One of the most famed detective shows of the 1970's (the series ran from 1967-1975 on CBS), "Mannix" starred Mike Connors and was created by Bruce Geller, the famed producer of such shows as "Mission: Impossible". The series starred Connors as Mannix, a detective working in Los Angeles for Intertect, a large detective agency that used computers to assist in solving their cases (in later seasons, Mannix was a private eye working solo, aided only by Peggy Fair (Gail Fisher, in one of the first roles on a drama series for an African-American actress).
The series appears less dated than other, similar shows from the era and the performances from Connors, Joseph Campanella (as Mannix's boss) and others are excellent. The writing remains strong throughout the show and the camerawork is similarly impressive, with some nice handheld camerawork during some scenes (especially some action moments) getting the viewer further into the scene.
Fans of the classic series will be pleased with the DVD set, which includes all 24 episodes of the first season (including the rarely seen pilot) and a superb set of bonus features, almost all of which do feature star Mike Connors.
1. 1- 1 16 Sep 67 The Name Is Mannix
- Against his better judgement, Mannix accepts an assignment to rescue the daughter of a retired crime figure.
2. 1- 2 23 Sep 67 Skid Marks on a Dry Run
- A wealthy businessman with a shady past who's running for governor asks Mannix to get the dirt on him before his opponents do.
3. 1- 3 30 Sep 67 Nothing Ever Works Twice
- Mannix is hired by his former flame after her wealthy husband is killed. However, instead of finding the suspect, Mannix quickly finds himself a prime suspect.
4. 1- 4 7 Oct 67 The Many Deaths of Saint Christopher
- The Germans hire Mannix to find a former employee - a chemist who fled with a secret formula. However, Mannix starts to suspect that they are actually Nazi hunters.
5. 1- 5 14 Oct 67 Make Like It Never Happened
- After a little girl comes looking to hire a detective, Mannix finds that she's the daughter of a racketeer on death row.
6. 1- 6 21 Oct 67 The Cost of a Vacation
- A model hires Mannix to find her Latin lover, but Mannix finds out a surprising detail about her lover's line of work.
7. 1- 7 28 Oct 67 Warning: Live Blueberries
- After a basketball player is killed, Mannix suspects a friend's missing daughter, who has now joined a cult.
8. 1- 8 4 Nov 67 Beyond the Shadow of a Dream
- After a wealthy woman claims she witnessed a murder, Mannix must determine which of her companions is driving her to a mental hospital.
9. 1- 9 18 Nov 67 Huntdown
- Mannix becomes suspicious when he visits a small town to get a man's signature and the entire town claims the man is dead.
10. 1-10 25 Nov 67 Coffin for a Clown
- A child-custody case turns dark when everyone's trying to kill a boy's irresponsible father, a man who stands to inherit a fortune.
11. 1-11 2 Dec 67 Catalogue of Sins
- A safecracker steals notebooks from a psychiatrist's safe and systematically starts to blackmail the patients using their secrets.
12. 1-12 9 Dec 67 Turn Every Stone
- Mannix wonders if a politician was really on the take or was a phony item planted?
13. 1-13 16 Dec 67 Run, Sheep, Run
- The police need Mannix's help finding an attractive female informant.
14. 1-14 30 Dec 67 Then the Drink Takes the Man
- Mannix poses as an alcoholic after a woman hires him to investigate the mysterious actions of her father at an expensive health ranch in New Mexico.
15. 1-15 6 Jan 68 The Falling Star
- A fading actress about to publish an explosive memoir finds a bomb in her house, but Mannix wonders if it was a publicity stunt.
16. 1-16 13 Jan 68 License to Kill---Limit Three People
- Mannix tries to get to the bottom of a triple murder.
17. 1-17 20 Jan 68 Deadfall (1)
18. 1-18 27 Jan 68 Deadfall (2)
- After a coworker's car goes off a cliff, Mannix and boss Lew investigate and find a conspiracy. When Lew goes missing, Mannix must uncover the case on his own.
19. 1-19 3 Feb 68 You Can Get Killed Out There
- Mannix quits his job due to disdain for a client, but gets pulled back into the case anyways.
20. 1-20 10 Feb 68 Another Final Exit
- Everyone's after a metal box that a mobster hid in his sister's basement. When word gets out that Mannix has it, everyone's after him.
21. 1-21 17 Feb 68 Eight to Five, Its a Miracle
- A case baffles Mannix when he looks into a possible miracle.
22. 1-22 2 Mar 68 Delayed Reaction
- A man in a coma mysteriously left a note for Mannix, hiring him to locate the daughter of a famous bomber from twenty years ago.
23. 1-23 9 Mar 68 To Kill a Writer
- Mannix tries to prevent a murder, but he's not helped by the potential victim - a mystery writer who tries to solve the case himself.
24. 1-24 16 Mar 68 The Girl in the Frame
- Is the girl in the painting real, or is the painting a fake?
VIDEO: "Mannix" is presented by Paramount in 1.33:1 full-frame, the show's original aspect ratio. The presentation offers some good aspects and some not-so-good aspects. Sharpness and detail are surprisingly strong for a show from this era, as the episodes looked mostly well-defined, with small object details often looking reasonably (again, considering the material) crisp. There's even very nice depth to the image in some scenes.
The downside is a fair amount of wear on the elements. While not seen constantly, there are some noticable specks, marks, dirt and occasional scratches seen at times on the elements used. On a positive note, no edge enhancement or artifacting was noticed. Colors did appear a little on the subdued side, but also didn't appear faded or otherwise problematic. Despite some concerns, I was pleased with this presentation, especially considering the age of the show.
SOUND: The mono soundtrack sounds about its age: while no distortion or hiss is heard, the audio does sound a tad thin.
EXTRAS: Fans will be pleased to find that Paramount has pulled together a very fine set of supplements - especially for a catalog TV title. Actor Mike Connors provides thoughtful, informative (if understandably rather brief) audio introductions to each episode. Connors also returns with actor Joseph Campanella for a very good commentary for "Another Final Exit", which has the two chatting about their memories working on the series and sharing stories and insights. The two also appear together in a two-part interview that is split between the first and second discs.
Also included are an audio commentary by co-creator William Link on the pilot episode, a clip of Mike Connors on "The Mike Douglas Show", clip from "Hard-Boiled Murder" episode of "Diagnosis: Murder", photo gallery, archive CBS promo, "TV Land" promo and sales presentation.
Final Thoughts: "Mannix" still holds up well, not seeming as dated as other shows from the era. Connors provides a terrific lead performance as the tough detective, and he's backed up by both a great supporting cast and strong writing. The DVD set is a pleasant surprise, with very good video/audio quality and some terrific supplemental features. Recommended.