Try This for a Deep, Dark Secret
"Try this for a deep dark secret: The great detective Remington Steele? He doesn't exist. I invented him. Follow: I'd always loved excitement, So I studied and apprenticed, and put my name on an office. But absolutely nobody knocked down my door. A female private investigator seemed so... feminine. So I invented a superior. A decidedly masculine superior. Suddenly there were cases around the block. It was working like a charm. Until the day he walked in, with his blue eyes and mysterious past. And before I knew it, he assumed Remington Steele's identity. Now I do the work, and he takes the bows. It's a dangerous way to live, But as long as people buy it, I can get the job done. We never mix business with pleasure. Well almost never. I don't even know his real name!"
Thank God this was redone after the first episode. The wording changed slightly but the big change was Stephanie Zimbalist's voice over didn't suck like before.
When Michael Gleason, Robert Butler and Glen Caron put this show together I wonder if they knew the almost cult status this show would receive.
Even today, just shy of 20 years of its debut, it still airs and has quite a following. The show was based on a female private investigator, Laura Holt, (Stephanie Zimbalist) who decided to leave the large agency she was working with and hang her own shingle out. The problem was no one wondered into Laura Holt Investigations. She then decided to rename her business Remington Steele Investigations, based on the names of a typewriter and the Pittsburgh Steelers (with the black and gold how could she go wrong? Here we go Steelers, here we go!). And whamo.....business boomed. Along with her partner Murphey Michaels (James Read) and receptionist Bernice Fox (Janet DeMay) she managed to create a successful detective business.
However the elusive Remington Steele was never seen, he functioned best in an advisory capacity. If a client demanded on seeing Mr. Steele or insist he be involved directly in a case, Laura and Murphey politely declined the clients request and recommended them elsewhere. One day though that all changed. Was it to be believed that a man could simply step in and assume Remington Steele's identity? Sure........television is the land of make believe, right?
I hate to sound sexist but one could get the impression that Laura Holt simply allowed 'Ben Pearson' to assume the role of Steele because he was hot. I know I would! Or maybe it was just simpler to have an actual figurehead to meet, greet and smile. The pictures of 'Pearson' as Steele had already been published in the news media......when in Rome eh?
Anyhoo the series progressed, as did the sexual chemistry between Remington and Laura, and Murphey and Bernice went by the wayside after season one. The show also lost integral behind the scenes players. Glen Caron left the show, he defected to another network to create Moonlighting. Lots of similarities but Moonlighting could get away with what Steele couldn't (or wouldn't).
It was definitely grittier but that's a different story altogether. By now though RS was gaining popularity (as shows tended to do through reruns) and Zimbalist and Brosnan were gaining more and more publicity. Mostly off camera where it was rumored they couldn't stand each other.
Sources said Brosnan was miffed he didn't get top billing, and he stayed second all through the series' run. However most tuned in for him. Well maybe for the sexual chemistry between the two. (Incidentally, i began watching this show from its first episode because i thought Princess Leia was starring in it. hey i was 10 and Carrie Fisher and Stephanie Zimbalist looked alike to me!)
So viewers were awarded with 4 solid seasons of Steele. NBC decided to cancel with 1 year left in the player's contracts. Fine. Brosnan got chosen as the new Bond and went as far as actual costume fittings before the media got wind and RS blew into the top ten in summer reruns. And I must admit I was one of the guilty ones who wrote into NBC to "save" the show.
"Screw you!" NBC said, they decided to keep RS on one more season and Brosnan had to stay on, losing his coveted Bond role (which is good cause not even HE could have saved The Living Daylights). Anyhoo the controversial 5th season continued on, leaving most die hard viewers with a bad taste in their mouths. Laura and Remington were "married"
and Steele was in search of his father. Which he found. Yawn. The only upside of the season (and I am grasping here) was that Remington and Laura FINALLY consummated their relationship. We didn't see it but TV guide said they did, so there.
You can catch Remington Steele daily on PAX TV at 4 EST!