FOR THE PEOPLE was an American legal drama that aired for 13 episodes during 1965. The series follows the daily grind of a New York City Assistant District Attorney. The lead is played by William Shatner with a 24 year old Jessica Walter as his wife. Howard Da Silva plays Shatner's boss while Lonny Chapman plays an investigator for the D.A.'s office. This episode is the 11th of the production run.
This one starts with a 7 year old child being grabbed by a woman off the street in front of his apartment. The cops are called as is Assistant District Attorney William Shatner. The parents of the child, Ellen Burstyn and Lloyd Bochner are well-known concert musicians.
The phone is bugged and all wait for a phone call. The Police assume the grab was for a ransom. Of course there is a fly in the ointment. The child, Chris Man, suffers from diabetes and is due for his next shot in just 6 hours. A call soon comes asking for 100,000 in cool cash. A meet is arranged and the cops stake out the location.
There is another problem for the Police and DA. The newspaper types are on the story and are hanging around. The meet is buggered up because a newsman is spotted at the meet site. The head DA, Howard Da Silva calls in all the reporters and promises them all equal info if they will back off. The life of the boy is at stake. Da Silva also asks the papers, radio and TV news to put it out that the boy needs his insulin.
Shatner has the Police keep an eye on any drug stores in the area. If someone comes asking for insulin he wants them grabbed. Sure enough, a man hits one of the druggists looking for insulin without a prescription. The man, Don Francks, is gobbled up and tossed into an interview room. The Police "lean heavy" but Francks refuses to play and does a great imitation of a clam.
DA Shatner has a go and tells Francks that if the boy dies, it is a murder rap. Francks breaks a little and admits there is a woman involved. If the Police will not charge his girl, he will arrange for the child to be released.
Again the newspaper types are being a pest. One of the reporters, Logan Ramsey, tumbles to Francks being arrested. He wants to scoop his fellow reporters and queers the deal. Now Shatner and the Police really step into Francks for the location of the boy. Francks finally spills the location and the Police raid the house. The child, in a coma, is rushed off with his father to the nearest hospital. Shatner now walks up to the idiot reporter, Ramsey, and flattens him with a solid punch to the jaw.
This is another intense episode with cast and crew really stepping up their game. Canada is well represented with Shatner, Francks and Bochner hailing from the Great North. The episode's director, Paul Almond, was also from Canada. All four of the men had worked together in Canada in the 1950's.
The stark black and white photography and New York Location shooting really makes this show stand out.
Though the viewer never sees her face, the woman who grabbed the child is played by Diana Muldaur. She and Shatner would work together on several STAR TREK episodes.
The episode I watched came complete with 1965 ads, including one with actor Robert Taylor and his wife, Ursula Thiess, hawking Maxwell House Coffee.