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The Absent-Minded League


A French investigator is requested to aid with a case of counterfeiting. The detective is a dead ringer in personality to Sherlock Holmes.



Air Dates

  • First Run - July 18, 1978
  • Repeat - April 10, 1979





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2 Responses to Episode 0866

I Rate this episode as a 3 out of 5 for good. While I am truly not a big Sherlock Holmes fan this one was definitely in that vein. A twist in the story as all mysteries should have was good. What dd you all think? I love Lloyd Batista and that is primarily why I choose this episode.


I rate this episode ★★★★☆ for GOOD. Gerald Keane deserves great recognition for writing the adaption of Robert Barr's classic short story which was originally titled as "The Absent-Minded Coterie" from the 1906 book "The Triumphs of Eugène Valmont." The only downside to this CBSRMT episode was the music. Don't get me wrong; it had great tunes that expressed intensity and premonition in ACT-2 and ACT-3. However, there were tunes of peacefulness, harmony, serenity in ACT-1. Great for a Romantic-Mystery, but not for a Drama-Mystery. Everything else was great, including the sound effects of the doors, the footsteps, tapping on the closet door, turning the hook to open the panel, clock chiming, bell shop ringing, the drawers, opening the pamphlets of the absent-mindedness, clock ringing at 9 o'clock, the rotary phone, and the encyclopedia books. E.G. Marshall as the Host was truly a great presenter for the series. In his Prologue, he introduces us to a special detective that's compared to Sherlock Holmes: French Detective Eugène Valmont. In ACT-1, the story begins in England in the late 1800's. In ACT-2, our Host explains our detective on his instincts when it comes to solve crimes. In ACT-3, he mentions that people sometimes bend/melt the golden rule (one should treat others as one would like others to treat oneself). He even quotes 18th century English writer Samuel Johnson for saying, "If a man really believes there is no difference between virtue and vice, why sir, when he leaves my house, I count my spoons." In the end of the Act, our 2 main characters remained as friends, but don't mention anything about this case ever again. In his Epilogue, E.G. Marshall talks about swindlers and how the greatest artist is the 1 who takes the least risks. And speaking of great artists, bravo to our cast: Norman Rose (as Detective Eugène Valmont a.k.a Mr. Webster), Robert Dryden (as Sergeant Podgers and Angus Macpherson), and Lloyd Battista (as Inspector Spenser Hale and Jon Pierre). SPECIAL NOTE: Himan Brown played as Dr. Stanford Willoughby the shop keeper; pen name of Ralph Summertrees). Kudos to these actors for playing roles with French & British accents. Robert Barr's characterization of Eugène Valmont is quite intriguing as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes and Jacques Futrell's Professor Augustus S.F.X. Van Dusen (Ep. #1044-REVENGE IS NOT SWEET).


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