The Magician

Season 1 Episode 1

The Manhunters

Aired Tuesday 9:00 PM Oct 02, 1973 on NBC
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Episode Summary

The Manhunters
Tony investigates an illegal casino operation after an attempt is made on Max's life and clues point to the operation, which Max is scheduled to testify about.

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Jerry Quarry

Jerry Quarry


Guest Star

David Brandon

David Brandon

Reporter #1

Guest Star

Lenore Stevens

Lenore Stevens


Guest Star

Jim Watkins

Jim Watkins

Jerry Anderson

Recurring Role

Keene Curtis

Keene Curtis

Max Pomeroy

Recurring Role

Todd Crespi

Todd Crespi

Dennis Pomeroy

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (3)

    • Camera mistake: In a brief, wide shot of the dock during Tony's footchase early in the episode, vignetting is easily visible in all four corners of the frame.

    • In the beginning of this episode, Max Pomeroy is walking thru a "parking lot" in the marina, and a crane operator tries to kill Max by dropping a net of 65-gallon drums on him. The camera shows two different point-of-view shots, one from Max's point of view & another point of view shot from Tony's vantage point. When the camera shows Max's point of view (after Tony yells "MAX!") the entire net of drums appear to be coming down in one neat heap, still inside the net, with no spillage of the drums. Then in the other point-of-view shot, (Tony's point-of-view), it clearly shows the net opening to "spill" the janitor drums outside of the net at the moment of release. It is obvious this was shot twice for the camera's different viewpoints, instead of running two cameras at the same time for continuity's sake.

    • In the first 5 minutes of this first episode, as Tony Blake (Bill Bixby) is chasing the crane operator across a bridge, you can see the shadow of the movie camera appear briefly in the shot of the train going past quickly.

  • QUOTES (11)

    • Stanley Owens: You'd have been a better gambler if you'd stayed sober.
      Diane Thompson: I started to drink when I started to lose.
      Stanley Owens: You've been a loser all your life. You've just started to become aware of it, that's all.

    • Diane Thompson: I'm a compulsive gambler. And a borderline alcoholic. And, if you were to choose a word, "desperate."

    • Diane Thompson: You know something, Stan? You're not a bad-looking man. You dress reasonably well. And you don't smell. And I bet with the right partner, you're even a fairly good lover.
      Stanley Owens: So?
      Diane Thompson: So, next time there's a rattlesnake around, why don't you mate with it?

    • Dennis: Every good newspaper man makes enemies. It's just that sometimes I think my father works at it.

    • Max: Tony, I accept it when you do this sort of thing for other people. I'm not so sure I like it when you do it for me -- putting yourself in obvious danger.
      Tony: I'm not in danger, Max. They didn't try to kill me. They tried to kill you.

    • Diane Thompson: I could hate you. But I'm going to try very hard not to.

    • Tony Blake: (after being forcefully shoved) Don't you know that hurts?

    • Diane Thompson: (to Tony) You're very nice looking and I'm glad you came to call, but if you're not going to be sociable and have a drink...

    • Manning Hargrove: I understand Tony is the greatest magician since Houdini.
      Max: Perhaps since, before, and including.

    • Max Pomeroy: "Tony is more than a magician--he's a fighter. Hates injustice, as I think we all should. But while most people REACT to it, Tony acts."

    • Diane Thompson, after seeing Tony Blake pluck a hand of blackjack out of the air: You're a mechanic!

  • NOTES (4)

    • In this episode Tony Blake showed how magic skills can come in handy in cleaning up on the House. He also showed an example of "reverse escapology:" the super-quick tying up of two thugs, a skill Tony found handy throughout the series.

    • This, first regular episode of the series did not get good reviews in the press. The October 10th, 1973 issue of "Variety" said: "The premiere episode of"The Magician seems to be suffering from a case of misplaced priorities, its footage long on outdoor action and gratuitous romantic hankypankey while short on the magico exploits that figure to give up the skein its distinguishing flavor. ... Some minor magic tricks did dot the proceedings, but they were not the major means by which the finale was achieved." Elsewhere, it said "Character of Blake is thin, undeveloped and fairly incredible. Described as 'the greatest magician since Houdini,' he actually makes Mandrake look pretty good."

    • Among the magic performed in this episode:

      - Rose production and animation
      - Backhand card palming and production
      - Aces and Jacks transposition

      Additional Guest Stars

      Woman: Marcia Mae Jones
      Chief Box Man: Tony Cristino
      Casino Cashier: Sandra Wirth

    • The slim, 153-pound Bixby almost injured himself by being his own stunt man in a scene where he clung to the top of an ambulance while a fugitive driving it tried to shake him off! (Source: The Sunday Bulletin, Philadelphia, February 3, 1974) The show contains an amazing scene where he ducks his head just moments before a steel bar brushes the top of the ambulance, knocking off all of its rooftop lights!


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