Studio One: The Defender
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
Top Customer Reviews
The Defenders video tape survived. I know how nor why. If you are a Star Trek Fan, this 1957 tele-play has the acting talents of William Shatner, long before he donned the Star Fleet uniform of James T Kirk and beamed aboard the Starship Enterprise. He plays the son of a father and son legal team. You see, even before he was Denny Crane of TV's Boston Legal, he was a lawyer
This teleplay also starred Ralph Bellamy (as Shatner's Legal eagle father), Steve McQueen (before he was in TV's Wanted: Dead or Alive and the movies The Magnificent Seven and The Great Escape) and Martin Balsam.
This was the age of Live TV. However, You could not find a flub in these two episodes of live TV. Nor could you find a bad preformance in these shows
If you are fan of TV history, The Defenders became a regular TV series in the 1960's. Bellamy's father role was played by E.G. Marshall & Shatner by Robert Reed (TV Brady Bunch).
If you are a fan of old TV, a good collection to showcase classic Television
Bennet Pomerantz, AUDIOWORLD
This is before Shatner's career arrived on Star Trek and McQueen became a big Hollywood star. In fact his acting on this probably broke upon his career as well as Shatner's (nine years before Star Trek). Shatner plays a lawyer, Kenneth Preston, defending a man, Joseph Gordon wanted for murder (McQueen). Ralph Bellamy is Walter Preston and Kenneth's dad. Kenneth believes in Joseph's innocence but Walter does not especially since Joseph is prone to violent outburst. It also does not help the fact that several witness (including Joseph's ex-girlfriend) point him as the bad guy.
Nevertheless, both father and son team do a great job in poking holes in witness testimony, and raise reasonable doubt and give the young Gordon a chance to survive.
Like I said great acting by all three. Shatner has been known to overact his roles (including Star Trek) but he is rolling on all cylinder showing the young brilliance that he also shown in TV episodes of the Twilight Zone and Alfred Hitchcock Presents.
After this great episode there is a great documentary on the history behind Studio One that is really worth checking out.
Parts of this episode were used for BL "Son of the Defender" but really that episode doesn't do justice to how brilliant this two part episode really was. Forget about that episode and see this video today.
The show, filmed in black and white, really wasted a lot of time in development, and if it had been condensed by half, would have held the audience's attention a bit more.
The acting was top-notch, and the end was excellent, plus it made for a great, I mean truly great, Boston Legal episode, which is in the third season disc set. If you've seen The Defender, then you've got to see Son Of The Defender, or vice-versa....
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Great live performances by Steve McQueen & William Shatner at the beginning of their careers. Highly recommend.Published 15 months ago by MAC2NITE
This was really good and enjoyable. Seeing as it was made back in the late 1950s says a lot about the television industry. Steve was good and the ending was unexpected. Read morePublished 15 months ago by Rhona A. Blackwell-Ready
Ah, the heyday of LIVE television. Though the story is really Ralph Bellamy's, it's a hoot seeing William Shatner and Steve McQueen share screen time. Read morePublished on September 3, 2013 by Matthew J. Jorgensen