7 September 2004 | schappe1
Beautiful to look at but needs more substance
I, too, saw the premiere of this short lived series on the 2003 Casablanca DVD set. I actually was both impressed and disappointed by it, but more tolerant in the end. This is a sort of introduction to the show and it serves primarily to show off the marvelous Casablanca set. The camera pans to every angle, following the actors, (mostly McGraw) as they walk around and up and down. It's probably the greatest single set ever created- at least for a TV show.
It was, of course, created for the movie but the film doesn't give you the tour of it that this thing does. Charles McGraw seems like a competent Rick, given that there's only one Bogie. I would have liked to have seen more of it than this one episode shows. But this is probably the only thing from the series that is on DVD. This looks so good you could walk right into the picture and order a drink. It certainly looks better than the clips of the garishly colored David Soul disaster from the early 80's.
The real disappointment is the plot, which amounts to very little. A mysterious beauty, (is that Anita Ekberg?) has some information- I don't know exactly what- that could make the world more wonderful. The question is: who is she going to give it to? She does the right thing in the end. I hope that not every episode of the show was so noble. I know that's what makes the movie tick but it's the characters and the atmosphere that would have counted in the TV show.