With the release of Cannon: Season Two – Volume Two, our friend Frank Cannon is back. The three-disc DVD set features the final 12 episodes of the second season of the program, which originally aired from December 1972 to March 1973. It was a very different era, as the clothing, hairstyles and vehicles all attest to. The attitudes were all very politically incorrect also, as the cover blurb announces in no uncertain terms: “LA’s Biggest Crime Fighter Returns!”
It is a little surprising to hear all of the fat jokes in this day and age. I guess I never really noticed them before. You have to wonder what William Conrad (who starred as Cannon) thought of it though. Half of the jokes are told by him, at his own expense. I wonder if he ever complained.
Cannon is a vintage Quinn Martin production, who also produced great action shows such as The Fugitive, The Streets Of San Francisco, and Barnaby Jones (which was a Cannon spin-off). A trademark of QM productions is that they are full of car chases, lots of action, and generally pretty good storylines. The first one on this set is a good example. “Nobody Beats The House” features a very young Tom Skerritt in one of his first big roles, as a degenerate gambler. The man he owes $200,000 to is out to make an example of him, and it is up to Cannon to save the day. Toward the end of the episode, when Cannon has sorted things out, there is even mention of Gamblers Anonymous, which was a surprising reference in 1972, considering the fact that AA itself was barely acknowledged on television at the time.
There were any number of bad guys hanging around Los Angeles in the early '70s, and Cannon ran into a fair amount of them. He has run-ins with diamond smugglers, drug smugglers, literary cons, kidnappers, even a serial killer.
Cannon’s lavish lifestyle is also prominently acknowledged, most notably with his trademark vehicle, a Lincoln Continental Mark IV. Forget about a boat, this car is a yacht. It comes in handy too, because Cannon often uses it to stop the bad guys, usually wrecking it in the process. But since he would have a tough time outrunning the crooks on foot, the Lincoln proves to be a handy tool.
The only bonus features included on Cannon: Season Two – Volume Two are a series of short, 30-second episodic previews for each show. It must be noted that the picture quality of most of the material is not very good. Evidently CBS did not take the best care of the original episodes over the years. Not that any of it is unwatchable or anything, just not as well-preserved as other shows I have come across from the era.
Cannon was a classic '70s action show, and this set is a great way to see it in its prime.