Matlock

Season 1 Episode 6

The Don, Part 1

1
Aired Tuesday 8:00 PM Oct 28, 1986 on ABC
9.8
out of 10
User Rating
13 votes
1

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Episode Summary

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When Nicholas Baron, a well known mobster, is accused of murdering one of his rivals, he asks Matlock to represent him. Matlock initially refuses, but agrees to represent Baron despite threats on his own life. He soon meets the entire family, and realises that despite what Baron has always done for a living, at heart he's a worried father who wants to clear his name.

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • Matlock vs. the Fatman (this review is for Parts 1 and 2)

    9.0
    After "The Judge," "Matlock"'s subsequent episodes were formulaic and dull by comparison. But that mediocre steak is snapped with this two-parter. It features a great guest cast, an engrossing story and (a rarity in this show) a strong rival for Ben in the courtroom.



    The rival is William Conrad in the test run of his character from Jake and the Fatman. Though he looks horrible, almost in failing health, Conrad is just as sly and cagey as Matlock as the bombastic prosecutor. His unmistakable voice undiminished by age, Conrad shows he still had the chops, if not the look, of a terrific actor. His scenes in the courtroom, despite a tendency to waddle, are dynamite as he cuts Matlock's case to pieces. It's a shame Conrad did not return - he and Griffith play well off of each other and it would have been nice to see them in more cases.



    Jose Ferrer (a "Columbo" killer) is the client, an ailing mob boss accused of murdering an associate. He's willing to help in his defense, as long as Matlock doesn't uncover some family secrets. Ferrer is another veteran actor who delivers a great performance here.



    And, even though he falls victim to the "Charlene falls in love with the male guest star of the week" plague, Joe Penny is charming and ruthless as the boss's son. Later, of course, he would be Conrad's legman in their other series, but he plays a shady character very well.



    Definitely one of the all-time best "Matlock" episodes.moreless
William Conrad

William Conrad

D.A. James L. McShane

Guest Star

Joe Penny

Joe Penny

Paul Baron

Guest Star

Betty Lynn

Betty Lynn

Sarah

Guest Star

James McEachin

James McEachin

Lt. Frank Daniels

Recurring Role

Lucille Meredith

Lucille Meredith

Judge Irene Sawyer

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

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  • TRIVIA (0)

  • QUOTES (0)

  • NOTES (3)

    • Additional Credits for Episodes 6 through 24 in Season 1
      Re-Recording by: Todd-AO/Glen Glenn
      Sound Effects Editorial: Echo Film Services

    • The name of the character William Conrad played in this episode is McShane and the character he played in Jake and the Fatman is McCabe. Alan Campbell played his assistant in this episode and would play his assistant in Jake and the Fatman. And McShane has a dog named Max as did McCabe although it was a different breed. While this episode is not a pilot for Jake and the Fatman, it's for certain that Dean Hargrove and Fred Silverman were inspired by this episode to create Jake and the Fatman.

    • Jake and the Fatman is often mistaken as a Matlock spinoff from this episode because Joe Penny, Alan Campbell and William Conrad all appeared in the Matlock telemovie 'The Don', but there is no similarity whatsoever between the characters that appeared in Matlock and the characters that appear in Jake and the Fatman.

  • ALLUSIONS (0)