S.W.A.T. (TV series)
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|Created by||Robert Hamner
|Theme music composer||Barry De Vorzon|
|Opening theme||"Theme from S.W.A.T."|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||2|
|No. of episodes||37|
|Executive producer(s)||Leonard Goldberg
|Running time||44 mins.|
|Production company(s)||Spelling-Goldberg Productions|
|Distributor||Columbia Pictures Television
Columbia TriStar Domestic Television
Sony Pictures Television
|Original run||February 17, 1975– April 3, 1976|
|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.
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.
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 Lt. Dan "Hondo" Harrelson (team leader)
- Rod Perry as Sgt. David "Deacon" Kay (second in command)
- Robert Urich as Officer Jim Street
- Mark Shera as Officer Dominic Luca
- James Coleman as Officer T.J. McCabe (scout/sniper)
- Ellen Weston as Betty Harrelson (recurring role)
- Rose Marie as Hilda (recurring role)
Season 1 (1975)
|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)
|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.
The first season of S.W.A.T. was released on DVD on June 3, 2003 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.
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).
- Season 2, Episode 17, "Time Bomb"
- S.W.A.T. on Antenna TV