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The Beat

March-April 2000

Lee Tergesen played Steve Dorigan, a recurring character in this Levinson/Fontana police drama that aired on UPN.

Only six of the series' 13 one-hour episodes aired in the U.S. before the show was canceled. 

The supporting cast featured many familiar faces from "Oz," as that show was being produced by Tom Fontana at the same time. ("The Beat" aired between seasons 3 and 4 of "Oz.")

The leads were police officers Mike Dorigan (played by Derek Cecil) and Zane Marinelli (Mark Ruffalo). Lee's character was a fire marshal and the older brother of Mike Dorigan. 

Related Links

IMDb credits

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Incredibly accurate review
from SF Examiner

Review and synopsis
from an actor fan site

AXN in Brazil
(Thanks, Ana Paula, for taping the episodes that didn't air in the US!)

Lee-centric summaries of the series 
1.1 The Beat Goes On - No Lee.
1.2 They Say It's Your Birthday

Lee appears early in the episode as his character, Steve Dorigan, investigates a fire at Zane's apartment. It was set by Zane's wacko girlfriend, Beatrice (Heather Burns), but Zane refuses to tell. Mike, -- Steve's brother and Zane's partner -- is at the scene, too. 

Steve teases Mike about setting a date for his wedding to Elizabeth (Poppy Montgomery). 

This episode also marks a guest appearance by Richard Belzer -- Detective Munch from "Law & Order: SVU" and "Homicide."

Episode 1.2
At arson scene 1
More arson scene

1.3 Three Little Words
Steve goes to see his brother's future bride, Elizabeth, at the hospital where she works. He's charming and supportive and offers to throw an engagement party.
Episode 1.3
Talking to Elizabeth

Charming Elizabeth

1.4 Can I Get A Witness?
Mike goes to Dorigan's Pub (which is run by Mike and Steve's Uncle Connie) for the engagement party, but it's been canceled. Steve greets him outside, explaining that a pipe had burst and the place was flooded. Steve takes the opportunity to press Mike about what he knows about the arson at Zane's apartment, but Mike isn't telling. 
Episode 1.4

Outside Dorigan's Pub

1.5 Cueca Solo
Mike stops by Steve's office to discuss the massive wedding guest list. Steve mentions that he still hasn't heard from Zane and says that someone matching Beatrice's description was seen leaving Zane's apartment when the fire started. 

Turning his attention to the guest list, he crosses off a couple of dead relatives. (Of Great Aunt Bridget, Steve says, "She was 93 -- hit by a boat.") Steve also mentions he has "big plans" for Mike's bachelor party. He's assuming that he'll be best man. However, later in the show, Mike asks Zane to be his best man.

Episode 1.5

Working on the guest list

1.6 Someone To Watch Over Me
At Dorigan's Pub, Mike breaks the news to Steve that he's picked Zane to be his best man. Steve seems OK with it. Then he starts reminiscing. Busts Steve chops a little. 

The next night, Steve corners Zane at the pub and questions him about the arson. Uncle Connie gives Steve a hard time about being in the bar two nights in a row. Asks him if he's getting a divorce. "If you left that sweet lady, I'd break both your legs!" Uncle Connie threatens. Steve calms Uncle Connie. He then tells Zane that a witness saw a young woman who looked like a "corn-fed, prepubescent Japanese porn star" (yep, that's Beatrice) leaving the scene of the arson. Zane wants Steve to drop it because "the arsonist has apologized and is trying to get her life back together."

Episode 1.6
Not the best man

Steve questions Zane

1.7 Every Beat of My Heart - No Lee.
1.8 Get It On (Bang the Gong) - No Lee.

1.9 Call on Me
[Thanks to Anne for the summary to this episode]:
Lee's scene in this episode takes place at a restaurant called La Nonna. (In "real life," La Nonna was a restaurant on 13th Street in New York that Tom Fontana had part ownership in.)

In the scene, the families of Mike and Elizabeth have gathered for dinner to discuss the upcoming wedding. Steve is there with his wife, Darcy (Jessica Hecht). Mike and Elizabeth are tense because they have had a fight and have called off the wedding. But they haven't told anyone yet.

One of Elizabeth's family mentions the wedding at the Plaza. Mike's mother seems surprised. Steve gestures to Mike that they need to talk. They go over the bar and Steve scolds Mike for not telling their mother that the wedding would be at the Plaza. Mike tells him that the Plaza is no longer an issue. Steve asks if he's moved the wedding back to the chapel at St. Patrick's, which were all the members of the Dorigan family have wed, including Steve.

Mike tells him no, it's not going to be at St. Pat's.

Steve gets annoyed and says, "If you don't tell her, you're showing her no respect." Then he goes on to criticize Mike for choosing to be a cop instead of firefighter like all the other members of the family. Mike says sarcastically that he's sorry he didn't want to be burned up in a fire "like dad."

Steve harps on St. Pat's some more and intimates that it's not good enough for Mike. Mike points out that it's not just about him. It's about two people who love each other and have to respect each other's wishes. The scene switches back and forth from Steve and Mike in the bar to the table, where Elizabeth is saying similar things to the remaining family members. Separately, Elizabeth and Mike realize that they still love each other. Elizabeth gets up, goes to Mike and he follows her outside, where they talk and make up.

Good scene for Lee. He gets to be charming, angry, indignant, and concerned all in one scene.

Episode 1.9

Steve and Darcy

1.10 Dark End of the Street - No Lee
1.11 Gimme Shelter - No Lee

1.12 Tangled Up in Blue 
Mike and Zane respond to a call at a smoky apartment. They pull a man from the apartment and Mike manages to extinguish a fire that had ignited on the stove. Later, Steve-the-fire-marshal offers his expert opinion: "Aluminum pot on high heat is going to melt down like Chernobyl."

Later, there is a grand re-opening of Dorigan's Pub. (A cop committed suicide there and Uncle Connie closed the place for a while.) The scene opens with some of the cops and Steve shooting pool. Steve is listing the five best actors: "Pacino, DeNiro, Brando, Nicholson and Sean Penn." One of the cops, Rei Morales (David Zayas -- Alvarez from "Oz") starts to name the five best actresses: "Marilyn Monroe, Jayne Mansfield, Loni Anderson, Pamela Anderson..." Steve cuts him off and says, "So, the best actress has to have a D-cup?" It's all mainly just a good camaraderie scene juxtaposed against Mike having a big, fancy night with Elizabeth.

Episode 1.12

1.13 Come As You Are
Steve appears briefly early in the episode after a fire started in the wastebasket of the police squad room. He gives the all-clear.

Later, he's at Mike's bachelor party at -- where else? -- Dorigan's Pub. Cigars, big sandwiches, porn tapes and strippers. The guys are laughing over how Mike proposed. It was in the kitchen... "We were having sex," Mike explains. "And it just sort of came out." Steve follows this up with "Oh, you mean 'will you marry me' came out!" Laughs all around.

Meanwhile, Elizabeth is having fine food and wine at her bachelorette party. There, Darcy (Steve's wife) announces she's pregnant.

Back at the pub, Steve has a marvelous scene where he relates Darcy's news to Mike. At first, he seems slightly dismayed. "We hardly have enough time for one another now. Just the other day she was saying 'where's the spark, where's the flame?' Hey, I'm a fireman!" Now they'll be having a child. He tells Mike how dumbfounded he was at the news. He was kicking himself for not saying a word to Darcy. His mood shifts between being fearful, self-deprecating, awestruck, then very much in love. "I have to go find my wife!" he declares, exiting the party.

That's the end of Lee's part. There's a lot more drama to the show, of course. Lives and relationships hang in the balance at the close of the final episode.

Episode 1.13

Giving the all clear

"It came out"

Cigars and beer

Video Clip:
Steve tells Mike
about Darcy
being pregnant