Kojak - Season 1 Discussion

by Mr. Mike » Wed Oct 05, 2016 9:23 am

I have finished my "anal-ysis" for the first season of Kojak:


It will take a while to finish the other four seasons (some episodes have already been done), hopefully not as long as it took me to finish my treatment of the classic sci-fi series The Invaders (http://www.theinvaders.tv) -- six years!

by ringfire211 » Thu Dec 22, 2016 12:33 pm

I watched "Death is Not a Passing Grade" last night and thought it was a good show. There were shades of FIVE-O's "Deadly Persuasion" (which may have actually been inspired by this episode, both were CBS shows), with the whole plot of our cop hero teaching a criminal science class and then one of the students (a psycho in both cases) trying to stick it to his teacher by proving he's smarter than him. There's also the connection with the psycho's father who in both cases was a dirty cop, in one he absconded with money confiscated at a crime scene and in the other he committed suicide after being brought up on charges. James Woods is his usual smarmy self playing the twisted creep - he's affective in the role. Next season he would appear in the ROCKFORD FILES episode "The Kirkoff Case" and the season after that in the STREETS OF SAN FRAN episode "Trail of Terror" (with Meg Foster and Greg Mullavey in there too!). He was pretty much playing the same type of smarmy character in all 3. In STREETS he was in psycho mode again. I thought the creepy Oriental sounding score (especially at the beginnning and end) by John Cacavas was very good! Pamela Hensley as Delta, Kojak's squeeze in this episode, was mighty fine! Reminds me of T.J. HOOKER where it seemed like every other episode Shatner's character had some hot babe (always half his age) that he was helping. Someone he was involved with in the past but it didn't work out because he's "married to his job". I agree with you that the compassion that Kojak shows Woods at the end makes no sense. The guy was a total creep, a psycho who killed his own sister's husband (all because of some pinky ring) and was about to kill Kojak's girl and Kojak himself. I can't imagine anyone feeling anything for this guy, let alone a tough guy like Theo! In fact I was ready to hear him spout one of his Kojakisms at that moment, followed by something like "you lose, scum!" but nope we get nothing like that. Go figure.

Allen Reisner was the director on this one.

by ringfire211 » Thu Dec 22, 2016 12:54 pm

My favorite KOJAK so far (from the little that I've seen of the show) has to be "Cop in a Cage". John P. Ryan was outstanding as the vengeful ex-con. This guy was totally CREEPY!! I've never seen Ryan give a bad performance. He was the go-to guy to play a baddie in all those 80s actioners produced by the Cannon Group - RUNAWAY TRAIN, AVENGING FORCE, DEATH WISH 4, DELTA FORCE 2. He chewed the scenery but he was always chilling. Especially in AVENGING FORCE (with Michael Dudikoff) where he plays the leader of the Pentangle, a secret society of white supremacists. I totally dig the guy!

In this episode Telly gives one hell of a performance as he really gets the screws put to him by the creep! He also has that fantastic line to Ryan about scattering his brains all over White Plains. Classic Kojakism!! Charles Dubin directed this episode.

Another episode I recall was the one with Sly Stallone but I don't remember being particularly impressed by that one.

by Steven from Miami » Thu Dec 22, 2016 1:22 pm

While I haven't seen an episode of Kojak in over ten years, I continually run into the show whenever I look up a TV actor circa '65-'85. It seems as though most every actor during that time appeared in an episode of Kojak! It's insane! Kojak and Mannix are the two shows in which most every familiar performer shows up!

I'm not a big fan of most (conventional) cop shows, but I might have to delve into the Tellyverse just because of the sheet number of admired actors who appear there.

by Mr. Mike » Thu Dec 22, 2016 6:15 pm

Ektually, season 2 reviews are finished as well:


I am jumping around a bit. I did a few season five shows, but ran into one that I really hated:


Check out the one before this, it just about gave me an aneurysm:


by ringfire211 » Fri Dec 23, 2016 1:11 pm

The one I want to check out is the season 3 opener (is it a 2-hour episode or a 2-parter?) with Eli Wallach. Not only because he's such a great actor but because Cacavas' score was Emmy nominated so I want to hear it. His only KOJAK nomination.

by Mr. Mike » Thu Dec 29, 2016 9:47 am

A Question of Answers, the season 3 opener, was a 2-hour show. It is an outstanding episode. In addition to Eli Wallach, it also stars Jennifer Warren, Jerry Orbach, Michael V. Gazzo and F. Murray Abraham.


One thing I really like about Kojak is the guest stars. As a reviewer of the 2nd season DVD set says: "The producers were smart, too, in making sure that the supporting players each week didn't come from the "celebrity" wing of Central Casting ("Tonight, on Kojak, George Hamilton and Joey Heatherton guest star!"), instead going with actors (many New York theatre-trained) who may look familiar, but who focus more on delivering the goods with their carefully-drawn characters."

by epaddon » Sat Jan 21, 2017 12:50 am

"Web Of Death" is a favorite of mine. I confess to having a crush on Barbara Rhoades who graced many TV shows in the 70s with her Amazonian like presence but this was a rare case where she got to show she could be credible in a purely dramatic role. Bruce Kirby's large part foreshadows in some respects his recurring "Sergeant Kramer" role on "Columbo" later in the decade.

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