1 9 6 1 (USA)
26 x 30 minute episodes
Filmed in 1959 but not aired until 1961, Whispering Smith featured Audie Murphy (in his only TV series) as a detective with the Denver (Colorado) municipal Police Department in the 1870s.
The title character had been the subject of a number of big-screen films, most notably with Alan Ladd in 1948. His Whispering Smith had been a railroad detective.
The TV series was based on the adventures of the first police detective to bring modern methods of analysis, tracing technique, and apprehension to the practice of law enforcement in the West.
Denver police detective Tom Smith (Murphy), better known by his nickname “Whispering”, was this pioneer Western criminologist.
George Romack (pop singer Guy Mitchell) was Smith’s partner and right-hand man, and Captain John Richards (Sam Buffington) was the police chief.
Buffington (aged 28) committed suicide midway through production and had to be replaced.
The series failed to really find an audience and ended on 18 September 1961 after only 20 episodes of the 26 filmed had been aired.
Murphy disliked the scripts, the way the show was filmed and NBC’s lack of promotion of it. He was reportedly disgusted with his foray into television and soon returned to feature films.
Audie Murphy was killed in a plane crash near Roanoke, Virginia, on 28 May 1971. Being the most-decorated American soldier of World War II he was buried with full military honours at Arlington National Cemetery.
Tom ‘Whispering’ Smith
The Blind Gun | The Grudge | The Devil’s Share | Stake-Out | Safety Valve | Stain of Justice | The Deadliest Weapon | The Quest | Three for One | Death at Even Money | The Hemp Reeger Case | This Mortal Coil | Cross Cut | Double Edge | Trademark | The Jodie Tyler Story | Poet and Peasant Case | Dark Circle | Swift Justice | The Idol | String of Circumstances | The Interpreter | The Homeless Wind | Trial of the Avengers | Prayer of a Chance | Hired to Die