apologies for the poor image quality. The video quality 
used for the screen captures was less than average.

 

     Vega$ was an American detective television drama series that aired on ABC from 1978 until 1981. It was produced by the legendary 80's TV creator/producer Aaron Spelling. The series (with the exception of special episodes filmed in Hawaii and San Francisco) was filmed in its entirety in Las Vegas, Nevada. It is believed to be the first television series produced entirely in Las Vegas.

The show stars Robert Urich as private detective Dan Tanna, who drove around the streets of Las Vegas in a red 1957 Ford Thunderbird,  solving crimes and making Las Vegas a better place for residents and tourists alike.  

     Dan Tanna is a detective available for private hire. One of his chief clients was Phillip Roth (Tony Curtis), aka Slick, the owner of multiple hotel casinos including the Maxim Hotel and Desert Inn Hotel & Country Club, in Las Vegas. Tanna was always called in when something was awry at the hotel. Many times this involved the criminal element, though he was sometimes brought in to investigate the absurd. One example included a nun who claimed to own the land on which the Desert Inn stood, when she was bequeathed an old deed from a prospector who died. (To further complicate matters, she initially wanted to turn the hotel into a convent.)

 

 

 

     Tanna lived on the Las Vegas Strip next to Circus Circus Hotel/Casino, in the theatrical props warehouse owned by the Desert Inn Hotel and Country Club, which he converted into his living place. The design of Tanna's pad (long before the popularity of loft space) allowed him to park his T-bird in his living room. Tanna also used gadgets that were very high-tech for the time (but are pretty commonplace today), such as a car-phone and an answering machine (that physically picked the phone up off the hook and the receiver spoke directly into the microphone of a tape recorder). For most of the series Tanna's choice of weapon was a Dan Wesson Firearms .357 magnum that he didn't like to use, but would if the situation deemed necessary. During the first season Tanna carried a Smith & Wesson Model 28 .357 magnum. Most often Tanna would use more non-lethal means, such as his fists.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cast

Starring Robert Urich
Phyllis Davis
Bart Braverman
Tony Curtis
Naomi Stevens
Judy Landers
Greg Morris

     Tanna often did battle with many of the various criminal element that would threaten the desert oasis. Some villains he faced include a psychopath who thought he was Wayne Newton (and subsequently Newton was impersonating him), as well as a mafia boss named Martin Gleaver (Tom Simcox) who blackmailed a magic sisters act with photographs of "all the sick/weird things they used to do" referring to when they used to host risque Hollywood parties.

 

 

    

     Tanna was a veteran of the Vietnam War. This was illustrated through flashbacks in various episodes. It is curious, however, that during these flashbacks, he was participating in ground combat. In the first season episode "Kill Dan Tanna", Tanna is addressed by his former commanding officer Captain North (Richard Lynch), a former member of 5th Special Forces Group, as lieutenant. In a later episode, where he gets mixed up with a case involving a defector from the Soviet Union, he shows up at Nellis Air Force Base in his old United States Air Force uniform. (The Air Force was rarely, but occasionally, involved in direct ground combat during Vietnam.) He is also referred to as "Captain Tanna", indicating that he was an officer. He served with his best friends Harlon Two-Leaf (Will Sampson), the chief of a local Native American tribe, and Mitch Costigan (Chick Venerra), a Vegas lounge singer. In the second season episode "Casualty of War", Costigan mentions that he served in 93rd Rangers (a fictional United States Army Rangers unit)

  

EPISODE GUIDE

SEASON 1

# Episode Title
1 Centerfold
2 The Games Girls Play
3 Mother Mishkin
4 Love, Laugh and Die
5 Yes, My Darling Daughter
6 Lady Ice
7 Milliken's Stash
8 The Pageant
9 Lost Women
10 Second Stanza
11 Serve, Volley and Kill
12 Ghost of the Ripper
13 The Eleventh Event
14 Kill Dan Tanna!
15 Death Mountain
16 Best Friends
17 Demand and Supply
18 Everything I Touch
19 Doubtful Target
20 Touch of Death
21 A Way to Live
22 The Visitor

SEASON 2

# Episode Title
23 Redhanded
24 The Usurper
25 Mixed Blessing
26 Runaway
27 Design for Death
28 Shadow on a Star
29 Dan Tanna Is Dead
30 The Macho Murders
31 The Day the Gambling Stopped
32 Classic Connection
33 Night of a Thousand Eyes
34 Lost Monday
35 Comeback
36 All Kinds of Love
37 The Magic Sister Slayings
38 The Lido Girls
39 Consortium
40 The Hunter Hunted
41 The Man Who Was Twice
42 The Golden Gate Cop Killer (Part 1)
43 The Golden Gate Cop Killer (2)
44 Siege of the Desert Inn
45 Vendetta

SEASON 3 

# Episode Title
46 Aloha, You're Dead ( Pt 1 )
47 Aloha, You're Dead ( pt.2 )
48 The Black Cat  Killer
49 Sudden Death
50 Love Affair
51 A Deadly Victim
52 Deadly Blessing
53 Christmas Story
54 The Andreas Addiction
55 Sourdough Suite
56 Murder by Mirrors
57 Backlash
58 Heist
59 No Way to Treat a Victim
60 Time Bomb
61 Out of Sight
62 Set Up
63 The Killing
64 Seek and Destroy
65 Dead Ringer
66 French Twist
67 Nightmare Come True
68 Judgement Pronounced

     

 

 

 

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