The Dame and the Senator

June 25, 2015


This week The A.V. Club has my interview with Mrs. Peel herself, Diana Rigg, as well as my take on the all-too-short-lived series The Senator.  All of the alternating segments of the “wheel” series The Bold Ones are worthwhile to some degree, but The Senator was the jewel in the crown: a frank, serious-minded throwback to the liberal dramas of the early sixties.

The Senator was a satisfying show to research, because – atypically for television at the time – it was made by young people, and nearly all of them are still with us.  Because the show’s creative team recalled it so vividly, I’ll be back in a few days with some additional material from those interviews that I couldn’t fit into the piece.

5 Responses to “The Dame and the Senator”

  1. Brian Says:

    Very satisifying piece on “The Senator”, one of my favorite shows. Thank you. It was great to hear quotes from Levinson, Badham, Freedman, and Holbrook, but I wish there were more. It’s hard to believe they couldn’t get that follow-up TV movie made especially since Rintels seems to have had an interesting plot idea. Maybe someday you can do a story on Freedman’s “The Psychiatrist” with Roy Thinnes.

    • Stephen Bowie Says:

      Freedman couldn’t stop talking about The Psychiatrist; he’s very proud of that show. Plus he made it during the same season as The Senator; I think his episodes of the latter were done immediately after The Psychiatrist wrapped. The only thing barring further exploration of it is its unavailability, even among collectors. The other show that emerges as a companion piece to The Senator is Sarge; Levinson produced it, and recruited some of the “old gang” (Badham, Joel Oliansky, and Robert Collins, who wrote an unproduced Senator script).

      Anyway, you’ll hear more from all of them (except Holbrook) next week.

      • Brian Says:

        Maybe Jerrold Freedman is still worth an interview. He let Steven Spielberg show what he could do on two stunning episodes of “The Psychiatrist”; He produced “The Protectors” segment of “The Bold Ones” and “The Psychiatrist”, two wheel series that approached greatness; He made big contributions to “The Senator” as a writer and as a director; and he directed two superb Movies of the Week: ” A Cold Night’s Death” and “Bloodsport”. And he did most of it before he was 30.

        Anyway, I’ll be waiting for your follow-up to the excellent piece on “The Senator”. It would also be nice to know more about David Levinson. Keep up the good work.

  2. wow.
    Did you see that Patrick Macnee just died?

  3. Stephen Bowie Says:

    Brian, trust me, all four of those guys were great sources and I’ll be looking for opportunities to pester them again. And one of them is also married to a TV actress I plan to ask for an interview, once the Senator business is concluded!

    Yes, a shame about Macnee, of course. It doesn’t really feel like a “coincidence” because I met with Dame Diana almost a month ago. But I did have a bit of an Avengers marathon to prep for that interview, so his John Steed is fresh in my mind.

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