Original air date Nov 15, 1978
Directed by Lawrence Dobkin
Written by E. Nick Alexander
Robert Urich as Dan Tanna
Phyllis Davis as Beatrice Travis
Burt Braverman as Binzer
Judy Landers as Angie Turner
Naomi Stevens as Sgt. Bella Archer
Tony Curtis as Philip Roth
Robert Reed as Mike Logan
Maureen McCormick as Jenny Logan
Michael Callan as Ben Summers
Dolly Martin as Annabelle
Michael Swan as David
Peter Brown as Richie
Inga Swenson as pageant producer
In a dab of stunt casting, Robert Reed plays Mike Logan the father of rape victim Jenny Logan (Maureen McCormick). But this is no Brady Bunch. Maureen plays the rape victim that gets Dan Tanna involved in the case. Robert Reed is a wealthy businessman about to embark on a political career. He wants the rapist found but he doesn't want his daughter's rape reported to the police. He knows rapists aren't one-time criminals. They'll get him convicted for a prior rape once he's caught. As it turns out, he rapes a second girl before they can catch him. And then he kills a third victim.
Peter's plays Richie the life guard. Dan's girlfriend tells him that Jenny was something of a swinger who had Richie on the string for a couple of weeks. Dan sounds shocked as Richie is twenty years older than young Jenny. Forensics found horse manure on the floor of Jenny's car where she was raped. Dan figures maybe the rapist is a horseman. When he approaches Richie, whom he knows as they both work for Roth, Dan offers him a job moonlighting on a dude ranch. Richie lets Dan know horses spook him. He'd never have anything to do with horses. (That is, of course, the humor in Peter's cameo.) He also insists his relationship with Jenny was totally platonic.
Dan gets the rapist after a little detour to figure out the connection between Logan's assistant and his daughter which is suspicious but not relevant to the rape. They eventually decide to flush out the rapist using someone matching the description of the three victims. In a not particularly believable moment, Dan's girlfriend Bea is used as bait despite the fact that the victims of choice are eighteen and the actress who plays Bea is thirty-one.
NiteOwl Review: Vega$ (1978-1981) was a splashy series which often featured familiar Hollywood names in cameo parts such as Tony Curtis making flamboyant appearances as the owner of the casino where Dan Tanna was based. Peter had a cute cameo which wasn't big enough to make this episode a must for Peter collectors, except the completists out there.
Cast Notes: Robert Urich was a likable actor, although we liked him better in Spencer For Hire (1985-1988). As Dan Tanna, he sported the fashion look we thought was carried off even better by Tom Selleck in Magnum PI, jeans with a sports jacket. Urich did dozens of pilots and starred or costarred in at least nine series including, Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice (1973); S.W.A.T. (1975-1976); Soap (1977); Gavilan (1982-1983); American Dreamer (1990-1991), Crossroads (1992) and It Had to Be You (1993).
Naomi Stevens (who we think was a dead ringer for Shelley Morrison, Linda Little Trees in Laredo) was replaced about midway through the first season of Vega$ by Greg Morris (late of Mission Impossible) as Dan Tanna's contact on the Las Vegas Police Department.
This episode concerns the chase after a serial rapist with a penchant for teen-age blondes. The identity of the rapist is no mystery to the audience as we see his face in the first scene and shortly thereafter we see that he's doing the technical lighting for a beauty pageant.
Official Peter Brown Fan Site