Season One Episode Guide
(1959 - 1960)

Like any television show in its First Season, The Untouchables displays marks of greatness – and the occasional misstep.

Challenged with what to do with Eliot Ness and his squad after nailing Capone, producer Quinn Martin and a mixed-bag of writers dip early and often into the bin of name-brand criminals, weaving Ness in and out of stories with Ma Baker, Dutch Schultz, Lucky Luciano, Bugs Morgan, Mad Dog Coll and a thin retelling of Bonnie and Clyde, tearing at the guise of truthfulness and raising the ire of the FBI as early the second episode.

There is also some early experimentation in fleshing out Ness’ relationships as best they can in an anthology series in The Unhired Assassin and Head of Fire, Feet of Clay. At the same time, there is an initial (and misconceived) tendency to write as Ness more of a James Bond/John Wayne mashup with awkward and limited success (see Mexican Stakeout and Syndicate Sanctuary). Faced with the possibility that Robert Stack would only appear in a handful of episodes early on, the writers also reached for some near Ness-less hours in The George “Bugs” Morgan Story, You Can’t Pick The Number and Little Egypt.

On its own, the quality of the First Season is pretty good, but compared to the following two seasons, its sum is weaker than its parts. Standouts are largely contained to the second half of the season and include One-Armed Bandits, The Tri-State Gang, The Big Squeeze, Unhired Assassin, Three Thousand Suspects and The Frank Nitti Story.

The Empty Chair

Capone acolytes Frank Nitti and Jake Guzik square off in Al Capone’s absence and the principal witness to a mob hit joins Eliot Ness’ squad.

Ma Barker and Her Boys

In Desiluland, Ma Barker’s infamous brood unravels as Ness and federal agents move in – but in real life, the FBI becomes the show’s first adversary.


Following the murder of a famous Chicago reporter, Eliot Ness leans on a disgraced private investigator pursuing a lead between two rival gangs.

The George "Bugs" Moran Story

George “Bugs” Moran moves to infiltrate the labor unions of Chicago by way of kidnapping and intimidation, but a bruised and battered union president won’t stand for it in this near Ness-less episode of The Untouchables.

"Ain't We Got Fun"

A night club comedian stands up against an encroaching gangster and while the melodrama falters, the creative challenges behind-the-scenes of The Untouchables catch the attention of ABC’s President, who asks for more action and suspense as Quinn Martin deals with the fall out of a well-meaning, but misguided producer.

Vincent "Mad Dog" Coll

Mad Dog Coll, a kidnapper, and murderer, is a paranoid psychopath bent on making gangster adversary Dutch Schultz suffer where it hurts the most as Eliot Ness moves in to pin them both.


Eliot Ness ventures across the border to secure a key witness in this episode, which co-starred Martin Landau and Vince Edwards.


Ness moves in to break the organization attempting to take over legitimate businesses. While the hour lacks gravitas, one can find hints that cinematographer Charlie Straumer and star Robert Stack are bringing new shades of their respective crafts to the series.


Ness pursues a notoriously murderous gang headed by Wally Lagenza as new producer Joseph Shaftel and screenwriter Joseph Petracca enter the scene to help craft the rise of the series.


Ness pursues famous New York mobster Dutch Schultz, who believes everyone has his price.


Eliot Ness finds an opening to take down the numbers racket in Agent Flaherty’s old friend as a shadowy syndicate emerges for the first time in the series.


Cliff Robertson appears as a disfigured criminal on the run from Eliot Ness in director Walter Grauman’s first episode to air for the series.


Eliot Ness confronts the mob and a corrupt police force in an episode where the historical reality was more fascinating than the hour.