Police Woman And The Case Of The Phantom Episode
Our upcoming release of Police Woman: Season Three has been met with a great deal of excitement from fans of the series and of its star, Angie Dickinson. There has also been a question from some regarding the presence (or lack thereof) of an episode entitled “Barney,” which appears on many online episode guides for the series. However, Sony Pictures Television, which licensed Police Woman to us, was unable to find any record of this mysterious episode.
So – what’s the deal? Is “Barney” a lost episode, some sort of Holy Grail for Angie Aficionados?
To solve this mystery, much like “Pepper” Anderson herself, we considered the evidence. First, we examined many of the most popular sources for this information, including:
Four out of five of these sources claim that on January 11, 1977, Police Woman aired an episode entitled “Barney.” Many of these sources even make note of the supposed episode’s guest stars, Robert Symonds and Sheila Larken. Curiously, however, none supply a synopsis for the episode.
Another website, Ultimate70s.com, does have a synopsis for “Barney,” however, and this is where the clues began to fall into place. Their description of the episode is, in fact, a summary of a completely different third season episode of Police Woman –“Night of the Full Moon” – which most online sources indicate originally aired on December 28, 1976.
After examining several vintage television listings, however, we discovered that the episode that actually aired on December 28, 1976 was a rerun of yet another third season episode, “Tender Soldier.” NBC didn’t broadcast “Night of the Full Moon” until two weeks later, on January 11, 1977, the same date that most sites claim “Barney” first aired.
So, you may ask – what happened to “Barney?” Our research indicates that Sgt. “Pepper” Anderson never crossed paths with him…but Detective “Tony” Baretta did.
Remember those supposed Police Woman guest stars, Robert Symonds and Sheila Larken? Searching their filmographies reveals an April 6, 1978 episode of the Robert Blake-starring Baretta, entitled – you guessed it – “Barney.” As can often occur on crowdsourced websites, it appears that an error was made on one website that eventually spread to other resources and gave rise to a mythical “lost episode” of Police Woman that never existed in the first place.
With this information in hand, we hope that you will feel as confident as we do that our release of Police Woman: Season Three is complete. Thanks for reading, and we hope you enjoy this DVD set!