The seventh season of The FBI is now available from Warner Archive arm of Warner Bros. It would be the last season produced while J. Edgar Hoover, the long-time FBI director, was still alive.
Hoover never appeared on camera per se, but he still had a presence in the series. It might be in the form of an anxious secretary holding a telephone (“It’s MISTER HOOVER!”). It might be in the form of a cocky chess champion who has been persuaded to help out the bureau after emerging from what’s supposed to be Hoover’s office (“That quite a man in there.”). It might be in the form of the seeming omnipresent Hoover portraits in FBI offices or photographs on the desks of FBI agents.
Hoover had been instrumental in the series coming together, seeing it as a chance to promote the bureau’s image. He had an annual meeting with series star Efrem Zimbalist Jr. The bureau reportedly had veto power over casting of guest stars. Hoover was also thanked, by name, in the end titles.
There was occasional tension between the bureau and executive producer Quinn Martin (you can CLICK HERE to read an excerpt from the book Quinn Martin, producer to read more). But overall, Hoover had little reason to be displeased.
The seventh season of The FBI ran from Sept. 12, 1971, through March 19, 1972. Less than two months later, Hoover died at the age of 77. The show would run another two years but it wouldn’t quite be the same.
After Hoover’s death, FBI activity such as domestic spying and amassing large files on politicians came to light. There have been periodic attempts to take his name off FBI headquarters in Washington, but they haven’t been successful.
As for as the seventh season, it would be the final one to have a two-part episode. It would include familiar faces from previous seasons as guest stars (Bradford Dillman, Steve Ihnat, Robert Drivas and Ralph Meeker) as well as actors who wouldn’t become famous until years later (Mark Hamill). It costs $49.95 and only ships in the U.S. For more information about ordering, CLICK HERE.