Synopsis by Hal Erickson
Debuting October 1, 1982, on NBC, the tongue-in-cheek adventure series Remington Steele may well be the only program of its kind in which the title character didn't really exist -- not even within the fictional confines of the storyline! Stephanie Zimbalist starred as Laura Holt, a smart, attractive private investigator who opened her own detective agency, only to find out that few clients were willing to place their trust in the hands of a woman. Thus, Laura invented Remington Steele as the never-seen male boss of the agency. Once this was done, the money came in hand over fist. Naturally, Laura could not maintain the pretense forever, and after running out of excuses as to why Remington Steele was never in the office, she partnered up with a handsome, mysterious, implicitly larcenous gentleman (Pierce Brosnan) who agreed to become Remington Steele -- all the while keeping his real name (and his pre-history) a secret, even from Laura. In addition to the expected sexual tension between Laura and Remington (they never went "all the way" -- at least not in the course of the series' first four seasons), the episodes were enlivened by Steele's fondness for classic Hollywood movies, and his tendency to adopt characters and plotlines from his favorite films in the course of his job. None of this sat too well with Laura's original partner, a colorless chap named Murphy Michaels (James Read), who frequently had to do all the dirty work and heavy lifting for the erudite Remington. The Steele Agency's first secretary was Bernice Foxe (Janet de May); when she left to get married at the outset of season two, she was replaced by peppery former IRS agent Mildred Krebs (played by a pre-Everybody Loves Raymond Doris Roberts ), who harbored a grudge against Remington for causing her to lose her job with the IRS by charming her into ignoring his delinquent taxes. Following its cancellation as a weekly, hour-long series in August of 1986, Remington Steele was briefly revived as a brace of two-hour specials, and one two-part miniseries, in 1987.