CBS Series produced by Quinn Martin
|New Web Fan Club/ Group
Barnaby Jones Investigations
||Barnaby Jones Group at Yahoo!
||Exchange thoughts and questions with fellow fans. Post photos.
||Click on icon to subscribe to the Barnaby Jones Group/Fan Club
Barnaby Jones - The Series
The crime drama/ detective series Barnaby Jones consists of 171 episodes
(60-min., including one two-part episode) and three feature length specials; in all 8
seasons, running from 1973 to 1980. The series has no pilot film as originally Buddy
Ebsen was to play a guest role on the detective series Cannon, also produced
by Quinn Martin. The episode was intended to lead to a possible spin-off. But when CBS
needed a stopgap Fred Silverman, in charge of programming, decided for a new series
"Barnaby Jones" with William Conrad (Frank Cannon) appearing there as a
special guest star in the first episode. In the States the series went down well with the audience
and the series lasted for eight years (in comparison: Cannon ran for five years).
Several times the series was among the 25 top rated prime time telecasts of a year /season.
Originally Barnaby Jones was an expert in forensics with the special fields: forensic chemistry,
clinical psychology, forensic medicine, toxicology and criminology. He delivered courses of
lectures at colleges and worked successfully as a private investigator. Then he retired to raise
horses on his ranch in Sun Valley, leaving the concerted Los Angeles-based detective agency
to his son Hal. However the murder of his son four years later induced him to solve a case
again, to come out of retirement and to resume work together with his daughter-in-law Betty
as his assistant and secretary.
Being a forensic chemist he has got a special home laboratory room at his office where clues
can be ananalyzed and possible bits of evidence are evaluated. Often it is there he finds a
solution. Even the search for tracks and fingerprints at the site of a crime poses no problem for
|Barnaby Jones||Betty Jones|
|Barnaby Jones represents the new image in detectives: an older
man with a quaint country charm and trigger wit. He is an amiable old codger, whose keen
analytical mind is often masked by a homespun exterior. He calls himself kind of a "long looker
and a slow thinker". Thus guilty parties are drawn into a false sense of security.
Barnaby solves crimes with a calm, folksy demeanor. He treats people with respect and has
always words of consolation left for the victims. Besides solving missing person cases and
doubted "deadly accidents", he also takes on investigations for the California Meridian
Insurance Company. He pursues the criminals by car, on foot or if necessary even on
horseback. His gun is sure-hitting. He often resorts to a ruse. In his spare time he likes to go
fishing. His favourite drink is milk.
|Betty Jones is the widow of Hal Jones and thus Barnaby's daughter-in-
law. In the investigative agency she takes on the role of the secretary ("I only type and answer
the phone"). She assists Barnaby in the lab and with shadowing, and she helps him discussing
and solving the cases. To get a chance to leave the office she frequently brings Barnaby files to
his current 'operational area'. Sometimes she makes inquiries on her own. In doing so she is
efficient and not the type of 'helpless woman', but often she proceeds a bit foolhardy.
| J.R. Jones || Lt. John Biddle |
|Jedediah Romano (J.R.) Jones brings some youthful carefreeness to
the series. He is the son of Barnaby's cousin Monroe from Chicago. After solving the murder
of his father together with Barnaby he joins the family firm in the fifth season. Besides his work
at the investigative agency J.R. reads for the bar to become a lawyer. Dressed casually and
always short of cash J.R. seems to be just the opposite of Barnaby. But he is also charming,
witty and reliable. Sometimes J.R. takes care of special assignments.
||Lt. John Biddle works at Los Angeles Police Department homicide
squad. He joins the series during mid-second season. He is often able to supply Barnaby with
important information from police files or results of inquiries. On the other hand he also likes
to accept hints from Barnaby. Often Biddle is astonished when Barnaby already appears at the
site of a crime shortly before him. Also Biddle sometimes disagrees with Barnaby about the
culprit or the solution of a case |
Cast / Regular Performers:
|Barnaby Jones||Buddy Ebsen|
| Betty Jones || Lee Meriwether |
| J.R. Jones || Mark Shera |
| Lt. Biddle || John Carter |
Veteran Hollywood actor Buddy Ebsen started his career as a dancer on Broadway and
took part in musical films of the thirties. In the fifties he became famous as Davy's pal George
Russel in Walt Disney's "Davy Crockett"-films. He played many guest roles on TV
and in several movies, for instance as Doc Golightly in "Breakfast at Tiffany's". He
achieved his greatest success as head of the family "Jed Clampett" in the US-TV comedy series
"The Beverly Hillbillies" (1962-1971). Other series are "Barnaby Jones"
(1973-1980) and "Matt Houston" (third season: 1984-85).
The attractive former Miss America Lee Meriwether appeared in TV series such as
"The Time Tunnel", "F.B.I" and "Mission Impossible" (in the
sixties). Moreover she played "Catwoman" in the "Batman" movie (1966). In the
eighties she played Lily in "The Munsters Today" and in the mid-nineties she appeared
in the TV soap opera "All My Children".
Mark Shera took part in the TV series "S.W.A.T." .
The title theme for the series was composed by famous Hollywood composer Jerry
Goldsmith who created the music for movies such as "Planet of the Apes",
"The Omen", "Coma", "Alien", "Star Trek", and TV title
tunes for "The Man From UNCLE" and "The Waltons".
Bill Bixby ("The Incredible Hulk"), Eric Braeden ("The Young and the
Restless"), William Conrad ("Cannon"), Tyne Daly ("Cagney und Lacey"),
Susan Dey ("L.A.Law"), Robert Foxworth ("Falcon Crest"), Anthony
Geary ("General Hospital"), Clu Gulager, Larry Hagman ("Dallas"),
Gary Lockwood, Ida Lupino, Roddy McDowall, Leslie Nielsen
("The Naked Gun"), Stefanie Powers ("Hart to Hart"), William Shatner ("Star
Trek"), Mark Singer ("V"), Madeleine Stowe, Peter Strauss ("Rich
Man, Poor Man"), Barry Sullivan, Joan Van Ark ("Knots Landing"), and many
Barnaby Jones proves that a private detective doesn't always have to be an ex-police detective,
an ex-con or a writing amateur sleuth. He doesn't wear a trechcoat unless it rains and he
doesn't have financial difficulties (as his clients usually pay). He doesn't always do the dirty
work and he doesn't beat up the criminals. He is a full professional with a scientific
background and many years of experience. He solves many interesting cases with brains,
analytics and knowledge of human nature and also handles routine tasks for an insurance
company. In every pocket he has got small plastic bags to gather clues. Locks are no obstacles
for him. In his home laboratory the microscope is his most important working tool. But he also
carries out many chemical detection reactions by himself. And besides he has a special kind of
Barnaby's Best Phrases:
"I can eat anything as long as I can wash it down with a glass of cold milk." / Nancy: "A man
of your age, Mr. Jones? You're a new kind of private eye." Barnaby: "It's a nice way of saying
I'm an old kind of private eye. Besides to me old age has always seemed to be 15 years older
than I am." / "Betty, the answers are just as tough, but the questions are getting better all the
time." / "I don't like coincidences." / "Believing everything you see is nearly as badly as having
to see everything you believe." / "And in my business questions are like peanuts, you can't stop
with one or two." / "I have lost something." "What?" "My temper." / "Dead people don't leave
fingerprints." / "At this moment I'm not looking for the needle in the haystack, I'm looking for
a haystack." / "That boy is as loose with his purse-strings as a nimbus cloud is with rain." /
While trying in vain to repair a microscope: Barnaby: "I have just reached the limits of my
conceit." / "It looks like we have an epidemic of accidents." /
More information on the series Barnaby Jones can be found in the following
David Martindale: Television Detective Shows of the 1970s. Credits, Storylines and
Episode Guides for 109 Series. McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers, Jefferson, North
Carolina, and London, 1991.
Ric Meyers: TV Detectives. A. S. Barnes & Company, Cranbury, New
Ric Meyers: Murder on the Air, Television's Great Mystery Series. The Mysterious
Press, New York, London, Tokyo, Sweden, 1989.
Tim Brooks and Earle Marsh: The Complete Directory to Prime Time Network
TV Shows 1946-present. Ballantine Books, New York (e.g. 5th edition 1992).
Geoff Tibballs: The Boxtree Encyclopedia of TV Detectives. Boxtree Limited, London,
US airdates for the episodes:
Larry James Gianakos: Television Drama Series Programming, A Comprehensive Chronicle, 1959-1975. The Scarecrow Press, Inc., Metuchen, N.J. & London, 1978 and Larry James Gianakos: Television Drama Series Programming, A Comprehensive Chronicle, 1975-1980. The Scarecrow Press, Inc., Metuchen, N.J. & London, 1981.
Barnaby Jones Episode Guide:
This guide may be distributed and copied freely for personal use and it may be posted to any
'free' site, but only in its entirety with all original author and copyright information remaining
intact. Not for sale in any way. Text © 1999 - 2002 by R. Boehme. Last update July 2002.
This page hosted by
Get your own Free Home Page