by Anthony King
After bursting onto the scene in the Joseph Sargent-directed feature-length Kojak pilot The Marcus-Nelson Murders, Marjoe stuck with the format and joined a cast of huge names from the television world in the made-for-TV movie Pray for the Wildcats. By 1974 Andy Griffith was one of America's favorite “Gee-golly” guys, having starred in The Andy Griffith Show for most of the '60s. In the early '70s, Griffith was still exclusively working in TV with guest spots on shows like Mod Squad, Hawaii Five-O, and a few ill-fated takes on his Andy Taylor character. He also started appearing on made-for-TV movies like The Strangers in 7A with Ida Lupino, the troubled-teen movie Go Ask Alice (also starring William Shatner), and the sniper movie Winter Kill. Shatner, of course, had made a name for himself as Capt. James Tibirius Kirk in Gene Roddenberry's Star Trek. On top of his numerous television appearances, Shatner had also appeared in a handful of genre movies including the ever-relevant and terrifying Roger Corman film The Intruder, Leslie Stevens' Incubus (filmed entirely in Esperanto), and in the Joseph Cotten-starring western White Comanche, where he played the dual role of good brother/bad brother. Robert Reed was America's favorite dad, Mike Brady from The Brady Bunch. Before becoming busy with three boys of his own and marrying Carol, Reed was a regular face on television, appearing in dozens of shows but most notably as Kenneth Preston, starring opposite E.G. Marshall as a father/son legal team in Reginald Rose's The Defenders.