Sep. 14, 1967
60 min.
NBC TV Network

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Ironside tv show photo


Robert T. Ironside, chief of detectives with the San Francisco Police Department, is shot down by a sniper's bullet. He survived the attack, but became crippled from the waist down and was confined the wheelchair. With his former assistants Brown and Whitfield and former delinquent Mark, he combats crime from his mobile office while leaving a pot of chili cooking back at headquarters.

Trivia Facts | Top Quotes | Goofs/Mistakes
  • As the show progressed, Mark went from being Ironside's bodyguard, to a full fledged police officer and eventually became an attorney in the final season.
  • Star Raymond Burr injured his eyes working on the series. Being in a wheelchair, he had to look up directly into the hot lights used to film his scenes and his eyes were slightly burned.
  • Barbara Anderson left the show after the 1970-1971 season because of a contract dispute.
  • Steven Bochco, who would later became one of the most successful television producers of the 1980's and 90's, worked on the series very early in his career. He had been hired by Executive Producer Frank Price at the start of the first season to write a few extra minutes worth of scenes in the first six episodes, which were too short. After looking at these episodes, Bochco asked Price if it was really necessary for him to do this for all six because he didn't think the show would last that long. According to Bochco, Price was not happy with the remark and this was the start of a strained relationship between the two of them that continued when Price was in charge of Universal Television and Bochco was a writer there.
  • A couple of episodes on the show acted as the pilots for the short lived series Sarge and Amy Prentiss.
  • In many of the early episodes, Ironside and his team would drive around in an armored car. However, during the second season they replaced it with his more familiar van.
  • Besides the injuries to his eyes, Raymond Burr suffered great physical stress from being in the wheelchair for extended periods of time.
  • NBC abruptly canceled the series in 1975 without airing three episodes: "The Organizer," "The Rolling Y" and "A Matter of Life or Death." Those segments eventually aired in syndication.
  • Actress Dana Wynter guest-starred playing different characters in 2 episodes. She would later portray Robert Ironside's wife in the 1993 reunion movie.
  • Ed served in the marines before he became a police officer.
  • In the pilot Ironside wears a bandage on his right hand. This was not makeup. Raymond Burr injured the first two fingers of his hand when he fell after being "shot".
  • Boat used in one episode looks like Minnow from Gilligan's Island.
  • In the show Raymond Burr plays a wheelchair-bound hero, which is ironic since his most famous film role was in Rear Window, where he played a villain fighting a wheelchair-bound hero.
  • Three of Raymond Burr's former Perry Mason cast mates all made appearances on the show; Barbara Hale, Wesley Lau and Richard L. Anderson.
  • The title comes from the saying "dead men tell no tales."
  • The backyard swimming pool location where Trask's assistant is murdered is the same one used as the site of a murder in "Tagged for Murder" just four weeks later.
  • The plane that Jack Lord tries to escape in, a Champion 7GCB - Registration: N9908Y was in a fatal accident on 7/15/1996.
  • The title comes from the biblical expression: "Eat, drink and be merry" (Luke 12:19, KJV).
  • Guest star Richard Anderson appeared in the role of Lt. Steve Drumm in the final season of Raymond Burr's series Perry Mason.
  • The house used for the Farley Granger and Lee Grant characters' house was the same as that used as the home of Jonathan and Jennifer Hart eleven years later in Hart to Hart.
  • After Ironside tells Mark to copy down by hand a massive amount of information from a number of books, he goes to the assistant librarian to see about photocopying all of it instead. The sign on her desk shows that photocopies are 25 cents a page. The meaning of Mark's action is probably lost on today's audience but after adjusting for inflation, that's equivalent to a $1.75 a page, which would've cost Ironside a LOT of money.
  • The climatic scenes were actually filmed on location at San Francisco's Cable Car Barn.
  • The title is a biblical reference to Moses' request of the Pharaoh in Exodus: "Let my people go."
  • Although Marcia Strassman is credited, only her voice and an image of her on a cardboard cutout appear in the episode.
  • Acting debut for Barbara Rhoades.
  • Per the title, "What's past is prologue" is a quote from Shakespeare's play The Tempest meaning that history repeats itself and continually influences the present.
  • Jeanette Nolan -from Lady Macbeth to grieving parent- a class act.
  • This was Johnny Seven's first appearance on the show. He would make three more appearances on the show before he would take over the role of Lt. Carl Reese during the later seasons of the show.
  • The band at Freddy's pad was the Hook, a band under contract to Uni Records, owned by Universal Studios, producer of Ironside. When Ironside and a team of cops show up at the pad, the band breaks out in a fast, fuzz-toned version of the Ironside theme song!
  • Several times in the episode, Ironside sarcastically calls Mark 'Judge Sanger'. Years later, in the 1993 reunion movie The Return of Ironside, Mark, who studied law in the original series, passed the bar and became a lawyer, did indeed become a judge!

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