|Honey gets a massage from Sam|
as she ponders a case.
Anne Francis was working mostly in television when she signed on to do Honey West. Still, she was big enough a star on the silver screen that she could snare an occasional lead role (The Satan Bug) or a juicy supporting part (Funny Girl). She had the charisma, spunk, and likability factor to make Honey West a success. It didn't hurt either that she looked great in her all-black sleuthing outfit.
Ericson's good looks and easy-going manner keep him steadily employed in television throughout the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s. He guest-starred in everything from Shirley Temple Theatre to The Fugitive to the Love Boat. He and Anne Francis had appeared together earlier, as brother and sister, in the 1955 Spencer Tracy classic Bad Day at Black Rock.
Unfortunately, the Honey West series lacked the clever plots and witty banter that made The Avengers a fan favorite. At times, Sam seems almost condescending in his treatment of Honey, which is odd considering that she's technically his boss and she's capable of pummeling the bad guys on her own. Meanwhile, Aunt Meg and Bruce rarely get involved in the plots, their roles relegated mostly to making amusing remarks and purring, respectively. Still, the series improved as the season progressed, with some of the best episodes being written by William Link and Richrad Levinson, the team later responsible for Columbo and Murder, She Wrote.
|Bruce had a rare meaty part in|
the episode "A Stitch in Crime."
Although Honey West was cancelled after just one season, its impact was almost immediate. In 1966, ABC began broadcasting the Diana Rigg episodes of The Avengers and NBC spun off The Girl from U.N.C.L.E. with Stefanie Powers. The female action star was here to stay and future series such as Get Christie Love, The Bionic Woman, and even Alias owe some of their success to Honey West.