Diagnosis Murder and Mannix

Diagnosis Murder (1993-2001)
Mannix (1967-1975)
Type: Crossover
Group: 18

   Diagnosis Murder starred Dick Van Dyke as crime solving doctor Mark Sloan much like Murder, She Wrote's Jessica Fletcher was a crime solving novelist. After being on the air for awhile, Diagnosis Murder started doing gimmick episodes. They did things such as having an episode where all the characters were played by actors from M*A*S*H projects - some from the movie, some from the TV show and some from the spin off Trapper John, M.D. They weren't playing the same characters though.

   Diagnosis Murder did do its share of real full fledge crossovers though including one in which they brought back the character of bad ass P.I. Joe Mannix from the late sixties/early seventies detective drama called Mannix.

   Instead of starting a brand new story to feature Mannix in, the show decided to cleverly do a follow up to an old case from the original Mannix show. In the original episode Mannix had solved his case but in the process a man had died. The man's young daughter blamed herself for her father's death. Mannix promised her he would find her father's killer to prove to her it was not her fault. Diagnosis Murder picked that part of the story up twenty-some years later. The young girl was now a reporter for an L.A. TV station and she was asking Mannix to make good on his long forgotten promise.

   Early into his investigation Mannix was shot. No big surprise. I mean, its Mannix. Shootings and fights were part of his gig. As it turns out, Mannix doctor was the aforementioned Mark Sloan. They even went as far as to say Mark had been his doctor way back during the Mannix TV show. Doctor Sloan patched Mannix up and discovered Mannix also had an enlarged heart that could kill him if not treated. Mannix refused surgery though until he solved the case. If he died in surgery his promise to the young girl would be broken - although it didn't seem to bother him that he set the case aside for twenty years. Doctor Sloan came up with a compromise - he would help Mannix on the case. That way the case might get solved quicker before Mannix heart could give out and then he could get the surgery and, you know, not die. Thus a nice setup to get the two working together.

   The show used a lot of clips from the original Mannix episode to advance the plot. This was good and bad. It is cool to see the continuity but they abuse the flashbacks to the point of making it seem like they're just padding the show and saving on having to film new stuff. Not only that but if the point of the clips is to help sum up the original episode's plot, it didn't really work. I was got pretty lost trying to keep track of what was going on.

   Also cool is that they actually brought back a lot of the cast from the original episode to reprise their roles. But twenty years changes things. The once tough brawler Mannix was now an older guy with a bad heart who tried to be a tough guy. That's just depressing. Mannix runs in, starts punching and then clutches his chest and falls down. Geeze! Don't do that. Would you want to see Magnum, P.I. older and not being able to fight because his lungs were failing. Heck no. So that was weird.

   The episode really was a Mannix story rather than a true Diagnosis Murder one. Mannix kept ditching Mark and going out to investigate on his own. Doctor Sloan was more of a supporting character. Just in case you might want to see the episode I won't give the ending away but I will say that they were smart enough to make the killer one of the original characters and not some newly introduced one. And it isn't the daughter. I kept thinking that would be a cool ending - that in fact the little girl was responsible for her dad's death and was some sort of bad seed. I guess that would be a bit too radical for a by the books show like Diagnosis Murder though.

Other Diagnosis Murder Crossover Links
Diagnosis Murder and Jake And The Fatman
Diagnosis Murder and Matlock
Diagnosis Murder and Mission Impossible
Diagnosis Murder and Promised Land

Other Mannix Crossover Links
Mannix and Here's Lucy

Click here to return to main Crossover List

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