S.W.A.T. (TV series)

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SWAT Logo.jpg
Genre Action/Crime drama
Created by Robert Hamner
Lee Stanley
Starring Steve Forrest
Rod Perry
Robert Urich
Mark Shera
James Coleman
Ellen Weston
Theme music composer Barry De Vorzon
Opening theme "Theme from S.W.A.T."
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 2
No. of episodes 37
Executive producer(s) Leonard Goldberg
Aaron Spelling
Camera setup Single-camera
Running time 44 mins.
Production company(s) Spelling-Goldberg Productions
Distributor Columbia Pictures Television
Columbia TriStar Domestic Television
Sony Pictures Television
Original channel ABC
Audio format Monaural
Original run February 17, 1975 (1975-02-17) – April 3, 1976 (1976-04-03)
Followed by S.W.A.T.
Related shows The Rookies

S.W.A.T. is an American action/crime drama series about the adventures of a Special Weapons And Tactics (S.W.A.T.) team operating in an unidentified California city. A spin-off of The Rookies, the series aired on ABC from February 1975 to April 1976.

Like The Rookies, S.W.A.T. was produced by Aaron Spelling and Leonard Goldberg.


S.W.A.T. stars Steve Forrest as the unit's leader, Lt. 'Hondo' Harrelson, and Rod Perry as Hondo's second-in-command, Sgt. David 'Deacon' Kay. The show also featured early starring roles by Robert Urich as Officer Jim Street, James Coleman as Officer T.J. McCabe, and Mark Shera as Officer Dominic Luca.

The series is most famous for its fast-tempo theme song which became a number-one hit single in 1976 for Rhythm Heritage. The title sequence that used that piece was also familiar with the principal characters responding to a muster signal, grabbing their weapons and running to their specially-equipped transport van driven by "Sam," an uncredited, non-speaking role.[1]

As with The Rookies, Starsky & Hutch, and a later Spelling/Goldberg cop series, T.J. Hooker, the setting was rarely, if ever, specified and the shoulder patch the team members wore on their uniforms said, "W.C.P.D.". Richard Kelbaugh, a former member of the LAPD's S.W.A.T. team, was the technical advisor for the series.


Steve Forrest as Hondo Harrelson.

Episode list[edit]

Season 1 (1975)[edit]

12 episodes:

Title Airdate Summary
1 "The Killing Ground" February 24, 1975 The department forms a Special Weapons Attack Team following a series of anti-police ambushes
2 "A Coven of Killers" March 3, 1975 An escaped prisoner (played by Sal Mineo) with a cult following goes after Lt. Harrelson
3 "Death Carrier" March 10, 1975 The team must draw out a sniper who is killing a woman's boyfriends
4 "Pressure Cooker" March 17, 1975 The team's activities are followed by a magazine writer who dislikes police
5 "Hit Men" March 24, 1975 A wounded drug dealer turned witness must be protected by the team
6 "Jungle War" March 31, 1975 A war buddy of Lt. Harrelson puts the team at risk in his efforts to replace Sgt. Kay
7 "Death Score" April 7, 1975 Bank robbers take a basketball team hostage at the LA Forum
8 "The Bravo Enigma" April 28, 1975 A US Senator is targeted by a would-be assassin who carries a deadly plague
9 "The Steel-Plated Security Blanket" May 5, 1975 Farrah Fawcett plays an entrant in a beauty pageant that gets swept up in an armored car hijacking
10 "Omega One" May 12, 1975 Radicals infiltrate a chemical plant with plans to blow it up
11 "Blind Man's Bluff" May 19, 1975 Harrelson must overcome blindness incurred in a shooting
12 "Sole Survivor" May 26, 1975 An ex-parole officer, familiar with S.W.A.T. procedures, puts together a gang of former convicts to steal $2,000,000 in rare gold coins

Season 2 (1975-1976)[edit]

25 episodes:

Title Airdate Summary
13 "Deadly Tide (Part 1)" September·13, 1975
14 "Deadly Tide (Part 2)" September 13, 1975
15 "Kill S.W.A.T." September·20, 1975
16 "Dealers in Death" September 27, 1975
17 "Time Bomb" October 4, 1975 Jim Street gets caught up when a gang plants explosives in a movie studio
18 "The Vendetta" October 11, 1975
19 "Criss-Cross" October 18, 1975 A female runaway has witnessed a series of warehouse robberies and the team must find her
20 "Vigilante" October 25, 1975 A radio repairman with a police radio stakes out the team and guns down criminals who try to surrender to them
21 "Courthouse" November 1, 1975 A gang in a botched racetrack robbery seek to free their captured pal when he goes to court
22 "Ordeal" November 8, 1975
23 "Strike Force" November 15, 1975 The team must protect a white supremecist
24 "The Swinger" November 22, 1975
25 "Terror Ship" November 29, 1975
26 "Murder by Fire" December 6, 1975 A gang of thieves set a series of fires as a ruse to rob homes of wealthy residents
27 "Silent Night, Deadly Night" December 13, 1975
28 "The Running Man (Part 1)" January 24, 1976
29 "The Running Man (Part 2)" January 24, 1976
30 "Lessons in Fear" January 31, 1976 Officer Luca's girlfriend turns out to be connected to a gang plotting to rob a safe
31 "Deadly Weapons" February 21, 1976
32 "The Chinese Connection" February 28, 1976
33 "Dragons and Owls" March 6, 1976
34 "Any Second Now" March 13, 1976 A gang rigs a radio station with explosives
35 "Soldier on the Hill" March 16, 1976
36 "Dangerous Memories" March 20, 1976
37 "Officer Luca, You're Dead" April 3, 1976 Officer Luca shoots a man trying to kill a man having an affair with the man's wife, but there are conflicting accounts as to what happened

Note that the opening sequence of the second season episode ″Terror Ship″ re-used footage from the beginning of the first season episode "Pressure Cooker," and the second season episode "Deadly Weapons" similarly used re-edited footage taken from the first season finale, "Sole Survivor."


The series premiered at a time when violence on television was becoming a subject of controversy, and the actual Los Angeles SWAT team on which the fictional team had been modeled was harshly critical of its depiction of such teams.[citation needed]

DVD releases[edit]

The first season of S.W.A.T. was released on DVD on June 3, 2003[2] to tie in with the release of the feature film. Season Two's episode "Time Bomb" was actually produced for Season One and, as such, "Time Bomb" is Episode 8 on the Season One DVD set. The Season One DVD set has a total of 13 episodes.

On February 10, 2012, it was announced that Shout! Factory had acquired the rights to the series; they subsequently released the second and final season on DVD on May 22, 2012.[3]

Film adaptation[edit]

A film adaption of the series starring Colin Farrell and Samuel L. Jackson was released in 2003. A direct-to-DVD sequel titled S.W.A.T.: Firefight, which has very little connection to either the series or the 2003 film, was released in 2011.

At the end of the film adaptation, Steve Forrest has a cameo role as the officer who drives the van. Rod Perry also has a cameo in the film, as the father of his old "Deacon" Kay character (played in the film by LL Cool J).


As of March 2009, the show can be purchased on iTunes, and can be streamed for free in the US on Crackle.

As of October 1, 2011, S.W.A.T. began airing on Antenna TV[4] and in Australia on 7mate in 2012.


  1. ^ Season 2, Episode 17, "Time Bomb"
  2. ^ http://www.tvshowsondvd.com/news/SWAT/332
  3. ^ http://www.tvshowsondvd.com/news/SWAT-Season-2/16515
  4. ^ S.W.A.T. on Antenna TV

External links[edit]