Sunday, August 27, 2017

The Defenders (1961)

Considered one of the best television dramas of its era, or perhaps any era, The Defenders was as multi-layered and non-formulaic as many of its plots. Created by writer Reginald Rose and producer Herbert Brodkin, The Defenders spun off from a Studio One live drama titled "The Defender," which starred Ralph Bellamy and William Shatner as a father-son legal team defending a 19-year-old played by Steve McQueen who is accused of killing a woman during a robbery attempt. The two-part drama aired in 1957, the same year Rose's most famous feature film 12 Angry Men was released, another drama that offered an unconventional and minute examination of the legal process. This same approach was the foundation for The Defenders, which Rose described in an interview cited by Mark Alvey in his article about the series for the Museum of Broadcast Communications: "the law is the subject of our programs: not crime, not mystery, not the courtroom for its own sake. We were never interested in producing a 'who-done-it' which simply happened to be resolved each week in a flashy courtroom battle of wits." As Alvey notes, Rose is obviously contrasting his series with TV's then-most-popular courtroom drama Perry Mason, a formula-driven parlor game in which the viewer tries to guess the perpetrator from a half-dozen possible suspects and Mason wrings a courtroom confession from the real killer. Rose's series, on the other hand, examined the many quandaries a defense lawyer could face in upholding his sworn duty to try to get the best possible outcome for his client, whether that client deserves it or not.

The 1961 episode that best illustrates this problem is "The Best Defense" (December 30, 1961) in which Lawrence Preston is tricked by an old friend fallen on hard times into defending a known criminal operator from a murder charge, only to be played by his client with a phony alibi and a perjured witness. Lawrence considers but rejects going to the judge with the new evidence of perjury because doing so would violate his responsibility to get the best possible outcome for his client, as would resigning himself from the case without explanation, another option that his son Kenneth proposes. In an attempt to bail out his father, Kenneth goes searching for evidence that would provide another alibi for the client so that his case would not depend on perjured testimony, but in so doing he stumbles into proving that the client actually committed another murder that happened about the same time, thereby acquitting him of the charge for which the Prestons were defending him while simultaneously punishing him for his bad behavior and helping the criminal justice system nail a long-wanted public enemy. Despite depicting one of the many moral dilemmas faced by defense attorneys, this episode steers a bit closer to Perry Mason territory than Rose would like to admit, culminating in a rather improbable outcome and a dramatic courtroom denouement.

Several other episodes have a Perry Mason flavor to them, relying on the old Mason trick in which all the superficial evidence points to the defendant as having committed the murder only to have it later revealed that he was in some way incapacitated at the time and someone else with an axe to grind seized the opportunity to knock off the victim. On The Defenders this scenario plays out in "Death Across the Counter" (September 30, 1961) when Korean War vet and addict Thomas Clinton attempts to rob a delicatessen but gets knocked out by one of the deli's two owners, who then takes his gun and shoots the other owner to collect the insurance money. A similar plot is employed in "The Treadmill" (November 25, 1961) in which Victor Fergusson was convicted of killing a pharmacist during an attempted hold-up but had a complete mental breakdown before being sentenced and was institutionalized for 25 years. Once he is proclaimed recovered, he is scheduled to be sentenced but still doesn't remember killing anyone and is afraid that he will be executed. In digging into his case, Lawrence is able to get the pharmacist's surviving daughter to admit that she didn't actually see the murder take place, though she had earlier testified that she saw Fergusson shoot her father. Then Preston enlists the help of a hypnotist to help Fergusson reconstruct what he did the night of the murder, how he froze when his partner told him to shoot the pharmacist, then ran out of the store, after which his partner, tried and executed 25 years ago, took the gun and went back inside the store. However, Fergusson is not completely exonerated, even though he didn't pull the trigger, and Lawrence tells him that he hopes to get the D.A. to agree to a plea deal for manslaughter, which should net him only a couple years in prison rather than the death penalty.

Another Mason-like episode is "The Trial of Jenny Scott" (November 11, 1961) in which the titular character gets framed for the murder of her muckraking journalist husband by one of his closest friends, who has been secretly importing narcotics from the Orient and is an addict himself. Lawrence, like Mason, wrings a confession from importer Franklin Williams on the witness stand after unraveling the precise timetable Williams used to carry out the murder unobserved, a classic Perry Mason ploy. And then there is the episode "Gideon's Follies," a frothy, unserious whodunit that aired December 23, 1961, perhaps a Christmas-time bon mot, in which Lawrence tries to figure out which of a wealthy eccentric's five ex-wives did him in, assembling all the ex-wives for a party at the old man's house for charades and other party games to elicit clues to identify the killer. The episode has all the flavor of the later feature film A Shot in the Dark, only Lawrence is no bumbling Inspector Clouseau and finally gets one of the ex-wives to confess that they were all in on the plot.

But the aforementioned episodes are counter-balanced by many finer examples that not only delved into the finer points of law but also broached controversial social topics of the day, many of which prove just as thorny in the present. The Defenders has been lauded for dealing head-on with the issue of abortion in the late Season 1 episode "The Benefactor," which prompted all the show's major sponsors to withdraw and several network affiliates to refuse to air it, a story repurposed in a Season 2 episode of Mad Men that went under the same title. Episodes that aired in 1961 also dealt with many other hard-hitting topics, beginning with the series very first show "The Quality of Mercy" (September 16, 1961), which deals with a case of "mercy killing." The case involves obstetrician Dr. Bill Conrad, who delivers a baby with Down's Syndrome, then called mongolism. With the mother still under sedation, Conrad delivers the news to the father Jerry Warner, who is devastated and believes the news will crush his wife. Conrad tells Warner he thinks he may be able to "help him out," and Warner gives his assent, so Conrad sneaks into the newborn nursery and administers a lethal hypodermic that kills the baby. The nursery nurse sees him inject the baby through a window in the next office and testifies against him at the murder trial. But as shocking as these events are, even today, equally shocking is the discussion between Conrad and his attending physician McSorley about a child born with Down's Syndrome being an "idiot" and being doomed to a miserable life. Lawrence is asked to take Conrad's case by his own physician, who is a friend of Conrad's. After talking with Conrad, Lawrence understands that Conrad's intention was not malicious, that he wanted to help the Warners, who already had two young children and whom he felt would be burdened in caring for a severely disabled child who probably wouldn't live to be 21 and who had a heart lesion that could kill it at any time. But the case is not painted in simple black and white tones--Leona Warner is outraged that her child was taken from her without her consent; Jerry Warner is overcome with guilt and blurts out in open court that he should be on trial instead of Conrad; and D.A. Grimalia has medical experts agree on the witness stand that Down's Syndrome children have a sunny disposition and tend to be much-loved by their mothers. Grimalia also has Conrad testify when he takes the stand that what he did violated the Hippocratic Oath he took when he became a doctor. But rather than deliver one side a victory and the other a loss, Rose, who wrote this script himself, has Lawrence and Grimalia agree that they will likely end up with a hung jury and therefore agree to a plea deal of manslaughter, which will net Conrad 3-5 years in prison on top of the loss of his medical license. Compromise has often been criticized as being a decision that no one is happy with, but in this episode Lawrence is pleased with the outcome because rather than doling out an eye for an eye, the law allows for a quality of mercy for his client.

Lawrence has a similar response to the outcome of "The Hundred Lives of Harry Simms" (October 28, 1961) in which he and Kenneth defend an old friend of Kenneth's, a comic impressionist who is accused of murdering his fiance. In trying to get Simms' account of what happened the night his fiance was found stabbed to death in his nightclub dressing room, they keep running into Simms' habit of diving into the characters he portrays on stage, seeming not to take the situation seriously. Lawrence becomes convinced that Simms is mentally disturbed, but when he has a psychiatrist testify that Simms needs a thorough examination to determine if he is competent to stand trial, Simms refuses to go along, fires Lawrence on the spot, and insists that Kenneth, his old friend, is the only one who can defend him. Kenneth is torn between loyalty to an old friend and his father's belief that Simms is criminally insane. In the end, Kenneth has to force Simms to reveal on the witness stand, under the disguise of his James Cagney impersonation, that he was the one who killed his fiance. Kenneth is then deflated that he helped convict a close personal friend, but Lawrence counters that now Simms can get the help he needs, which will result in a more merciful outcome.

Other strong episodes from 1961 include "Killer Instinct" (September 23, 1961), in which William Shatner plays a military veteran trained to kill with martial arts who instinctively resorts to war-time tactics when threatened in civilian life, "The Young Lovers" (October 14, 1961), a Romeo and Juliet-inspired tale in which a pair of young lovers have to marry secretly and then try to deliver a baby without medical care because of their parents' deep-rooted prejudice against each other's culture of origin, "The Accident" (November 4, 1961), in which an irresponsible wealthy young woman who grew up without parents kills a child while driving drunk, and "The Attack" (December 9, 1961) in which a raging policeman kills a young man he believes sexually assaulted his 5-year-old daughter rather than letting the justice system dole out the appropriate punishment, only to later learn that he killed the wrong perpetrator. Episodes such as these, all of which dealt with complex, intertwined legal and social issues, helped The Defenders set a new bar for TV drama series and garner 13 Emmys, including 3 straight wins for Best Drama, during the series' 4-season run. At its best, the series holds up remarkably well today, matching the best current dramas in dealing with difficult subjects in a realistic, gripping, and informative way. Here's hoping that Shout! Factory will release the remaining 3 seasons on DVD.

No on-screen credit is listed for the Defenders theme, but other online sources credit Frank Lewin. Lewin was born in Germany but escaped to Cuba in 1939 before coming to the United States the following year. He studied music with various teachers at Baldwin Conservatory in New York, Southern Methodist University, and finally at Yale University, where he earned a Bachelor's Degree in 1951. He began working in television and theatrical productions the following year. He served as music editor on multiple episodes of The Hunter, Short Short Dramas, Man Against Crime beginning in 1952, and The Goldbergs in 1955-56. He provided music for a 1954 production of Tennessee Williams' Summer and Smoke as well as various other Shakespearean productions throughout the 1950s. He worked on at least 7 episodes of the crime drama Brenner between 1959-64, and after working on The Defenders also worked on The Doctors and the Nurses, another creation of Plautus Productions. Later in his career he turned to teaching, serving as a Professor at the Yale School of Music from 1971-92 and at the Columbia University School of the Arts from 1975-89. He died at the age of 82 on January 18, 2008.

The first season has been released on DVD by Shout! Factory.

The Actors

E.G. Marshall

Everett Eugene Grunz was born in Owatonna, Minnesota in 1914. His parents were either of Norwegian or German descent, depending on which account you read, but Marshall was a man who kept many details of his life private, including what the initials "E.G." stood for (though one can surmise that they probably stood for Everett Grunz). When asked what they stood for, he give coy answers such as "Everybody's Guess" or "Enigma Gregarius." Under the name Everett E. Grunz, he attended Mechanic Arts High School in St. Paul until 1932, the same year he made his radio debut. Many biographies say that he attended Carleton College and the University of Minnesota, though the former institution claims to have no record of his attendance there. He is said to have initially wanted to be an Episcopalian minister until he decided that he was agnostic. In 1933 he joined a traveling Shakespearean repertory group known as the Oxford Players and five years later made his Broadway debut in Prologue to Glory. He had a distinguished career in the theater, appearing in the original productions of The Skin of Our Teeth, The Iceman Cometh, The Crucible, and Waiting for Godot. He was a charter member of The Actors Studio formed in 1947. He made his feature film debut as Everett Marshall in the 1945 thriller The House on 92nd Street and went on to appear in Call Northside 777, The Caine Mutiny, Pushover, and 12 Angry Men in 1957, written by Reginald Rose, who created The Defenders. Prior to taking the role of defense attorney Lawrence Preston in Rose's new television series, he played District Attorney Harold Horn in the 1959 feature Compulsion.

But Marshall admitted in a November 4, 1961 TV Guide feature article that prior to reading Rose's scripts for The Defenders that he distrusted lawyers. However, he soon sunk into the role and even took a couple of university courses in law to develop a better understanding and appreciation of the law. The same TV Guide article comments on his secretive privacy, that associates like Rose and producer Herbert Brodkin knew little of his private life, and that in general he seemed to be an unhappy man who preferred to be alone. Yet Marshall married three times; the first marriage to Helen Wolff lasted 14 years and ended in divorce in 1953, but the dates of his marriage to Emy de Haze Winkleman and third wife Judith Coy are unknown. Marshall left behind a lengthy and distinguished filmography, mostly on television. After winning two Emmys playing Lawrence Preston on The Defenders, Marshall stayed busy with a series of TV movies and occasional feature films such as The Chase, Is Paris Burning?, and The Bridge at Remagen before landing his next regular TV role as Dr. David Craig on The Bold Ones: The New Doctors in 1969, a role that would last for 45 episodes over 4 years. The year after this role ended, he began a 7-year stint as the narrator on the CBS Radio Mystery Theater.  At the same time, he seemed to take whatever roles came his way, from Woody Allen's Interiors to Billy Jack Goes to Washington. In 1980 he played the President in Superman II, narrated The Gangster Chronicles mini-series the following year, and played Joseph P. Kennedy in the 1983 mini-series Kennedy. He also showed up in guest spots on TV series such as Falcon Crest, Spenser for Hire, and Murder, She Wrote before landing his last recurring role as Dr. Arthur Thurmond on Chicago Hope in 1994-95. He appeared in a pair of TV movies that rebooted The Defenders in 1997-98 before passing away from lung cancer at the age of 84 on August 24, 1998.

Robert Reed

Born John Robert Rietz, Jr. in the Chicago suburb of Highland Park, Illinois, Reed's father moved the family to Muskogee, Oklahoma when Reed was 14 to live on a turkey and cattle farm. In high school, Reed was involved both in 4-H agricultural activities and in school theater. He also worked as a radio announcer and wrote and produced his own radio dramas. After graduating from high school, Reed attended Northwestern University to study acting under Alvina Krause and spent one term in London at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. After a stint with a summer stock group in Pennsylvania, Reed moved to New York and joined the off-Broadway group the Shakespearewrights, performing in productions of Romeo and Juliet and A Midsummer Night's Dream. He later acted at the Studebaker Theatre in Chicago before moving to Los Angeles. After three uncredited roles in the late 1950s in Pal Joey, The Hunters, and Torpedo Run, Reed began getting guest work on TV series such as Father Knows Best, Bronco, and Lawman before being cast as Kenneth Preston on The Defenders.

After The Defenders was canceled, Reed found work playing Judd Morrison on Dr. Kildare but was not retained for the remainder of the series, then in its last season. He spent the remainder of the 1960s taking occasional TV guest spots and appearing in TV movies and a few features such as Hurry Sundown and The Maltese Bippy. Due to an appearance in the Broadway production of Barefoot in the Park in which he took over the role created by Robert Redford, Reed was offered a contract with Paramount. When the studio decided to cast the TV version of Barefoot with a black cast, Reed was instead offered the role of Mike Brady in Sherwood Schwartz's comedy The Brady Bunch. In discussing the series with Schwartz, Reed said that he was led to believe the show would not be a straight sit-com but would have some serious content, but once he saw the first script he realized that it would be just one gag after another, along the lines of Schwartz's previous series Gilligan's Island. However, Reed stuck with the series because he says he needed the money and because he developed an off-screen attachment with the child actors on the show as a surrogate father. Still, he often clashed with Schwartz over scripts and character motivations that he felt were ridiculous. He even refused to appear in the series' final episode before it was canceled. At the same time he was starring on The Brady Bunch, Reed also had a recurring role as Lt. Adam Tobias on Mannix. After both series were canceled in 1974, Reed received an Emmy nomination for playing a doctor who comes out as transgender in a 1975 two-part episode of Medical Center. He received two more Emmy nominations for his roles on the mini-series Rich Man, Poor Man in 1976 and Roots in 1977. In 1978 he landed the starring role of psychologist David McKay in The Runaways, but the series was halted after 4 episodes and then rebooted with a different cast the next year. Reed, however, found steady work in TV movies, mini-series, and TV guest spots on Hawaii Five-O, Galactica 1980, and Charley's Angels before landing another starring role playing Dr. Adam Rose on Nurse in 1981. Other than periodic Brady Bunch reunions and TV movies, Reed spent the rest of his career appearing in more TV movies and guest spots on Hunter, Murder, She Wrote, and Jake and the Fatman. At the end of his life he landed a job teaching Shakespeare at UCLA but contracted colon cancer and died at the age of 59 on May 12, 1992. The medical report on his death said that Reed also had HIV, which was considered a factor in his death. 

Polly Rowles

Mary Elizabeth Rowles was born in Philadelphia and attended college at the Carnegie Institute of Technology in Pittsburgh before moving west and signing a contract with Universal Studios. She got second billing in her feature film debut, Love Letters to a Star, in 1936, and appeared in 5 more features in 1937, including Springtime in the Rockies with Gene Autry. At the same time she began a career in the theater and made her Broadway debut playing Calpurnia in Orson Welles' 1938 production of Julius Caesar. She remained in the theater exclusively for the next 13 years, including a 1948 London production of Dark Eyes. She launched her television career in a 1951 episode of The Web, followed by several roles on drama anthology series before landing her first recurring role as Aunt Laurie in the orphan-themed sit-com Jamie in 1953-54. Beginning in 1956 she played Vera Charles in the original Broadway run of Auntie Mame with Rosalind Russell in the title role. Her television work during this period was sparse until she landed the role of the Prestons' secretary Helen Donaldson during the first season of The Defenders, on which she appeared 20 times.

After leaving The Defenders, Rowles appeared in the Richard Rodgers musical No Strings in 1962 but then returned to TV in the role of Nurse Grossberg on The Doctors and the Nurses and its spin-off The Nurses. In 1966 she appeared alongside Defenders co-star Joan Hackett in the feature film The Group, which starred Candice Bergen, but did not return to TV until 1974 when she played Freda Lang on the daytime soap opera Somerset. In the 1980s she achieved her greatest fame portraying tough Inspector No. 12 in a series of TV commercials for Hanes underwear, which usually ended with her saying, "They don't say Hanes until I say they say Hanes." Her final acting credits were in a pair of 1986 features--the Sidney Lumet-directed Power with Richard Gere, Julie Christie, Gene Hackman, Denzel Washington, and Defenders co-star E.G. Marshall, and the Alan Alda-written, directed, and starring Sweet Liberty. She passed away 15 years later at the age of 87 on October 7, 2001.

Joan Hackett

Growing up in East Harlem the daughter of Italian and Irish parents, Joan Ann Hackett displayed her independent streak early by getting expelled from high school only to become a model and then making the cover of Harper's Junior Bazaar in 1952. She spurned subsequent Hollywood offers and instead took acting lessons from Lee Strasburg at the Actors Studio. She made her Broadway and television debuts the same year--1959--appearing in John Gielgud's production of Much Ado About Nothing and the daytime soap opera Young Doctor Malone playing Gail Prentiss. She won an Obie Award in 1961 for the off-Broadway production of Call Me by My Rightful Name, the same year she was cast as Joan Miller, Kenneth Preston's girlfriend on The Defenders, but she would appear in only 4 episodes before being dropped. Associate Producer Bob Markell relates in his interview included on the Season 1 DVD for the series that the principals felt that her character was a distraction to the more central legal issues being dealt with each week, though Markell himself said that he thought that depicting Kenneth's life away from the office was more humanizing. Hackett appeared one more time in the role of Joan Miller in a 1963 episode "Poltergeist."

Being dropped from the series did not negatively impact her career, however. She received an Emmy nomination for an appearance on a 1961 episode of Ben Casey and found occasional guest spots on other series over the next few years. In 1966 she turned to feature films, appearing in The Group, for which she received a BAFTA nomination for Best Foreign Actress and where she met Richard Mulligan, whom she married that same year. However, after 7 years of marriage she divorced Mulligan and years later admitted to People Magazine that she just didn't live well with another person. More feature films followed, including Will Penny with Charlton Heston, Assignment to Kill with Richard O'Neal and John Gielgud, and Support Your Local Sheriff! with James Garner. Her 1972 Broadway appearance in Night Watch drew rave reviews, but the quality of feature films she appeared in dropped off in the mid-to-late 1970s. However, her appearance in a 1978 PBS production of Mourning Becomes Electra again wowed the critics, and she landed a recurring TV role as Ginny Gardner on Another Day that same year. The crowning achievement of a stellar career was her performance in the 1981 Neil Simon-written feature Only When I Laugh, which earned her a Golden Globe and an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actress. But by this time Hackett had contracted ovarian cancer and had to attend the Golden Globe ceremony in a wheelchair. She died October 8, 1983 at the age of 49.

Notable Guest Stars

Season 1, Episode 1, "The Quality of Mercy": Philip Abbott  (starred in Sweet Bird of Youth and played Arthur Ward on The F.B.I., Dr. Alex Baker on General Hospital, and Grant Stevens on The Young and the Restless) plays obstetrician Dr. Bill Conrad. Gene Hackman (shown on the left, two-time Oscar winner, starred in Bonnie and Clyde, The French Connection, The Poseidon Adventure, The Conversation, Superman, Reds, Hoosiers, Unforgiven, Get Shorty, and The Royal Tennenbaums) plays newborn's father Jerry Warner. Jack Klugman (starred in 12 Angry Men, Days of Wine and Roses, and I Could Go on Singing and played Alan Harris on Harris Against the World, Oscar Madison on The Odd Couple, Dr. Quincy, M.E. on Quincy, M.E., and Henry Willows on You Again?) plays D.A. Charlie Grimalia. Michael Lipton (Ben Newcomb on Buckskin and Augustus Harper on One Life to Live) plays attending physician Dr. Brian McSorley. Billie Allen (WAC Billie on The Phil Silvers Show and Ada Chandler on The Edge of Night) plays delivery Nurse Charniss. Barbara Bolton (Jane Moorcock on Emmerdale and Mrs. Kellett on Heartbeat) plays newborn nursery Nurse Marguerite Tobin. Philip Coolidge (Chester Cooper on The Farmer's Daughter) plays Lawrence Preston's physician Dr. Lillis. Alexander Clark (Wilfred Hollister on The Secret Storm) plays the courtroom judge.

Season 1, Episode 2, "Killer Instinct": William Shatner (shown on the right, starred in The Brothers Karamazov, Judgment at Nuremberg, Kingdom of the Spiders, and The Kidnapping of the President and played David Koster on For the People, Dr. Carl Noyes on Dr. Kildare, Capt. James T. Kirk on Star Trek, Jeff Cable on Barbary Coast, Sgt. T.J. Hooker on T.J. Hooker, Walter H. Bascom on TekWar, Denny Crane on The Practice and Boston Legal, and Dr. Edison Milford Goodson III on $#*! My Dad Says) plays stockbroker Jim McCleery. Joanne Linville (Amy Sinclair on The Guiding Light) plays his wife Peg. Billy Sands (Pvt. Dino Papparelli on The Phil Silvers Show, Harrison "Tinker" Bell on McHale's Navy, Monte "Bang Bang" Valentine on Big Eddie, and Harry on Webster) plays pedestrian Sid Halper. Richard X. Slattery (Sgt. John McKenna on The Gallant Men, Capt. John Morton on Mister Roberts, and Capt. Buckner on CPO Sharkey) plays construction worker Frank Cook. Mitchell Ryan (appeared in Monte Walsh, High Plains Drifter, Electra Glide in Blue, Magnum Force, and Lethal Weapon and played Burke Devlin on Dark Shadows, Capt. Chase Reddick on Chase, Dan Walling on Executive Suite, Dr. Blake Simmons on Having Babies, Cooper Hawkins on The Chisholms, Anthony Tonell on Santa Barbara, Frank Smith on General Hospital, and Edward Montgomery on Dharma & Greg) plays his brother Harry. Kermit Murdock (appeared in In the Heat of the Night, On a Clear Day You Can See Forever, and The Andromeda Strain and played Judge Nelson R. Ramsey on The Edge of Night) plays D.A. Frank Larkin. Lester Rawlins (Arthur Rysdale on The Secret Storm and Spencer Smith on Ryan's Hope) plays psychiatrist Dr. Herman Wohl. George Mitchell (Cal Bristol on Stoney Burke) plays the courtroom judge.

Season 1, Episode 3, "Death Across the Counter": Clu Gulager (shown on the left, see the biography section for the 1960 post on The Tall Man) plays Korean war veteran and drug addict Thomas Clinton. Frank McHugh (appeared in The Front Page, The Crowd Roars, One Way Passage, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Going My Way, and State Fair and played Willis Walter on The Bing Crosby Show) plays murder victim's business partner Henry Shell. Harry Townes (starred in The Brothers Karamazov, Screaming Mimi, and Sanctuary) plays D.A. John McGuire. J. Pat O'Malley (see the biography section for the 1961 post on Frontier Circus) plays a freelance painter. Malcolm Atterbury (starred in I Was a Teenage Werewolf, The Birds, and The Learning Tree and played John Bixby on Wagon Train and Grandfather Aldon on Apple's Way) plays coroner Dr. Bell. Larry J. Blake (the unnamed jailer on Yancy Derringer and Tom Parnell on Saints and Sinners) plays ballistics expert Mr. Lampi. Dave Willock (starred in Let's Face It, Pin Up Girl, and The Fabulous Dorseys and played Lt. Binning on Boots and Saddles, Harvey Clayton on Margie, and was the narrator on the animated Wacky Races) plays a policeman. Bill Erwin (Joe Walters on My Three Sons and Glenn Diamond on Struck by Lightning) plays the court clerk.

Season 1, Episode 4, "The Riot": Frank Sutton (shown on the right, appeared in Marty, Town Without Pity, and The Satan Bug and played Eric Raddison on Tom Corbett, Space Cadet and Sgt. Vince Carter on Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C.) plays prison bully Joe Dubois. Fritz Weaver (starred in Fail-Safe, The Maltese Bippy, Marathon Man, and The Thomas Crown Affair (1999) and played Hugo Marick on All My Children) plays convict and former Preston client Leo Graves. Ossie Davis (appeared in No Way Out, The Cardinal, The Hill, Do the Right Thing, and Bubba Ho-Tep and played Officer Omar Anderson on Car 54, Where Are You?, Oz Jackson on B.L. Stryker, Ponder Blue on Evening Shade, Judge Harry Roosevelt on The Client, and Erasmus Jones on Promised Land and Touched by an Angel) plays convict Nixie. Duke Farley (Officer Reilly on Car 54, Where Are You?) plays prison Warden Kelly. Henderson Forsythe (Martin Sprode on The Edge of Night, Barnett M. Lutz on Eisenhower & Lutz, Grandpa Jack Garrett on Nearly Departed, and David Stewart on As the World Turns) plays governor's representative John Andrews. Joe Ponazecki (Wally on Sesame Street, Phil Hersh on Ryan's Hope, and the judge on Ed) plays convict Billy Allen. Lou Antonio (Barney on The Snoop Sisters, Det. Sgt. Jack Ramsey on Dog and Cat, and Joseph Manucci on Makin' It and directed episodes of The Partridge Family, The Rockford Files, Chicago Hope, and Boston Legal) plays convict Sam. Michael Higgins (appeared in The Conversation, The Stepford Wives, A Midsummer Night's Sex Comedy, and Dead Bang and played Stanley Norris on Guiding Light) plays prison psychologist Dr. Fowler.

Season 1, Episode 5, "The Young Lovers": Burt Brinckerhoff (Charles Shannon on Dr. Kildare and directed multiple episodes of Lou Grant, Nine to Five, Remington Steele, ALF, and 7th Heaven) plays 17-year-old husband David Roth. Lynn Loring (shown on the left, played Patti Barron Tate Whiting McCleary on Search for Tomorrow, Patty Walker on Fair Exchange, and Barbara Erskine on The F.B.I.) plays his wife Irene Demas. Florence Stanley (Josephine Molonaire on Joe and Sons, Bernice Fish on Barney Miller and Fish, Judge Margaret W. Wilbur on My Two Dads, Dr. Amanda Riskin on Nurses, the voice of Grandma Ethel Phillips on Dinosaurs, and Muriel Lipschitz on The Simple Life) plays David's mother. Larry Robinson (Sammy Goldberg on The Goldbergs and was the narrator on Braingames) plays pathologist Dr. Griffith. Dort Clark (appeared in Bells Are Ringing, The Loved One, and Skin Game and played Sgt. Klauber on Mickey) plays a police detective.

Season 1, Episode 6, "The Boy Between": Norma Crane (appeared in Tea and Sympathy, They Call Me Mr. Tibbs!, and Fiddler on the Roof and played Rayola Dean on Mister Peepers) plays famous actress Belle Remington. Arthur Hill (starred in The Deep Blue Sea, Harper, The Andromeda Strain, and A Bridge Too Far and played Owen Marshall on Owen Marshall, Counselor at Law and Charles Hardwick on Glitter) plays her estranged husband Mike. Richard Thomas (shown on the right, played Ben Schultz, Jr. on The Edge of Night, Tom Hughes on As the World Turns, John-Boy Walton on The Waltons, David Robinson on The Adventures of Swiss Family Robinson, Hamilton Whitney III on Just Cause, Robert Hunter on Bloodhounds, Inc, and Frank Gaad on The Americans) plays their son Johnny. Barnard Hughes (appeared in Hamlet, Midnight Cowboy, TRON, and The Lost Boys and played Dr. Bruce Banning on Guiding Light, Wilfred Hollister on The Secret Storm, Mr. Barton on As the World Turns, Dr. Joe Bogert on Doc, Max Merlin on Mr. Merlin, Francis Cavanaugh on The Cavanaughs, and Buzz Richman on Blossom) plays Mike's lawyer Lester Swann. Ilka Chase (appeared in Now, Voyager, The Big Knife, and Ocean's 11 and played Margaret on The Trials of O'Brien) plays Belle's friend Bibi Porter. Anne Seymour (appeared in All the King's Men, The Gift of Love, The Subterraneans, and Fitzwilly and played Lucia Garrett on Empire and Beatrice Hewitt on General Hospital) plays social worker Mrs. Schmidt.

Season 1, Episode 7, "The Hundred Lives of Harry Simms": Frank Gorshin (shown on the left, starred in Hot Rod Girl, Invasion of the Saucer Men, Where the Boys Are, and That Darn Cat and played the Riddler on Batman) plays comic impersonator Harry Simms. Frank Overton (starred in Desire Under the Elms, To Kill a Mockingbird, and Fail-Safe and played Major Harvey Stovall on 12 O'Clock High) plays D.A. Bill Bryan. Sam Wanamaker (appeared in Taras Bulba, The Spy Who Came in From the Cold, Private Benjamin, and Baby Boom and played Simon Berrenger on Berrenger's and Fritz Curtis on Baby Boom) plays psychiatrist Dr. Ralph Ames. Joe Silver (appeared in Shivers, You Light Up My Life, and Deathtrap and played Max Spier on Coronet Blue, Jack Stewart on Fay, and Elliott Silverstein on Ryan's Hope) plays Simms' agent Tony Roman. William Duell (appeared in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Ironweed, and In & Out and played Johnny on Police Squad!) plays theater runner Mr. Cummings. Roger C. Carmel (Roger Buell on The Mothers-in-Law) plays knife salesman William Dinsmore.

Season 1, Episode 8, "The Accident": Evans Evans (shown on the right, widow of John Frankenheimer, appeared in All Fall Down, Bonnie and Clyde, and The Iceman Cometh) plays wealthy orphan Eleanor Dunn. Nicolas Coster (Prof. Paul Britton on The Secret Storm, John Eldridge on Our Private World and As the World Turns, Robert Delaney on Another World, Anthony Makana on One Life to Live, Steve Andrews on All My Children, Chief J.E. Carson on The Misadventures of Sheriff Lobo, Dr. Morris Whitford on Ryan's Four, David Warner on The Facts of Life, Lionel Lockridge on Santa Barbara, and Mayor Jack Madison on The Bay) plays her fiance Don Simmons. Lonny Chapman (appeared in East of Eden, Baby Doll, The Birds, and The Reivers and played Frank Malloy on For the People) plays injured boy's father Mr. Morton. Robert Pastene (Buck Rogers on Buck Rogers and Max Bryer on The Edge of Night) plays attending physician Dr. Fields. Kermit Murdock (see "Killer Instinct" above) returns as D.A. Frank Larkin. Sally Gracie (Martha Allen on The Doctors and Hattie Webb on All My Children) plays Mrs. Morton's friend Mrs. Costello. Dick O'Neill (Judge Proctor Hardcastle on Rosetti and Ryan, Malloy on Kaz, Arthur Broderick on Empire (1984), Harry Clooney on Better Days, Charlie Fitzgerald Cagney on Cagney & Lacey, Fred Wilkinson on Falcon Crest, Arnold "Moon" Willis on Dark Justice, and Commissioner Geiss on Family Matters) plays a police sergeant.

Season 1, Episode 9, "The Trial of Jenny Scott": Mary Fickett (Ruth Martin on All My Children) plays reporter's wife Jenny Scott. Pat Hingle (shown on the left, appeared in On the Waterfront, Splendor in the Grass, Hang 'Em High, Norma Rae, Sudden Impact, Batman(1989), Batman Returns, Batman Forever, Batman & Robin, and Talledega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby and played Dr. Chapman on Gunsmoke and Chief Paulton on Stone) plays importer Franklin Williams. Hildy Brooks (appeared in The Iceman Cometh, Islands in the Stream, The Rose, and White Palace) plays his secretary Ellen Nelson. Simon Oakland (appeared in Psycho, West Side Story, and Follow That Dream and played Tony Vincenzo on Kolchak: The Night Stalker, Brig. Gen. Thomas Moore on Black Sheep Squadron, and Sgt. Abrams on David Cassidy - Man Undercover) plays D.A. Gardella. Alfred Hinckley (Ralph Anderson on The Doctors) plays a building superintendent. 

Season 1, Episode 10, "The Man With the Concrete Thumb": Walter Greaza (The Chief on Treasury Men in Action and Winston Grimsley on The Edge of Night) plays Magistrate Fred Moriarity. Thomas A. Carlin (Father Tracey on Search for Tomorrow) plays legal adviser Al Herzog. Danny Dayton (shown on the right, appeared in At War With the Army, The Turning Point, and Guys and Dolls and played M.Sgt. Coogan on The Phil Silvers Show, Hank Pivnik on All in the Family and Archie Bunker's Place, and Mr. Peck on It's Garry Shandling's Show) plays a bribe offerer. Richard X. Slattery (see "Killer Instinct" above) plays a pneumatic drill operator. Woodrow Parfey (appeared in Planet of the Apes, Dirty Harry, and Papillon and played Holmes on Iron Horse) plays discredited journalist Ed Hamblin.

Season 1, Episode 11, "The Treadmill": Edward Binns (shown on the left, starred in 12 Angry Men, North by Northwest, Heller in Pink Tights, and Judgment at Nuremberg and played Roy Brenner on Brenner and Wally Powers on It Takes a Thief) plays convicted murderer Victor Fergusson. Louis Sorin (appeared in Mother's Boy, Lucky in Love, and Animal Crackers and played Simon on The Goldbergs) plays his psychiatric physician Dr. Rothman. Val Avery (appeared in The Magnificent Seven, Papillon, and Donnie Brasco and played Lt. Al Costello on East Side/West Side) plays D.A. Anthony Periko. Judson Laire (Lars Hanson on Mama and Thomas Henry on The Doctors and the Nurses) plays Judge Burton Henshaw. Leora Dara (appeared in 3:10 to Yuma, Some Came Running, Pollyanna, Change of Habit, Tora! Tora! Tora!, and Amityville 3-D and played Sylvie Kosloff on Another World) plays orphanage administrator Carol Clark. Alfred Ryder (appeared in T-Men, Hamlet(1964), Hotel, and True Grit) plays psychiatrist Dr. Stanley Winters. Hugh Franklin (Richard Garner on Dark Shadows) plays governor's attorney Mr. Morgan.

Season 1, Episode 12, "Perjury": Robert Duvall (shown on the right, starred in To Kill a Mockingbird, Bullitt, True Grit, MASH, The Godfather, The Godfather -- Part II, The Eagle Has Landed, and Apocalypse Now and played Augustus McRae on Lonesome Dove) plays accused murderer Al Rogart. Robert Loggia (starred in The Greatest Story Ever Told, Revenge of the Pink Panther, Scarface, and Big and played T. Hewitt Edward Cat on T.H.E. Cat, Admiral Yuri Burkharin on Emerald Point, N.A.S., Nick Mancuso on Mancuso, FBI, Ben Benedict on Sunday Dinner, and Judge Thomas O'Neill on Queens Supreme) plays his old army buddy Joe Manson. Malachi Throne (Martin Phelps on Ben Casey, False Face on Batman, Noah Bain on It Takes a Thief, The Narrator on Lancelot Link: Secret Chimp, Ted Adamson on Search for Tomorrow, and The Narrator on Visionaries: Knights of the Magical Light) plays D.A. Gelwicks. 

Season 1, Episode 13, "The Attack": Richard Kiley (appeared in Pickup on South Street, Blackboard Jungle, Looking for Mr. Goodbar, and Patch Adams and played Joe Gardner on A Year in the Life and Jason DeWitt on The Great Defender) plays policeman George Helber. Barbara Barrie (Norma Brodnik on Diana, Elizabeth Miller on Barney Miller, Evelyn Stoller on Breaking Away, Ellen Hobbes on Tucker's Witch, Elizabeth Potter on Reggie, Aunt Margo on Double Trouble, and Helen Keane on Suddenly Susan) plays his wife Fran. Rachel Feldman (directed multiple episodes of The Commish, Sisters, and Beyond the Break) plays his daughter Laurie. Martin Sheen (shown on the left, starred in Catch-22, Apocalypse Now, Gandhi, The Dead Zone, Firestarter, Wall Street, and The Departed and played Josiah Bartlet on The West Wing, Martin Goodson on Anger Management, and Robert on Grace and Frankie) plays neighborhood delinquent Arnie McCabe. Michael Constantine (appeared in The Last Mile, The Hustler, The Reivers, and My Big Fat Greek Wedding and played Jack Ellenhorn on Hey, Landlord, Principal Seymour Kaufman on Room 222, Judge Matthew Sirota on Sirota's Court, and Gus on My Big Fat Greek Life) plays grocer Mr. Heinmiller. Nancy Marchand (Irene Kimbalt and Therrese Lamonte on Another World, Mary Lassiter on Beacon Hill, Mrs. Pynchon on Lou Grant, and Livia Soprano on The Sopranos) plays murder victim's mother Mrs. Crile. J.D. Cannon (Dr. Kevin McAllister on The Doctors and the Nurses, Harry Briscoe on Alias Smith and Jones, and Chief Peter Clifford on McCloud) plays the district attorney. John Boruff (Commander Swift on Rod Brown of the Rocket Rangers) plays the courtroom judge.

Season 1, Episode 14, "The Prowler": Kent Smith (shown on the right, starred in Cat People, This Land Is Mine, Hitler's Children, Curse of the Cat People, Nora Prentiss, The Spiral Staircase, and The Fountainhead and played Dr. Robert Morton on Peyton Place and Edgar Scoville on The Invaders) plays wealthy businessman Dwight Harkavy. Elizabeth Ashley (Emma Frame Ordway on Another World, Freida Evans on Evening Shade, Madge Sinclair on All My Children, and Aunt Mimi on Treme) plays his wife Joyce. Frank Overton (see "The Hundred Lives of Harry Simms" above) returns as D.A. Bill Bryan. Gerald Hiken (cousin of Nat Hiken, appeared in Uncle Vanya, The Goddess, Invitation to a Gunfighter, and Reds, and played Katz the Butcher on Car 54, Where Are You?) plays Coroner Adams. Zohra Lampert (Anne on The Girl With Something Extra and Dr. Norah Purcell on Doctors' Hospital) plays murder victim's widow Florence Meech. Barry Newman (Anthony J. Petrocelli on Petrocelli and Dr. Garrett Braden on Nightingales) plays a newspaper reporter.

Season 1, Episode 15, "Gideon's Follies": Tsai Chin (appeared in You Only Live Twice, The Joy Luck Club, and Casino Royale (2006)) plays wealthy eccentric's wife Parma Lee Gideon. Eva Gabor (shown on the left, appeared in The Mad Magician, The Last Time I Saw Paris, Artists and Models, and Gigi and played Lisa Douglas on Green Acres, Petticoat Junction, and The Beverly Hillbillies) plays Gideon's first ex-wife Madeleine Gideon Goblanski. Shirl Conway (Liz Thorpe on The Doctors and the Nurses) plays GIdeon's second ex-wife Agnes Haycroft. Gloria DeHaven (starred in The Thin Man Goes Home, Summer Holiday, Three Little Words, and Summer Stock and played Irene James on Nakia and Bess Shelby on Ryan's Hope) plays Gideon's third ex-wife Agnes Gideon Pratt. Zohra Lampert (see "The Prowler" above) plays Gideon's fourth ex-wife Eve Gideon Tubberbye. Julie Newmar (appeared in The Rookie, Li'l Abner, Mackenna's Gold, and The Maltese Bippy and played Rhoda Miller on My Living Doll and The Catwoman on Batman) plays Gideon's fifth ex-wife Brandy Gideon Morfoot. Conrad Bain (Dr. Charles Weldon on The Edge of Night, Dr. Arthur Harmon on Maude, Phillip Drummond on Diff'rent Strokes, The Facts of Life, and Hello, Larry, and Charlie Ross on Mr. President) plays D.A. Fred Monahan. Bruce Kirby (father of Bruno Kirby, played Sgt. Al Vine on Kojak, Capt. Harry Sedford on Holmes and Yo-Yo, Al Brennan on Turnabout, Sgt. George Kramer on Columbo, Det. George Schmidt on Shannon, Chief Edward Stanmore on Hunter, and D.A. Bruce Rogoff on L.A. Law) voices an Italian language pronunciation record played by Agnes Haycroft.

Season 1, Episode 16, "The Best Defense": Martin Balsam (shown on the right, starred in 12 Angry Men, Psycho, Breakfast at Tiffany's, and Catch-22 and played Dr. Milton Orliff on Dr. Kildare and Murray Klein on Archie Bunker's Place) plays crime boss Floyd Harker. Edward Andrews (appeared in The Harder They Fall, Elmer Gantry, The Absent-Minded Professor, Son of Flubber, Advise and Consent, and The Glass Bottom Boat and played Cmdr. Rogers Adrian on Broadside and Col. Fairburn on The Doris Day Show) plays disbarred lawyer Warren Sperling. Robert Gerringer (Dr. Dave Woodard on Dark Shadows, Det. Sgt. George Cadman on The Doctors, and Striker Bellman on Texas) plays D.A. Louis Fontana. Stefan Gierasch (Doc Bernstein on Nichols and Joshua Collins on Dark Shadows (1991)) plays nursing home caretaker Michael Dolan. Mort Marshall (appeared in Kiss Me Deadly, Pete Kelly's Blues, and The Longest Yard, voiced Stanley Livingstone on Tennessee Tuxedo and His Tales, Klondike Kat on Klondike Kat, O.J. Sweez on Underdog, and King Ding Dong and the Trix Rabbit, and played Cully on The Dumplings) plays taxi dispatcher Max Pincik. Terry Carter (appeared in Foxy Brown, Benji, and Battlestar Galactica and played Pvt. Sugie Sugarman on The Phil Silvers Show, Sgt. Joe Broadhurst on McCloud, and Colonel Tigh on Battlestar Galactica) plays a police detective. Don Fellows (appeared in The Omen, Superman II, Raiders of the Lost Ark, and Superman IV: The Quest for Peace and played J.M. Whistler on Lillie) plays a hospital doctor. Dolph Sweet (Sgt. Garrison on The Trials of O'Brien, Norm Jenkins on When the Whistle Blows, and Chief Carl Kanisky on Gimme a Break!) plays a second police detective. Bruce Kirby (see "Gideon's Follies" above) plays a third police detective. George Murdock (played Fred Devon on It Takes a Thief, Cavanaugh on Banacek, Dr. Salik on Battlestar Galactica, Lt. Ben Scanlon on Barney Miller, and Laslo Gabov on What a Country) plays an unnamed cab driver. Walter Greaza (see "The Man With the Concrete Thumb" above) plays the judge.