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THE DELPHI BUREAU

delphi_bureau_mv_tdb
 
Full Name: Glenn Gregory
Nationality: American
Organization: Delphi Bureau
Occupation Agent

Creator: Sam Rolfe
Time Span: 1972 - 1973

ABOUT THE SERIES

       The Delphi Bureau is a mysterious department in the American Intelligence community.
       That is what we are told but if we were to try to verify that, we would hit a major wall of secrecy and deniability. That last word really is the key to the organization as it, according to its leader, Sybil Von Loween, answers only to the President and seems to live on the concept of not admitting anything to anyone. If it has a headquarters, we never learn of it. Another thing we do not know is how many people work for the Delphi Bureau, besides Sybil. Being as secretive as it obviously is, there are probably not many employees but a valid question is whether are any.
       Except for Glenn Garth Gregory, of course. Gregory is a man in his late 30's who has a very alliterative name which he uses regularly in its entirety. Even his boss calls him Glenn Garth.
       Gregory is the one agent we are able to follow, though we will never tail him to the headquarters we mentioned because he never goes there. He meets Sybil in various places and gets his instructions and makes his after-action reports in non-standard ways but the traditional concept of a boss behind a desk or a busy situation room teeming with support staff never happen.
       In fact to even call Gregory an agent is way too broad. He would never see himself as one. He is a researcher who gets what seem like very simple research assignments. The first one we see him sent on is the epitome of tame dotting I's and crossing T's when he is sent to a USAF airplane graveyard in the desert of the U.S. Southwest to verify a fire that destroyed two dozen planes. A simple mission tailor-made for a researcher like Gregory. Then, of course, after taking pictures at the site of a fire that never happened, people start following him or trying to kill him or threatening him or possibly buying him off.
       It seems each one of the nine missions we have of Gregory working for the Delphi Bureau, really bad things occur around him or to him and since he is a researcher and not a trained operative used to dealing with such life-and-death circumstances, Gregory is frequently surprised and seldom happy.
       Which brings us to the key question of how an untrained researcher is able to survive over and over when some pretty impressive bad men and women do their darnedest to eliminate him.
       Gregory has a photographic memory and near instant recall. And he can read really, really fast.
       Gregory has never had training racing a car but when in a car chase, he knows how fast his and the other guy's cars can move and handle curves and the recommended way to take a curve at high speeds. Gregory has never flown a plane but he will have read the flight manual for plane he is on when it falls to him to sit in the cockpit.
       Furthermore, in some of the adventures, Gregory knows that playing a role will aid his research so if he needs, as he done one time, to pretend to be with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, he will have read several volumes of data and be able to spout future crop expectations with the big boys.
       Not too shabby for an ordinary guy who works for a department that does not really admit it, or he, exists.

MOVIES

Number of Movies:1
First Appearance:1972
Last Appearance:1972

1 The Merchant of Death The Merchant of Death
Director: Paul Wendkos
Writer: Sam Rolfe
Actors: Laurence Luckinbill as Glenn Garth Gregory, Celeste Holm as Sybil Van Loween, Dean Jagger as Matthew Keller, Cameron Mitchell as Stokely, Bradford Dillman as Randy Jamison, Joanna Pettet as April Thompson
Released: 1972

Glenn Garth Gregory of the Delphi Bureau is sent out into the field to find out how a fleet of retired Air Force planes disappeared.

TELEVISION


Number of Episodes:9
First Appearance:1972
Last Appearance:1973
Network:ABC

REGULAR CAST
Laurence LuckinbillGlenn Garth Gregory [ 1 ]
Anne JeffreysSybil Van Loween [ 1 ]

       In 1972, ABC put on its lineup a trio of adventure dramas which would be aired in a round-robin manner, the trio being referred to as The Men.
       Each of these shows would be presented initially in the form of made-for-television movies before the actual series began to be aired. While the trio did not fare well in the ratings and were soon dropped, the show did have terrific theme music created by the always impressive Isaac Hayes.
       One of the parts of the series was Jigsaw, a police procedural about a lieutenant Franklin Dain with the California State Police's Bureau of Missing Persons.
       The second was Assignment Vienna which dealt with ex-pat American Jake Webster working as a spy for the U.S. in Austria.
       The third was this, The Delphi Bureau.
1 The Deadly Little Errand Project
Episode 1-1, first aired 10/05/1972
Writer: Sam Rolfe

Glenn Garth Gregory is tasked with handling the ransom of a kidnapped Red Chinese diplomat.

2 The Man Upstairs - The Man Downstairs Project
Episode 1-2, first aired 10/26/1972
Director: Jerry Jameson
Writer: Sam Rolfe

Gregory of the Delphi Bureau is given the interesting task of solving the mystery of why the leading backer of a Supreme Court nominee is a businessman known to be his political enemy.

3 The White Plague Project
Episode 1-3, first aired 11/16/1972
Director: -
Writer: -

A moth has been created which destroys poppy plants making it a huge threat for opium smugglers. It is Garth Glenn Gregory's job to see that the moth makes it to Washington.

4 The Top Secret Secret Project
Episode 1-4, first aired 12/14/1972
Director: -
Writer: -

Gregory of the Delphi Bureau finds it very difficult to track down a notebook filled with secret ciphers when he is suspected of killing the Navy commander who stole them.

5 The Terror Broker Project
Episode 1-5, first aired 03/17/1973
Director: -
Writer: -

Gregory is temporarily assigned to an Interpol-style organization but then finds himself wrapped up with a gang of assassins.

6 The Day of Justice Project
Episode 1-6, first aired 03/24/1973
Director: -
Writer: -

Quite by accident, Glenn Garth Gregory finds himself involved with a group of hippies who have decided to kill 25 radical right leaders.

7 The Self-Destruct Project
Episode 1-7, first aired 03/31/1973
Director: -
Writer: -

Member of a peace organization have gotten hold of a canister of toxic defoliant and threaten to unleash it unless Gregory of the Delphi Bureau can get their leader out of prison.

8 The Face That Never Was Project
Episode 1-8, first aired 04/07/1973
Director: -
Writer: -

A Senator investigating a huge government swindle is being targeted by someone capable of turning new age devices like microwaves into killing machines.

MY COMMENTS

       Looking at the air dates for this show, I am left with a mystery as to how I saw the pilot, which I definitely did, and several of the episodes, which again I know I did. Maybe as a rerun? It is confusing to me because I saw them and absolutely loved them and was sorry that there were no more than the 9 adventures - and yet when they aired, I was overseas with no television. Oh well, I will figure it out someday - or not.
       Anyways, the key point of the above paragraph is that I loved the show. Now, the fact that it did not survive past the initial run of 8 stories (plus the pilot movie) shows the network executives did not share my adoration. Obviously they were poop-heads (which if it isn't an industry term, it should be).
       Luckinbill's portrayal of a somewhat nerdy guy who gets thrown into lots of crazy situations and has to come up with a solution to stay alive, well, it was brilliant. He was, to me, never a goof but somewhat naive. He was fairly good looking but knew himself well enough to know the ladies would not normally fawn over him so when they did, he was self-aware enough to know they were after something. He was not a man of action but he had read a book or four about such things, and could remember the actual text and drawings on the page and adlib with the best of them.
       He was like me, except a little older at the time and had that photographic memory thing going for him which I didn't, which is a shame, but then again, people were not trying to kill me all the time like they were him.
       If I could, I would gladly watch them all over again.

GRADE

My Grade: B

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