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Trivia / Diagnosis: Murder

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  • Acting for Two: More like Acting For Five, since "Inheritance of Death" has Dick Van Dyke playing Mark Sloan, millionaire Jonathan Nash, Nash's two sons, and Nash's daughter. He also portrays his own Identical Stranger in "Gangland".
  • Actor Allusion:
    • In one episode, Dick Van Dyke as Dr. Sloan is walking through the corridors of the hospital. As he turns a corner, he passes an internal window through which we see, not a medical procedure in progress, but a broadcast booth in black and white. It's a clip of Van Dyke in The Dick Van Dyke Show. He walks on without seeming to notice.
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    • George Takei and Walter Koenig play major characters in an episode about alien abduction.
    • Amanda Bentley was once invited to visit the set of The Young and the Restless. Several cast members of the soap appeared as themselves, and commented that Dr. Bentley bore an uncanny resemblance to Victoria Rowell (who played both Dr. Bentley and Drusilla on Y&R).
    • Steve, discussing 'classic' TV themes, mentioned Airwolf. Barry Van Dyke played St John in Airwolf's third season.
    • One episode showed two versions of the murder - the killers' plan for the perfect murder and frame-up, and the not-so-perfect way it actually happened. A minor difference between the versions was Dr. Sloan (not) tripping over a dog, similar to the ottoman gag from The Dick Van Dyke Show's opening credits.
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    • Dr. Sloan's brother, played by Dick Van Dyke's brother Jerry, is in one episode centering on his sleepwalking, just like on ''The Dick Van Dyke Show"
    • Randolph Mantooth guest stars as a firefighter in "Malibu Fire". And the number of one of the fire trucks with him? Engine 51. Robert Fuller is also in the episode, along with Jennifer Tighe, daughter of Mantooth's costar Kevin Tighe.
    • Mark trips over an ottoman in "FMurder".
  • California Doubling: The Earthonomy Headquarters building in "Dance of Danger" is The House of the Book performance hall and library building at the American Jewish University, Brandeis-Bardin Campus in Simi Valley, California. It's perhaps best known on TV as the Command Center from Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers.
  • Celebrity Paradox: Scott Baio played Dr. Jack Stewart in seasons 1–3. Baio would later himself be mentioned on a later episode (maybe the one where Amanda visits The Young and the Restless) in a mocking fashion as a star with delusions of grandeur.
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  • Descended Creator: Dick Van Dyke, a well-known computer enthusiast, did some special effects work for the series using his personal equipment.
  • Directed by Cast Member: One episode is directed by Barry Van Dyke.
  • Incestuous Casting: "Murder at the Telethon" casts siblings Dick and Joyce Van Patten. While their characters are divorced, their piano rendition of "Makin' Whoopee" is enough to cue the Brain Bleach.
  • Real-Life Relative: Barry Van Dyke is Dick Van Dyke's son. Other members of the Van Dyke family appeared at various times during the show's run, including Dick's brother Jerry and daughter Stacy in one episode each as Dr. Mark's brother and daughter respectively. Barry's four children all appeared in multiple episodes, although not as Sloan family members: Carey as six different characters in as many episodes; Shane as four, the last of whom became a regular supporting role in the show's concluding months; Wes as three; and Taryn in three episodes. All four appeared together in two separate episodes, which therefore share the highest rating of 6.0 on the Van Dyke Scale...
  • Real Life Writes the Plot: Victoria Rowell's real-life pregnancy in Season Three resulted in Amanda Bentley falling in love and marrying a US soldier who was stationed in Bosnia. Her husband remained The Unseen, and from season four on, Depending on the Writer, either they got divorced or he died in a plane crash.
  • Reality Subtext: The home movie footage of Dr. Sloan and his son is Dick Van Dyke's actual home movie.


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