Home Television Drama Today’s FBI

Today’s FBI

1 9 8 1 – 1 9 8 2 (USA)
19 x 60 minute episodes

Today’s FBI was ABC’s attempt to update its popular 1960s series, The FBI. The action here revolved around the exploits of Ben Slater (Mike Mannix Connors), a dedicated 20-year veteran of the FBI, and his team of elite new-breed young agents.

They included Al Gordean (Rick Hill), an athletic type who could rappel down a building or install a wiretap with equal ease; Nick Frazier (Joseph Cali), who was sometimes over-eager but had a talent for undercover roles; Dwayne Thompson (Harold Sylvester), a former Marine intelligence officer; and Maggie Clinton (Carol Potter), a trained psychologist who turned into Annie Oakley on the pistol range.

Maggie was easy on the eyes, but not so easy on the egos of some of her colleagues. “Coming here every night to report is gonna be a lot more fun than meeting some bald guy with bad breath in a subterranean parking lot,” said Nick. “Try to think of me that way,” replied Maggie.

The team were all terribly efficient and, as TV Guide commented at the time, “such a clean-cut bunch they could sell milk in the commercials”. Their cases were often pursued with a moralistic zeal as well, accompanied by little lectures about how nuisances like First Amendment guarantees and restrictions on wire-taps got in the way of capturing slimy criminals.

Organised crime, pornographers, kidnappers, and religious fanatics were typical villains, often caught through elaborate undercover operations. This highly favourable portrait of the bureau was monitored and “approved” by the real-life FBI, which allowed the use of its files for ideas for episodes.

Ben Slater
Mike Connors
Nick Frazier
Joseph Cali
Maggie Clinton
Carol Potter
Al Gordean
Rick Hill
Dwayne Thompson
Harold Sylvester
Phyllis Slater
Roberta Maxwell
George Shannon
Lawrence Haddon