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Featured TV on DVD Review: Mannix: Season Six

January 22nd, 2012

Mannix: Season Six - Buy from Amazon

Mannix ran for eight seasons starting in the late 1960s till the mid 1970s. During that run, it earned numerous Emmys and Golden Globe nominations, and even won several for its two stars, Mike Connors and Gail Fisher. But after six seasons, is the P.I. show starting to show its age? Or is there plenty of life left in Mannix?

The Show

I've reviewed Mannix more than a few times, most recently last summer. But for those that don't know the basic setup... In it, Mike Connors plays Joe Mannix, a P.I. whose crime-solving technique involves equal parts intellect and action. He averages getting shot twice a season and is knocked out every four episodes or so. Gail Fisher played Peggy Fair, his secretary, who works for him after her husband, a cop, was killed in the line of duty.

The season starts with Mannix congratulating a friend of his, Ken, who just made detective. However, an old foe, Victor Roarke, shows up to kill Mannix and Ken ends up taking the bullet instead. Mannix is quickly able to capture Roarke, but Roarke escapes custody and is on the loose again. It isn't long before they are surrounded, but then it degrades into a hostage situation. In Cry Silence, a former priest comes to Mannix after someone tries to kill him. It seems that someone confessed a murder to him and wants to eliminate a possible witness. The priest wants him caught, but he swore to never tell anyone, so he can't give Mannix much to go on. The Crimson Halo marks the return of Joseph Campanella, but he's not playing Lew Wickersham. He plays a neurosurgeon who was shot at. His lawyer hires Mannix to find out who and why.

Portrait of a Hero starts off disc two. A former Air Force pilot is murdered and Mannix has to figure out if it has something to do with his impending divorce or the experimental plane he was promoting. The Inside Man starts out with Mannix participating in a heist; he even kills a cop in the getaway. Has he turned evil? Nope. He's undercover trying to help a member of the syndicate get out. But he doesn't know who wants out. To Kill a Memory has a guest appearance by John Vernon, the third of the series. He arrives by plane in Los Angeles with Martin Sheen for a big payday. As soon as they land in Los Angeles, Martin Sheen starts acting weird, gets on a bus, and heads to a small town where his family lives. Except, he doesn't remember them. Nor does he remember being in Vietnam, which is where his family thought he died two years ago. Mannix is called in to sort the whole mess out, but it will be tough. In The Upside-Down Penny, Mannix's client is a little boy, Ike Eisenmann (of Escape to Witch Mountain). He lost a stamp collection his father gave him and wants to hire Mannix to find it. Mannix figures it's an easy way to pick up $1.85 (that's all the kid had) but soon learns one of the stamps was very valuable and someone is willing to kill for it.

Mannix is hired by a Mr. Baxter in One Step to Midnight, but that gets him sucked into a major syndicate case. A former crime boss was chased out of the country, but many people think he's back and Mannix is working for him. A Puzzle for One starts with Mannix helping out a friend and fellow P.I. get back on his feet by throwing a few cases his way. However, when one of those cases gets him killed, Mannix is determined to figure out which case it was and solve it. (Adam West makes an appearance in this episode.) Lost Sunday starts with a guy on an industrial tower shooting at... nothing. Literally. He's just shooting at dirt. When the foreman gets shot, everyone thinks it was an accident, except the foreman's wife. She hires Mannix to get to the bottom of it.

Disc four starts with See No Evil. In this episode, Mannix is driving by when he hears a woman being murdered, but by the time he gets there the culprit is gone. The victim's husband hires Mannix to catch the murderer, but the evidence points to a friend of Peggy. The next episode, Light and Shadow, starts when a welcome home party for a millionaire and his second wife turns tragic as the boyfriend of his daughter is murdered and his second wife is blamed. Mannix is asked to find who really killed him. In A Game of Shadows, a woman is murdered and a man, Gordon Cameron, is seen at the scene of the crime. He runs and everyone assumes he did it. Mannix is hired to prove he didn't do it. The Man Who Wasn't There starts with Mannix at a boxing match when someone shoots one of the boxers. The boxer's manager hires Mannix to find out who did it. The manager thinks a crime boss hired the sniper, because he refused to take a dive. However, as Mannix looks into the case, it appears the real target was... Mannix.

A Matter of Principle has Abe Vigoda in a guest spot. Awesome. The episode starts with a hired killer getting his man, but while driving away, he backs into the car of Portia and Penelope Penhaven, and they want him prosecuted. Of course, the hitman wants to eliminate them and Mannix is caught in the middle. Peggy goes undercover in Out of the Night, as a prostitute. She agrees, because it will help catch the dope pusher who sold drugs to a friend of the family. Mannix's ex-girlfriend dies in Carol Lockwood, Past Tense and everyone thinks it was an accident, except Mannix. In The Faces of Murder a brother and sister both confess to the same crime and Mannix has to figure out which one is covering for the other.

William Shatner is the guest in Search for a Whisper, as a politician who hires Mannix to check into his past, to make sure there are no skeletons his opponents could use against him. I swear I've seen this plot used in this show. Maybe it was a different show, but it is very familiar. When a Hobo overhears something he shouldn't, he becomes the target of a mob hitman. Unfortunately, another Hobo wearing a similar jacket gets involved after a case of mistaken identity. A Problem of Innocence focuses on the daughter of an ex-con who died the day he got out of jail. He was convicted of stealing $1 million and now something thinks she has it. The season ends with The Danford File and Jessica Walter, who is also making her third appearance on the show. Here she's the wife of a politician, who has a past with Mannix. Not that kind of past. She was at a crime scene he was involved in and he helped keep her name out of the papers. Now she's being blackmailed over that crime and she wants Mannix to find out who.

The Extras

As is the norm for this show, there are no extras on the 6-disc set. There are subtitles, proper chapter placements and play all buttons, which is better than some TV on DVD releases are stuck with.

The Verdict

So far, Mannix has been an incredibly consistent show, Season Six is no different. Of the 24 episodes, there are maybe three or four that are not highlights, while most have good replay value. If you were happy with the previous seasons, then there's no reason not to add this six-disc set to your collection.

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