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» Tuesday, October 25, 2005"Can You Guess Whodunnit?"
Anyone remember the super 1975 series The Adventures of Ellery Queen which was broadcast on NBC for [unfortunately] only one season? Jim Hutton played Ellery charmingly as an absent-minded but at the same time astute observer, with character actor David Wayne as his father, Inspector Richard Queen of the New York City police force. The show was set in 1947 (the first episode was set on New Year's Eve of 1946) and it looked great. The scripts were in general great puzzlers, with well-known actors of the time as guest stars, with a welcome touch of humor to them. The best of them all, "The Adventure of the Mad Tea Party," was the only story adapted from an actual Ellery Queen story, but the writers did quite well.
I remember watching this and keeping score on how many times I solved the mysteries. I think I got 40 percent correct for the whole season; I had a half a point, I remember, for guessing in one episode where the murder weapon was hidden, but I missed who the murderer was.
At the time the series aired, The National Enquirer used to have a T-shirt they gave out for being a TV blooper spotter. I remember earning one for an Ellery Queen episodedon't remember which, but it happened when Ellery was walking from one room to another. On one side of the doorway he had his hat on, on the other side it was gone (he didn't take it off, either; his hands were empty).
Talk about wishing a show would come out on DVD! I have some recorded from the A&E run, but they cut off the clever openings and bits out of the episodes. They showed them uncut on Encore Mystery once, but it was before we got Dish Network. :-(
Anyway, this was prompted by the November Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, which has a super color photo of Hutton and Wayne on the cover. The article inside is very short and only mentions the 1975 show in a couple of paragraphs, but it certainly brought back memories!