One of the most fondly remembered and action-packed detective series of the late '60s and early '70s, Mannix
was the brainchild creators Richard Levinson and William Link (Columbo
, Murder: She Wrote
) and executive producer Bruce Geller (Mission: Impossible
). Mike Connors won an Emmy as the title character, a tough, streetwise private eye whose hands-on approach to cases raised the hackles of his employers, the scientific-minded Intertect, and his no-nonsense boss Lou Wickersham (Joseph Campanella). Episodes generally saw Mannix taking his share of licks, either from or in the service of that week's guest star (celebs on display in this debut season include Tom Skerritt, Karen Black, Julie Adams, William Windom, and Neil Diamond in Episode 4, "The Many Deaths of Saint Christopher"). The on-screen violence, which earned the show its devoted audience as well as critical outcry, is fairly tame by today's standards, though it preserves the show's energy and drive; the chemistry between Connors and Campanella and especially Emmy winner Gail Fisher as secretary Peggy Fair (one of the first African-American characters to appear as a regular on a television series) also keep the episodes moving at a crisp pace. Modern audiences used to more high-tech crime shows like Num3ers
and the CSI
franchises may find Mannix's methods sort of quaint, but those who favor classic TV fare or who remember it from its lengthy network and syndicated runs will enjoy tagging along with Joe Mannix all over again.
All 24 episodes of the 1967-1968 debut season are featured on this six-disc set, including the 1967 pilot "The Name is Mannix." Connors himself is all over the DVD--not only is he interviewed with Campanella in a loose but informative featurette about their time together on the show (Wickersham was phased out by its second season in order to let Mannix work for himself), but he provides commentary on several episodes and audio introductions for just about every supplement. These include a promo clip for the show in a CBS TV special announcing the fall 1967 lineup; an interview with Connors on a 1969 episode of The Mike Douglas Show; a Paramount sales reel for prospective syndication broadcasters (with voice-over by the legendary Ernie Anderson); and a clip from a 1997 episode of Diagnosis: Murder in which Connors reprised Mannix to investigate a unsolved murder that was introduced in a '70s-era episode of that series. It's an impressive package, and should give Mannix devotees much to look forward to in regard to upcoming DVDs. --Paul Gaita
From the dynamic opening credits to the closing shootout, Mannix crackles with excitement, and is finally available on DVD for the first time ever! Cool, no-nonsense private detective Joe Mannix (Mike Connors) is a tough-talking loner within the large detective agency Intertect. He has street smarts and class, but he constantly fights with his boss, Lou Wickersham (Joseph Campanella), over how to conduct their investigations. Lou relies on the company's computers, but Mannix has to go with his gut. And that's just what he does every time! One of the most popular crime shows ever, this long-running series was developed by executive producer Bruce Geller (Mission: Impossible), and features all 24 Season One episodes on 6 discs, including the rarely-seen series pilot. Brace yourself for unbeatable action Mannix is back!