Double Exposure: ‘Mannix’ (1967-1975)


Nova Clark

The late 60s was not only a great time for film, but for television, too. When "Mannix” hit the airwaves, it was the perfect storm of action-packed fight sequences and crime- solving.

Mike Connors portrayed the show’s title character, Joe Mannix, who maintained a calm, cool and collected demeanor paired with expert combat abilities.

“Mannix” had two different eras. In the beginning, the series saw Joe working at a detective company called Intertech, which relied heavily on computer technology to gain information to find and solve cases.

Here, Joe worked under the supervision of his boss, Lew Wickerhsam (Joseph Campanella), who sometimes ended up serving as his right- hand man after being thrown into the thick of solving cases.

Although Joe stuck around at the company during the first season, he often seemed to show a lighthearted disdain for the computers he was surrounded by, while regularly one-upping the speed at which they worked.

By season two, he began working independently after establishing his own detective agency at his rustic home/ office hybrid in LA. His co-star became secretary Peggy Fair (Gail Fisher), making her one of the most prominent African- American women on television at the time.

Peggy also ended up becoming involved in Joe’s cases, sometimes helping him solve them and sometimes as an unwilling victim at the hands of various antagonists — which often include scheming criminals, evil married couples and plenty of con men.

The jazzy theme song by Lalo Schifrin sets the scene for the show’s stylish demeanor.

Upon watching the program, viewers will get to join the ride for a number of exciting plots, such as an episode where Joe becomes blinded in an accident and must re-learn self-defense without sight.

The next time you find yourself in need of a retro- yet-refined detective show that doesn’t fail to entertain, “Mannix” may very well serve as the series you didn’t know you needed.

Watch "Mannix" for free on weekday evenings at 2 a.m. on MeTV (channel 44.1)