"T.J. Hooker" The Streets (TV Episode 1982) Poster

(TV Series)

(1982)

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The Streets
Prismark1016 September 2019
In the early 1980s, Captain Kirk found a whole new audience and a wig as the tough no nonsense veteran cop and mentor T J Hooker. William Shatner really has more hair here than he did when he was in Star Trek in the mid 1960s.

The first regular episode of a short first season, sees Hooker searching for a serial attacker who targets vulnerable women with a knife and then leaves a bible behind.

Hooker gets near to catching this bible mugger but now he is lumbered with a television news reporter who wants to tag along. Hooker is reluctant and only agrees as he is ordered to do it. The news reporter takes a big risk when she agrees to meet the deranged religious minded attacker and ends up in danger herself.

Vince Romano (Adrian Zmed) is the rookie cop who partners Hooker. He provides light relief, in this episode he knows someone who can get a good deal in a new car for Hooker.

Produced by the legendary Aaron Spelling & Leonard Goldberg. This really is a cheese fest with some added ham. The creepy villain seems to have walked in from some Dirty Harry film and it is heavily implied that he might have sexually assaulted his first victim. However network television rules apply so aftermath has been modified. One subsequent victim dies when the mugger does not allow her to take medication.

In the acclaimed 1983 film The Big Chill. The name of the television series that the actor played by Tom Berenger starred in was 'J T Lancer.' I could not help thinking the name was inspired by T J Hooker!
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Cop vs Media & Psycho of the Week
JasonDanielBaker2 April 2014
veteran cop Sgt. T.J.Hooker (William Shatner) and rookie partner Vince Romano (Adrian Zmed) are first on the scene after police are summoned by dispatch to a North Hollywood supermarket parking lot. A woman has been attacked by a vicious assailant dubbed 'the Bible Mugger' - a young creep (Gary Frank) who delivers a sermon then a beating before accepting 'donations' and leaving behind a pocket bible.

TV news reporter Tracy Hill (Karen Carlson) clashes with Hooker over access to the latest victim. Even though the gruff curmudgeonly cop indicates complete contempt for her sneering derisive missives at her she gets his superior (Richard Herd) to let her go on a ride-along. Meeting him for a drink after work she is unable to soften his resistance.

Here we see 'cop's cop' Hooker trying to appear emotionally disconnected when he clearly lives for his work, has noble intentions and knows that he has made a difference. The reporter wants him to show that side of himself and that side of cops in general. If that side of cops in general happens not to be readily apparent it is because the media had been less than kind in broadcasting about police excesses and indiscretions. Hence his reluctance in co-operating.

As the attacks continue and get more serious Hooker closes in on the culprit. Hill isn't very helpful and in fact shows both Hooker and his religious fanatic criminal adversary in an unflattering light on her broadcast. If you've watched enough TV cop shows you can guess how the rest of it plays out, who does what to who etc leading to the stereotypical whimsical denouement so characteristic of series upon which Shatner starred.

The real purpose of the episode is to communicate the heroism of the title character and give mainstream audiences the kind of cop they wanted to believe was always on patrol just outside their homes protecting them from any kind of baddie. Evidently it was not enough that this cop be diligent. They wanted the type who would jump on the hood of the baddie's car.

T.J.Hooker was a replacement series launched in early 1982. It did well enough to get picked up for the fall. As it became a regular part of the ABC network schedule the show changed. April Clough who had portrayed Officer Vicki Taylor for four of the five episodes of season one did not return for season two. Clough was displaced by Heather Locklear who joined the show as Officer Stacy Sheridan at the start of the 1982-83 season and would remain for the duration of the series run.

Shatner's weight noticeably fluctuated during the series but in the early episodes viewers saw a less chunky version.
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