"Ellery Queen" The Adventure of the Disappearing Dagger (TV Episode 1976) Poster

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9/10
Two Murders Solved For One Killer
DKosty12313 May 2011
Warning: Spoilers
This one includes a 5 year old murder that wasn't solved with a new murder of a detective who worked on the other case for 5 years.

Gary Burghoff (Radar O'Reilly on MASH) pops up in the guest cast. In this one, Ellery uses the circumstances of the detective's murder and the evidence from the 5 year old killing to come up with the killer. This one has the ultimate red herring in the person who was acquitted from the older murder who seems to run around angry the entire episode.

This episode bows out the series in style as it is sort of a memorial to a friend and co-worker of Inspector Richard Queen. You can tell it was not expected to be the last show. At least it is not a total loss.

Peter Faulk (Columbo) was already working with these producers and he became more of a bumbling homicide detective due to this series. This episode features the same mansion set used a couple of other times in the series and several times in The Wild Wild West.

Later would come Murder She Wrote which was more successful because CBS did a much better job scheduling it. This show was moved around so much on NBC's schedule that it had no chance of being picked up.

While Murder She Wrote uses a lot of the same plot devices, this series has more of the "in your face" quality as this shows challenges the viewer to solve each case with Ellery. When Ms. Fletcher showed up someplace you knew there was going to be a murder & Jessica would solve it.

This one has Inspector Queen still trying to teach Ellery how to make a better cup of coffee. There is more humor in Ellery Queen and I only wish there were more episodes. Still, the full series is now on DVD and now that I have watched them all, this series holds up better than a lot of other series I have checked out DVD's of. Sometimes time enhances memories to make you think something was better. In the case of Ellery Queen, this DVD reminds you Ellery Queen was better.
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7/10
The final episode no. 22
kevinolzak27 October 2009
Episode 22, "The Adventure of the Disappearing Dagger," introduces us to Hamilton Drew (Walter Pidgeon), former chief of detectives for New York's homicide squad, a wily old bird who taught Inspector Queen everything he knows. While Ellery and his father are out on a fishing trip, Drew leaves an urgent message that they discover upon arriving home, along with the shocking news that the aging detective has been stabbed to death. Learning that Drew has been looking into a 5-year-old murder case where he had fingered the wrong man, Ellery believes that solving the earlier crime will lead to the solution behind Drew's death. The old case involves a blackmailing plot in which the victim, Stuart Hendricks, was stabbed to death aboard an airplane in flight, with all the passengers asleep from drugged coffee, and only the pilot, Buck Nolan (Ronny Cox), awake and alert. The murder weapon, a dagger, cannot be found, authorities assuming that Nolan threw it out of the little window in the cockpit. They also find the blackmailer's stolen rifle plans in Nolan's apartment; the hapless pilot is acquitted of murder but convicted of blackmail, due to the evidence provided by Hamilton Drew, against whom Buck Nolan vows revenge. On the night he was killed, Drew gathered together all of the people that were on the airplane that fateful night 5 years earlier: Buck Nolan, only one week after his release from prison; the stewardess, Norma Lee Burke (Michelle Marsh); Brandon Childs (Mel Ferrer), the designer of the rifle plans, who succeeded Stuart Hendricks as company president; Mrs. Childs (Dana Wynter), former wife of Hendricks, who admits she was attracted to Brandon even before her husband's death; and Hendricks employee Gerald Hacker (Gary Burghoff), who was about to be fired for incompetence. Veteran character actor R. G. Armstrong plays Stan Buffo, who shows Ellery the inside of the plane where the Hendricks murder took place (and which hasn't been off the ground since). This would be a most baffling case were it not for the fact that the mystery killer truly looks like the mystery killer. Tom Brown is billed as 'The Broadcaster,' actually a phony magician named Marvin who informs Ellery there are only 3 ways to get rid of a dagger: conceal it, get rid of it, or change it into something else. Kristin Larkin, playing the magician's assistant,earlier appeared as a secretary named Dorothy in episode 5, "The Adventure of the 12th Floor Express." Appearing unbilled is Nina Roman as Grace, Inspector Queen's secretary, for the 7th and last time. The only real drawback is the unfortunate knowledge that this would turn out to be the season finale, the end to a well conceived and thoroughly delightful series that was designed for intellectual audiences who liked to play along with the sleuth, which couldn't find an audience in 1975. 10 years later, however, producers Richard Levinson and William Link struck paydirt with the same format, only with a different star, Angela Lansbury, in the long-running MURDER SHE WROTE.
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5/10
Good episode, also depressing.
wkozak22115 November 2018
Warning: Spoilers
I really liked this episode It was well done. It is also depressing because this was the last episode. All the actors and actresses are very good except for one. IMO Gary Burghoff was misplaced here. His performance seems forced and wooden.
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