The book version of King's Ransom is considered one of the best of Ed McBain's long-running 87th Precinct series of detective novels. Famed Japanese director Akiro Kurosawa liked the book so much that he made it into an acclaimed film entitled High and Low in 1963. So it was only natural that King's Ranson would be filmed as an episode when the novels were made into a TV series. The storyline deals with a wealthy businessman on the verge of a huge business deal who's son is the target of kidnappers. Only when the kidnappers strike, it's not the man's son who is kidnapped but the son of his chauffeur. The three kidnappers aren't the sharpest tools in the shed, you see. The businessman is then faced with an ethical and moral dilemma. How he solves it, with the aid of the 87th Precinct detectives, makes up the crux of the episode.
King's Ransom is a great episode that's easily the best of the series out of the one's I've viewed so far. The series regulars are out in full force but it's the guest stars who carry the load. Lead guest star Charles McGraw shines as the businessman faced with the dilemma. Future Addams Family star John Astin has a nice bit and Charles Aidman, Virginia Vincent, and Anthony Carbone do well as the trio of not so professional kidnappers. Then there's future First Lady Nancy Reagan giving a restrained yet effective performance as the businessman's wife. Well worth seeing if you ever get the chance to view some episodes of the 87th Precinct.