10 December 2002 | raysond
One ace of a detective series
Actor Raymond Burr just couldn't relax after nine seasons as defense lawyer/super sleuth Perry Mason. So,after many years on the Tiffany network,CBS-TV,the actor switched networks this time over to the Peacock Network,NBC-TV where the majority of its programming was in living color.
The show is called "Ironside" and when it premiered in the fall of 1967,it came around a time where the fight of the civil rights movement was being followed(three years after President Lyndon B. Johnson sign in into law the civil rights act in 1964),the protest of the Vietnam War,and at a time where the nation was at a crossroads with the death of two of the nation's most famous leaders were cut down at the peak of their prime(Bobby Kennedy,and Dr. Martin Luther King,Jr.)not to mention at the same time the nation's most rioting of its cities and the summer of love and so forth. This show also came about during the escalation of the Vietnam War,the fall of Watergate and ended its run with the final Presidency of Richard M. Nixon. All of this occurred during the show's run. It is also to note that this series was Raymond Burr's second successful show,after playing America's most recognizable lawyer for more than a decade. "Ironside",was a consistent ratings winner throughout the eight years that it ran on NBC-TV from its premiere episode in September of 1967 through the show's final episode of the series in April of 1975.
"Ironside" was the first crime drama series to show a person who had a disability but at the same time had a knack for catching the baddies and so forth and Raymond Burr was a master actor at what he did. Just like Perry Mason,Ironside also knew the law and how it was to be used and not abused. Burr's character was the chief of police of the San Francisco Police Department who was in charge of special cases along with his partners Don Galloway,Don Mitchell,and Barbara Anderson who were all police officers. If there was something going down,you know that Ironside was on the case! The show had everything and I do mean everything that included crooked officers not to mention social issues of its day and so forth. Oh yeah,the music....was composer Quincy Jones the greatest ever! Yes,the best theme score ever made! Also to note that this show had a array of guest stars to boot as well that made their appearances including one episode which featured a very successful and popular Motown singer making his acting debut. The others including a array of stars that were regulars or special guest starsone of which including veteran actors Severn Darren and Bernie Hamilton. The series also show some of the best drama and high octane drama anywhere and you'll see this in some of the episodes too. You also got the chance to see Ironside's helper Mark Sanger go for being his assistant, to private detective,to police officer,and by the final season of the series go from getting married to being a district attorney and from there district court justice of the peace.
The pilot was a made for TV-Movie that premiered that same year before it became a TV series as part of NBC's Saturday Night Special. The series ran on NBC-TV from 1967-75,and after it went off the air twelve years later,the peacock network brought Burr back as Ironside in a made for TV-Movie called "The Return Of Ironside" in 1987,reuniting Raymond Burr with former cast members Don Galloway and Don Mitchell and a special guest appearance from Barbara Anderson. Recently,TV-Land brought back the reruns to this classic series and it needs to be seen for those of us who have fond memories of this show from the late 60's and part of the early 70's.