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September 3, 2015

Here's a spoiler, for a 40 year-old series - VIDEO

by Bob Sassone, posted Feb 3rd 2007 11:15AM

Frank ConverseI've never seen an episode of Coronet Blue. It was on television two years after I was born, it only lasted one season, and I don't think it has been repeated much in the past 40 years (and it's certainly not on DVD yet). But I've always been intrigued by it, since it had to do with a man (Michael Alden, played by Frank Converse) who climbs out of the water and has no memory of who he is or what he has done, only that people are after him. He has one clue, the words "coronet blue" that keep repeating in his head. Very Fifth Corner/Bourne Identity-ish.

Unfortunately, the show only lasted one season, so fans never found out what the answer to the mystery was, who this man was and what those mysterious words meant. But now comes the answer...

In a bio of the show's creator Larry Cohen, Cohen revealed what the words meant and who Michael Alden was:

"When the Brodkin Organization took over the series, they wanted to turn it into an anthology... so they played down the amnesia aspect until there was nothing about it at all in the show. It was just Frank Converse wandering from one story to the next with no connective format at all. Anyway, the show ended after seventeen weeks and nobody found out what 'coronet blue' meant. The actual secret is that Converse was not really an American at all. He was a Russian who had been trained to appear like an American and was sent to the U.S. as a spy. He belonged to a spy unit called 'Coronet Blue.' He decided to defect, so the Russians tried to kill him before he can give away the identities of the other Soviet agents. And nobody can really identify him because he doesn't exist as an American. Coronet Blue was actually an outgrowth of 'The Traitor' episode of The Defenders."

Here's the title sequence for it, via Lee Goldberg's site:

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I don't remember much of the show - I was 10 at the time - but that theme song has stuck with me all those years.

February 05 2007 at 2:51 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Thanks very much for your piece on "Coronet Blue"

I was in my early teens when the show aired, and I was quite taken by it. I was also quite disappointed when it stopped without ending the story. Over all these years I've periodically had snippets of the title song stuck in my head and it was good to hear the whole thing again.

Another poster mentioned shows that "Coronet" could have crossed over to in order to wrap up the story. My own choice (and another of my much-missed favorites that I hope for a DVD release someday) would have been for Michael Alden to encounter Robert McCall and enlist "the Equalizer" and his ties to Control and The Company to solve the mystery of his identity.

Here's hoping that "Coronet Blue" makes it to DVD one day.

February 04 2007 at 5:01 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Great. maybe in another 30 years we can find out what the hell was up with Nowhere Man.

February 04 2007 at 1:53 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I hate to admit I'm old enough to recall this short run series - I was just a little girl, but even then I recognized how handsome Frank Converse was - he was one pretty fellow. It's nice to know about the character's backstory.

February 03 2007 at 4:45 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Toby OB

Apparently Herbert Brodkin never realized the show might prove popular and it was a big summer hit that year. Unfortunately they never signed Converse for anything longer than that summer run of episodes - by the time they realized what a mistake they had made, he had already signed for the cast of 'NYPD'.

The pilot episode has a nice crossover with another Brodkin series, 'The Nurses' in the use of Alden Hospital in NYC (the place that gave Michael Alden his new last name).

If you're ever in L.A. or NYC, you can see about five episodes of the show at the Museum of Television & Radio (including that first episode). It's one of those great mid-60s shows for seeing future stars like Sally Kellerman, Candice Bergen, Alan Alda, David Carradine, and Billy Dee Williams.

It's one of those lost one-hit wonders that I hope someday comes out on DVD. I'd also love to see it finally get wrapped up on an episode of some other TV show. 'Murder, She Wrote' and 'Diagnosis Murder' would have been great for that. Today? 'Bones', perhaps. Maybe 'CSI:New York'.

February 03 2007 at 2:54 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Andrew M.

According to the Internet Movie Database, the show aired in 1967.


February 03 2007 at 1:36 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

This sounds very much like the newer show that only lasted one season about amnesia, "John Doe".

I guess shows about amnesia are destined to be canceled.

February 03 2007 at 12:57 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Oh, man, I loved this show! No one else I knew had ever heard of it. Do you have the year it was on?

Funny, how my brain held the image of Frank Converse at his pretty best, but the go-go dancer and the hipster doofus song? No.

February 03 2007 at 12:02 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Hank Shiffman

I do remember this series, although just barely. I recall a late episode, maybe the last, where the lead discovers a boat called the Blue Coronet that he hopes will reveal something about his identity. And to think that all these years I had been fooled by a red herring!

February 03 2007 at 11:34 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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