Thou Shalt Not Steele – 1

Time to begin an exciting new episode of Remington Steele! There are a couple of notable guest stars in this episode – we’ll meet them soon.


Our tale opens on an exterior of some august-looking building.


A cut to an interior shot reveals we’re in what appears to be a museum – with some pretty high-techy security. Laser beams! Loud classical music is playing in the background.


Suddenly a black-clad figure swings into the shot. The intruder is aiming for a box on the wall. What can it be?


Ah. It seems to be the control for the security system, conveniently accessible and helpfully labeled.


Here’s the title card. (Wait. I thought we had a license to steele.)


Our first guest star is Beverly Garland. This is not her.

The Alligator People

THIS is her (figure on left). Beverly Garland had an amazing career stretching from 1950-2004. She was a pin-up girl, a B-movie heroine and the star of TV’s first policewoman in a series called “Decoy,” in 1957. After her monster movie career, she transitioned to playing moms on TV, notably Fred McMurray’s second wife on “My Three Sons,” Laura Holt’s mother on our very own “Remington Steele” and Lois Lane’s mother on “Lois & Clark.”

Scarecrow and Mrs King  Beverly GarlandShortly after the second of her appearances on Remington Steele, she accepted the role of Kate Jackson’s mother on “Scarecrow & Mrs. Steele.” In her biography, she is quoted as saying she expected to make more appearances on RS, but never heard from the show again after she took the gig on Scarecrow. Her imdb profile says she was an acting mentor to Bruce Boxleitner.


Beverly’s third husband, Fillmore Crank, was a real estate developer. In mid-February 2014, several very awesome and lucky Remington Steele fans (which, unfortunately, does not include me) will stay in the hotel named after Barbara in Hollywood.


harrisAs I’m sure most everybody reading this knows, Cassandra Harris was Pierce Brosnan’s first wife; they were married in 1980. She had been a Bond girl and featured in a book titled, The World’s Most Beautiful Women. She had just seven TV/film roles to her credit before her husband landed “Remington Steele,” and her several guest shots on RS were the last of her acting career. She was very involved in her husband’s career, being labeled the “woman behind the man” by more than one observer. She died of ovarian cancer, a disease that claimed her mother and grandmother, and in 2013 her daughter, in 1991.


We see the security guard, applying DentureCreme to his choppers. He has a matchy security box  with the same colored lights on his desk. Apparently the loud classical music is issuing from his radio. I’m slightly surprised by this.


Back to the episode! The cat burglar has reached the corridor with the fancy-schmancy security system …


… and pulls out a small vehicle.


The intruder sets the RC vehicle loose. It can move beneath the laser beams. Meanwhile …


… diligent security guard is making final adjustment to his teeth. He’s a meticulous man!


Though perhaps not entirely attentive to his duties.


Tiny robot car approaches another high techy box and extends some kind of probe.


Black-gloved intruder presses a button.


Ker-blooey! Tiny robot car creates tiny explosion!

Why, look! Security for this museum is provided by Graybridge Security. We’ve seen them before – they were the outfit that transported the Royal Lavulite in “License to Steele.”


The tiny explosion seems to have turned off the high techy laser beams, and the intruder hastens down the corridor, being careful not to rip over Lee Zlotoff’s writing credit.


The intruder enters a room filled with crates marked Fragile. What could be in them?


Here’s my guess!


The intruder seems to be interested in this painting of five nekkid ladies. Seems a little garish for a living room, but whatever.


Ooh! Another high techie device. Is this some kind of James Bond villain?


Bond villain approaches the painting slowly, then …




The denture-obsessed security guard snaps to attention. You know, if this Graybridge gig doesn’t work out, I’m pretty sure he could get a job in another top organization:



Bond Villain makes a last-ditch effort to grab the painting. It won’t budge.

behindthescenesThis episode’s director, Leo Penn, is the father of Sean and Chris Penn. He was blacklisted during the McCarthy era, but enjoyed a long career as an actor/director/writer, mostly in television. He died in 1998.


Bond Villain decides to get out while the getting is good.


Meanwhile, another couple of members of the Fife Agency are headed toward the almost-crime scene (apparently from the opposite direction, since this hallway is different from the one the baddie used.)


The guards arrive, but the villain is gone.


However, the painting is safe. Whew!

I’ll stop there. What is your impression of this scene, which sets up our mystery? Are we meant to wonder whether Mr. Steele is involved in this would-be theft, since he has a past in stolen art? Or are you, like me, just wishing they’d hurry up and get to the Laura/Steele stuff?


Filed under Season 1

7 responses to “Thou Shalt Not Steele – 1

  1. steeleinterested

    Yea! This is one of my favorite episodes written by one of my favorite tv writers ‘MacGyver’ Zlotoff. It’s fun to see the ingenuity in using electronics and technology. But it’s soo much better when Steele and Laura–or MacGyver, for that matter, is directly involved.

    I don’t remember worrying in this scene about Steele’s involvement. Probably because I can’t imagine he wouldn’t have been right there along with. This is neither paperwork or legwork. This is the fun stuff. Right up his alley.

  2. eaz35173

    I think I remember wondering if this was Steele pulling that heist, an I think we are meant to think that. We’re only 5 episodes in, and we really don’t know much about Steele and what he may or may not still be doing on the other side of the law.

    I’m pretty sure those gadgets were state of the art electronics back in the early 80’s – one of the few things that “date” this show back to that time period.

    I love Beverly Garland as Laura’s mom! I remember thinking when I originally watched the show that she looked so familiar to me. Then I realized that I used to watch her on My Three Sons! And it was a nice surprise to see her turn up on Lois & Clark – another show that I really liked (and run by Brad Kern at one point – a writer for RS)

    I wonder what’s with those 5 nekkid ladies??

    • steeleinterested

      As we get later in the episode, I have a momentary change of heart about whether he’s involved somehow. But in this scene I am firmly in the ‘reformed’ Steele camp.

      Yes! Lois & Clark. Haven’t seen that in ages but also had a nice feel to it.

  3. Daph

    I always wondered how to spell nekkid. Lol. And Fife Agency hilarious.

    I knew it wasn’t Steele because the figure in black was a woman. She moved like a woman and her figure looked like a woman. Besides Steele wouldn’t risk Laura’s disappointment. He is working too hard to please her, to be a detective, and to have her back. Oh and oust Murphy. Even though Murphy doesn’t stand a chance, Steele isn’t sure and is taking no chances.

  4. Melissa

    We’ll, it isn’t Parker doing the thieving. She would just gymnasticize around the lasers:

    Parker’s my second favorite thief!

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