this episode oblique and confusing. Jill calls it one of the poorer episodes, and King David says it has a poor plot.

    Well, I like it.

    Whatever the weaknesses of the plot, there are so many delicious scenes here that the plot is (in my mind) secondary: the different ways that Starsky and Hutch show their excitement at being on a real live movie set (a hilarious contrast); each of them realizing that their stunt fight has suddenly turned real (Hutch’s stunned look vs. Starsky’s huge grin); Wally trying on different characters in his hidey-hole; Hutch’s utter terror at having a line to speak in front of the camera; Starsky soothing and charming Wally; Starsky and Hutch after viewing the film.

    With all of these, who even needs a plot??

    But it does have a plot, and I don’t think it’s a bad one. Yes, it has continuity errors aplenty, but I think all the obliquity and confusion are a result of deliberate irony and the “play within a play” setup being taken several levels deep.

    Super-observant detectives miss the fact that the guy on the bike was in a good position to make the phone call about the dog.

    A hot young director is making a stale cowboy movie. (Or does that belong in the Play Within a Play department?)

    Someone died at a Wolf Pack party and Steve says there is “nothing to tell, really.”

    A special effect became a little too real yesterday, killing someone, and yet the stuntmen turn the fight on the balcony into a real fight.

    Hutch doesn’t see Starsky lying on the floor after the fight scene in the bar, and he stumbles over him. (Ironic because they are normally so very aware of one another.)

    Starsky, the ever-supportive, ruins the best take of Hutch’s line.

    Dobey’s accuses Starsky of getting mustard on his files when it was his own fault.

    Starsky doesn’t look a bit like Steve, but is used as his body double on film.

    Hutch says he had a good view of the set, when he can’t even see Wally standing on top of a nearby building. This is heavily emphasized with lots of shots that switch between Hutch and Wally.

    There are real murders in a fake setting, and “America’s funny man” is a killer. His earlier murders all looked like accidents, but this one involves a lot of terrorizing his intended victim, and an obvious sniper bullet. Is this because it’s the last of his planned murders, so Wally wants to savor it? Or does he have a special grudge against Steve, despite the fact that he loaned him money when he was down and out?

    The fat guy is able to run fast enough to stay ahead of Starsky and Hutch. We can’t tell at all how they know which way to run till Wally goes down the hatch.

    Starsky is holding the wrong gun when they catch up to Wally.

    Starsky gives advice about how to fool mom, while he possesses the evidence that would make that impossible.

    We have stuntmen playing actors who are playing cops who are playing stuntmen… in a movie in a TV show.

    The fake fight is a real fight, but we the audience know that it actually *is* a fake fight. Or at least we’re pretty sure it is.

    A superb actor is playing a cop who is really good undercover, but has paralyzing stage fright when there’s a camera pointed at him (Oh, wait, does that belong in the “irony” department?)


    The dialog Merl imagines for Hutch if it had been Starsky in the “bit” are exactly the things Hutch is saying to himself, and that is why he is so petrified. What surprises me here is that Julie, the script supervisor, seems unaware of this change to the script.

    When Wally comes to Steve’s door as a studio security guard, he said “the leading lady, Miss Rogers” (not Julie) wants a visit from Steve.

    I can’t figure out why or how Starsky ends up with that great big gun when the guys are facing Wally, but I think I understand it cinematically. Starsky has to hand over the one and only gun that Wally can see, in order to become disarmed and disarming for Wally. He relaxes his whole demeanor while Hutch remains hyper-alert to allow Starsky to get into his role as the ardent admirer who is no threat, no threat at all.

    I love the way that Hutch’s eyes keep flicking back and forth between Wally and Starsky, as he assesses the situation while retreating into invisibility. He creates this bubble of protection for Starsky in case anything goes wrong, so that Starsky can resolve the story with his own little play within a play.

    And finally, at the end of the episode, I love the really wonderful triumphant satisfied expressions that Starsky suppresses in the last second or two before the final freeze.

    • merltheearl Says:

      Dianna, this is another wonderful comment. I really like your reading of this episode as a metafictional rabbit hole and think it works very well. Together we have managed to elevate this episode to the loftily comedic realms of Tristram Shandy, which would probably amuse Ben Masselink to no end. I can see how we can look at this as a veiled critique of the kaleidoscopic dizziness of show business as a whole, where everything means something else and “reality” is never what it seems. This was very fun, thank you.

      • King David Says:

        I feel so shallow now!
        What a fantastic analysis of this episode, with untold layers I didn’t see before. I only saw contradictions and illogical plot devices.
        Diana: I too wondered at the bit after the bar fight; how Hutch stumbles over Starsky, and how the viewer sees things from such an unusual angle. It’s nice though, how help is offered so naturally.
        Merltheearl: see what you bring out in people? You are a catalyst for critical thinking and commentary. When I see that there is a response to an earlier comment, it sets up a little frisson of excitement, because I know something interesting this way comes.
        Thank you all.

      • merltheearl Says:

        You’re very welcome, King David.

      • Dianna Says:

        Oooh! Rabbit hole! Yes! They literally go down a hole when they enter Wally’s little realm!

        I am delighted that you like my view!

        And now I am in a terrible fix, because iTunes doesn’t have seasons 3 and 4 for download, so I will have to buy DVDs instead (and wait several days till they arrive). Stupid iTunes.

      • merltheearl Says:

        That might be a blessing in disguise, Dianna, in many ways. Seasons 3 and 4 are uneven, to say the least (although ironically it’s more fun to write about the bad episodes than the good ones).

  4. Dianna Says:

    Merl, I think that if you ever revisit the post about the best David Soul moments, you might want to add Hutch With Stage Fright to the list. It’s certainly near the top of my list.

    King David, you might not get notified about comments added to episodes you haven’t already commented on.

  5. Sharon Marie Says:

    Hutch seems to not know who Kate Jackson is. Quite funny since David Soul was on an episode of The Rookies as a cop who is wounded in the line of duty and has his leg amputated. In fact, he had a very dramatic, heart wrenching scene with Georg Sanford Brown who went on to direct three episodes of Starsky and Hutch (The Heroes, The Crying Child, Starsky’s Lady)

    Comedic moments here are ripe! S & H being tutored on how to fake a fight is classic. Starsky has to be the worst! They are like two little boys way over enthusiastic about living a dream moment.

    Um… you don’t call an animal shelter to “take care of” a dead dog. They adopt out live dogs. That was interesting. They would have been better off just saying they were going to call “someone” to take care of his dog.

    I wonder after Soul’s stints on Here Come the Brides and Gunsmoke if he felt at home with the western theme!

    Hutch looks absolutely nauseated when given the one line. I felt nervous *for* him!

    There is nothing funnier than actors pretending to be bad actors. I wonder if it’s a stretch for them. There was a couple, Jonathan and Darlene Edwards, who were quite accomplished musicians. She sang – he accompanied her. They actually cut an album of them butchering classic songs as though they were honest to goodness horrible musicians trying too hard. As a former vocal student with near perfect pitch it grates on me as well as cracks me up (google: Jonathan & Darlene Edwards – The Last Time I Saw Paris). Kind of what Soul and PMG are going for here, and accomplishing. Starsky and Hutch are just HORRID actors but have no clue – can’t even buy a clue!

    Why is Hanson’s belt buckle shifted all the way to the left? Apparently I slept through Fashion 101 because I also don’t know why the assistant director wears the same red silk pajamas every day.

    I think if a masculine nun pointed a gun at me in a movie studio parking lot I would laugh and point the way to central casting before walking away.

    Wally gives me the willies. ’nuff said….

    • DRB Says:

      Hutch is not only looking nauseated; he seems to be completely demoralized. He looks behind him when Starsky says, “Here comes McCoy now.” And then when it sinks in that this is his line, he wants to know, “Do I have to say all that?” Hee, hee. Yes, all 4 words!

      I also appreciated the moment when Starsky is prompting Hutch; he says, “Here comes…(then he looks down to check the script). I had no idea that 4 words could be so complicated to remember.

  6. stybz Says:

    This one was cute. I always like it when a show or movie depicts filming. I think this one was refreshing as we didn’t see the typical self-centered, cry-baby actors as many shows and movies tend to do these days when showing movie/TV filming. This was a lot of fun.

    The episode did have some holes, but I do like Dianna’s analysis of it. It helps. 🙂

    As for why Steve seems so cold and distant, I think Steve was being depicted as the stereotypical western hero, showing no emotion or remorse. I think the audience was supposed to identify him with someone like Clark Gable or perhaps John Wayne. Even when he finds his dog dead he doesn’t break down or get melodramatic. He’s sorry for the dog but that’s all. The guys show more remorse for the animal than he did.

    I think the reason Steve didn’t recognize Wally and we did was mainly a trick or cheat by the show to make sure the audience recognized him. We’re supposed to assume the makeup is much heavier than it appears. This saves time in explaining later that it was him. So while we knew it, to Steve it was harder to tell because we had to pretend it was far heavier. I also thought maybe Wally had gained all that weight and lost his hair in the intervening years between his release and this episode. Perhaps his looks had faded so much that he was unrecognizable in general.

    Also, Friendly the dog might have smelled him more than recognized his appearance. That said, I’m sure the dog got his name for being friendly with everyone. So it’s likely in Wally’s deranged mind that he mistook Friendly’s basic nature as recognition, whether he recognized Wally or not.

    I don’t think the real stuntmen knew that Starsky and Hutch were cops. It could have been they thought Starsky and Hutch were hired by the studio, who wanted to save money using inexperienced talent, than hiring known professionals who would ask for more money. This is not unusual. This is partly what insults the stuntmen about having such inexperienced men on set.

    As for why Markham would direct a film like this, if we look at Markham as someone who loved westerns as a kid and always dreamed of directing one, this isn’t far off. Some directors will take on a project that’s so far out of their genre, because it’s a challenge or a dream they’d like to fulfill. Comparing him to Bergman might imply that he likes to experiment and take risks, which is what made Bergman famous.

    I laughed when Starsky said, “Kate Jackson.” 🙂 I guess these days he would have said, “Kim Kardashian.” 😉

    Wally managed to get to and from set without being noticed, because once you’re on the lot no one is checking who you are. Once you’re past the gate you can go pretty much anywhere you want. Wally lived on the backlot. No one questions your access to the individual studios. People come and go as they please unless it’s a closed set. With so many extras and stunt people and other incidental personnel milling about it’s very difficult to keep track. Wally probably stole a water bottle from somewhere else on the lot to make it look like he was delivering it.

    I liked the scene in Dobey’s office with the pair eating at his desk. Dobey acts annoyed, but he’s too tired to really care.

    All of the murders have been accidents, so setting the trailer on fire would have looked like one as well had it succeeded, or Wally would have hoped. Once that failed he got desperate.

    I wondered why Starsky was Steve’s double instead of Hutch, but I wonder if it’s because Hutch was a bit player in the film at that point, and hence no longer thought of as a stand-in.

    As to why Steve had both a bungalow and a trailer, it makes sense for an actor with as much clout as he had to have his own bungalow and his own trailer, and keep it at studio for when he needed it. He would need it for location filming. Since he had the bungalow, that implies he was a big name and a studio favorite, so they wouldn’t think twice about him storing his trailer there when he didn’t need it. Usually, the studios would rent trailers for the actors for each individual shoot. However, if they had the money, some actors will purchase their own trailers because then it feels more like a home away from home and not a temporary space.

    The tag seemed to be more of a private screening for those involved with the film and not a premiere. The room is too small for a premiere.

    Markham is at the screening. He’s sitting second from left in the front row as the scene opens. He’s one of the first ones to leave, though. He doesn’t congratulate Steve. He just leaves. 🙂

    I remember the end of the tag from my childhood. Something about Hutch’s ego and that outift. LOL! It’s nice of Starsky to have the cut reel. I do recall wondering at one point years ago if Starsky was the one to have asked for the scene to be cut. I think the fact that he’s holding the reel made me think of it. As a kid just learning about the film industry, I had an image of Starsky in my head standing next to the projector with a large pair of scissors and a devilish grin on his face. LOL! Then I wondered why he would ever do it. LOL! 🙂 I’m glad that wasn’t the case. 😀

  7. Wallis Says:

    I mostly dislike this episode and think it’s stupid and corny, but the whole episode is worth it for “Here comes McCoy now.” It’s one of those scenes where I actually start laughing out loud uncontrollably just from *thinking* about it 😀 And then, the tag makes it about five times funnier.

    I forget who mentioned this first (someone else on this blog, just can’t remember who or where), but I too wish most of the “goofy, quirky” undercover gimmick episodes had been transformed so that the goofy undercover gimmick was relegated to a subplot or a breather scene in teasers or transitions, comic relief unrelated to a more serious main plot. Because, like…okay, they ARE frickin’ adorable and hilarious, but not for a whole 45 minute episode, okay?

  8. Lioness Says:

    Here something I just happened to notice. When the guys first visit Steve’s bungalow there is a car parked out front. If you look through the windshield and the passenger side window, there’s a sign that reads: Reserved Joe Naar. And, of course, Joe Naar directed this episode. 🙂

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