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.


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!!''Banacek'' provides examples of:

* CasinoEpisode: One episode is "A Million The Hard Way" in which a casino put $1 million in cash in a display case for patron 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.
* [[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".
* GirlOfTheWeek
* 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.
* LockedRoomMystery
* MileHighClub: Banacek and his GirlOfTheWeek get it on in a light plane in "A Million the Hard Way".
* MysteryOfTheWeek
* 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.
* RunningGag: Banacek's Polish proverbs, Jay suggests his solution to the mystery.
* 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.
* TechnologyMarchesOn: The room sized computer in "If Max Is So Smart, Why Doesn't HE Tell Us Where He Is?"; Banacek's car phone.
* WheelProgram

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