I’ve just finished listening to this awesome interview Richard did last week: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/richardrossi/2014/12/03/hollywood-movie-star-richard-anderson-aka-oscar-goldman-writer-al-doshna-1 It’s definitely a treasure. I loved listening to him all the way along, and it was fun to hear what some of the fans had to say. Perry is only briefly touched on, but it was great to hear it mentioned.
I blushed a little when the topic of Oscar Goldman and Jaime Sommers as a romantic pairing came up, but whatever Richard may have thought of the idea, he was very gracious and kind about it (as he was throughout the whole interview) and mentioned that people were asking him about that even back when The Bionic Woman was first on.
I have to admit, I can never fully get away from being rather fascinated by the idea of the pairing. I feel a bit guilty for that because of Steve Austin and Jaime’s epically soap opera romance, but I remain intrigued anyway. I pretty much love looking at Oscar and Jaime’s relationship in every way possible: friendship, familial, or romantic. And I think it’s time I saw the Deadly Ringer episodes they were discussing at one point. Due to me not liking when main characters end up in prison, I still haven’t seen those yet, but I’ve planned to since I’ve been sure there are some awesome Oscar scenes in them.
It’s so very exciting that Richard’s book is coming out! It’s a treat for all Perry fans, Richard fans, and classic movie and television fans. I know Richard will have many exciting things to tell.
And as season 4 of Perry wound to a close and season 5 begins to unfold, I observe first Sergeant Brice’s expanding role and second, the apparent search for someone else to help take some of the acting strain off of Ray Collins, whose health was starting to fail.
It’s obvious that they first tried the idea of Sergeant Brice becoming more talkative and involved. In late season 4 episodes such as The Grumbling Grandfather and The Guilty Clients, Brice has a lot more to do or say than in most episodes, even taking over completely for Tragg in some scenes and episodes.
I definitely like the idea and wonder why it didn’t work out. Was Lee Miller uncomfortable having more to say? Did they determine that the quiet, understated Sergeant Brice just wouldn’t be able to carry things by himself very often and a more forceful character would be needed?
On that, I probably agree at least somewhat. Brice is so calm and gentle and not bothered by Perry and company hanging around and investigating. The show would have certainly taken on a different dynamic with the more permissive Sergeant Brice being more in charge of things. He probably would have become much more of an ally to Perry and company, freely allowing them their investigations and perhaps letting Perry or Paul be right with him to look into questioning suspects and the like. In later episodes, on one occasion he shows definite amusement over his superior blowing his stack at Perry’s interference, and on another, indicates to Paul that if it were up to him, he would let Paul stay and look around a crime scene.
I can’t say I would have minded at least seeing what the show would have been like with that changed dynamic. But I’m not sure it would have worked out for long, since it seems Gardner and the crew wanted it to stay with the police sometimes assuming great opposition to Perry’s investigations, and since amusingly frustrated exchanges are often a big and important part of Perry’s interaction with the police. Brice just isn’t the type to engage in such exchanges. Hence, they definitely needed someone aside from Brice to be there.
Thus began what seems to be a bit of a search. Although they try Wesley Lau very early in season 5, playing Lieutenant Anderson in a great couple of scenes in The Malicious Mariner, he doesn’t immediately become part of the main cast. They also try Med Flory, another actor from late season 4, who in The Crying Comedian plays Lieutenant McVey, twin brother to Captain McVey of the United States Air Force. . . . (Just kidding, but I still find it bewildering that both of his Perry characters are named McVey! I am definitely going to make them twin brothers in my stories.)
Then we have a couple of episodes in a row that do not feature the regular city police cast. The next time we get back to them, Tragg is there again (with faithful Sergeant Brice silent in the background). The next episode after that, Andy is back and this time stays.
I would be curious to know in what order the early season 5 episodes were filmed and whether Andy’s first episode was filmed after Lieutenant McVey’s. Perhaps they had already decided on Wesley Lau before any of his police episodes aired, although I would then wonder why they showed the McVey episode after Andy’s first one.
I am very glad they ended up choosing Wesley, but I love Med Flory as Captain McVey in The Misguided Missile and I know he could have made Lieutenant McVey a great character too.