[[caption-width-right:350:"A truly wise man never plays leapfrog with a unicorn."]]
Banacek (one of the [[WheelProgram rotating]] elements of ''Series/TheNBCMysteryMovie'') is a short-lived, light-hearted detective TV series starring George Peppard which aired on NBC from 1972 to 1974. Peppard played Thomas Banacek, a suave, Polish-American freelance investigator based in Boston, who solved seemingly impossible thefts. He then collected from the insurance companies 10% of the insured value of the recovered property.
Also featured were Ralph Manza as Banacek's chauffeur Jay Drury, Murray Matheson as rare-bookstore owner and information source Felix Mulholland and Christine Belford as Carlie Kirkland, Banacek's sometime-lover and always-rival.
''Banacek'' was part of the ''NBC Wednesday Mystery Movie'' lineup, and was the only spoke of this WheelProgram to run in both seasons.
!!''Banacek'' provides examples of:
* AnachronisticClue: In "The Vanishing Chalice", one of the clues to the solution of the mystery is that a figure of a Greek soldier in the display is holding a sling, despite no soldiers of that period being armed with slings. [[spoiler:The thief planted it there so he would have access to a rock.]]
* AnimalAssassin: In "Horse Of A Slightly Different Color", a jockey is murdered by being knocked unconscious and dumped in a stall with a wild stallion that tramples him to death.
* BellyDancer: Little Egypt shakes her hips in "[[http://gorillavid.in/rpw75snxy856 The Vanishing Chalice]]".
* CasinoEpisode: One episode is "A Million The Hard Way" in which a casino put $1 million in cash in a display case for patrons to pose beside. The money disappears while an elderly couple are being photographed beside it.
* ComputerEqualsTapedrive: In "If Max Is So Smart, Why Doesn't He Tell Us Where He Is?", the object stolen is Max; a 1970s supercomputer with spinning tape drives and blinking lights that takes up half a room.
* CoolCar: The AMX-400 from the second episode.
* CymbalBangingMonkey: In "The Three Million Dollar Piracy", a scene opens with a cymbal banging monkey when Banacek visits the office of the president of a toy company. The monkey has no bearing on the plot whatsoever.
* DeliveryGuyInfiltration: In "If Max Is So Smart, Why Doesn't He Tell Us Where He Is?", various flunkies are preventing Banacek from getting into a hospital room to talk to the owner of the stolen supercomputer. Banacek dons a white coat, picks up two bunches of flowers and waltzes into her room unnoticed. Bonus points for him proceeding to arrange the flowers in a vase while conducting his interrogation.
* DistractedByTheSexy: A RunningGag in the series is Jay turning up somewhere to deliver a message to Banacek, only to be distracted by the plethora of scantily clad women in the area to the point that he forgets why he is there till Banacek presses him on it.
* FallOfTheHouseOfCards: In "Fly Me -- If You Can Find Me", Felix is attempting to break the world record for the tallest house of cards. The whole thing comes tumbling down when Banacek calls him, and Felix realises that he has built the house of cards over the top of the phone.
* [[BaseballEpisode Football Episode]]: "Lets Hear It For a Living Legend"
* FilmTheHand: In "No Stone Unturned", the crane operator does this as the documentary film maker tries to film inside the crane cab as he is loading the sculpture. [[spoiler:Banacek later wonders exactly what it was he didn't want the camera to see.]]
* ForkliftFu: A thief uses a forklift to kill Banacek on the docks in "The Three Million Dollar Piracy".
* AHandfulForAnEye: In "Horse Of A Slightly Different Color", Banacek is able to disarm a gunman by flinging a soapy cloth into his eyes.
* ImpossibleTheft: Every episode involves Banacek investigating some sort of impossible theft; whether that is due to size (e.g. a 3 ton sculpture, location (e.g. a car stolen off a moving train), or security (e.g. a book from a sealed case ringed with alarm systems).
* IncrediblyObviousBug: One is planted in Banacek's home in "Rocket to Oblivion".
* InsuranceFraud: The only type of crime investigated.
* KnowledgeBroker: Antique book dealer Felix Muholland fills this role; tracking down whatever esoteric piece of information Banacek needs to crack a particular case. Interestingly, he is the only character who ever refers to Banacek by his first name.
* ALadyOnEachArm: In "Rocket to Oblivion", Art Gallagher arrives at the exposition with a girl on each arm. He later brings both of them with him to the SummationGathering.
* LandingGearShot: Used in "Now You See Me, Now You Don't" to establish that Banacek has travelled from Los Angeles to Los Vegas.
* LovelyAssistant: In "Now You See Me, Now You Don't", the vanishing StageMagician was using his daughter as his lovely assistant. She is as seemingly in the dark about what happens to her father as everyone else.
* MileHighClub: Banacek and his GirlOfTheWeek get it on in a light plane in "A Million the Hard Way".
* MonumentalTheft: Objects stolen include a 3 ton sculpture, and and an immobilized DC-8 jetliner.
* NoPronunciationGuide: Banacek has to correct someone's pronunciation of his name in ''every'' episode. Not Banna-seck but Banna-check. (And sometimes he corrects the spelling: "B-A-N-A-C-E-K, just like it sounds.")
* OnceAnEpisode: Jay suggests a solution to the mystery, which Banacek immediately finds a flaw with.
* PrettyInMink: The girl Banacek brings back to his house at the start of "Horse Of A Slightly Different Color" is wearing a fur coat, which she takes off as she she drapes herself seductively in front of the fireplace.
* RunningGag: Banacek's Polish proverbs; Jay suggests his solution to the mystery; Jay being handed multiple tickets while protesting "but officer..."
* SecretOtherFamily: In "The Three Million Dollar Piracy", Banacek discovers that one of the suspects is married to two different women. A ship's officer, he maintains the charade by telling one wife that he is shipping out a couple of weeks before he actually does, and telling the other that he is returning two weeks after he actually does.
* SexyCoatFlashing: Banacek's GirlOfTheWeek does this in "Fly Me -- If You Can Find Me"; wearing a raincoat with nothing on underneath it.
* SexyStewardess: Banacek's GirlOfTheWeek in "Fly Me -- If You Can Find Me" is a sexy stewardess: one of the two very attractive flight attendants who were on the stolen plane.
* SmartPeoplePlayChess: Banacek and Felix are often shown playing chess. Banacek can mentally recreate the position of the pieces on the board for a game he played several days ago.
* StageMagician: In "Now You See Me, Now You Don't", Banacek investigates when an amateur stage magician literally disappears during the middle of his vanishing act.
** In "Ten Thousand Dollars a Page", a valuable book is stolen by having it drop into a specially constructed niche in it display case. It seems to vanish and the display case shows no sign of having being opened because it hasn't.
** In "The Vanishing Chalice", the eponymous chalice is seemingly stolen during its unveiling. Using a [[WeNeedADistraction carefully arranged distraction]], the thief slipped an angled mirror in front of the chalice so that it reflected the surrounding drapes and made it appear that the niche was empty.
* SummationGathering: At the end of every episode, Banacek would gather all of the suspects together at the scene of the crime to explain how the crime was committed and expose the guilty party.
* TapOnTheHead: Banacek gets floored by a tap on the head in "Horse Of A Slightly Different Color".
* ToyotaTripwire: In "Now You See Me, Now You Don't", a gunman forces Banacek to get into his car and then goes to climb in the passenger side. As he does so, Banacek reserves and knocks him down with the open door.
* WhyDidItHaveToBeSnakes: Carlie Kirkland is afraid of heights.