Broken Badges

Broken Badges was a Stephen J. Cannell (co-creator) police drama that aired on CBS from November 24, 1990 to December 22, 1990 and then ran again June 1991. The show was about three “reject” police offers, J.J ‘Bullet’ Tingreedes, who was addicted to danger, Stanley ‘Whipusall’ Jones, who was a violent man with a Napoleon complex, and Toby Baker, a kleptomanic. They were all put on psych leave and instead of giving up they join forces together to fight crime with former New Orleans cop Beau Jack Bowman and police psychiatrist Priscilla Mather.

I watched this show and enjoyed it and I am convinced that if it had come out in the mid to early 1980s, it would have caught on and had a couple of seasons. Sadly by the 1990s TV tastes has changed and people could not open their hearts to the semi-silly premise of a show that was supposed to be a drama. If your a fan or would like to give the show a try you should check out the bargain priced Prime Time Crime: The Stephen J. Cannell Collection.

TV Thursday: Hardcastle and McCormick (1983)

True story. During family dinners as we sat in the living room I would generally be the one who determined what was being watched, for the TV series Hardcastle and McCormick though this was not to be the case. I was however allowed to watch the intro of the show every week as a concession.

Created and produced by Stephen J. Cannell productions and starring the late great Brian Keith as Judge Milton C. Hardcastle, and Daniel Hugh Kelley as Mark McCormick, the series debuted on ABC in 1983 and lasted until 1986.

Thanks to the all knowing Wikipedia for this description of the series:

“The show’s premise involves the retirement of Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Milton C. “Hardcase” Hardcastle. With file drawers filled with 200 criminals who got off on technicalities, he takes a page from his childhood hero, the Lone Ranger, and makes plans to go after these criminals. Mark McCormick is a smart-mouthed, streetwise car thief who is looking at hard time for his latest theft, a prototype sports car, called the Coyote X, designed by his murdered best friend. Together they strike a deal: Hardcastle helps Mark catch the murderer; Mark agrees to be released as the Judge’s right hand man. In addition, Mark is allowed to keep the Coyote, which proves to be an excellent pursuit vehicle for their needs.”

Mike Post and Pete Carpenter were responsible for the popular “Drive” theme song, with vocals by David Morgan. Mike Post has done a few other notable theme songs to series, you’ve might have heard of a few of these:

“The A-Team, Baa Baa Black Sheep, Blossom, CHiPs, The Commish, Doogie Howser, M.D., Hardcastle & McCormick, Hooperman, Hunter, MacGyver, Magnum, P.I., NewsRadio, Profit, Quantum Leap, Renegade, Riptide, Silk Stalkings, Stingray, Tenspeed and Brown Shoe, The White Shadow, Wiseguy, the BBC series Roughnecks, and Law & Order.”

A big thanks to Jaz0220 for uploading the television intro to YouTube!

TV Thursday: The Rockford Files (1974-1980)

While I was too young to catch the James Garner classic, the Rockford Files, in its original run I was able to watch it on reruns on a local television station in the afternoons after school. I’ve been a huge fan of it ever since. It was created by Roy Huggins (Maverick) and Stephen J. Cannell (A-Team), Huggins had wanted to try to capture the lightning in the bottle that he crafted with Garner back in the days of Maverick, yet set in contemporary times.

The magic of the show rests almost solely with Garner as Jim Scott Rockford, a private investigator in cold cases, who also happened to be a guest at the San Quentin Prison for five years, and as we learn he was truly wrongly accused and has the pardon from the Governor on his office wall. What works so well with how Garner plays Rockford is he a working class P.I., his clothes are not fancy and he is constantly bouncing checks because his clients normally end up not paying his $200 a day fee plus expenses. Jim hardly ever carries a gun, mostly because he doesn’t have a license to do so, but he tend to try to talk his way out of dangerous situations.

There have been quite a few guest stars in its run, including a young James Woods in the second episode. There is also another private investigator that sometimes works with Rockford, more debonair than Jim, Lance White, who just so happens to be played by a young Tom Selleck! Other noteworthy actors in the series are Tom Atkins, Joe Santos, James Whitmore Jr., Simon Oakland, and Louis Gossett Jr.

The Rockford Files is available on Netflix instant, so if you have yourself with some free time on your hand, take a moment and give it a look. I’m pretty sure you will be glad you did!