- BEAMER’S LAST CASE
Original Air Date: September 16, 1977
Synopsis. Rockford returns from an aborted fishing vacation in the Caribbean to find that someone has wrecked his car, disturbed his home, used his credit card to purchase several expensive detection devices, and even impersonated him. The culprit: Freddie Beamer, a mechanic at Tony’s Body Shop—and a private detective wannabe. Not only must Rockford clean up the mess Freddie made of his own life, he finds himself having to rescue Beamer (played by James Whitmore Jr.) after Freddie stumbles onto a taxicab company owner’s plot to sabotage his own business.
In this episode, writer/director Stephen J. Cannell borrows a concept from the classic Maverick episode “The Saga of Waco Williams” by pairing Rockford with a character, Freddie Beamer, with a penchant for landing in the middle of situations that Rockford would normally avoid. James Whitmore Jr., who plays Beamer, had just finished production of the first season of the World War II drama Baa Baa Black Sheep (NBC, 1976-1978) at the time he filmed this episode. Baa Baa Black Sheep was Cannell’s first series as an executive producer.
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