The Life and Times of Maxwell Smart (Publisher's Weekly review)

Donna McCrohan. St. Martin's, $12.95

ISBN 0-312-00030-8

    Get Smart, starring Don Adams as Maxwell Smart, premiered September 15, 1965, ran for five seasons, and is still seen 23 years later in international syndication.  A new Get Smart made-for-TV movie is scheduled to air this fall.  Television historian McCrohan (The Honeymooners' Companion), noting that the James Bond film series triggered the mid-'60s craze for TV spy shows (The Man From U.N.C.L.E., I Spy), interweaves informative interview material as she chronicles the chain of events that led to the birth of the satirical sitcom.  Creators Mel Brooks and Buck Henry are profiled, along with cast members Adams, Barbara Feldon, Ed Platt, Dick Gautier et al.  A chapter is devoted to the show's writers, and equal attention is given to anecdotes surrounding production activities and location shootings.  In addition to a complete episode guide, the book offers lengthy lists of the memorable catchphrases ("Would you believe...?) and running gags.  McCrohan's own efforts as a journalistic spy result in a detailed dossier of a single series, set against a wealth of background material on the television industry of the '60s.  Photos not seen by PW. (Oct.)

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