Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Stephanie Zimbalist plays Laura Holt, a private detective who finds that her potential customers are unwilling to hire a woman. Business picks up when she invents a fictitious male partner named Remington Steele. In the first episode, she is hired to help track down a thief, played by Pierce Brosnan, who takes on the Remington Steele persona at the end of the show. The real name of Brosnan's character was never revealed, and at one point "Steele" admits that he did not remember his real name.
The first season included two recurring characters, James Reed who played Zimbalist's real partner, Murphy Michaels, and Janet DeMay , their secretary and periodic rescuer, Bernice Foxe. Early episodes tended to be "simple", focusing on the story without too much flash. The series tended to focus on the sexual tension between the leads as much as the plots of the episodes themselves. NBC decided that the show was worthy of considerably more attention and re-tooled the format for the second season. Reed was removed in order to allow the romance between Holt and Steele to develop; his character pined for Holt and the producers felt this was a hinderance. DeMay simply disappeared with a single-sentence explanation, replaced by the acerbic Doris Roberts as the former tax accountant Mildred Krebs. The "new" Remington Steele was a big-budget production with more flash.
The new format lasted for three years before being cancelled at the end of the 1985-86 television season. After several seasons of "teasing" and nothing happening between Holt and Steele the format ran its course. Brosnan was then named the newest actor to play James Bond for the film, The Living Daylights. NBC, who still had Brosnan under contract, chose to renew Remington Steele for another year in order to capitalize on Brosnan becoming the new James Bond; this backfired, and Brosnan subsequently lost the role to Timothy Dalton, though he would finally become 007 in 1995.
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