Nero Wolfe Unsold Pilot from 1959

Posted by Lee Goldberg this 26 minute, black and white TV show yesterday. It’s well cast.

Kurt Kasznar stars as Nero Wolfe and William Shatner stars as Archie Goodwin. Seven years before ‘Star Trek’, Shatner is good as Archie, capturing his light style of patter with a layer of metal just below. Born in Vienna, Kaszner is also good as Wolfe, with an actual accent that allows his Wolfe to have an international touch. He may not be quite as large as Wolfe was, and you can’t tell if he’s wearing a yellow shirt due to the black and white filming, but he comes off as an imperious figure.

There are none of the other characters. Wolfe has Archie gather everyone in the office and solves the murder in one episode, but he does so without Cramer being there. Archie delivers Wolfe’s breakfast to him, so there’s no Fritz – though Wolfe compliments him for the meal. And, it must be said, the office is all wrong. Maybe it would’ve been corrected if pilot had been bought. There were two or three episodes filmed. Let’s hope the others turn up as well!

But had the pilot been bought and the show a success, would there have been a Captain Kirk?


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