Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The Girls With The Stolen Bodies

The Girls with the Stolen Bodies
January 6, 1981
Music: John Andrew Tartaglia
Story: Frank Lupo & Mark Jones
Teleplay: Mark Jones
Director: Dick Harwood

One problem with moving LOBO’s setting from rural Orly County to Atlanta is that it began to look like every other cop show on the air, especially because the series was filmed in Los Angeles. The opening of “The Girls with the Stolen Bodies” could have been from POLICE STORY. Two guys with shotguns rip off a liquor store. Lobo (Claude Akins) and Birdie (Brian Kerwin) are across the street having lunch when they hear shots. Like Starsky and Hutch, the two cops run to the rescue and apprehend the suspects—Birdie tackles one and Lobo shoots the other.

During the fracas, Perkins (Mills Watson) takes a round of buckshot in the tuchus and is admitted to Grady Memorial Hospital. While delivering a check to a corpse (don’t ask), he stumbles upon a sinister plot to induce comas in patients and harvest their organs. Yes, COMA is referenced, though not by name, as hospital administrator Smith (Richard Herd) fakes Perkins’ death and delivers his alleged ashes to Lobo and Perkins.

The second season’s second episode continues the formula set in the premiere. It still has lots of pretty girls in bikinis (guest star Sondra Currie is quite fetching) and slapstick, but the comedy is more subdued than in the first season, and the plot is more focused on its crime elements. Chief Carson (Nicolas Coster) and Hildy (Nell Carter) are still unreasonably hostile toward Lobo, though sexy cops Brandy (Tara Buckman) and Peaches (Amy Botwinick) are sympathetic.

Writer Mark Jones cut his teeth on Saturday morning fare like ARK II and THE ALL-NEW SUPER FRIENDS HOUR before transitioning into prime-time crime dramas. He later penned the horror film LEPRECHAUN, which was popular enough to spawn five sequels. THE PARTRIDGE FAMILY’s Dave Madden appears as a patient in the psychiatric ward where Smith has stashed Perkins.

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