The lost (or at least misplaced) episode of The FBI

UPDATE (Sept. 16, 2015) — It turns out the book 2003 book Quinn Martin, Producer has the answer. The episode was not broadcast by ABC because sponsor Ford Motor Co. feared a boycott by Asian Americans (as detailed on page 75 of the book).

ORIGINAL POST: We were checking out Volume II of season 1 of The FBI and got a surprise: there are *16* episodes in the four-disc set, meaning there were 32 total first-season shows of the Quinn Martin-produced series.

Why is that a surprise? Well, a few years ago, when AOL was streaming episodes of The FBI, it only provided 31 episodes from the first season. And only lists 31 first-season episodes as well, at least as of Aug. 16.

It turns out there was one more and it has an espionage theme. In “The Hiding Place,” Inspector Lewis Erskine (Efrem Zimbalist Jr.) is dispatched to a small, predominantly Asian-American town in Oregon. One of its residents is a traitor, having served as a military officer for Japan in World War II without ever having renounced his citizenship. That man, in turn, committed war crimes during the war — and has just tried to kill a young man following a hit-and-run accident.

“The Hiding Place” apparently was produced during the middle of The FBI’s first season. It still makes a reference to Erskine having a college-age daughter and the inspector being a widower. Lynn Loring, who played the daughter in early episodes, is listed in the end titles while not appearing in the episode itself. Loring was dropped from the show by mid-season. “The Hiding Place” may be the final episode the character of Barbara Erskine is even mentioned.

Evidently, ABC didn’t care for the episode and dropped it in at the very end of the season. In any case, it has surfaced again with Warner Bros.’s release of the DVD set. We plugged in a few details for (including credits for writer Robert Leslie Bellem, director Don Medford and for executive producer Quinn Martin and his producers).

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