Masquerade

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ABC (ended 1984)

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Masquerade

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Masquerade was a stylish international action series from producer Glen Larson. Rod Taylor starred as Lavender, a veteran operative for the National Intelligence Agency who was frustrated by the assassinations of his fellow spies. The problem was that by the time a spy was recruited, trained, and ready to go into the field, the enemy had identified and targeted them for assassination. Lavender's idea was to recruit everyday Americans with special skills to become temporary spies who could participate in one mission then return quietly to their normal lives. With no background in espionage, the civilians would be untraceable, with airtight cover stories. Once assembled, they would travel together as a group of tourists visiting a foreign country. When the mission was completed, they would each receive pay equivalent to a year's salary tax-free and go their separate ways. Assisting the amateur agents were Casey and Danny, formerly the best students at Los Angeles Police Academy, recruited by Lavender because they had not yet graduated and as such would be unknown to both the NIA and its enemies. Each episode began with Lavender, gun in hand, turning to the TV audience and saying: "The United States of America would like to invite you...to come spy with me." The theme song following the introduction was sung by noted country singer Crystal Gayle.

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    Action & Adventure