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Episode Six


Saturday April 7, 1979 8pm (Eastern)
Saturday June 23, 1979 10pm (Eastern)

Starring in alphabetical order
Tony Danza
Jamie Farr
James Gregory
Bernie Kopell
Isabel Sanford
Vic Tayback
Special Guest Star
Joyce DeWitt

Written by Jeff Wilhelm
Directed by Barry Crane

     Though the "Pirouette" episode has the second version revamped color-tinted opening credit sequence, it does not feature Joey Aresco and Ilene Graff among Supertrain's crew, which was part of the revamped show format. Also, Edward Andrews is shown wearing the second version uniform, but Harrison Page is still wearing his original red porter's suit. Edward Andrews, Harrison Page, and Robert Alda are
the only crew members listed in the credits and/or seen in this episode.  These above mentioned facts makes this fifth "Supertrain" the bridge episode between the original Dan Curtis-produced installments and the later "All New" episodes of the later format.
     You know you are in for a treat when you see that "Three's Company"-star Joyce DeWitt has been blessed with Special Guest Star status.  Kidding aside, this episode of "Supertrain" is one that was truly packed with guest stars.  Another example to note too is that as with most episodes of "Supertrain," the guest stars arrive for departure from ABC and CBS and rarely NBC.  This is primarily due to NBC's lack of successful shows that would produce familiar faces that coule lend themselves to guest shots on a show like "Supertrain."  In addition to the mentioned Ms. DeWitt, this episode has Tony Danza of "Taxi" airing on ABC; Isabel Sanford of CBS' "The Jeffersons"; Vic Tayback from "Alice" (CBS); another ABC star-"Barney Miller"-regular James Gregory and Jamie Farr out of his usual dresses on "M*A*S*H" at CBS. 
     Perhaps one of the series most notabe guests is in this episode.  Bernie Kopell from ABC's "The Love Boat" has shore leave and takes a busman's holiday aboard "Supertrain."  Given the many comparisons that "Supertrain" would suffer in relation to this Spelling-created ABC series about romance on the sea, it is interesting to find that NBC was able to even borrow Kopell from "The Love Boat" for "Supertrain."  Bernie's character is even a doctor, just what he played on that other show, to complete the picture.
     Also look quickly during the opening of the episode and you'll see another TV legend..."Don't Squeeze The Charmin" commercial pitchman Mr. Whipple is seen bellying up to the bar preparing for a wild trip aboard Supertrain.
     The plot of "Pirouette" concerns the efforts of a disgruntled former servant, Isabel Sanford, trying to eliminate the heir to a desired inheritance.  Joyce DeWitt plays the cliched long lost heir to her late father's fortune.  DeWitt's character, Natalie Smithborne, was a free-spirited dancer type who had become estranged from what we assume was a stuffy conservative old money daddy that didn't understand her.  The episode includes one of those infamous Supertrain stopping at an abandoned station situations that defy logic and explanation.  As mentioned elsewhere on this site, if Supertrain was built brand new from the ground up in 22 months as we're shown in the first episode then how can there be old derelict stops on its route?!?  As we find out in the series, Supertrain does have its share of places where the locals lament that "The train doesn't stop here anymore." 
     In "Pirouette" however, the train does stop and picks up Special Guest Star Joyce DeWitt.  A search for the missing heiress has been conducted by Isabel Sanford to reunite DeWitt's character with her father's fortune.  Tagging along to provide security for DeWitt are a couple of bodyguards in the form of Vic Tayback and Jamie Farr.  Snooping around also is Tony Danza, playing a reporter, looking for the scoop on this missing heiress story.  Then we also have Isabel Sanford's friends and former co-workers at DeWitt's family's home played by James Gregory and Mako
     Shortly after being reunited with DeWitt, Sanford's character Reba fakes a dizzy spell and claims she's out of pills.  DeWitt rushes away to get the prescription filled at the Supertrain infirmary and is attacked enroute by James Gregory and Mako.  Returning to her compartment, DeWitt explains to Sanford that two men tried to throw her off the train.  It should be noted here that like the unattended Baggage Car, apparently Supertrain's Passenger Car doors are not locked.  Nor apparently is there any fail-safe that keeps them from simply opening wide as the train rolls along at 200mph!  Sanford calms DeWitt down and puts her to bed and then exits to supposedly obtain the needed nerve pills.
     Quickly we discover that Isabel Sanford's Reba will likely never be remembered as fondly as Shirley Booth's "Hazel," as it seems Reba was behind that attempt on Natalie's life.  Turns out that James Gregory and Mako are former co-workers of Isabel Sanford's and they've all devised a plot to kill off Joyce DeWitt's character and split up the soon to be inheirited money.  DeWitt gets a glimpse of Sanford motioning in Gregory and Mako and realizes the fix she's in now.  In the process of being attacked, DeWitt escapes and a window is broken out in her compartment.  Rather shockingly, this does set off an alarm in Edward Andrews' office and he and Harrison Page investigate.  Given the lack of alarm and no safety on the doors, it is surprisingly that a window buzzer goes off due to this breakage.  DeWitt is assumed to be off the train and possibly dead from falling out the window.
     As Vic Tayback and Jamie Farr grill Tony Danza about his interest in DeWitt and all suffer Isabel Sanford's crying fits over the missing Natalie, Joyce has escaped and stumbled into Bernie Kopell's compartment.  And no she doesn't look at him and exclaim, "Did I cross over to 'The Love Boat' by mistake???...I was Special Guest Starring on 'Supertrain' over at NBC."  They introduce themselves and we find out Kopell's character is a gynecologist that is shy around women.  Yeah, who came up with that one?!  Like it usually happens on a train trip, the two fall in love in a matter of hours.  
     Kopell takes over Dr. Robert Alda's Infirmary and hides DeWitt there under an oxygen tent.  One assumes that Kopell simply pulled ratings rank on Alda and claimed Supertrain's medical facility for his own without question.  The plan to hide Natalie hits a snag as Isabel Sanford drops by the Infirmary searching for DeWitt's character and spots her under the oxygen tent.  A mad chase ensues and Supertrain pulls into New York just in time for them all to end up in a pile on the red carpet at Grand Central.  Danza plays a decoy-DeWitt under a sheet in a wheelchair allowing the real Joyce to get away with her new beau Bernie KopellSanford, Gregory and Mako are busted by Tayback and Farr and all apparently ends happily ever after.  Though we don't know if Tony Danza actually gets the promised interview in exchange for helping DeWitt and Kopell escape.  Maybe in the Director's Cut on a future DVD release, huh?

Vic Tayback from "Alice" and Jamie Farr of "M*A*S*H" play grumpy and bumbling security men assigned to protect Special Guest Star Joyce DeWitt in this episode of "Supertrain."  Tayback and Farr mistakenly suspect "Taxi"-star Tony Danza of being DeWitt's kidnapper.
Will Gavin MacLeod and "The Love Boat" crew make Bernie Kopell walk the plank for appearing on "Supertrain"???  Probably not, like most people, they were watching "Fantasy Island" on ABC that night and didn't even know.
NBC's "Supertrain" very often found itself compared unfavorably with ABC's "The Love Boat" TV series.  Kopell is the only member of "The Love Boat" cast to appear on "Supertrain."  Interestingly, Kopell's character here is also a doctor just like what he played on "The Love Boat."
Joyce DeWitt, missing heiress, is happily reunited with former nanny Isabel Sanford in the "Pirouette" episode...but is everything what is seems or is there trouble on the tracks ahead???
TV Guide April 7-13, 1979

-TV Guide April 7-13, 1979 features the pretty Maren Jensen enjoying one of the highlights of her "fifteen minutes of fame" during 1978-79's run of the original "Battlestar Galactica" on ABC.
TV Guide "Pirouette" Episode Synopsis:
A bashful doctor finds himself rooming with an heiress who is
hiding from kidnapers.
"Pirouette" Competition:
ABC offered a fresh trip to "Fantasy Island" with guest stars Samantha Eggar and Red Buttons.
CBS aired a new TV-movie about surrogate pregnancy titled "The Seeding of Sarah Burns" starring Kay Lenz; Cliff DeYoung; Martin Balsam and Cassie Yates.