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Ironside
Ironside.jpg

Raymond Burr as Ironside
Format Crime / Drama
Created by Collier Young
Starring Raymond Burr as Robert Ironside
Don Galloway as Det. Sgt. Ed Brown
Don Mitchell as Mark Sanger
Theme music composer Quincy Jones
Country of origin United States
No. of seasons 8
No. of episodes 199
Production
Running time 60 to 90 minutes
Production company(s) Harbour-UTV
Broadcast
Original channel NBC
Original run March 28, 1967 – February 6, 1975

Ironside (originally broadcast under the name A Man Called Ironside in the United Kingdom) is a Universal television series which ran on NBC from September 14, 1967 to February 6, 1975. The character's debut was in a TV-movie on March 28, 1967.

Contents

Plot

The show revolved around former San Francisco Police Department (SFPD) Chief of Detectives Robert T. Ironside (Raymond Burr), a veteran of more than twenty years of police service who was forced to retire from the department after a sniper's bullet paralyzed him from the waist down and forced him to use a wheelchair. Appointed a "special department consultant" by his good friend, Police Commissioner Dennis Randall, Ironside retained an attic floor (for living and office space) at the SFPD headquarters and made use of a specially modified and equipped police truck and later a modified van to accommodate his wheelchair. The show became a success as Ironside depended on brains and initiative in handling cases.

Supporting characters on Ironside included Det. Sgt. Ed Brown (Don Galloway) and a young socialite turned plainclothes officer, Eve Whitfield (Barbara Anderson) whose clothes were far from plain – she often changed stylish outfits from scene to scene. There was also delinquent turned bodyguard/assistant Mark Sanger (Don Mitchell), who subsequently became a police officer and then graduated from law school to become a lawyer late in the run of the series. Commissioner Randall was played by Gene Lyons.

By the show's fourth season, Anderson left the show over a contract dispute (at the same time she was getting married) and was replaced by another young policewoman, Fran Belding (Elizabeth Baur), who filled much the same role for four more years.

This came to an end in early 1975, due to declining ratings. Before and after the show's cancellation, the show was popular in reruns in syndication.

A roster of guest stars

One of the longer-running police dramas of the day, the series featured appearances by a number of familiar/unfamiliar actors, among them appearing in Ironside episodes: Kim Darby, Antonio Fargas, Tiny Tim (in the pilot TV-movie), Randolph Mantooth, Cal Bellini, Sharon Gless, Dabbs Greer, Bernie Kopell, Frank Gorshin, Jess Walton, Pernell Roberts, Alan Oppenheimer, E. G. Marshall, Harrison Ford, John Schuck, Ingrid Pitt, Susan Saint James, Ivan Dixon, Harry Townes, Pat Hingle, Norman Alden, Anne Francis, David Carradine, Charo, Joseph Campanella, Bill Quinn, Bernard Fox, Tyler McVey, Robert Webber, Alan Hale Jr., Marion Ross, Marcia Strassman, Susan Sullivan, Suzanne Pleshette, Bo Hopkins, James Hong, Jeanne Cooper, Paul Winfield, Harold Gould, James Farentino, Robert Reed, Bill Bixby, David Cassidy, David Hartman, Dana Elcar, Tina Louise, Lincoln Kilpatrick, Robert Karnes, Tyler MacDuff, Greg Mullavy, Rod Serling, Gene Raymond, Francine York, Peter Mark Richman, Clu Gulager, Joel Grey, Van Williams, John Hoyt, Scott Glenn, William Windom, Joshua Bryant, Dorothy Malone, Robert Alda, Barbara Rush, Jack Kelly, Jason Wingreen, George Takei, George Wallace, John M. Pickard, Diana Muldaur, Jodie Foster, William Katt, Lee Grant, Steve Forrest, Susan Olsen, Michael Lerner, Edward Asner, Darwin Joston, John Rubinstein, Jack Lord, Scott Marlowe, Norman Fell, Gavin MacLeod, Gary Collins, Johnny Seven, William Shatner, Bobby Darin, Martin Sheen, Cheryl Ladd, William Daniels, William Schallert, Burgess Meredith, Vic Tayback, Arch Johnson, James Drury, Ed Flanders and Bruce Lee.

Future Knots Landing stars Joan Van Ark and William Devane made cameo appearances. Kathleen Freeman and Kent McCord appeared in the premiere episode. Raymond Burr's ex-Perry Mason co-star Barbara Hale guest-starred in one episode, as well as future Quincy, M.E. stars, Robert Ito, Garry Walberg and Val Bisoglio. Future Hill Street Blues stars Michael Conrad, James B. Sikking and George Wyner were major Universal Studios players who guest starred in separate episodes. Richard Anderson appeared in the last episode. Don Galloway's daughter, Tracy Galloway, made a few guest appearances as well. Future The Price is Right model Janice Pennington was in one episode. Music legend Quincy Jones, who wrote the Ironside theme song, made a guest appearance, and screen legend Myrna Loy did, too.

1971's fall TV season on NBC opened with a two-hour crossover between Ironside and a new series, Sarge starring George Kennedy as a cop-turned-priest. Kennedy's San Diego-based Father Samuel Cavanaugh came to San Francisco because of the death of a friend and fellow priest, and his investigation got him embroiled with Ironside and his staff. The special consolidated the two shows' consecutive time slots, and has been subsequently seen as a TV-movie, The Priest Killer.[1]

TV reunion movie

Burr and the main cast reunited for a made-for-TV movie in 1993 which aired not long before Burr's death. Burr was starring in an ongoing series of Perry Mason TV movies at the time, so in order to make himself look less like the other character, he dyed his hair and modified his full beard to a goatee for the Ironside movie. Unlike the original series, which took place in San Francisco, California, the reunion took place in Denver, Colorado (under the auspices of Ed Brown being appointed the city's deputy chief of police and being a leading candidate to be appointed chief), which was also where the last few of Burr's Perry Mason films were produced.

DVD releases

Shout! Factory released Season 1 of Ironside on DVD in Region 1 on April 24, 2007. Season 2 was released on October 16, 2007. Most of the episodes on both sets run at a faster speed, while other run at a normal speed. Season 1 has the pilot movie, in addition to the 28 episodes. The season 2 episode "Split Second to an Epitaph", was originally a 2-hour movie, but is presented on the DVD in its 2-part edited-for-syndication form, with about a minute or so missing from both parts.

Season 3 will be released on January 19, 2010 as a Shout! Factory exclusive, available only through their retail website. [1]

In Region 4, Madman Entertainment has released the first four seasons on DVD. Season 4 was released on June 24, 2009.

DVD Name Ep# Release dates
Region 1 Region 4
Season 1 28 (including 1967 pilot movie) April 24, 2007 August 16, 2007
Season 2 26 October 16, 2007 November 8, 2007
Season 3 26 January 19, 2010 September 16, 2008
Season 4 26 N/A June 24, 2009

References

See also

External links

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