BURKE’S LAW “Who Killed Cable Roberts?” ABC, 04 October 1963 (Season 1, Episode 3). Gene Barry (Captain Amos Burke), Gary Conway, Regis Toomey, Leon Lontoc. Guest Cast: Mary Astor, Zsa Zsa Gabor, Paul Lynde, John Saxon, Lizabeth Scott, Chill Wills. Writers: Gwen Bagni, Frank D. Gilroy Director: Jeffrey Hayden.

   The gimmick in the series, as I imagine almost all of you already know, is that Amos Burke is a millionaire cop who solves crimes while being chauffeured to the scene in his Rolls Royce. The title of the series comes from his way of coming up with some pearls of wisdom to pass along to his underlings at the appropriate times.  Example: “Never ask a question unless you already know the answer. Burke’s Law.”

   And let’s not overlook a third major factor in the show. Amos Burke is absolutely irresistible to women, no matter their age or martial status. The only reason Gary Conway and Regis Toomey (his underlings) are on the show are to exchange knowing looks and fake commiseration for Burke’s plight whenever the latest female guest star flings herself upon him.

   Cable Roberts, the victim in this, the third episode of the first season, is one of those legends of the western world who combine being a writer, a big game hunter and a producer of documentary films with being as unlikable a man as he can possibly be. He’s also rich, or does that go without saying? Rich enough to have a lithe and very limber wife like Lizabeth Scott and a maid with the strikingly exotic looks of a Zsa Zsa Gabor, not to mention a personal secretary (Paul Lynde) and a son (a very young John Saxon) whom he is very definitely on the outs with.

   Plenty of suspects, that is one thing that is for certain, and all the screenwriters have to do is pick one of them to be the killer, and then figure out a way for Captain Burke to put the finger on him or her with only a few minutes to go. The end result is pleasant way to spend the better part of an hour, but also very much forgettable after that. Except, that is, for Lizabeth Scott.

   And more than that, no one could ask.