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Benson

Season 7 (1985-1986)
Produced by Rob Dames & Bob Fraser
Co-produced by Kathy Speer & Terry Grossman
Produced by Rob Dames & Bob Fraser
Co-produced by Ron Landry & Tom Biener

Guide to episodes, including episode number and title, production staff, guest cast, original air date, original episode descriptions, and additional commentary.

137. Benson the Hero
Directed by Rob Dames
Written by R. J. Colleary
4 October 1985
Benson is attending to his role as lieutenant governor by cutting a ribbon at a shopping mall when he acts quickly to subdue a masked gunman, which suddenly turns him into a hero. Then Benson gets slapped with a 1.5 million dollar lawsuit by the crook’s showboating lawyer.

138. Love and Politics
Directed by Bill Foster
Written by John Donley & Clay Graham
11 October 1985
Benson sees love commingled with politics when he tangles with a very attractive woman senator over a conservation bill sponsored by Clayton. She changes her vote after she and Benson start dating. He must decide to either marry her and start a new life, or continue his post at the mansion.

139. Uncle Jack
Directed by Gary Brown
Written by Robin Pennington
18 October 1985
Benson tries to mend old wounds between the governor and his brother Jack, who hasn’t been seen for 25 years. Since Benson is like a brother to the Governor he reluctantly acts as go-between between the Governor and his natural brother. When Katie finds out that she has an uncle, she decides that she wants to know him despite her fathers’ feelings.

140. The Stranger
Directed by Bill Foster
Written by Tom Biener & Ron Landry
25 October 1985
Halloween night in Capitol City brings heavy rains and flooding, not to mention a spooky character who calls himself Mr. G. Reaper.

141. We Spy
Directed by Bill Foster
Written by Jurgen Wolff
8 November 1985
While on a business trip in east Germany, Kraus and Benson are accused of being spies and are arrested by the secret police.

142. $1,000,000 an Hour
Directed by Gary Brown
Written by Ken Eulo &
Elena Yates Eulo
15 November 1985
Benson, who is acting as governor while Gov. Gatling is on vacation, finds himself in an embarrassing spot. He is holding a political hot potato: an $8 million budget surplus. He and Clayton must spend a million dollars an hour to spend it by the end of the fiscal year.

Flight of the Dodo

143. Flight of the Dodo: Part One
Directed by Bill Foster
Written by Bob Fraser & Rob Dames
29 November 1985
Benson ignores warnings from Kraus and Mrs. Cassidy. Will they never learn to trust women’s intuition? Tsk, tsk. Benson, the governor, and Clayton go on a cross-state golfing trip despite warnings from Kraus and Mrs. Cassidy. The chopper goes down in the middle of nowhere.

144. Flight of the Dodo: Part Two
Directed by Bill Foster
Written by Bob Fraser
6 December 1985
Benson, the Governor and Clayton are stranded in the desert with little hope of rescue. Their helicopter pilot, Tommy, lapses into unconsciousness while Clayton tries to walk to find help. When Clayton fails to find anyone they must think up another plan to save themselves. Clayton is injured but does have some technical know-how in flying the helicopter, and is able to instruct Benson on how to fly all of them out of danger.

145. Two Boys and Their Dog
Directed by Rob Dames
Written by Don Hart
13 December 1985 How not to share a dog...

Benson finds himself caught up in a risky business venture involving a balky basset hound after he gives Clayton $1,000 of his own money to invest for him. Clayton buys a pure-bred champion basset hound for breeding purposes. Unfortunately, the dog turns out to be an underperforming investment. Benson and Clayton become very attached to the dog.

146. Last Man on Earth
Directed by Gary Brown
Written by Ron Landry & Tom Biener
3 January 1986
While everyone is preparing for Halley’s comet parties, Kraus nods off and dreams that she and Benson are the only survivors of the comet’s passing. In her dream, once they get used to the idea they live life the best way they can. Actually, it is quite pleasant and yes they have children. How else would they keep the human race going and no, they are not the last people on Earth. In fact, when their children grow up they go off to find other pockets of survivors. All in all, this is a very funny episode.

147. Secret Love
Directed by Bill Foster
Written by Ron Landry & Tom Biener
18 January 1986
Benson gets a call from his lady friend, a state senator, asking him to have dinner with her because she has an interesting proposal and speculation that it is a marriage proposal runs wild.

148. Summer of Discontent
Directed by Whitney J. LeBlanc
Written by John Donley & Clay Graham
25 January 1986
Benson’s usually calm and orderly life is rudely shattered by a visit form his namesake nephew, who believes that life should be fun, and that seriousness and hard work should be postponed indefinitely.

149. Parade Rest
Directed by Rob Dames
Written by R. J. Colleary
1 February 1986
After a war veteran loses his disability payments, Benson takes on the bureaucracy to fix the mix-up, only to find out he also has to take on his friend. The veteran is hired to retile the bathroom in Benson’s office, but disappears. Benson now has to investigate what happened and the vet’s whereabouts. He experiences firsthand the bureaucratic nightmares faced by veterans when he investigates the disappearance.

150. Reel Murder: Part One
Directed by Bob Fraser
Written by Bob Fraser & Rob Dames
8 February 1986
Benson’s Army buddy (George Kennedy) is filming a murder mystery at the mansion, and the project is plagued by a blizzard, a power failure, and a temperamental director who’s found dead after a blackout.

151. Reel Murder: Part Two
Directed by Bob Fraser
Written by Bob Fraser & Rob Dames
15 February 1986
With everyone’s life in danger they try to crack the case in true Benson style.

152. The Hat and the Ring
Directed by Lee Shallat
Written by John Donley & Clay Graham
22 February 1986
Benson backs up Clayton for the permanent post of budget director only to have a senate committee bring up a surprising obstacle to his appointment--a defecting beautiful Russian dancer.

153. The Bucks Stop Here
Directed by Bill Foster
Written by Don Hart
1 March 1986
Clayton has his sights on running the family fortune, until he meets his father’s new, young, and pretty fiancée. Then he realizes that inheriting the fortune will be pretty challenging.

154. Pardon Me
Directed by Rob Dames
Written by R. J. Colleary
8 March 1986
Benson persuades the governor to pardon a man wrongly imprisoned for 25 years. Now Benson must find housing for the guy, who says he’d rather stay in prison.

155. Hi, Society
Directed by Gary Brown
Written by R. J. Colleary
22 March 1986
Benson and the Governor are jubilant over their choice to nail down votes for their chemical dumping bill by enlisting the help of a surprise witness, a conservation expert who will testify for them. Kraus hears of the strategy and leaks it to a friend who turns out to be a columnist and a major gossip to people who can owe her a favor for information. While Kraus is flooded with high-society invitations, Benson and the Governor plumb for the information leak that’s jeopardizing their major piece of legislation. When Kraus realizes that SHE is the leak, she is mortified and rectifies the situation.

156. Three on a Mismatch
Directed by Rob Dames
Teleplay by John Donley & Clay Graham
Story by Bill Overton,
Ken Russ, John Donley, Clay Graham
29 March 1986
The governor answers an ad from a magazine’s personal column.

157. Friends and Enemies
Directed by Hilton L. Smack
Written by Ron Landry & Tom Biener
12 April 1986
Governor Gatling, a widower, appeals to Benson to double date with him and his blind date, but matters take a turn for the worse when the governor’s date turns out to be an old flame of Benson’s.

158. And the Winner Is...
Directed by Gary Brown
Written by Ron Landry & Tom Biener
19 April 1986
Benson and Governor Gatling are campaigning at top speed, both trying to win the election for the governorship. When the results come in, the winner is--

Note: A number of different conclusions were taped for this episode: one showing Benson winning, one showing Gatling winning, one showing the crooked senator winning, and a cliffhanger (the version eventually aired) that leaves the question open: the audience never finds out who wins.

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This page is maintained by Marguerite Krause (marguerite@mkrause.net)

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