Chopper One

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Chopper One
Chopper one title card.png
Starring Jim McMullan
Dirk Benedict
Ted Hartley
Lou Frizzell
Theme music composer Dominic Frontiere
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of episodes 13
Executive producer(s) Aaron Spelling
Leonard Goldberg
Running time 25 minutes
Production company(s) Spelling-Goldberg Productions
Distributor Sony Pictures Television
Original network ABC
Original release January 1974 – July 1974

Chopper One is a short-lived ABC drama/adventure television series in early 1974 depicting the activities of a California police helicopter team. The program aired in a half-hour time slot on Thursdays at 8 p.m. Eastern.[1]

It aired adjacent to Firehouse, an action-drama series about a Los Angeles fire station. Chopper One was cancelled after six months and Firehouse ended in the following month.

Story and Characters[edit]

From left; Dirk Benedict, Ted Hartley and Jim McMullen.

Chopper One was directed by E.W. Swackhamer and was about two flying police officers (a pilot and an observer) and their adventures in a police helicopter. The helicopter was a Bell 206 Jetranger. It starred Jim McMullan as Officer Don Burdick and Dirk Benedict as officer Gil Foley. Benedict would later earn fame as Lt. Starbuck in the original 1978 TV show Battlestar Galactica and as Lt. Templeton 'Faceman' Peck in the TV show The A-Team.

Ted Hartley played their boss Capt. McKeegan and Lou Frizzell played Mitch, the crusty mechanic.


Episode # Episode title Original airdate Plot
1-1 "Chopper One" (Pilot) January 17, 1974 Burdick and Foley pursue a pair of gunmen who have taken a woman hostage.
1-2 "Strain of Innocence" January 24, 1974 A girl who is being held in a holdup goes into labor and gives birth as the helicopter rushes her to the hospital.
1-3 "The Bust-Out" January 31, 1974 The chopper is commandeered at gunpoint when Foley and Burdick answer an emergency call.
1-4 "The Boy Who Cried Wolf" February 7, 1974 A young invalid ham radio operator disrupts the department with false emergency calls.
1-5 "The Informer" February 14, 1974 The crew is called upon to help protect a former underworld figure who is about to testify against the crime kingpin he worked for.
1-6 "The Drop" February 21, 1974 Burdick parachutes onto a mountainside in an attempt to rescue a young girl who has been kidnapped.
1-7 "Ambush" February 28, 1974 Foley and Burdick are menaced by rooftop snipers when a gunman sets out to avenge his brother's death.
1-8 "The Copperhead" March 7, 1974 Foley and Burdick investigate a veteran police sergeant suspected of selling confiscated guns.
1-9 "Killing Time" March 14, 1974 The wife of the chopper mechanic is held hostage by assassins who are planning the murder of a gubernatorial candidate, and want to keep the police copter on the ground.
1-10 "Deadly Carrier" March 21, 1974 An illegal alien suspected of carrying typhoid fever is the object of a desperate search by Foley and Burdick.
1-11 "The Scramble" March 28, 1974 Clues to a series of market robberies are found at a scramble when Foley goes undercover as a bike racer.
1-12 "Downtime" April 4, 1974 Burdick and Foley search frantically for a hidden bomb with thousands of lives at stake.
1-13 "The Hijacking" April 11, 1974 Hijackers of a gasoline truck are sought by Burdick and Foley.

DVD release[edit]

On July 12, 2016, Sony Pictures released Chopper One: The Complete Series on DVD in region 1. This is a Manufacture-on-Demand (MOD) release, available exclusively in the US and is part of the Sony Pictures Choice Collection in partnership with and their CreateSpace MOD program.[2]


  1. ^ Brooks, Tim; Marsh, Earle. The complete directory to prime time network and cable TV shows, 1946-present. ISBN 0-345-45542-8. 
  2. ^ 'The Complete Series' DVDs are NOW AVAILABLE!

External links[edit]