ROADBLOCK. Pilot episode, 1958. MCA-TV/Revue. Later shown on (Heinz) Studio 57 as “Getaway Car,” 29 March 1958 (Season 4, Episode 19, in first-run syndication). Michael Connors, John McIntyre, Wallace Ford, Olan Soule, Irene James. Teleplay: Fredric Brady, based on the story “The Homesick Buick” by John D. MacDonald (EQMM, September 1950). Director: Earl Bellamy.

   The only clue the California cops have to catch a gang of bank robbers who made their getaway in separate automobiles is by cross-referencing the locations of the stations the radio of one of the cars was preset to. The driver himself is dead, with no ID on him, having been shot while driving away.

   I don’t get it. VIN’s have been around since 1954, and the car didn’t look older than that, but maybe it was. No matter. The rest of the case is based on faulty deductions, luck and pure guesswork. No wonder this pilot episode of a proposed new series, sort of a early precursor to CHiPs, went nowhere fast.

   A young Michael Connors plays a special motorcycle-riding state investigator in this one, young and very earnest. Most of the other roles are played by old-timers who could do short plays like this in their sleep.


Note: Michael Shonk also reviewed this busted pilot a while ago on this blog. You can read his comments here.