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Season 1 Episode 1

Let's Hear it for a Living Legend

Aired Wednesday 8:30 PM Sep 13, 1972 on NBC
out of 10
User Rating
21 votes

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Episode Summary

Let's Hear it for a Living Legend

When a professional football player vanishes from the field of play before a large crowd and millions of TV viewers, leaving only his helmet behind, Banacek is called in by the owner of the team to solve the mystery of the bizarre disappearance.

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  • How does a man simply vanish into thin air? The easy answer is, he probably doesn't.

    This was my first exposure to "Banacek," and it proves why it's considered a different crop of show from its brethren on the "NBC Mystery Movie." From the outset, we are in the midst of a classic "locked room mystery," even if the room in this case is the middle of a football field on game day.

    Robert Webber (a veteran of "The Rockford Files" and 70s TV in general) does a good turn as the team's owner. He plays it on the line so we really aren't sure at first if he's in on the plot or not. Stephanie Powers also delivers a nice performance as the lady of the week whom Banacek has some fun romancing.

    George Peppard didn't dazzle me in this episode, though. Maybe because it was launching the series, the writers were focusing more on making sure the plot worked, but Banacek doesn't really have a distinctive character in this show. Sure, he interacts with Felix and Jay, and we get the sense that he's worldly, but none of it really shines through. Though I will say the scene with Stephanie Powers wherein he explains his father's watch and why he does what he does is nicely written and acted.

    All in all, a solid start (with a great solution). The ending is marred only by a really bland summation from Peppard.moreless
Stefanie Powers

Stefanie Powers

Angie Ives

Guest Star

Madlyn Rhue

Madlyn Rhue

Hollis 'Holly' Allencamp

Guest Star

Robert Webber

Robert Webber

Jerry Brinkman

Guest Star

Ralph Manza

Ralph Manza

Jay Drury

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (0)

  • QUOTES (6)

    • Felix: What did you see?
      Banacek: Well, it wouldn't be fair.
      Felix: To whom?
      Banacek: To you. What if I helped you out and you won the game? I mean, how would you feel?
      Felix: Better than if I lost the ruddy game through my own ineptitude.

    • Felix: By the way, have you seen the latest issue of Sports Illustrated?
      Banacek: No, I've been busy.
      Felix: Pick up a copy. Contains an article on the ritualistic ancestry of pro football, by Arnold Shore. Very definitive piece. Very brilliant research.
      Banacek: Umm. Yours, I suppose.
      Felix: What tipped you off? "Brilliant", or "definitive"?
      Banacek: Your smirk, as a matter of fact.

    • Banacek: There is an old Polish proverb that says..."If you're not sure it's potato Borscht, there could be orphans working in the mine."

    • Susan: What was that, honey? Some kind of trick play?
      Banacek: If it was, it was called by a coach named Houdini.

    • Felix: Say, didn't Jay give you my message?
      Banacek: well, he was about to, but your accent is better.
      Jay Drury: Yeah, well someday I'd like to hear his Sicilian.

    • Felix: By the way, there's an old English proverb that says... "The only thing worse than a devious Russian, is a sneaky Pole."
      Banacek: You mean the only thing better.

  • NOTES (1)