Rob Price
Gutbrain Records
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2023 September 15 • Friday

Early on in the Rockford Files episode "A Bad Deal in the Valley", Jim Rockford walks into a trap, as frequently happens.

The first indication that it's a trap comes when Jim sits down in a waiting room, picks up a magazine to read and remarks, with disbelief, that the magazine is Collier's.

The Gutbrain library contains some issue of Collier's but it wasn't immediately clear to the archivist here, overworked as he is, why this should be a red flag for the redoubtable TV detective.

Well, "A Bad Deal in the Valley" was broadcast on March 19, 1976, and that's also more or less when it's supposed to take place. The month and day are fairly elastic but the year, not so much.

(March 19 is also Patrick McGoohan's birthday. COINCIDENCE?)

Collier's was long gone by 1976. The last issue's cover date was January 4, 1957. The actual one that Jim is perusing has a cover date of June 22, 1956. So his incredulity is understandable.

I forget who was setting this trap but I think it was a law enforcement organization, the FBI or the Treasury or something like that. How did they end up with a twenty-year-old magazine?

Whatever the case, it's a nice touch.