Law & Order: The Third Year [6 Discs] [DVD]

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Another major casting change occurred during the third season of Law & Order, although not until the series had offered eight episodes. In "Prince of Darkness," an undercover police operation goes tragically awry, and Detective Phil Ceretta (Paul Sorvino) ends up seriously wounded. Though Ceretta would recover sufficiently to take up a desk job, Sorvino himself decided to leave the series for good; like George Dzundza before him, the actor felt that the series' format was too confining for his talents. Brought in as Mike Logan's (Chris Noth) new partner was Jerry Orbach as laconic veteran detective Lennie Briscoe, a recovering alcoholic with a multitude of family problems (which, in fine old Law & Order tradition, were only revealed to the audience on a "need to know" basis). At the time Orbach joined the series, there was much speculation (usually tongue-in-cheek in nature) as to how long it would be before he, too, was shot down in the line of duty, just like Logan's two previous partners, Greevey and Ceretta. As it turned out, Orbach not only outlasted Noth as Logan, but by season 13, he had been on the series longer than any other regular. A few stylistic changes marked season three. The "street action" was more or less cut to the bone, as was the background music. Also, in answer to viewer demand, the handheld camerawork became more steady and less distracting. One thing still remained constant from season one: the series' lack of regular female characters. At least Carolyn McCormick, in the recurring role of police psychologist Dr. Elizabeth Olivet, was spotlighted in the compelling episode "Helpless." Once again, Law & Order was honored with several Emmy nominations during the 1992-1993 season. This time out, the series copped the Emmy twice, for Elaine Stritch's guest-star turn in "Point of View" and for Constantine Makris' photography. Ratings remained steady, if not spectacular, but things would change dramatically during the next season. ~ Hal Erickson

Cast & Crew

  • Jerry Orbach - Det. Lennie Briscoe
  • Benjamin Bratt - Det. Reynaldo Curtis
  • Sam Waterston - DA Jack McCoy
  • Jesse L. Martin - Det. Edward Green
  • S. Epatha Merkerson - Lt. Anita Van Buren

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(1 Review)

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