A Shroud of Thoughts is hosting the 4th Annual Favorite TV Episode Blogathon and "The Mystery at Pirate's Cove" certainly rates as one of my favorite television episodes.
The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries were an entertaining primetime series that premiered in the winter of 1977. The show was aimed at a juvenile-teenage audience and, in its first season, alternated each week between episodes featuring the brother-sleuths of Frank and Joe Hardy of Rockport, and the intrepid "part-time investigator" Nancy Drew of River Heights.
The Hardy Boys episodes never appealed to me because they tended to focus on promoting squeaky-clean Parker Stevenson and Shaun Cassidy as teen idols and featured scripts that were a tad more serious and less amusing. Mysteries were also frequently interrupted by segments featuring Cassidy singing his bubblegum tunes.
Nancy Drew, on the other hand, featured some really good mysteries and great scripts with witty banter between the main characters, which included Carson Drew ( Nancy's father, one of the best lawyers in River Heights ), Ned Nickerson, and George Fayne. And "The Mystery of Pirate's Cove" is an especially delightful episode. It was the premiere episode to the series and introduced audiences to Nancy, her companions, and her wizard detecting skills.
Unlike most premiere episodes, all of the actors portraying the main characters are perfectly at ease from the get-go. Nancy and George ( played by Pamela Sue Martin and Jean Rasey ) truly seem like cronies from high school and the bespectacled Ned Nickerson ( George O'Hanlon Jr. ) like Nancy's old friend who is tired of being viewed as a brother and not as a love-interest.
The plot to "The Mystery of Pirate's Cove" is a marvelous blend of everything you would want in a mystery: buried treasure, legends of pirates and bootleggers, secret maps, shadows in the night, thunderstorms, hidden caves, a haunted lighthouse, mysterious dead fish, and even the prerequisite obstinate Irish policeman. Surprisingly, the story was written directly for television with only a nod to Carolyn Keene for the use of her characters.
Instead of divulging the episode in depth, I'd rather let you discover its charms for yourself. The complete Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries series is available to purchase on DVD or to rent through DVD.com.
It's great fun and a perfect episode to watch on a cool autumn afternoon with a cup of hot cocoa. Sadly, only seven episodes of Nancy Drew were released with the threesome of Martin, O'Hanlon Jr. and Rasey. Darn, I wish more episodes were made!
This post is my contribution to the 4th annual Favorite TV Show Episode Blogathon being hosted by A Shroud of Thoughts. Be sure to head on over to Terence's land of pop culture commentary to read more entries for this fun event.