MATLOCK "The P.I." (TV episode)

3/3/1994. NBC. Thursday, 8 pm. 1 hour.
Season 8 of 9. Episode 17 of season 8.
Law drama
Code: MAPI 3/1994


Ben's friend, a private investigator, and his estranged daughter try to re-establish their relationship while probing the murder of a director's mistress. The daughter shoots photos that get the investigator's friend accused of the crime.


Writers: J.L. Henderson, Michael Moore.
Director: Christopher Hibler.


Andy Griffith as Ben Matlock


George Peppard as Max Morgan
Tracy Nelson as Jessie Morgan
Bob Dishy as Oscar Treadwell
Elyssa Davalos as Allison Darnell
Suzanne Briar
Paul Carbonell
Jonathan Banks as Jack Starling, movie director. Listed 7th of 7 guests. (Special Guest Star spot)


Starling is a murderer, he strangles his mistress. He shoots at Morgan and Jessie. Grapples with Morgan for gun, hits him. In the final fight scene he gets hit by a potted plant, slammed against the wall, hit in the face, and finally shot in the stomach.


Slimy. Has reputation as second-rate director. Morgan calls him "short, dark, and untalented." Sarcastic to underlings. Doesn't like to be touched. Willing to kill to avoid blackmail. Inconsistent planner; arranges detailed frame for murder but leaves obvious clues. Has an unfaithful wife that he married for her money and a younger mistress. Murders mistress fearing that his wife will find out about the affair and leave him, taking with her the money he needs for film projects.


This seems to have been intended as a pilot for a spin-off series for George Peppard (who died May 8, 1994). Andy Griffith is the only regular to appear, and he has only one brief scene.

JB does a nice caress to his mistress' hair before he strangles her. All interactions with the unfortunate Bradford are amusing.

Morgan has a line about soap "some wiseguy" gave him, which one presumes is meant as an in-joke.


Very fancy black tie, with a matching cumberbund and bow tie. JB has a beard for this role.


Starling is shot in the stomach by Morgan,


"Bradford, take your hand off of me..." (See Wiseguy 9/1987 and Boiling Point 4/1993 for similar lines.)

"Bradford. Bradford, take the donut out of your mouth and let's shoot this."


Filmed in Los Angeles, October, 1993.


About 4 1/2 minutes in 5 scenes, throughout episode.


Andy Griffith (GEG 9/1977)