"T.J. Hooker" Hardcore Connection (TV Episode 1984) Poster

(TV Series)

(1984)

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Heather Thomas Guest Stars
JasonDanielBaker9 April 2014
During a solicitation sweep veteran cop Sgt. T.J.Hooker (William Shatner) senses trouble and walks in on mayhem in the room of a 'No-Tell Motel'. He gets there just in time to find his long-time colleague and old friend vice cop Danny Daniels (Ron Recasner) shot and near death. Hooker is later stunned to hear that Daniels was suspected of being on the take and was under probe by the Internal Affairs division.

Hooker finds out Daniels was set to take down pornographers. But after Daniels dies in hospital he obviously can not tell his side. The only possible witness to the shooting is a prostitute (Debi Richter) he was seen with. Hooker believes Daniels was set up and looks to clear his deceased friend's name. He cajoles snarky ex-prostitute turned professional gambler Sandy Wyzinski (Heather Thomas) in to guiding him through the murky world of her former trade.

The cast of guest-stars is among the most distinguished of the entire series - Heather Thomas, Dennis Franz, Andy Romano, Margaret Avery, Ron Recasner and Debi Richter. It makes for an episode that is far from flawless but at very least some of the excesses of the series are played down. The quality of the acting in some scenes is considerably better than in others.

Family-values people and many gender feminists to this day readily accept pornographers as scum even when what they produce is legal. To play to that audience Dennis Franz portrays a sweating, drooling, murderous toad of a porn producer. Strait-laced Middle-Americans wanted to imagine that was the single driving force behind that industry.

Tying it in with a murder allowed the arch-conservative hero cop to take down a group of people normally only guilty of poor taste. It also offered the opportunity to present a racy and sensationalistic storyline with provocative teasers ads to entice audiences in to tuning in. Ratings weren't great by this point and the show's makers were trying their best to avoid inevitable cancellation.

Heather Locklear as Officer Stacy Sheridan started out behind the front desk of the precinct but would be deployed undercover as a stripper (a clip of which became a part of the opening credits montage), a porn actress, a prostitute and a fashion model during her run on the series. This episode marks an instance in which she posed as both a porn actress and a prostitute in the same week.
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