Remington Steele & Laura Holt

Created by Michael Gleason and Robert Butler

"Try this for a deep dark secret: The great detective Remington Steele... He doesn't exist. I invented him. Follow: I'd always loved excitement, So I studied and apprenticed, and put my name on an office. But absolutely no one knocked on my door. A female private investigator seemed so... feminine. So I invented a superior. A decidedly masculine superior. Suddenly there were cases around the block. It was working like a charm. Until the day he walked in, with his blue eyes and mysterious past. And before I knew it, he assumed Remington Steele's identity. Now I do the work, and he takes the bows. It's a dangerous way to live, But as long as people buy it, I can get the job done. We never mix business with pleasure. Well...almost never. I don't even know his real name!"

That about sums up rookie private eye LAURA HOLT''s original plan. Invent a male superior to attract clients to her fledgling detective agency. Until a mysterious, albeit charming con artist shows up, claiming he is REMINGTON STEELE.

And then he won't leave. However, Laura and he hit it off, and she realizes he may be useful, after all. He soon joins Laura, Murphy, another op, and their secretary Bernice, in the agency.

Not terribly swift at times, Remington nevertheless managed to always, somehow, keep one lie ahead of the game (shades of Rockford!), while Laura's attempts to dig up Steele's real identity (hell, he couldn't be Steele -- she made up the name!) soon revealed that even he didn't have one. This became an important subplot, as the series progressed and more of his past was revealed.

Of course, this being the eighties, there was the obligatory sexual friction between the two. It certainly helped the fantasy that the leads, Stephanie Zimbalist and Pierce Brosnan, looked like Barbie dolls). Think Sam and Diane of Cheers as private eyes, and you wouldn't be far off. Producer Glen Caron, in fact, left the show after one season, to create Moonlighting, which was remarkably similiar.

At the start of the second season, IRS agent Mildred Krebs joins the agency, having tired of trying to nail Steele on non-payment of taxes (it's hard to tax a guy who doesn't exist). Bits and pieces of his past continued to bubble to the surface. It turns out he has a mentor of sorts, Daniel Chalmers, an older conman, who pops up at inconvenient times (played by Stephanie Zimbalist's real life dad, Efram Zimbalist, Jr.). Immigration tries to deport him. Old girlfriends (always in trouble) turn up with alarming frequency. Rumours of criminal acts are whispered. Fun stuff.

And don't get me wrong -- it was fun stuff. Fluffy-light comedy with romantic overtones, and enough cleverness, stylish clothes and attractive leads (not to mention some world-class groaner pun episode titles) to keep going for several seasons. At the end of the fourth season, in what was to be the final episode, "Bonds of Steele," Laura and Remington finally get married, and theoretically live happily ever after, with actor Pierce Brosnan slated to be the next James Bond.

Unfortunately for him, NBC decided all the free publicity swirling around was reason enough to extend the series for one more season. So Timothy Dalton became the new Bond, and Remington Steele returned for a fifth season. Well, sorta...

Season five ended up being a half-ass collection of a couple of TV movies and a two-parter series finale that tied up a few loose ends, revealing a deep, dark secret from Remington's past, and had him inheriting a castle in Ireland. A fairy tale ending to a series that was pretty much a fairy tale anyways, and yet it lacked the wit that had made the show worth watching in the first place.

In fact, in the original concept, Remington Steele wasn't even going to exist. Only after NBC insisted on a male lead did creators Michael Gleason and Robert Butler make him flesh.

TELEVISION

  • REMINGTON STEELE
    (1982-87, NBC)
    88 one-hour episodes, 3 two-hour episodes
    Created by Michael Gleason and Robert Butler
    Writers: Michael Gleason, Lee Zlotoff, Glen Caron, Joel Steiger, Richard Collins, Andrew Laskos, Duncan Smith, Joyce Armor, , Susan Baskin, Brian Clemens, Richard Collins, Richard Deroy, Joe Gores, Brian Alan Lane, Brad Kern, Larry Konner, Gary Kott, Kerry Lenhart, George Lee Marshall, Jeff Melvoin, Rick Mittleman, Judy Neer, Pamela Norris, John Pashdag, Mitch Paradise, John J. Sakmar, Bob Shayne, Brady Westwater, John Wirth, Stephanie Zimbalist
    Directors: Robert Butler, Jeff Bleckner, Leo Penn, Burt Brinckerhoff, Sidney Hayers, Seymour Robbie, RJ Stewart, Don Weis, Nick Havinga, Karen Arthur, Gabrielle Beaumont, Larry Elikann, Harry Harris, Christopher Hibler, Kevin Inch, Rocky Lang, Sheldon Larry, Stan Lathan, Peter Medak, Barbara Peters, Alexander Singer, Seymour Robbie, Kevin Connor,
    Producer: Glen Caron (1st season)
    Executive Producer: Michael Gleason
    Produced by MTM Enterprises Inc.
    Music by Henry Mancini, Richard Lewis Warren, Donald Nemitz
    Starring Pierce Brosnan as REMINGTON STEELE
    and Stephanie Zimbalist as LAURA HOLT
    with Doris Roberts as Mildred Krebs
    James Read as Murphy Michaels (first season)
    Janet DeMay as Bernice Fox (first season)
    Jack Scalia as Tony Roselli (fifth season)
    Efrem Zimbalist Jr. as Daniel Chalmers
    Guest stars: Sharon Stone, Geena Davis, Paul Reiser, Tom Baker (Dr. Who), Beverly Garland, Peter Scolari, Betty Kennedy, Peter Jurasik (Sid!), Annie Potts, Allyce Beasley, Dorothy Lamour, Virginia Mayo, Lloyd Nolan, Tracy Scoggins, Michael Constantine, John Larroquette, Joe Santos, Robert Pastorelli, Geena Davis, Dennis Farina, Louie Anderson, Rose Marie, Jennifer Tilly, Barbara Stock, Delta Burke

  • Season One....Buy this season on DVD
  • "Licence to Steele"
  • "Tempered Steele"
  • "Steele Waters Run Deep"
  • "Signed, Steeled and Delivered"
  • "Thou Shalt Not Steele"
  • "Steele Belted"
  • "Etched in Steele"
  • "Your Steele the One for Me"
  • "In the Steele of the Night"
  • "Steele Trap"
  • "Steeling the Show"
  • "Steele Flying High"
  • "A Good Night's Steele"
  • "Hearts of Steele"
  • "To Stop a Steele"
  • "Steele Crazy After All These Years"
  • "Steele Among the Living"
  • "Steele in the News"
  • "Vintage Steele"
  • "Steele's Gold"
  • "Sting of Steele"
  • "Your Steele in Circulation"

  • Season Two....Buy this season on DVD
  • "Steele Away With Me" (2 hours)
  • "Red Holt Steele"
  • "Altared Steele"
  • "Steele Framed"
  • "A Steele at Any Price"
  • "Love Among the Steele"
  • "Scene Steelers"
  • "Steele Knuckles and Glass Jaws"
  • "My Fair Steele"
  • "Steele Threads"
  • "Steele Eligible"
  • "High Flying Steele"
  • "Blood is Thicker Than Steele"
  • "Steele Sweet on You"
  • "Elegy in Steele"
  • "Small Town Steele"
  • "Molten Steele"
  • "Dreams of Steele"
  • "Woman of Steele"
  • "Hounded Steele"
  • "Elementary Steele"

  • Season Three...Buy this season on DVD
  • "Steele At It"
  • "Lofty Steele"
  • "Maltese Steele"
  • "Second Base Steele"
  • "Blue Blooded Steele"
  • "Steele Your Heart Away"
  • "Pocketful of Steele"
  • "Puzzled Steele"
  • "Cast in Steele"
  • "Breath of Steele"
  • "Let's Steele a Plot"
  • "Gourmet Steele"
  • "Stronger Than Steele"
  • "Have I Got a Steele for You"
  • "Springtime for Steele"
  • "Steele in the Family"
  • "Diced Steele"
  • "Now You Steele It, Now You Don't"
  • "Illustrated Steele"
  • "Steele in the Chips"
  • "Steele Trying"
  • "Steele of Approval"

  • Season Four...Buy this season on DVD
  • "Steele Searching" (Part 1)
  • "Steele Searching" (Part 2)
  • "Steele Blushing"
  • "Grappling Steele"
  • "Forged Steele"
  • "Corn-Fed Steele"
  • "Premium Steele"
  • "Coffee, Tea or Steele"
  • "Dancer, Prancer, Donner and Steele"
  • "Steele on the Air"
  • "Steele, Inc."
  • "Steele Spawning"
  • "Suburban Steele"
  • "Santa Claus Is Coming to Steele"
  • "Steele Blue Yonder"
  • "Sensitive Steele"
  • "Steele in the Spotlight"
  • "Steele at Your Service"
  • "Steele in the Running"
  • "Beg, Borrow or Steele"
  • "Steele Alive and Kicking"
  • "Bonds of Steele"

  • Season Five...Buy this season on DVD
  • "The Steele That Wouldn't Die" (2 hour movie)
  • "Steele Hanging in There" (Part 1)
  • "Steele Hanging in There" (Part 2)
  • "Steeled With a Kiss" (2 hour movie)

Respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith.


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