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Blacke's Magic: Breathing Room

In the first episode retired magician Alexander Blacke must discover how a fellow magician, The Great Gasperini, can be submerged in an airtight container underwater for one of his escapologist routines, yet emerge dead, still sealed inside, with a bullet hole in his body!

Episode Info  

Episode number: 1x1
Production Number: 60605
Airdate: Sunday January 05th, 1986
Special Airtime: 09:00 pm
Special Runtime: 120 Minutes

Guest Stars
Claudia ChristianClaudia Christian
As Laurie Blacke
Mark SheraMark Shera
As Lieutenant Ted Byrnes
A. Scott BeachA. Scott Beach
As Pemberton
Cesare DanovaCesare Danova
As Nick “The Great Gasparini”
Charles LanyerCharles Lanyer
As News Producer
Danny DaytonDanny Dayton
As Bart O'Banyon
David HuddlestonDavid Huddleston
As Edgar Sheridan
Jack Bannon (1)Jack Bannon (1)
As Dr Andrew McCoy
Joseph CaliJoseph Cali
As Michael Angels
Justin GockeJustin Gocke
As Jamie
Kathleen BellerKathleen Beller
As Carla Gasparini
Maud AdamsMaud Adams
As Andrea Star
Robert CasperRobert Casper
As Jennings Wilber
Tricia OTricia O'Neil
As Teresa George
Main Cast
Harry MorganHarry Morgan
As Leonard Blacke
Hal LindenHal Linden
As Alexander Blacke


The scenario of "Blacke's Magic," the whodunit movie, begins at the bottom of a Beverly Hills hotel swimming pool. At the bottom of said pool lies an airtight coffin containing 'Nick The Great Gasparini,' a man who claims he can remain submerged for five hours "with only a one hour supply of oxygen and live to tell about it." Linden plays Alexander Blacke, a magician who tires of life on the road and hangs up his top hat, only to find doing nothing a drag. His father, Leonard (Morgan), realized that long ago. A self-styled con man, he occupies himself running minor scams.
When Gasparini is murdered under circumstances that mystify the police, Alexander is called upon as a consultant. He enjoys the work enough to make it a permanent hobby, with his irrepressible father drumming up business whenever things get slow.
The poolside and television audiences await the outcome of this feat. The casket containing The Great Gasparini is hoisted onto the pool deck and is opened to reveal a corpse with a bullet wound in its chest, making it a seemingly impossible crime to solve for conventional law enforcement officials. To the rescue comes Alexander Blacke, world famous illusionist and innovative crime stopper. Blacke is played by Hal Linden, familiar to television viewers as the title character in "Barney Miller," the long running television comedy. Alexander Blacke enlists the aid of his wisecracking father, Leonard, in solving unusual cases. Leonard is portrayed by Harry Morgan, who played Colonel Sherman T. Potter in the hit series "M*A*S*H." Gasparini, it seems, was shot to death while locked in a coffin that was underwater in a swimming pool in plain sight of everyone as part of a magic feat, Blacke finally determines that the doctor who opened the coffin at the end of the trick shot him with a silenced gun hidden in his instrument bag.
"Blacke's Magic" premiered as a two hour movie on Sunday January 5, 1986, and became a weekly series beginning Wednesday January 8...

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Episode Quotes
Alexander: It sure beats the hell out of sawing people in half.

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