“Code Red”, the Show That Was on Fire!


Code Red is a TV series from 1981-1982, it was about a group of firefighters and paramedics, many of whom were also members of the same family. It starred Lorne Greene, best known from the show Bonanza as the chief of the station and as the patriarch of the family. It also featured Adam Rich, the youngest boy from Eight is Enough, who is the adopted youngest son of the family in this show and is also a sort of honorary member of the firefighting team (he even has his own uniform). I really liked this show as a kid, but hadn’t seen it anywhere in a long, LONG time. It was a very good show with plenty of action and drama, though it also had a tendency to be a little preachy (a common aspect of 80s shows, especially ones scheduled for Sunday evenings), it’s a real shame that it only lasted a single season. I remember watching reruns of it around 1984, on Sunday mornings, just before reruns of CHiPs. Code Red has a lot in common with the earlier show of a similar premise “Emergency!“, which focused on the paramedics in a fire station. It also had much in common with Eight is Enough when it comes to the family aspect. In fact, with Code Red starting the same year that Eight is Enough ended & featuring the same child actor, I remember wondering if it was supposed to be some sortof sequel.


I’ve had a hard time remembering the name of this show, but finally found it a few weeks ago. Fortunately a number of episodes are currently on YouTube. Watching them again is like a trip back in time. This episode is about a knockoff “video” game system (although it doesn’t connect to a TV and has no video display, just a grid of lights) which was made of crappy components & caused some fires. One can surmise that the system being ripped off is supposed to represent the Atari 2600, which could be cloned with off the shelf components (which is why Coleco was able to make an Atari compatible addon for the Colecovision & later a stand-alone Atari clone machine)


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