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COVER UP

cover_up_bk_cu cover_up_tv_cu
 
Full Name: Dani Reynolds, Mac Harper, Jack Striker
Nationality: American
Organization: American Intelligence
Occupation Agent

Creator: Glen A. Larson
Time Span: 1984 - 1985

ABOUT THE SERIES

       Danielle 'Dani' Reynolds is a famous fashion photographer. Mac Harper is a heavy construction equipment operator.
       Those are hardly two lines of work that would lead people into working with an American intelligence organization.
       Their entry into the cloak and dagger world comes in an interesting way.
       Reynold's husband, Mark, was not a 'gentle, soft-spoken unassuming' man with "an ordinary job with the diplomatic corps" as she had always thought. She was on a normal photo session when she receives a phone call from a woman in a Central American country informing her that Mark had been killed. She also let Reynolds know that Mark had been for quite some time an 'outrider', a term they used for a person with 'no official cover' for the government.
       Reynolds' next action was to head to the man she knew to be Mark's boss, Henry Towler. Here it gets a bit mysterious, rather appropriate for this line of work. Exactly where does she go? All we see is a tall building with an address on 'Federal Plaza', almost certainly in New York. Does Towler work for the State Department as Mark's 'diplomatic' cover would suggest or somewhere else? In truth, it really does not matter as Towler will recommend strongly that Reynolds do nothing. He will come to change his mind.
       Reynolds is determined to head to site of her husband's murder. She is smart enough to know she will need help. Enter Mac Harper. Harper when we first meet him is recently out of the military operating a 'catepillar', hence my putting his job down as working construction. Reynolds' knowledge of him comes first from a publicity poster Harper was pressured to do as a recruitment effort in his final days with the Army, followed by making a few calls to learn more about him.
       Her unofficial dossier on him says that this former Green Beret had "special training in martial arts, advanced skills in the use of chemical interrogations, marksmanship citations and advanced field experience in weapons, multilingual (French, German, Spanish, and Chinese), a Distinguised Service Cross for bravery and others." At her request he comes to New York for a meeting (more out of curiosity than anything else, it seems to me).
       That is where Renolds tells Harper, "I would like you to help me find the people who murdered my husband and why, and then I would like you to help me punish them."
       Towler was initially against them getting involved. After they showed how well they could handle trouble, he, being a sharp handler, started to use them.

       One third of the way through the series of adventures that Reynolds' will take on for Towler, Harper is replaced by Jack Striker, an operative already working for Towler. Harper was born in Kansas, according to him, but at age 13 after the death of his parents, he was sent to live with a relative who ran a sheep ranch in Australia.

Good line:
When Dani talked of exceeding their orders from Henry and trying to snag a killer, Mac agrees with, "I like your style. I spent a lot of time in the stockade with people who think like you."

BOOKS

Number of Books:1
First Appearance:1985
Last Appearance:1985

1 Cover Up Cover Up
Written by Martin Noble
Copyright: 1985

[plot unknown] - Blurb on back says:
"WHERE DANGER AND SUSPENSE ARE FASHIONABLE!"
"Mac Harper is a man to be envied. Surrounded by beautiful women, seen in the most exclusive places, he's making a great career as a model in the glamorous world of high fashion. But it's all a cover up. For Harper is in reality an 'Outrider', licensed by the Government to use any means necessary to get the job done. Together with wealthy fashion photographer Danielle Reynolds, he sets out on a trail of danger and intrigue which takes him all around the world."
This makes it sound like Harper is the secret agent with Reynolds being a sidekick, not Reynolds and Harper being a partnership with Reynolds being the senior.

TELEVISION


Number of Episodes:22
First Appearance:1984
Last Appearance:1985
Network:CBS

REGULAR CAST
Jennifer O'NeillDani Reynolds [ 1 ]
Jon-Erik NexumMac Harper [ 1 (ep 1-8) ]
Antony HamiltonJack Striker [ 1 (ep 9-22) ]
Richard AndersonHenry Towler [ 1 ]
Mykelti WilliamsonRick [ 1 ]
1 Cover Up, Part 1
Episode 1-01, first aired 09/22/1984
Director: Peter Crane
Writer: Glen A. Larson

Two-part pilot
Dani Reynolds had the perfect life as a traveling fashion photographer married to a man she deeply loved. When he is killed and she learns that he was really an undercover operative for an American Intelligence organization, she is determined to learn who killed him. She hires Mac Harper to help her.

2 Cover Up, Part 2
Episode 1-02, first aired 09/22/1984
Director: Peter Crane
Writer: Glen A. Larson

Second of the two-part pilot
Dani Reynolds and Mac Harper find out who killed Reynolds' husband and complete the mission he had been on. They are then offered a chance to go to work for the same organization as the deceased husband.

3 Death in Vogue
Episode 1-03, first aired 09/29/1984
Director: Guy Magar
Writer: David H. Balkan

A diplomat uses his immunity to keep from being prosecuted for his sideline hobby of being a serial killer. A cop whose daughter was one of the victims turns in his badge to go after the man. The job for the Cover Up team is tricky.

4 The Million Dollar Face
Episode 1-04, first aired 10/06/1984
Director: Phil Bondelli
Writer: Glen A. Larson

Dani Reynolds is asked by a former fashion model to get her kids away from her gangster husband.

5 Harper-Gate
Episode 1-05, first aired 10/13/1984
Director: Arthur Allan Seidelman
Writer: Bob Shayne

A pair of killers were hired to take out a threat to their employer, which they do. Now the hirer is having regrets and they want to ensure his silence by kidnapping his girlfriend, a neighbor to a woman Mac Harper is seeing.

6 Sudden Exposure
Episode 1-06, first aired 10/20/1984
Director: Guy Magar
Writer: Lane Del

Dani and Mac are sent to a Central American country to help a woman accused of killing a film maker who may have accidentally filmed something others do not want recorded.

7 Nothing to Lose
Episode 1-07, first aired 10/27/1984
Director: Richard A Colla
Writer: Doug Heyes Jr.

An American couple in Rome celebrating their 50th anniversary are roped into a diamond smuggling conspiracy. Dani and Mac are sent to help get them out.

8 Golden Opportunity
Episode 1-08, first aired 11/03/1984
Director: Sidney Hayers
Writer: Bob Shayne

A man ripped off a charity and fled to a town where the corrupt officials provide protection to him. The man who ran the charity went after him and paid for his efforts. Dani and Mac are sent in to get the charity operator free and the crook capturned.
Note: Jon-Erik Hexum's last episode.

9 Writer's Block
Episode 1-09, first aired 11/24/1984
Director: Richard A. Colla
Writers: Low Shaw , David H. Balkan , Douglas Brooks West

A former agent turned author calls Henry asking for help since there are people after him. Henry sends Jack Striker to help but the agent disappears. Dani is asked to help out but when she and Jack finally find him, he has amnesia and cannot remember why he asked for help.
Note: Antony Hamilton's first episode.

10 Murder in Malibu
Episode 1-10, first aired 12/01/1984
Director: Sidney Hayers
Writers: Anne Collins, David Swift

Dani is making repairs to her house, a man arrives to talk to her husband not knowing her spouse was deceased. When the visitor himself falls dead, the mystery of the man and the millions he is said to have stolen from the Agency grows, pointing to the chance that Dani's late husband was an accomplice.

11 Midnight Highway
Episode 1-11, first aired 12/08/1984
Director: Unknown
Writer: Doug Heyes Jr.

A former agent named Tyler has gone mission while looking into a bootlegging operation. Henry asks Dani and Jack to investigate.

12 A Subtle Seduction
Episode 1-12, first aired 12/29/1984
Director: Walter Grauman
Writer: Douglas Brooks West

A young girl disappears in Cannes. She was last seen on a yacht of a wealthy man but when Dani and Jack start to investigate, they are surprised there is no evidence of the man until just a few years before.

13 Black Widow
Episode 1-13, first aired 01/05/1985
Director: Sidney Hayers
Writer: Robert Hamilton

An American scientist working on microchips is being pursued by a Russian spy. It falls to Dani and Jack to keep him save.

14 Murder Offshore
Episode 1-14, first aired 01/12/1985
Director: Jeffrey Hayden
Writer: Joe Gannon

The murder on an oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico is the catalyst for Dani and Jack to head there to investigate.

15 The Assassin
Episode 1-15, first aired 01/26/1985
Director: Christopher Hibler
Writers: Douglas Heyes, Donald Ross

A vacationing woman has found a suitcase filled with money. Henry asks Dani and Jack to provide protection for her because he believes the money was payment for an assassin known as The Lion and he will do anything to get his money.

16 Rules to Die By
Episode 1-16, first aired 02/02/1985
Director: Bernard McEveety
Writer: Robert Hamilton

An American scientist is lured to Turkey by KGB agents using the man's son, imprisoned on drug chargers there, as bait to snatch the man. Dani and Jack head there to stop it.

17 Healthy, Wealthy and Dead
Episode 1-17, first aired 02/23/1985
Director: Unknown
Writer: Unknown

Why are people dying at a Mexican health resort? That is the question Dani and Jack are sent to find out/

18 The Ugliest American
Episode 1-18, first aired 03/02/1985
Director: Don Weis
Writers: Stephen Kandel, Milt Rosen

Henry finds something suspicious about the itinerary of an obnoxious American comedian travelling in countries behind the Iron Curtain. Jack and Dani investigate and Jack spots the transfer of a mysterious package between the man and a young girl.

19 Who's Trying to Kill Miss Globe?
Episode 1-19, first aired 03/09/1985
Director: Unknown
Writer: Unknown

Someone is trying to kill a beauty contestant. Dani and Jack want to find out why.

20 Adam's Rib
Episode 1-20, first aired 03/23/1985
Director: John D. Hancock
Writer: Robert Hamilton

Three people stole a lot of money in Denver many years ago. They are now living in Paris waiting for the statute of limitation to expire. Henry sends Dani and Jack there to find either the money or the proof before the deadline ends.

21 Jack of Spades
Episode 1-21, first aired 03/30/1985
Director: Unknown
Writer: Unknown

A terrorist is pretending to be a humanitarian, collecting money supposedly for the needy but really to finance his arms purchases. Henry sends Dani and Jack to find a way to stop him and to get the fraudulent funds.

22 Passions
Episode 1-22, first aired 04/06/1985
Director: Don Carlos Dunaway
Writer: Doug Heyes Jr.

The Soviet agent known as the Black Widow, stymied by Jack in an earlier mission, has escaped from prison and is heading to Rio to find Jack and get revenge.

MY COMMENTS

       I remember when I first watched this series, back in the day when it ran, I both loved it and kinda felt guilty about loving it. The writing was terrible, the dialogue embarrassing, the plots both hackneyed and lame, and the acting from the two stars very stilted and, well, not very good.
       But the stars were gorgeous to look at and it was a spy series so ...
       I remember being stunned when I heard about the lead actor's death. I liked the new guy well enough but every time I saw him I swear I thought about the other guy. The show lasted another 15 episodes but I was not surprised to find it did not get picked up for another season.
       
       Looking at episodes on YouTube to remind me, I am stunned at how outrageous some of the stunts were. I could go on and on but to what point?
       The most insane one that I saw in my brief reviewing trip was when Striker chased after two bad guys in a car and, doing a wheelie, ran up onto the roof of the speeding car, pulled out a grenade and tossed it into an open window, and then hit the throttle and drove off the front of the car and sped out of the way before the car drives off a bridge they had not been on a second before and blew up. Wow!

GRADE

My Grade: C

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