2 October 2013 | bpatrick-8
I'd turn to both Marshall and Welby if I were in trouble
A combination of whodunit a la "Perry Mason" and issue-oriented episodes a la "The Defenders," "Owen Marshall, Counselor At Law" is the legal profession's answer to "Marcus Welby, M.D.," as mentioned above. The similarities are obvious: Welby practices in Santa Monica, Marshall in Santa Barbara; both have an assistant with strong appeal to women (James Brolin with Welby; Lee Majors, Reni Santoni, and David Soul with Marshall); both have a female assistant (Elena Verdugo and Joan Darling); both of their wives are apparently deceased, although Marshall has a teenage daughter. And, again as noted above, there are crossovers between the two shows (both created and produced by David Victor), such as Marshall's defending Brolin's character, Dr. Steven Kiley, on a malpractice charge.
Arthur Hill was at somewhat of a disadvantage re Robert Young; Young was already an icon from "Father Knows Best," while the Canadian-born Hill was not well-known in the U.S. when "Marshall" debuted. Yet both actors exude authority and the knowledge of their professions that makes one wish they were real and could go to them if they were either sick or in trouble. And it's perhaps--no, it's the reason--that Young was often asked to speak at medical gatherings, and Hill at legal ones. If both shows get a little sticky at times, stick around: there's plenty of substance to be had, as both can deal with sensitive issues.
Hill is one of the classiest actors I've ever seen, and I have enjoyed him in made-for-TV movies made since "Marshall" was canceled. I also remember him in his later years doing commercials, urging viewers to call a lawyer when a problem arose; maybe he was just being Owen Marshall, but he certainly appeared to mean it.
By the way, Lee Majors is said to have hated this show, simply because it required him to wear a jacket and tie. He's obviously more comfortable when he's casually dressed, as on "The Six Million Dollar Man" or "The Fall Guy."