Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Orly's Hot Skates

Orly’s Hot Skates
May 6, 1980
Music: John Andrew Tartaglia
Story: Richard Lindheim
Teleplay: Robert Feinberg & Howard Liebling
Director: Jack Arnold

THE MISADVENTURES OF SHERIFF LOBO’s first-season finale aired six weeks after the previous episode. Because of the 1980 Writer’s Guild strike, the next episode wouldn’t air until December with a major format change to go with it.

For the final episode set in Orly County, deputies Birdie (Brian Kerwin) and Perkins (Mills Watson) dress in drag to infiltrate the Miami Maulers roller derby team. Perkins is devastated at the thought of losing his beloved mustache, but rooming with comely skater Marti (April Clough) makes up for it. And why are Orly’s finest, along with waitress Margaret Ellen (Janet Curtis-Larson), undercover as roller derby stars? Why, to capture the armed robbers whose crimes coincide with the Marlins’ road schedule.

Obviously, a willful suspension of disbelief is necessary to enjoy any LOBO episode, but asking us to buy Perkins and Birdie as female roller derby skaters is a whopper. And because it was the end of a season, it appears as though the budget was drained, leaving nothing for stunts or elaborate slapstick sequences. The story holds together better than most LOBOs do, however, and veteran director Jack Arnold creates a few inventive shots on and off the roller track to give the show some pizzazz.

Liberty Godshall, the beautiful actress who plays Rhonda, later married filmmaker Edward Zwick and went to work as a writer and producer on his TV series THIRTYSOMETHING and ONCE AND AGAIN. “Orly’s Hot Skates” was the last of three LOBO scripts penned by Robert Feinberg and Howard Liebling and the last LOBO directed by Arnold, who made his first film in 1950.

1 comment:

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