Honey West is an American crime drama television series that aired
on ABC during the 1965-1966 television season. The series stars Anne Francis as female private detective Honey
he Honey West character was created by Gloria and Forrest E.
"Skip" Fickling under the pseudonym "G.G. Fickling" in the late 1950s. West was one of the first female "private
eyes" to ever appear on television. Francis first played West in the Second Season (Episode #2) of
Burke's Law entitled "Who Killed the Jackpot?", broadcast on April 2, 1965, which led to this series
being commissioned as a spin-off.
In the series, West had a partner and man-Friday "Sam" (John
Ericson, who had played the Francis character's brother Pete in Bad Day at
Black Rock), who usually stayed in the background or sat in their
high-tech surveillance van talking to Honey via a radio hidden in her lipstick case. Her alluring feline qualities
were reflected by her animal-print wardrobe and decor. She also kept an exotic pet ocelot named Bruce (in one
episode, the African series Daktari was showing on Honey's TV set, and Honey said "Oh Bruce, why do we always have
to watch your show?"). For sneaking around at night and engaging in energetic fight scenes, she wore a black fabric
bodystocking reminiscent of Emma Peel's leather jumpsuit. Like Peel's Lotus Elan sports car, Honey's
similar-looking AC Cobra convertible also emphasized her independence and vitality. Although the racy content of
the novels was excised for television, West often went on solo undercover missions that required a provocative or
revealing outfit. She also used a number of James Bond-type gimmicks: an exploding compact, a garter-belt gas mask,
and tear-gas earrings. West was also a black-belt in Judo, as was her partner, Sam.
Created as the American equivalent to the popular Emma Peel and
Cathy Gale characters in the British series The Avengers, Honey West was was canceled after one season and replaced
by the Avengers (because it was cheaper to import the British series than to produce the American one). Francis
nonetheless received a Golden Globe Award for her performance.