Monday, 2 May 2016
390 Sword of Justice
First viewed : 2 June 1979
Another long-forgotten series, this was like an American version of The Saint which went into the pre-Match of the Day slot on Saturday evenings. It starred future Dallas man Dack Rambo as Jack Cole a rich play boy who , in the series pilot, gets three years in prison for a fraud actually committed by a business associate ironically played by Larry Hagman. After a thorough grounding in criminal techniques inside, Jack comes out with a mission to take down white collar criminals by beating them at their own game then leaving a number 3 playing card with a cryptic message , usually lost on its recipient.
The series was not a great success. Despite having a comic sidekick Hector ( Bert Rosario ) , the revenge aspect made Jack a brooding , humourless hero and the fact that much of the action took place at nighttime gave it an overwhelmingly dark feel that audiences found hard to take. Only nine episodes were made.
The producer Glen A Larson later recycled some of the elements for the much more successful Knight Rider. As noted above Rambo re-surfaced in Dallas for a couple of years until the return of Patrick Duffy made his character redundant. He popped up again in long -running US soap Another World in 1991 until an HIV positive diagnosis prompted an abrupt retirement from acting. He died of AIDS three years later.