The missions of a major city's police department's Special Weapons and Tactics unit.The missions of a major city's police department's Special Weapons and Tactics unit.The missions of a major city's police department's Special Weapons and Tactics unit.
The premise of "S.W.A.T."(Special Weapons and Tactics Unit) consisted of a group of highly skilled men that were called on to tackle cases not to mention handle dangerous situations to intense for the police to handle. These quasi-military armed men worked for the Los Angeles Police Department and were all Vietnam Veterans(that fought in Vietnam) that were called on to handle situations in a precision style manner that had to be done with split second timing in order to save lives and take down the baddies or thugs as quickly as possible and bring them to justice. The series starred veteran actor Steve Forrest(of "The Baron" television series)as Lt. Hondo Harrelson the head man of operations. His second in command was Sgt. Deacon Kay(Rod Perry),and his back up in dangerous situations were Officer T.J. McCabe(James Coleman); Officer Luca(Mark Shera); and Officer Jim Street(Robert Urich).
"S.W.A.T." brought in big time directors,big time writers for some of the great episodes,and not to mention big time guest stars in various episodes ranging Sal Mineo, Christopher George, Cameron Mitchell, to Aldo Ray, Robert Loggia, Stuart Whitman, Leslie Nielsen, Mark Slade, William Windom, Farrah Fawcett, Don Stroud, Clint Young, Robert Webber, Carl Weathers, James Darren, Susan Dey, Rose Marie, Phil Silvers, to Michael Conrad, Lesley-Anne Warren, Tom Skerritt, Belinda Tolbert, to Simon Oakland, Loni Anderson, just to name a few of the guest stars that appeared in several episodes.
The best episodes from it's First Season starts off with the groundbreaking pilot episode "The Killing Ground". The other episodes that were not only dramatic but action-packed excitement consisted of "A Coven of Killers"(Season 1,Episode 2); "Pressure Cooker"(Season 1, Episode 4); "Jungle War"(Season 1, Episode 6); "Blind Man's Bluff" (Season 1, Episode 11); "Bravo Enigma"(Season 1, Episode 8); "Death Score"(Season 1, Episode 13);and "The Sole Survivors"(Season 1, Episode 12).
The best episodes from it's Second and Final Season consisted of the two-part season opener "The Deadly Tide",Parts 1 & 2(Season 2, Episodes 1 and 2). Others included "The Vendetta"(Season 2,Episode 6); "The Running Man",Parts 1 & 2(Season 2,Episodes 16 and 17); "The Soldier On The Hill"(Season 2,Episode 23); "Kill S.W.A.T"(Season 2,Episode 3),and the final episode of the series "Officer Luca,You're Dead!"(Season 2,Episode 25).
The series was known for it's opening theme song which became a top-ten hit for the R&B/Pop group Rhythm Heritage in 1976 that were certified Gold and was Grammy nominated that same year. As far as the television series itself was concerned, it premiered in a decade that was littered with detective dramas,and police shows and it was highly criticized for it's violent content that was a rarely with cop shows of the 1970's. When "S.W.A.T." was abruptly canceled in the Spring of 1976, the powers that be over at ABC didn't waste any time for it's replacement where another successful Aaron Spelling produced cop drama "Starsky and Hutch" took over on it's Saturday night prime time slot.
**This commentary was written on January 29,2016 in commemoration with the show's 40th anniversary that was timelined to be written on February 17, 2015.
- Jan 29, 2016