You have questions, many from the entertainment vault. I have some answers.
Question: We recently acquired DVDs of the complete “JAG.” Season 1 ended with Harm being arrested for murder in an episode called “Skeleton Crew.” Season 2 opened with Harm investigating the theft of the Declaration of Independence. No explanation was given for his being back at work, or of the actual murderer. Is there a resolution to “Skeleton Crew”?
Answer: No. Heroes & Icons, which carries “JAG” repeats, explains on its website that “Skeleton Crew” was meant to the first-season finale on NBC. The network decided to cancel the show before that episode aired, and so chose not to air a cliffhanger that would remain hanging. But then CBS picked up the show. Because it was starting fresh, that network neither aired “Skeleton Crew” nor completed the story. H&I notes that “JAG” did use parts of “Skeleton Crew” in flashbacks in a later episode, “Death Watch,” but the complete “Crew” remained in limbo until the series became available in syndicated reruns and DVDs. As a result, when the show’s repeats air in order, H&I says, it “jumps from a cliffhanger to... the cliff disappearing completely.”
Q: Back in the ’70s, over the summer they would often air unsold pilots. I vaguely remember a “Dirty Harry”-style cop show called “Hardcase,” which seemed to be a lot more violent than most of the other shows of the era. I can’t remember anything else about it or who starred in it. I’ve never met anyone else who knows what I’m talking about! Tell me that I’m not crazy.
A: You are not crazy. In the ’80s there was indeed a pilot called “Hardcase” starring Beau Kayser as tough cop Harding Casey, with Mickey Rourke as the villain. Said one review: “The trouble with ‘Hardcase’ is it’s too darn hard. Mr. Kayser speaks in a Clint East- wood teeth-clenched whisper, and he’s just too derivatively stony. Even the convict, played by Mr. Rourke at his most menacingly greasy, is an exaggeratedly rotten apple.” Of course, Rourke still managed to have a career. So did Beau Kazer (as his name was often spelled), especially as Brock Reynolds on “The Young and the Restless.” He died in 2014.
Q: Can you find out if a sequel for the movie “Passengers” with Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Pratt is in the works? This is one of my favorite movies and I want to know what happened next.
A: Although the movie was somewhat successful, it was designed to avoid a sequel. Chris Pratt told CinemaBlend that “Passengers” is “an entirely complete story,” and Jennifer Lawrence said that “the end is the end.”
Q: Over the years, several classic TV shows have been made or reimagined into big screen movies or have been revived on some other media platform. There was a series called “Land of The Giants” (currently running on MeTV). Has there ever been any serious talk of any sort of a revival of this series? Handled right it could be a success.
A: For folks tuning in late, “Land of the Giants” originally aired on ABC in 1968-70 and involved people who had landed on planet where everything was 12 times the size of the same things on Earth. It was created by Irwin Allen (“Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea,” “Lost in Space”) and MeTV airs it in a block with other Allen shows. While I think just about any old TV concept leads to someone meeting about a reboot, I have not found any reports of a serious plan or discussion about new “Giants.”
Q: In an episode of “The Virgin- ian,” I saw a talented actor named Peter Deuel. Can you tell me anything about him?
A: The actor, also known as Peter Duel, was a well-liked, handsome actor who worked often in TV, including as a regular on the comedies “Love on a Rooftop” (1966-67) and, with Sally Field, “Gidget” (1965-66). He seemed ready for a breakthrough with the Western “Alias Smith and Jones” in 1971. (He was Smith, Ben Murphy was Jones. Field also appeared.) But he reportedly was troubled and had a drinking problem, and in December 1971 he died by suicide. He was 31 years old. “Alias Smith and Jones” kept going by recasting Deuel’s role, but it did not last long. Still, Deuel has a devoted following keeping his memory alive online.