Here’s a quite cool mini-doc (twenty minutes) on the evolution of the ‘Pink Panther’ series. I remember as a kid in the early 70s seeing the second ‘Pink Panther’ movie, ‘A Shot In the Dark’ first and then seeing the first eponymous one and wondering why Inspector Clouseau went from being the star to being merely a supporting character. Things got stranger when the crappy cartoon series turned up and the results were–to my young eyes-even more disappointing. Then I saw the Alan Arkin misfire on TV and thought ‘what is this bullshit? Where’s Peter Sellers?’ All that really seemed to count was ‘A Shot In The Dark’ which I watched religiously whenever it aired.
And then came the summer of ’75 and the release of ‘The Return Of The Pink Panther’, the first Sellers/Clouseau movie in ten years. What a relief! I had a T-shirt of the poster with Clouseau and the Panther on the front which I wore pretty much every day that summer. Sellers would come on Merv Griffin and do wildly improbable accents which I tried to emulate for my friends (both of them). This doc explains the odd evolution of the series and its meandering trail beyond Sellers grave. Even if you already know this stuff, watching clips of Sellers as Clouseau is a perfectly good excuse for spending twenty minutes of your day with this lovely little tribute doc.