1 9 6 7 – 1 9 6 8 (USA)
26 x 60 minute episodes
A wartime action-adventure series from ABC featuring the exploits of a group of convicts who, during WWII, are recruited into the army to take part in deadly missions.
Sound familiar? yep – it’s The Dirty Dozen, except there aren’t 12 of them, and they’re not that dirty really.
Commanded by West Point graduate Lt. Craig Garrison (Ron Harper), the “Gorillas” function as commandos behind Nazi lines.
Cesare Danova played Actor, the con man; Rudy Solari was Casino, the safecracker; Christopher Cary was Goniff, the expert pickpocket and “second-storey man”; and Brendan Boone played Chief, the knife and wheel man.
CBS’s take on the genre, Jericho (1967), was slightly better but was also filmed on the same MGM backlot as Combat and Garrison’s Gorillas, so you would see the same sets and backgrounds on three different war shows!
By the late ’60s, war was a little too real on the evening news, and these types of WWII shows looked unrealistic and had run their course.
Garrison’s Gorillas was cancelled and replaced by The Mod Squad in 1968.
Lt. Craig Garrison