THE COMPETITIVE EDGE
Original Air Date: February 10, 1978
Synopsis. Joyce Brauder (played by Neile McQueen) hires Rockford to find her husband Perry (Jim McMullan), an accused embezzler who has jumped bail. After infiltrating an affluent men’s health club directed by Dr. Herb Brinkman (Stephen Elliott), Jim discovers that Brinkman has been running a drug-and-extortion racket—he laces the “vitamin treatments” of his clients with amphetamines financed by exorbitant monthly membership fees. When Rockford suspects that Perry’s disappearance may be linked to his membership in the health club, Brinkman intervenes by drugging our hero and imprisoning him in a mental institution run by Brinkman’s equally heinous brother. While he is incarcerated in the insane asylum, Rockford encounters a Stetson-wearing inmate (played by veteran character actor George Murdock) who thinks he’s Doc Holliday—and that Rockford is Wyatt Earp. In real life, James Garner played Wyatt Earp in two films: Hour of the Gun (1967) and Sunset (1988), while George Murdock played the head of the Boston insurance company that sometimes hired freelance claims investigator Thomas Banacek on Banacek (NBC, 1972-1974).
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