Starring Pierce Brosnan, Stephanie Zimbalist, Doris Roberts
Written By: Robert Butler & Michael Gleason
Studio: 20th Century Fox
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“Before he was Bond, he was Remington Steele.” Remington Steele stars Pierce Brosnan as Remington Steele in his practice role for the James Bond character. Steele runs a Los Angeles based Detective Agency aptly named the Remington Steele Detective Agency. His partner in both love and business Laura Holt (Zimbalist) as well as his secretary/assistant/faux mother Mildred Krebs (Roberts) keep Remington on the straight and narrow and away from his past life of crime.
After watching this show, I can see why the Bond people decided on Brosnan for the role of Bond. You can consider Remington Steele the television Bond. There aren’t as many corny one-liners and the budget is slightly lower than the Bond films, but you still get some intriguing mysteries and the same old suave ladies man that Brosnan plays so well. One could dare to say that Remington Steele was geared more towards a female audience but the action and bravado in every episode would contradict that statement. The chemistry and romantic tension between Brosnan and Zimbalist was apparent and really made their rolls more realistic and believable. They made a great team. The one thing that bothered me the most though was the annoying role of Doris Roberts. At times she just seemed to tag along and get in the way. Other times she was there for comic relief that wasn’t very comical. I could have done without her in any episode.
Season 4 was supposed to be the last season of Remington Steele but the fans demanded that things be wrapped up, so the five episodes of season 5 were produced. As I mentioned before, there were some really good mystery and suspense writing on Remington Steele. “Forged Steele”, which was probably my favorite episode starts off with Steele visiting a prospective business partner and turns into an amnesia story where Steele apparently signs over the detective agency and gets framed for a diamond heist while he’s at it. You knew that Steele was going to come out on top, but you really had no idea how he was going to do it or who the culprit was. This kind of “whodunnit” writing was what kept the viewers coming back each and every episode. There wasn’t a crazy situation that Remington and Laura didn’t seem to wind up in. “Corn Fed Steele” reminded me a lot of a Dukes Of Hazzard episode and “Steele Blue Yonder” was more of a Perry Mason style detective story.
Having only seen a few re-runs of Remington Steele but hearing a lot about the show after the Brosnan James Bond run, I would have to say that I was overly impressed with most of the show. There were some sub-par episodes and there were some mediocre ones that didn’t flow smoothly or dragged on a monotonous storyline but most of the episodes were well written, smart and witty. With Zimbalist and her equal role with Brosnan, the show also seemed to be one of the rare 80’s shows that empowered the single career-oriented woman but it did shine a negative light on goofy old women. If you’re a Brosnan fan, then you can probably recite every episode name in reverse alphabetical order and probably have the whole series already. If you’re looking for some creative storylines and head spinning plot twists and you’re really sick of your Murder She Wrote and Magnum PI sets, then you should probably check out Remington Steele. It combines the best elements of those two shows with the remarkable persona of an early James Bond to be. Steele. Remington Steele. You will remember that name.
-Audio Commentary on Selected Episodes
Favorite Scenes: Corn Fed Steele, Steele Blue Yonder, Steele Alive and Kicking, Forged Steele, Steele Hanging In There Parts 1 & 2
Running Time: 1360 minutes