Tuesday, December 27, 2016


The science fiction detective series Search starred Hugh O'Brian as Hugh Lockwood, a high-tech private eye designated “Probe One”. The pilot film was titled 'Probe' which had to be changed because it shared the name of an existing PBS series. (The same title will later be used for a 1988 show.)
Probes were agents for a group known as “World Securities,” who were outfitted with various electronic implants, and were equipped with a button-sized "scanner" that contained a micro-miniaturized video camera, microphone and transmitter, which connected them with a team of technicians and experts who constantly monitored his surroundings, actions and vital signs, and were able to supply the Probe with encyclopedic information on any subject.
Lockwood was an American astronaut now working as a Probe for World Securities. In the pilot, Lockwood sets out for Europe; his assignment is to track down a multi-million-pound stash of gemstones that were amassed by Hermann Goering during World War II.
23 episodes were produced in addition to the pilot film. Incredibly, a DVD release is now available.

Friday, December 23, 2016

1985-Street Hawk

Knight Rider on a motorcycle. There was a rash of these type of shows in the 80s to early 90s.
Airwolf, Automan, Highwayman, Blue Thunder, Viper...
As explained in the intro, Street Hawk was an experimental motorcycle usually driven only at night so it would look cooler.
The bike had a top normal speed of 200 mph, 300 mph if 'Hyperthrust' was engaged! (Which happened in every episode.) It sported a laser cannon, machine guns, a rocket launcher, infrared cameras, and a compressed air vertical lift system, which gave it that 'turbo-boost' capability, and the physics-defying ability to turn on street corners at 200+mph. In keeping with the typical kid-friendly 'no killing' 7PM Central show, Jesse Mach had a personal backup weapon that fired a rubber bullet.
Although there were only 13 episodes, Street Hawk kept changing without explanation. From watching the show, four different models were clearly used. I guess that fits with the logic of the show, it's an experimental vehicle so modifications would be made from time to time as needed.
The legendary, late Ernie Anderson provides the voiceover.
Joe Regalbuto went on to star in Murphy Brown and a young George Clooney appeared in episode two in his second role ever. Rex Smith has been a guest star staple for the last 20 years.
The series is available on DVD.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

ABC Fall Promo 1982-Come On Along

Undoubtedly the biggest of the 80s ABC promos, Come On Along begins like an 80s Reagan ad and has network stars descend upon the 'regular people,' ending petty squabbles with an invitation for all Americans, whether young, old, rural or urban, to join them in elaborate, seemingly impromptu parades down the street. Boisterous and upbeat, in some versions the parade leads to The Love Boat, where Captain Stubing and crew evidently reward those that Came Along to a cruise!
Logistically, these must have been incredibly expensive and time consuming with street closures (you can see the fenced off public in the background) and coordinating actor's schedules; I count 6 locations across the different spots (although some could have been shot on a soundstage or studio lot.)
This is the best quality one I could find.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

ABC Fall Promo 1981-Now Is The Time, ABC Is The Place

Do you remember the yearly network promo themes they used to do? They would compose songs about the network (sometimes these were rehashed versions of old hits) and would start showing these in late summer to build anticipation for the fall season. Often this would be the first hint of what new theatrical films would premiere that year, as clips from those movies would be edited in.
This is probably the first one I remember when they started getting more elaborate. Not content to just show edited together clips, ABC in particular started filming location shoots with some network stars interacting with 'regular people.'
Unfortunately we have lost some of the faces in this promo.

Friday, December 16, 2016

1987-The Highwayman

Yet more Friday night 80s TV...cue William Conrad:
"There is a world, just beyond now, where reality runs a razor thin seam between fact and possibility; where the laws of the present collide with the crimes of tomorrow. Patrolling these vast outlands is a new breed of lawman, guarding the fringes of society’s frontiers, they are known simply as ‘Highwaymen’... and this is their story..."
This was a really short-lived show, the first time I met Sam Jones he was surprised that I remembered it at all. There were only 10 episodes if you count the pilot.
The highwaymen were some kind of weird federal marshals that fought crime in the not too distant future. Each was outfitted with a high-tech armored 18-wheeler that was heavily armed.
The cab of the truck could convert into a helicopter and on some episodes the car from the movie Black Moon Rising would come out of the back of the rig. Didn't leave much room for cargo.
Yes this was definitely a Glen A. Larson production.
Also starring 80s baddie Jane Badler and a pre-Tuvok Tim Russ.
I don't know if the casting of Jacko as 'Jetto' started, or was a result of, the brief Jacko phenomenon we experienced in the late 80s. Oy!