Thursday, May 16, 2013
RICHARD DIAMOND, PRIVATE DETECTIVE Season 3
The big change in Richard Diamond for the third season [of 34 black and white half hour episodes] is that Diamond has been transplanted to the west coast. He now lives in a nice house with a swimming pool, operates out of L.A., and has an unseen answering service gal named "Sam" [we only hear her voice] who also functions as a kind of assistant at times. Barbara Bain, who later appeared on Mission: Impossible, plays a girlfriend of Diamond's for a few early episodes and then completely disappears. Regis Toomey is gone, replaced by Russ Conway as Lt. Pete Kile, who is friendly to Diamond but who has a nasty, highly unfriendly associate, Sgt. Alden [?]. Janssen now plays Diamond in a very slick and glib manner. Mary Tyler Moore played Sam for a few episodes, and then was replaced by Roxane Brooks.
Richard Diamond remained an entertaining series even with all the changes. Most of the episodes earn a solid "B+." Arguably the two best episodes are "Two for Paradise," a study of twisted skulduggery over a ranch and a younger woman; and the clever "Seven Swords," [a magician's assistant is murdered right during the act] which guest-stars Carol Ohmart (House on Haunted Hill) and Jerome Cowan (The Old Maid) and has a fine script by Levinson and Link. Guest stars on other episodes include everyone from Allison Hayes, Nora Hayden and Ingrid Goude to Geraldine Brooks, Frank Albertson and Joey Bishop.
Verdict: Not a bad old show. ***.