Ellery Queen

The Adventure of the Comic Book Crusader

Season 1, Ep 5, Aired 10/2/75
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  • Episode Description
  • Ellery himself is a leading suspect in the murder of a comic book publisher with whom he'd clashed over how he was portrayed in the publisher's comics. It seems as though the man left a dying clue which apparently points to him. Ellery is forced to investigate in order to clear his name, while dealing with reporter Frank Flannigan.

  • Cast & Crew
  • Richard Levinson

  • David Wayne

    Inspector Richard Queen

  • Lynda Day George

    Alma Van Dyne

  • Ellery Queen

    Based on Characters Created by

  • Tom Reese

    Sergeant Velie

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  • Trivia & Quotes
  • Quotes (20)

    • Collins: Yeah, what do you want? Ellery: I'm Ellery Queen. Collins: You can't be Ellery Queen, your chin's all wrong.

    • Armstrong: Mr. Queen, you don't understand the market. Our readers are children. Millions of bloodthirsty little kids, and we give them what they want.

    • Alma: I, I just, I can't believe it!I just can't believe he's dead. I'm sorry. He was such a, such a-- Inspector: Wonderful person? Alma: Louse. Why, just tonight he had this awful fight with his cartoonists. I mean it was just terrible, he treated 'em so rotten. Inspector: Velie, get names and addresses. Flannagan: Hiya, Inspector, who's the doll? Inspector: Flannagan, how'd you get wind of this? Flannagan: Murder will out, Inspector, murder will out. Inspector: Does it have to out when I'm trying to launch an investigation? Alma: Are you Frank Flannagan, the columnist? Flannagan: That's right, sweetheart. And if you were Armstrong's secretary, I'd like a Page One photo. Stand up and take a deep breath.

    • Hayes: Inspector, what's all this about a coverup? The Commissioner wants to know. Inspector: You tell the Commissioner not to believe everything he reads in the bottom of a birdcage.

    • Flannagan: Hiya, Junior. Inspector: Ellery, what are you doing here? Ellery: Well, I thought I'd come down and see if you found the murder weapon. Inspector: No, not yet. Those your pyjamas? Ellery: Pyjamas. My toothbrush, too. Hayes: A toothbrush? Flannagan: Sure, don't you get it? He's turning himself in. He's asking to be locked up! Inspector: You read that piece in the paper and you're trying to get me off the hook. Flannagan: Maybe he's here to plead guilty. "Cop's Kid Cops Plea". That's good for an extra.

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    Notes (4)

    • One of the cartoonists is called Lyle Shannon. Dell Shannon was the author of a popular police procedural series, starring Lt. Luis Mendoza, "The Millionaire Cop".

    • Lynda Day George played Alma Van Dyne (or Dine). S.S. Van Dine was the author of a series of mysteries featuring the character of Philo Vance. In the earliest Ellery Queen mysteries, the personality of Ellery Queen was molded on Philo Vance.

    • One of the characters is called Bud Armstrong. Charlotte Armstrong is a distinguished mystery writer. Her 1957 novel, A Dram of Poison won the Edgar Award.

    • This episode marked the introduction of Ken Swofford as newspaper columnist Frank Flannigan who would be a recurring character throughout the show's run and an armchair detective just like Simon Brimmer. The character of Flannigan was loosely based on Walter Winchell, a gossip columnist and radio host of the era in which Ellery Queen is set.

    Trivia (2)

    • Frank Flannigan boasts to Inspector Queen that his column is right on the front page of the newspaper--but we had just clearly seen that it was on the third page.

    • Frank Flannigan's column is presented as a series of brief bits of information. The first bit starts off sensibly enough, but in the second line the grammar suddenly skews, and the confusion goes on from there. The second bit is properly written, telling of a taunting letter written by L.A's "Butterfly Killer" to the local police. The third line seems to be political doublespeak that (naturally) makes little sense. The fourth bit is the focus point about Inspector Queen keeping his "family" secrets. The fifth, (and the last visible) bit is taken word for word from the article printed to the right of the column.

    Allusions (1)

    • The solution to the murder in this episode bears a strong resemblance to the one offered in Agatha Christie's classic Murder on the Orient Express.

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