A Nero Wolfe Mystery – Prisoner’s Base

by Alan Rapp on September 4, 2018

in Television Reviews 

  • Title: A Nero Wolfe Mystery – Prisoner’s Base
  • IMDb: link

A Nero Wolfe Mystery - Prisoner's Base television review

Today’s Throwback Tuesday post takes us back to the mid 20th Century New York and the private detective offices located at 454 W. 35th Street. “Prisoner’s Base” offers an unusual set-up as potential client, and the heir to a large fortune, refuses to give her name and attempts to buy a week under Nero Wolfe (Maury Chaykin)’s roof. Although Archie (Timothy Hutton) agrees to the absurd arrangement, Wofle cries phooey and prefers to take the money of the woman’s legal guarding offering several thousand dollars for her return. After being ousted from the brownstone (with a generous head start to find a new hiding place), Priscilla Eads (Shauna Black) dies that very night leaving Archie with a bruised ego and Wolfe with no paying client in sight (which doesn’t stop Archie from beginning his own investigation into the murder). Archie’s eventual arrest by an overzelous leaves Wolfe no choice but to take on Archie as a client.

There is at least as much failure for Wolfe and Archie as success, as Priscilla Eads won’t be the only victim to fall to the killer before all is revealed. In a staple of the show, all the suspects are gathered under Wolfe’s roof one evening which goes over motives of each who may prosper financially by Priscilla’s death. In terms of exposing a murderer, the evening is a failure. However, events do lead to a second killing. Nero Wolfe regular Kari Matchett co-stars as widow Sarah Jaffee who takes a shine to Archie after he helps her move on from her mourning period. Unfortunately Sarah will meet the safe fate as her best friend Priscilla and turn up strangled. The ploy Archie uses in attempt to save her life gives the episode its title, but unfortunately cannot save the woman’s life.

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