Season Three opens strong right out of the gate with "Questions & Answers" (2 parts) and concludes with "A Grave Too Soon." 24 hard hitting episodes which include: A savage murder of a priest, a car theft ring, an 18 year old homicide cold case, a cop killer and a mob hit on Kojak.
Here are my 5 reasons why Kojak will forever remain ONE of the best television detectives series of the 70s:
#1 Telly Savalas as Theo Kojak
He IS Kojak. The intelligence, charm and wit of Telly Savalas are irrepressible and inimitable. Savalas was a trendsetter. He takes his place in the pantheon of TV and Cinematic movie Detectives such as Humphrey Bogart. Clint Eastwood. Peter Falk.
#2 The Scripts/Stories
These are tight-as-a-drum, flawlessly well-written episodes indicative of cinema. Suspenseful, gritty crime writing with purpose and heart. Fantastic one-liners that are quote-worthy to this very day. Crime writer Joe Gores received an Edgar Award from the Mystery Writers of America for Best Episode in a TV Series Teleplay for the third-season episode "No Immunity for Murder."
#3 The Actors/Performances
C'mon..."fuggedaboutit," as the mobsters say... the whole cast: Kevin Dobson, Dan Frazer, George Savalas and the guest stars: Eli Wallach. F. Murray Abraham. Sylvester Stallone... the list goes on.
Great casting and credible performances.
#4 The Locations
New York in the 70s beautifully rendered on film in this series. Lots of WTC shots and inner cityscapes that convey the realism of detective work and Manhattan South. It feels very real like when Sidney LumetMaking Movies shot in New York.
Memorable theme song (Billy Goldenberg, John Cacavas). Music throughout and through episodes is just the right touch of jazz and great compositions. When the final credits roll in each episode, it's film quality.
As a bonus on this set, there is a respectable and heartfelt documentary on Kojak and, most importantly the man who played him so well... Telly Savalas. Angie Dickinson and his close family fondly remember him as the great man he really was.