Remington Steele is the title of an MTM Enterprises production about a supposedly internationally renowned American-based private investigator who actually does not exist. The series programme, which starred Stephanie Zimbalist alongside Pierce Brosnan, ran for almost five years, between 1982 and 1987, on the NBC television network.
In the course of the story line, it was revealed that the former white-collar confidence artist who used the name of the title character throughout the run of the series had been born illegitimately, and hence that even he did not know his own real name.
The central plot Edit
Before the ruse Edit
The story line that began with the instalment "License To Steele" was originally that of a struggling private investigator, Laura Holt, who had loved mystery, adventure, and excitement enough, as a girl, to study the craft of private investigation and apprentice at Havenhurst Security, a private investigation firm based in southern California. But she found that (or so she viewed it) her male co-workers were taking almost all the credit for her work. (There was, unbeknownst to her, the even more likely possibility that the majority of her co-workers--male and female alike--might have perceived her as a "glory-hog," "know-it-allish," and having an attitude of "doing it herself and the hell with everyone else.") Ultimately, she decided to hang out her own shingle and opened Laura Holt Investigations, with Murphy Michaels (James Read) and Bernice Foxe (Janet DeMay) as her associates.
Why the ruse Edit
She then watched herself get next to no cases. (This might very well have been explainable by Havenhurst Security deliberately steering prospective clientele away from her firm as its punishment for what it saw as her repeated refusals to be a team player.)
The ruse begins Edit
Fed up with her state of near-unemployment, Holt blamed it on sexual discrimination rather than such deliberate interference from Havenhurst as it might actually have been and decided that if she had a phony male superior, she might get more clients who would be willing to overlook that worthy's almost total lack of personal availability. With her old Remington typewriter and her fandom of the Pittsburgh Steelers American-rules pro football team as the inspirations, she named her fictitious male boss Remington Steele.
The ruse's inital success Edit
Once Laura Holt Investigations became Remington Steele Investigations, it commenced to draw clients from all walks of life and more money than Holt had ever earned before. Most of it, though, seemed to go towards furthering the ruse of Remington Steele's existence. Holt still found herself unable to make enough money to pay Michaels and Foxe much.
Holt's cover is blown! Edit
The ruse of Remington Steele's existence was too good to last without someone asking questions about him. An automaker who had sunk a fortune into starting up a car company that the "Big Three," Chrysler, Ford, and General Motors, were doing their most to destroy unestablished and unestablishable the way they had done so with Preston Tucker, and wanted Holt to guard jewels that he had planned to exhibit to raise capital, would not do so without first MEETING Remington Steele IN PERSON.
Enter the pretender Edit
The jewels that the automaker had been exhibiting to raise capital were not his. They were publicly "on loan," but in reality property that had been stolen, from the South African government. Worse, they were blood jewels that were actually being used villainously, to help support the evil apartheid regime then in power.
Into this environment came a white-collar confidence artist who was actually beginning to tire of his games. A protege of a certain Daniel Chalmers (Efrem Zimbalist Jr., Stephanie Zimbalist's real-life father) in this "Harry-In-Your-Pocket" pursuit, he did not know at the time that Chalmers, who always called him "Harry," was his own actual father. Both men were enraged with the evil policies of the South African government then in power because those policies were cruelly exploiting such of the poor as they themselves had both once been, and in recovering the jewels, "Harry" determined to gouge it out of a "finder's fee" that was far higher than the jewels were worth.
It was in that context that his path first crossed Laura Holt's in a professional capacity.
Forensics, fluttery hearts, and firepower--a funny mix Edit
The relationship between Remington, as he came to be known, and Laura was at first a precarious one, evolving as it endured.