The husband-and-wife detective team have a long film history going back to the success of Nick & Nora Charles in The Thin Man. Perhaps too long, in the minds of some, because in the 1980s producers decided that they needed a gimmick beyond the couple. Sure, McMillan and Wife had been a hit, but this was the new era and everything needed a hook.
That hook was magic. Literally.
With a mother-in-law hanging around, a clever siamese cat and constant banter between the main characters, the Tim Matheson and Catherine Hicks vehicle was an odd cross between a murder mystery series and Bewitched.
The magic in this case was kept to fairly simple tricks… small-scale telekinesis, precognition and the like. Having the full range of Samantha-style powers would have made locating and capturing murderers fairly simple, and certainly not worthy of an hour of the audience’s time.
Presumably there was some witches’ code which would prevent someone who could knock a large picture off the wall from simply stopping the blood in the heart of a mass-murderer. It’s the only explanation which occurs to me which would explain why a woman who could manipulate reality would regularly find herself threatened by men as inherently scary as… Ted Danson.
That’s right, the first episode featured Ted Danson as an elevator killer.
With casting and writing like that, it’s probably unsurprising that the show has been mostly forgotten.
Question of the night: Who’s your favorite television detective?