Oh-so-smug THOMAS BANACEK is a Boston-based Polish/American freelance insurance investigator whom insurance companies turn to when their own investigations have failed. This doesn't exactly endear him to big shot insurance executive types, since calling in Banacek meant they hadn't done their jobs. And the more tight-assed and pompous the executives are, the more Banacek delights in rubbing their faces in it. (Let's just say he's not known for his humility). But his track record's so good they have to put up with him. Banacek specializes in solving "impossible crimes", recovering such missing loot as an armored car or a professional football player who disappeared during a game.
Urbane, suave, cocky, Banacek has a taste for the fine things in life, and an affinity for Polish proverbs. He lives in the ritzy Beacon Hill area, and is chauffered around town in a 1942 Packard 180 limo by his driver, Jay. Among his close friends is Felix Mulholland, owner of Mulholland's Rare Books & Prints, who often ends up doing research for Banacek. In the second season, Carlie Kirkland (Christine Belford), an insurance agent, was added for love interest. But, in her own way, Carlie was as infuriating as Banacek, always a bit too ditzy to be believed, though their rivalry definitely heated up the relationship.
All in all, a real treat. One of my favorites. Definitely the best of NBC's Wednesday Mystery Movies from back in the early seventies. One note, though-the nudge-nudge wink-wink dialogue between Banacek and the numerous gorgeous, often scantily-clad women he's constantly fending off seems quite dated.
By the way, Banacek wasn't the first -- or the last -- P.I. drama Peppard would be involved in. He previously starred in the quirky 1968 film P.J. as a gumshoe and his last credited performance was as gumshoe Max Morgan in a 1994 Matlock episode entitled "The P.I." (1994).
Report respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith.
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