Wednesday, November 26, 2014
This Man Dawson, "The Bomber"
THIS MAN DAWSON
Starring Keith Andes
Guest-Starring Vic Perrin, Charlotte Lawrence, William Woodson, Joseph Granby, Robert R. Stephenson, James Tartan, Herold Goodwin
Producer: Elliott Lewis
Writer: Stephen Alexander
Director: Elliott Lewis
THIS MAN DAWSON is Keith Andes in his first television series as Frank Dawson, the police chief of an unnamed American city (as narrator William Conrad makes clear in the opening titles). The half-hour crime drama was produced inexpensively and efficiently by Ziv, which also made HIGHWAY PATROL, SEA HUNT, and THE CISCO KID, among other popular shows, for syndication.
DAWSON is a relatively simple show, based on “The Bomber,” which isn’t exciting or groundbreaking. DRAGNET seems to have been an influence, right down to the casting of Jack Webb repertory player Vic Perrin in the key guest role, but lacks that series’ verisimilitude or dedicated performances. Dawson gets a call from a man, who we come to learn is Dan Mason (Perrin), who claims to have planted a bomb in a bus terminal. Dawson and his cops, including one played by William Woodson (who, like Conrad, narrated Quinn Martin shows), find the bomb, but another one turns up in the police station.
Mason has a hatred of cops dating back to when some corrupt officers caused his bar to go bankrupt. Dawson tricks Mason into giving up the location of the bomb in the police station by escorting Mason’s wife (Charlotte Lawrence) into the building, figuring the bomber would never allow his wife to get blown up. Director Elliott Lewis (THE MOTHERS-IN-LAW) gets some mileage out of filming on real Los Angeles locations, but “The Bomber” is still something of a dud.
THIS MAN DAWSON premiered on local stations in the fall of 1959 and lasted a full season of 39 episodes. Andes went on to co-star with Glynis Johns in GLYNIS and perform the voice of Hanna-Barbera superhero Birdman on BIRDMAN & THE GALAXY TRIO. He also guest-starred in the STAR TREK episode “The Apple.”