Television Q&A: What happened to ‘The Good Fight’?

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You have questions. I have some answers.

Q: What happened to “The Good Fight”? It had some of the characters from “The Good Wife.” It was on last fall for a few episodes and then disappeared. I thought the storyline was really good and would love to see more of it.

A: “The Good Fight,” the successor to “The Good Wife,” has had some airings on the CBS broadcast network. But “Good Fight”’s main TV home is CBS All Access, a subscription streaming service. Three seasons have been shown there since 2017 and a fourth begins on All Access on April 9.

Q: I have a video of two films made in 1935 and 1937, “Murder at the Baskervilles” and “The Triumph of Sherlock Holmes,” starring Arthur Wontner as Holmes and Ian Fleming as Watson. Both were filmed in England. Is that Ian Fleming also the creator of James Bond?

A: No. The author Ian Fleming, born in 1908, would have been a bit young to play Watson in those productions, especially in tandem with Wontner, more than 20 years his senior. The actor Ian Fleming was 20 years older than writer Fleming and better suited in age for Watson, playing the role in four of Wontner’s five Holmes films.

Wontner played Holmes on screen from 1931 to 1937 in “The Sleeping Cardinal” (also known as “Sherlock Holmes’ Fatal Hour”), “The Sign of Four,” “The Missing Rembrandt,” “The Triumph of Sherlock Holmes” and “Silver Blaze” (also known as “Murder at the Baskervilles”). David Stuart Davies’ book “Starring Sherlock Holmes” praises Wontner’s work but calls actor Fleming “another in a long line of stupid Watsons.”

Q: I have a question about Ted Bessell, who was Marlo Thomas’s boyfriend on “That Girl” and in two delightful episodes of “The Mary Tyler Moore Show.” Is he alive? I certainly hope so.

A: Unfortunately, Bessell died in 1996 from an aortic aneurysm. He was 57. Bessell did have a good career as an actor and a director. Nominated for an Emmy once as an actor on “That Girl,” his work directing and producing “The Tracey Ullman Show” led to more nominations, including sharing an “Ullman” win for best variety, music or comedy program in 1989. That said, his career also had a show he called a mistake even while he was acting in it: the 1972 sitcom “Me and the Chimp,” which has been ranked among the worst TV shows of all time.

Q: After the year 2000 but before 2004 there was a TV show about a New Orleans police detective. I can’t remember the name of the show, but the actor’s first name was Tony. The show wasn’t on very long, but I thought it was great. I was wondering if this is now available on DVD.

A: The show you remember first aired before 2000 but you may have been catching reruns. It was “The Big Easy,” a TV adaptation of the Dennis Quaid-Ellen Barkin movie of the same name. The TV series starred Tony Crane as detective Remy McSwain and Susan Walters as district attorney Anne Osborne. USA Network first aired it in 1996-97. While I have not found a DVD, the two seasons totaling 35 episodes are available on Amazon, and free with a Prime Video subscription.

Q: As a kid in the ’60s I watched a show set in Revolutionary War times when patriots were conducting clandestine meetings to organize. One character wore a scarecrow mask and rode through the night while an eerie song played. Can you tell me more about this show and how I might watch it again?

A: That was a production known as “Dr. Syn, Alias the Scarecrow” or “The Scarecrow of Romney Marsh.” It was shown on “The Wonderful World of Disney” in 1964 in three parts and starred Patrick McGoohan, who would later be famous for the TV shows “Secret Agent” and “The Prisoner” and many other TV and movie roles. The drama has been released on DVD, though copies now can be very expensive; the three parts are on YouTube and the quality isn’t too bad.

Q: I was wondering if you can help me with a World War II movie that I saw many years ago. I’m pretty sure Richard Burton played a German officer and it might have taken place in Italy. He was conflicted with a priest because he had to be in charge of mass executions. I was young at the time and it scared the blank out of me.

A: That would be “Massacre in Rome,” an Italian film from 1973, which indeed starred Burton along with Marcello Mastroianni. It was inspired by a real-life incident during World War II.


(Do you have a question or comment about entertainment past, present and future? Write to Rich Heldenfels, P.O. Box 417, Mogadore, OH 44260, or Letters may be edited. Individual replies are not guaranteed.)


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