Tuesday, June 24, 2008

The Murphy Contingent

08 The Murphy Contingent
April 18, 1979
Music: William Broughton
Writer: Frank Lupo & C.R. O'Christopher

We learn more about BJ's past in this BJ AND THE BEAR episode, as, for the first time, we meet someone from his past. Or, I should say, several someones. Members of his Army commando unit in Vietnam, to be exact: Murphy (Lance LeGault), Melendez (A Martinez) and Jefferson (Tony King), as well as civilian volunteers Rita (Susan Woollen) and Joanne (Katherine Cannon), whose late brother Bobby was interned with BJ (Greg Evigan) in a POW camp.

With the help of the others, Murphy has founded Walken House for disabled GIs, but a $122,000 loan has put the place's future in jeopardy. Desperate, the five Army pals plot to knock off a bunch of mobsters hiding out in a farmhouse with millions of dollars worth of stolen gold in its basement. However, they need BJ's help to pull the heist. Reluctant to tangle with gangsters or to mess with stolen government money, the trucker makes a deal with a straight-arrow Treasury agent (MAVERICK's Jack Kelly) that he hopes will make everyone happy. Except the gangsters, of course.

Some impressive helicopter stunts, many squealing tires and a heckuva lotta machine gun fire dot this action-packed episode with impressive direction by Rod Holcomb that's marred only during some glaring continuity errors during the car chase. LeGault's performance is very fine, as we never quite know whether Murphy is deranged, desperate or even dangerous, and Martinez and King back the actor up well. Martinez remains a busy television actor, whereas King ended up in Italy making trashy horror and action films like CANNIBAL APOCALYPSE and RAIDERS OF ATLANTIS.

I suspect writer C.R. O'Christopher may be a pseudonym, though he also receives a writing credit on the dull Canadian sci-fi flick THE LAST CHASE. Like Martinez, director Holcomb also is a busy man in television as executive producer of the dramas SHARK and MOONLIGHT on CBS.


Robert said...

I believe that C.R.O'Christopher is a pseudonym used by Christopher Crowe

Marty McKee said...

Duh. Why didn't I figure that out??