TrekToday ran an article a few days ago about the renewal of Boston Legal for a fourth season. This from their news item on the renewal is intriguing:
Boston Legal‘s producers planned an episode using footage from the 1957 Studio One drama The Defenders, with a 26-year-old Shatner. In the episode currently scheduled to air April 3rd, Denny Crane confronts a man who holds a grudge against him based on a 50-year-old court case, who is now holding hostages.
This sounds reminiscent of Steven Soderbergh’s The Limey, starring Terrance Stamp, which utilized scenes from the 1960s British crime film, Poor Cow, also starring Terrance Stamp, to provide backstory on the Terrance Stamp character.
I’d wondered back when Boston Legal was announced if the show would ever do something like this, to draw a link between Denny Crane and The Defenders. Something like this would likely be a rights nightmare, which is perhaps why it’s taken as long as it has.
Some background on The Defenders. It’s a two-hour film starring Ralph Bellamy and William Shatner as a father-and-son legal defense team. Later, the film was turned into a television series starring E.G. Marshall and Robert Reed.
This next bit from TrekToday is quite interesting:
The original Defenders installment featured then-unknown actor Steve McQueen, though it is not known whether his footage will also be used in the Boston Legal episode.
That would be cool if Steve McQueen were to guest-star in Boston Legal. At the very least, you know Dr. Greg House would be watching. Again, though, rights and licensing issues may make that prohibitive.
Here’s looking forward to the episode!