Sunday, May 2, 2010
Premiering in the late part of January 1969, “Flight Five Doesn’t Answer” is an intense and entertaining season-one episode of The Mod Squad that is only marred by the absence of Peggy Lipton, who only appears sporadically throughout the otherwise solid hour. Helmed by prolific television director George McCowan, a man who would handle a handful of Mod Squad episodes including the disappointing reunion in 1979, “Flight Five Doesn’t Answer” is hardly fresh in its plot dealing with a high jacked plane but it’s a fun episode distinguished by a terrific supporting cast and a good, if not terribly original, teleplay by Harve Bennett.
A whole welcome slew of familiar television and theatrical faces pop up in “Flight Five Doesn’t Answer” including Whit Bissell, who had just appeared in the terrific Dean Martin western 5 Card Stud, and hard working Marvin Kaplan, whom everyone will immediately recognize from his work in shows like Alice and films like the original Freaky Friday. Will Kuluva, Larry Casey, Russ Conway, Dennis Cross and Murray MacLeod also show up, making “Flight Five Doesn’t Answer” a real dream for television fans of this period.
“Flight Five Doesn’t Answer” isn’t one of The Mod Squad’s great episodes by a long shot (and I will never forgive the producers for not realizing how cute Peggy Lipton would have looked in a stewardess outfit) but it’s a good one and is a vast improvement over the previous episode, “Hell Mother, My Name is Julie.”