Police Story (1973–1987)
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Charlie Ryan feels he is in a rut as a Forensics and Fingerprint detective.


Barry Crane


Joseph Wambaugh (creator), Sy Salkowitz | 1 more credit »


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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Earl Holliman ... Sergeant Charlie Ryan
Tim Matheson ... Allen Rich
Nita Talbot ... Terese
Nancy Walker ... Mrs. Cohen
James Gregory ... Sergeant Bob Harris
Macdonald Carey ... Mr. Austin
Mary Ann Mobley ... Liz
Martha Scott ... Mary Ryan
Pat Crowley ... Ellie
Tom Stern ... Marty
Jeff Donnell ... Martha
Bert Freed ... Burt Cohen
Gwenn Mitchell Gwenn Mitchell ... Anna
Jerry Fogel ... Bucher
John Kellogg ... Lieutenant Ben Karp (as John Kellog)


Charlie Ryan feels he is in a rut as a Forensics and Fingerprint detective.

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Release Date:

12 March 1974 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Two actors that played detectives would go on to recurring roles as police detectives. Earl Holliman in 1974 played Sgt. then Lt. Bill Crowley on Police Woman (1974) for 4 seasons, while James Gregory beginning in 1975 played Inspector Luger on Barney Miller (1975) for 8 seasons. Gregory also would appear in Police Story another 3 times as various police officer characters while this was Holliman's sole appearance. See more »

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User Reviews

I love how "Police Story" often highlighted some of the most obscure and unheralded police jobs!
3 April 2017 | by MartinHaferSee all my reviews

"Police Story" was an excellent show for many reasons...the writing, the acting and the types of stories were NOT typical cop show stories. There were shows about cop burnout, cops on the take, cops who were dedicated and cops of all types. I particularly like that many types of policework are shown on the programs...stuff you'd never see in other police shows. With "Fingerprint" the main character, Sgt. Ryan (Earl Holliman) is a fingerprint man working for the Latent Prints department...and I doubt if any other police show ever highlighted one of these men.

Sgt. Ryan is feeling like he's in a rut. While he's good at his job, he's been doing it for eight years...and he's bored with the same old routine. So, he's been sending out feelers with other divisions...nothing definite but he wants to know his options. His boss isn't pleased to learn this and insists that Ryan stay, as he's invaluable. In other ways, Ryan's life seems a bit stagnant as well. He has a nice girlfriend and their relationship is very steady and consistent...but really, it's going no where.

At the same time, a seemingly separate story is taking place. An incredibly nice, religious and polite deliveryman (Tim Matheson) isn't so very nice after all, as he's suffocating older women for kicks. In fact, the expression on his face is one of almost sexual release...and he's obviously one sick puppy! How does this relate to Sgt. Ryan?

Overall, a very well done episode and one that ended very well. Good acting, excellent writing...see this one.

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