William Shatner as Archie Goodwin?!?

Because there is significant overlap between Sherlockians and lovers of Nero Wolfe’s adventures (I will pass over the sensational theories about Wolfe’s parentage), I thought this clip would be of interest. It is from a 1959 pilot for what would have been TV’s first Nero Wolfe TV series, and it features William Shatner—long before he became a self-parody—as a marvelous Archie Goodwin (Wolfe’s legman and Boswell). For the record, Wolfe is played by Kurt Kasznar.

Clip from a pilot for Nero Wolfe TV series, uploaded to YouTube by Tim DeForest.

The pilot itself is under copyright, so we can only share this short clip, but if you are interested in seeing the entire episode, it is available on a compilation DVD called Television’s Lost Classics, Vol. 2.

I am now imagining an alternate timeline in which the pilot was picked up and successful as a series, and Shatner became known as Archie Goodwin instead of Capt. James T. Kirk. I wonder whom NBC would have cast as Kirk?

(If you find yourself craving a good TV version of Wolfe, I highly recommend the series featuring Timothy Hutton as Archie and Maury Chaykin as Wolfe, which unfortunately only aired for two seasons. It doesn’t appear to be streaming anywhere, but it is available on DVD.)

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