This was probably the greatest part James Garner ever played. He was essentially playing himself, an easy going guy caught in oddball situations mainly brought on by loony clients or by his former ex-con friends. The character of Jim Rockford was not unlike his other defining role of Bret Maverick. Also, the supporting cast was great as well. Noah Beery Jr. was perfect as Rocky, Jim's father, who was always trying to get his "Sonny" to give up the detective business and join him in the trucking business. Joe Santos was great as Dennis, Jim's main contact on the LAPD who reluctantly helped Jim by giving him information on various cases. Gretchen Corbett was great in her role as his girlfriend/lawyer Beth Davenport who would always be there to get him out of a jam. But, perhaps the most memorable character was Angel, played by Stuart Margolin. Angel was, and still is, the biggest weasel in television history. He would often be responsible for getting Jim into the odd predicaments he would get into.
Also of note, this was the first hit from the mind of Stephen J. Cannell after years of writing for Adam-12. Cannell is probably one of the greatest writers in television history and this is where it all began.