IRONSIDE Raymond Burr

“The Monster of Comus Towers.” From the Ironside TV series. Season 1, Episode 10 (of 196 total). First telecast: 16 November 1967. Regular cast: Raymond Burr (Ironside), Don Galloway (Det. Sgt. Ed Brown), Barbara Anderson (Officer Eve Whitfield), and Don Mitchell (Mark Sanger). Guest cast: Warren Stevens, David Hartman, Joan Huntington, Michael Forest, Donald Buka, Kevin Hagen, Evi Marandi, Renzo Cesana, Harper Flaherty. Teleplay: A. J. Russell and Stanford Whitmore. Story: A. J. Russell. Director: Don Weis (58 Ironside episodes to his credit).

   Most long-running crime dramas seem to find it impossible to produce genuine whodunnits on a regular basis (it does require thinking a lot), so the majority of them work on the Encyclopedia Brown level of complexity.

   This particular episode, however, is something of an exception to the general rule.

IRONSIDE Raymond Burr

   A collection of one-of-a-kind art masterpieces valued at $20 million is being displayed on an upper floor of Comus Towers, headquarters of a computer firm. With alarms still sounding, security guards rush to the art exhibit only to find another guard with a knife sticking out of him and the head of security lying on the floor nearby, unconscious and wounded.

   The 6-foot-long, 40-pound centerpiece of a triptych has apparently been spirited out of the high-rise through a smashed plate glass window by someone who can either fly in gale force winds or shinny up the side of a tall building while wearing tennis shoes.

IRONSIDE Raymond Burr

   When Ironside & Co. are called in, the chief has no shortage of suspects, some more obvious than others: the wealthy owner of Comus Towers, the self-assured head of security (no one is above suspicion to Ironside), the bespectacled art insurance expert, the cool female employee of the firm, the two-timing ex-con she’s having an affair with, the Italian sponsor of the art exhibit who’s hard up for money, and his abnormally nervous young wife.

   The sponsor, however, soon eliminates himself from the suspect list by literally dropping dead from cyanide poisoning, leaving Ironside with two murders to solve.

   In Golden Age detective fiction style, the chief gets proactive, gathers all the remaining suspects together, and sets a trap according to the old adage of divide and conquer.

   You can watch “The Monster of Comus Towers” along with lots of annoying commercials on Hulu here.