IRONSIDE SEASON 3

PrintE-mail Written by James Evans

Most actors dream of playing an iconic character at some point in their careers. To be instantly recognised by an audience and associated with a classic show or film is to achieve a little slice of immortality. Raymond Burr managed this twice in his career, first as lawyer Perry Mason and then a second time around as Ironside. Even if you’ve never caught an episode, you’re still likely to recognise Quincy Jones’ theme tune when it kicks in. Although never quite as popular as Mason this character would still run for eight seasons.

As the series began, after being paralysed by a sniper’s bullet, Detective Ironside was forced to retire, only to return as a ‘consultant’ to the San Francisco police force. Heading up his own special team, the gruff but thoroughly decent Ironside fights crime from his special office at police headquarters

The '60s and '70s were tumultuous decades of change in different ways. At the same time, archaic attitudes about race and sex still dominated. Ironside appropriately reflects both of these contradictions.

In amongst a number of generic episodes that find the team hunting down standard TV criminals came episodes that touched (albeit usually only lightly) on the hot issues of the day like racism and sexism. It's the type of show that can be progressive and retrograde on the same issue within the same scene and so represents its time period more than might be at first thought.

This third season does touch occasionally on more personal stories for the team. Opening with a tale of con men that prey on people to strip them of their savings (in this case Mark's aunt) it kicks the season off with a fairly implausible Hustle-light battle of wits.

Much better and representative of the show is the season closer Tom Dayton is Loose Among Us.  We find out how Ed joined Ironside's team after the death of his fiancé. The man he holds responsible is out of prison but Ed's convinced this barely-hinged misogynist won't be able to go long before his rage against women explodes again. It's in this more creatively adventurous episode, as the team push and cajole Dayton that we can find admittedly cruder antecedents of things to come in later series like Homicide: Life on the Street's Three Men and Adena. It also shows off how guest stars could really elevate the material. Here it's the performance of the much missed and underrated Bill Bixby, a very fine actor.

In between these two, there's episodes of varying quality. It plays with form frequently enough which keeps them more often than not fresh, especially in episodes like Five Miles High. Also, by not having Ironside tethered to one city area but able to get involved with pretty much anything he likes there's more variety to the cases.

A relatively strong showing from Burr, his team and a fairly small revolving stable of writers makes this a confident purchase for fans of the show.

IRONSIDE SEASON 3 / CERT: PG / DIRECTOR & SCREENPLAY: VARIOUS / STARRING: RAYMOND BURR, DON GALLOWAY / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW

 


Suggested Articles:
Dragon Ball Super Season 1 – Part 1 contains the first 13 episodes of the latest Dragon Ball anime
Alexey Leonov (Evgeniy Mironov) makes a spectacular emergency landing in his jet fighter aircraft an
By the fifth film in any franchise there’s usually a diminishing of quality. Police Academy 5: Ass
One of several key films from the 1980s that defined the decade in terms of craftsmanship and techni
scroll back to top

Add comment

Security code
Refresh

Other articles in DVD / Blu-ray Reviews

DRAGON BALL SUPER SEASON 1 – PART 1 18 October 2017

THE SPACEWALKER 17 October 2017

TRANSFORMERS: THE LAST KNIGHT 17 October 2017

BLOOD SIMPLE 17 October 2017

MURDER ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS 17 October 2017

WILLARD / BEN – BLU-RAY LIMITED EDITION 17 October 2017

DEATH ON THE NILE 17 October 2017

ASH VS. EVIL DEAD (SEASON 2) 17 October 2017

IT COMES AT NIGHT 17 October 2017

THE MIRROR CRACK’D 17 October 2017

- Entire Category -

Sign up today!
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner