A fairly blatant copy of “Charlie’s Angels”, this syndicated action-adventure series got off to a rough start and my friends Jeff Reno and Ron Osborn were hired to turn it into a comedy; they brought me along.
It was great fun – I got to write stage directions like “She spin-kicks him in the gut.” We tried some unusual things for what was ostensibly still a gorgeous-girl-spies show: lots of rapid-fire banter (a Reno & Osborn specialty), dream sequences, dancing.
And light opera. When I learned actress Kristen Miller had a musical-theater background, I had her character kidnapped and injected with sodium pen- tathol, but instead of spilling secrets she sings an aria from “The Pirates of Penzance” (right).
The director of that episode, Krishna Rao, had a sly sense of humor. When Kristen asked how to react to the sodium pentathol he said “Well, you know that first rush you get from a shot of heroin…”
One of my favorite sequences was in that same show, “Betrayal”. Cassie and Shane are told their partner’s selling secrets. Refusing to believe it, they get a surveillance van and follow D.D. to an apartment complex; here’s what the script had next: “Betrayal” script excerpt.
The studio called the scene filth and refused to let us film it. Even the act- resses were wary.
But finally everyone admitted that nothing dirty happened and, in fact, nothing dirty was said; it was all in the spies’ imaginations. We were allowed to shoot the scene with a few cuts.
I’m also fond of the episode “While You Were Out”, despite its hackneyed plot about homicidal feminist secre- taries out to take over the financial system.
And when the studio was looking to save money, I had an idea: “Three girls stand still for an hour.” A slight exaggeration, but only slight: “Trap”.
One more fave bit: In “Betrayal”, D.D.’s brother is kidnapped from his Los Angeles apartment. After being rescued by D.D., he moves to San Francisco. Cassie: “You can’t blame him – after all, he was kidnapped, beaten and tor- tured.” “Actually,” says D.D., “it was the traffic.”