Considered an amalgam of Mission: Impossible and The Love Boat, the tongue-in-cheek series starred Rod Taylor as Mr. Lavender, the leader of "Operation Masquerade", a top-secret branch of American Intelligence that conducts missions using ordinary civilians, recruited for their anonymity and their specialized skills. Two trained field agents, Casey Collins (Kirstie Alley) and Danny Doyle (Greg Evigan) are assigned to chaperone the amateur spies. This concept was essentially identical to Call to Danger, a series concept that had been attempted with three unsuccessful pilot films in the 1960s and 1970s, the last two starring Mission: Impossible's Peter Graves.
The Love Boat comparison (frequently used in contemporary reviews of this series) stemmed from the show's casting of a different ensemble of well-known actors each week, much as Love Boat populated its episodes. The first act of every episode depicted the recruitment of a new group of agents, which was invariably followed by a briefing by Mr. Lavender aboard his private plane, ending with Lavender saying, stone-faced: "Welcome to Operation Masquerade".
The budget was a reported $750,000 an episode.
The series debuted with a 90-minute pilot film and was followed by about a dozen episodes before the series was cancelled. This was Kirstie Alley's first television series after her debut in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan the previous year. Country singer Crystal Gayle performed the theme song.
Ratings were not strong. The show was tried in a different time slot but that did not work either.
|Rod Taylor||Mr. Lavender|
|Kirstie Alley||Casey Collins|
|Greg Evigan||Danny Doyle|
|Season One||December 15, 1983||April 27, 1984||13|
- At a Glance: Additional information about the series
There are no DVD releases for this show.