Private Detectives on TV – Harry O

In November 1973, Harry lived in San Diego where, following his enforced retirement from the police, he took up as a private detective in order to supplement his meager police pension. He had a house on the beach where he spent much of his time alone working on his boat, The Answer. His other form of transport was a beat-up Austin MG which spent much of its time waiting for him to earn enough money to afford the spares needed to repair it. Thus, much of his detecting is done on foot or by bus or taxi.

Harry’s first case involved his being employed by the guy who shot him who himself 資產調查 needed protection from a killer. From then on, he was available for hire by anyone for just $100 per day plus expenses.

The character portrayed by David Janssen was rather weary and downbeat and being in some pain from his gunshot injury, was unable to provide much by way of energetic combat with his adversaries, whether unarmed or otherwise. The lack of a flashy motor-car, or even a functional one, prevented the appearance of the normally obligatory car chases but despite, or perhaps because of all this, Harry O was a very popular character, who, like Magnum PI, narrated the programs himself, in the first person.

At the beginning of the series his sometime adversary and sometime partner in crime fighting was Lt. Manny Quinlan (played by Henry Darrow) of the San Diego Police Department. Manny would often help Harry, to the disgust of his bosses and Harry always kept Manny up to speed with what he was up to. When Lt. Quinlan was killed off, during February 1975, Harry moved briefly to Los Angeles, at the behest of a client, where he found himself living in a neighbouring apartment to an air hostess called Betsy (played by Kathrine Baumann).

Betsy was about to move to Santa Monica and Harry learnt that his San Diego home was being raised to the ground so he too moved to Santa Monica and rented a place next door to Betsy. Betsy had a succession of roommates who wandered about the place wearing little but bikinis and visited Harry whenever they felt like it. Following these was Sue, also an air hostess, (played by Farrah Fawcett-Majors a whole year before she starred in Charlie’s Angels) with whom Harry had his first steady relationship since he was divorced.

Harry’s professional foil in Santa Monica was Lt. Trench of the Santa Monica PD. Trench seemed to actually quite like Harry but found him rather infuriating, and so it was until the series wound up in April 1976.

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