The wheelchair-bound San Francisco Chief Robert T. Ironside, paralyzed by a would-be assassin’s bullet, is back for another season of exciting and thought-provoking episodes in this award winning Classic TV Detective series. Second season episodes, from 1968, continues the high quality writing and acting that was the hallmark of this show through its five year run. Stories run the gamut from racial strife, fortune telling to the shooting of one of Ironside’s team members!
“Ironside” was one of the best detective shows of the 1960s and remains a classic of its genre. Memorable characters, brilliant acting, well-crafted stories and unforgettable theme music written by the legendary Quincy Jones, “Ironside” brought the beloved actor Raymond Burr back to series TV after a nine year Hall of Fame portrayal of the most famous lawyer in TV history: Perry Mason. The series was created by Collier Young. The decision to make Burr disabled was remarkable for the era, as few TV leads were ever depicted as anything but able bodied and still are not.
Determined not to be trapped in his wheelchair or give up his career, Ironside volunteers to work within the police department as a “special department consultant.” Ironside drafts two young law enforcement officers, Detective Sgt. Ed Brown, portrayed by Don Galloway, and Officer Eve Whitfield, portrayed by Barbara Anderson. He also hired delinquent-turned-bodyguard Mark Sanger, portrayed by Don Mitchell, as his “legs.” During the series, Sanger, an African-American with a chip on his shoulder and a hatred for the police, eventually went to law school and became an attorney. Ironside’s consultant status was granted by Commissioner Dennis Randall, portrayed by Gene Lyons, who also frequently clashed with his long-time friend over Ironside’s investigative methods and his willingness to break the rules to achieve true justice.
Whitfield, who was hugely popular, left the series in 1971. Elizabeth Baur joined the cast as Officer Fran Belding and remained until the series ended in 1975, but never found the fan base that Whitfield had enjoyed.
All 26 episodes remastered for DVD from the second season are included:
“Shell Game,” pits a notorious jewel thief against Ironside; “Split Second to an Epitaph Part 1″ and “Part II,” Ironside is the only witness to a murder, but has to go into hospital for exploratory surgery. Joseph Cotton stars; “The Sacrifice,” a cop friend of Ironside’s is the prime suspect in a murder; “Robert Phillips vs the Man,” a black rights activist is arrested for murder, prompting the Black community to threaten to take to the streets. Paul Winfield stars; “Desperate Encounter,” a friend of the Chief’s invites him to stay for a weekend visit then promptly disappears; “I, the People,” an obnoxious talk show host begins to receive death threats. Written by Milton Berle who also stars; “Price Tag Death,” the Chief learns of the murder of homeless man by an ex-cop now living on the streets; “An Obvious Case of Guilt,” a friend of the Chief’s is suspected of murdering her husband. Anne Baxter stars; “Reprise,” Eve is shot and may die. The Chief questions encouraging her to join the force, while Ed wrestles with arresting Eve’s shooter or killing him outright; “The Macabre Mr. Micawber,” a talking Mynah bird may hold the key to murder. Burgess Meredith stars; “Side Pocket,” a young pool hustler is coerced into a contract with a crooked promoter; “Sergeant Mike,” an old woman is murdered, and the only witness appears to be a large dog. Bill Bixby stars; “In Search of an Artist,” a painting turns up rendered by an old friend presumed dead after confessing to a murder. Broderick Crawford stars; “Up, Down and Even,” Eve’s niece is arrested for drugs; “Why the Tuesday Afternoon Bridge Club Met on Thursday,” the Chief’s elderly Aunt turns to him for help when a member of her bridge club goes missing; “Rundown on a Bum Rap,” Mark battles to prove the innocence of his former boxing coach; “The Prophecy,” a fortune teller makes wild predictions for Ironside and his team; “A World of Jackals,” a friend of Mark’s lead them into a case of kidnaping and murder; “And Be My Love,” Eve falls in love with a robbery victim. Chad Everett stars; “Moonlight Means Money,” Ed is suspended after he unwittingly discovers a drug operation during a night on the town with a friend; “A Drug on the Market,” an elderly friend of Ironside’s contacts him fearing she is losing her mind because she hears voices and has received threatening calls; “Puzzlelock,” Ironside investigates an ex-cop whom he believes murdered his wife; “The Tormentor,” a famous baseball player receives threats; “A Matter of Love and Death,” a woman dies from an illegal abortion; “Not With a Whimper, But a Bang,” a local college is plagued by false bomb threats.
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I read a review somewhere that tells that the second season of “Ironside” was weak. I wholeheartedly disagree. Mind you it started off with “Shell Game” which was the weakest of all the second season. It makes up with the 2 part episode “Split Second To an Epitath”, also “Desparate Encounter” which is downright intense, “I The People” is a terrific showcase which showcases Milton Berle in a drama, and he proves he can straddle comedy, and drama, and also can write a really good script, “Why The Tuesday Afternoon Bridge Club Met on Thursday” is a bit hokey with a bunch of elderly ladies helping Ironside, but creating a story line where the Dr. Crippen murder from 1910 was a stroke of genius, “Obvious Case of Guilt” is a mindbender where you don’t know what’s going to happen next, “A Drug On The Market” is probably the most intense episode on this collection I know that when I heard the voices I was a bit spooked, and finally on Disc 7 It ends with “Not With a Whimper, but With a Bang”. I am now going to look over Season 1, and can’t wait for Season 3 to come out on dvd.
Ironside – Season 2
A great series that brings back memories of a better time and place.
I watched this show every week with my parents and siblings.
Families did things together back then. It was a fantastic time to be a kid.