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Starsky & Hutch-The Series: A Short History From the 1970's

Anne lives with her husband in Dublin, Ireland and enjoys cooking, reading, writing, taking care of animals and watching TV in the evenings

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Coolest Cop Show of 1970s

There’s no doubt that Starsky and Hutch was THE coolest series of the 1970’s.

As a 14 year old TV addict the highlight of my week was without a doubt, Starsky & Hutch. Along with most of my school friends, I was in love with Starsky (played by the gorgeous Paul Michael Glaser), though Hutch (David Soul) came a close second and there was certainly no shame in admitting you might be a little in love with him too.

From the pilot movie in 1975 right through to the 1979 final episode, (Sweet Revenge, in which we are led to believe that Starsky will die), I never missed one week.

By 1979 I was a young adult with a pretty good social life, but I always made sure to be in front of a TV when Starsky & Hutch was on.

Pilot Movie of Starsky and Hutch

The pilot movie in 1975 was our first glimpse of the cool duo. Their friendship and interaction with one another was immediately appealing, although perhaps the plot, which involved our two heroes being the subject of a “hit” order, was not quite so friendly. TV censorship then was aimed (pun intended) more at sex than violence, but that was about to change.

In fact, the first two seasons were way more graphic and violent than the later ones. In one memorable episode, The Psychic, Starsky blows up a car, with two people inside, using a rocket launcher.

It wasn't surprising that because complaints were made and censorship laws began to change, the producers were made to tone down the violence.

So the banter and humor was played up some more in the next two seasons, and with even better story lines (in my opinion), Starsky and Hutch continued to be the coolest duo on TV.

Friendship of Starsky & Hutch: The story of two friends who happened to be police officers.

The characters in Starsky & Hutch were unusual in their display of friendship and affection for one another.

This may have come across particularly strongly because of the close friendship between Paul Michael Glaser and David Soul.

In fact, David Soul is quoted as saying that the series was not about the various crime fighting adventures of two police officers, but was the story of two friends who happened to be police officers.

And there are plenty of fans on the various forums and fan sites dedicated to the series who say that that was the appeal of the show for them.

The character of Starsky is a bit innocent, slightly goofy, but can be tough when the going gets tough.

Hutch, on the other hand, is more reserved, smarter and quiet.

Their informant is the ever-so-cool Huggy Bear ( wonderfully played by Antonio Fargas) and their boss (or Capt’n Dobey) was played by Bernie Hamilton.

The affection and friendship between all four characters is obvious throughout the series.

Starsky's Car

A fifth important “character” in the Starsky & Hutch series has to be the “Striped Tomato”-a nickname given to Starsky’s car.

It was a Ford Gran Torino, red with a white stripe, and features prominently throughout the 4 seasons of the series. In fact, several cars were provided by Ford during the series and you can read more about them here.

Interestingly, Ford cashed in on the popularity of Starsky and Hutch series by actually producing just over 1000 replicas of the car as featured in the program. Rumor has it they could cost up to $7,000. That was a lot of money in 1976! I wonder are there any of them still around.

Favorite Episodes of Starsky and Hutch

Every fan has their favorite episode of Starsky & Hutch, but there are a couple of universal favorites.

In order of appearance, the first of these is probably Coffin for Starsky from Season 1 in which the antagonist injects Starsky with a deadly poison and tells him they have 24 hours to find the antidote.

Second is episode 20 of Season 2: Starsky’s Lady in which Starsky’s girlfriend is shot during a supermarket robbery. But it turns out that this was arranged by the father of a boy who died in police custody, and who blames Starsky.

A Body Worth Guarding is the favorite from Season 3, although Hutchinson: Murder One is also worth a mention, also in Season 3. All three episodes of Targets Without a Badge from Season 4, and of course the final episode, Sweet Revenge are all favorites.


The Final Episode of Starsky & Hutch

The final episode of Starsky and Hutch, Sweet Revenge, was in 1979.

It was to end with the death of Starsky but the producers changed their minds at the last minute.

This sometimes shows in the script, For instance, the line by Hutch which says “Starsky is gonna die, but I’m still here” was clearly changed from “Starsky is dead, but I'm still here."

The producers had wanted to leave the door open for another series. However, Paul Michael Glaser was anxious to move on and in fact had been reluctant at first to even make the fourth season. So there were no further series made.

But 40 years later, I can still watch my own favorite episodes, over and over if I want to and I'm very happy that they're all still available on DVD.

All Episodes of Starsky and Hutch, Season One

Season 1

Season 1: Episode NoEpisode Name

00

Pilot

1

Savage Sunday

2

Death Ride

3

Texas Longhorn

4

The Fix

5

Snow Storm

6

Death Notice

7

Pariah

8

Kill Huggy Bear

9

The Bait

10

Lady Blue

11

Captain Dobey...you're dead

12

Terror on the Docks

13

The Deadly Imposter

14

Shoot-out

15

The Hostages

16

Losing Streak

17

Silence

18

The Omaha Tiger

19

Jo-Jo

20

Running

21

A Coffin for Starsky

22

The Bounty Hunter

Season 2: Episode No.Episode Name

1

The Las Vagas Strangler part 1

2

The Las Vagas Strangler part 2

3

Little Girl Lost

4

Bust Amboy

5

Murder at Sea Part 1

6

Murder at Sea Part 2

7

Vendetta

8

Gillian

9

Vampire

10

The Specialist

11

The Psychic

12

Tap Dancing Her Way Right Back Into Your Heart

13

Iron Mike

14

Nightmare

15

Bloodbath

16

Huggy Bear and the Turkey

17

The Set-up part 1

18

The Set-up part 2

19

Survival

20

Starsky's Lady

21

The Committe

22

The Velvet Jungle

23

Long Walk Down a Short Dirt Road

24

Murder on Stage 17

25

Starsky and Hutch are Guilty

Starsky and Hutch Season Four: "Targets Without a Badge" (3 episodes) And The Final Episode, "Sweet Revenge".

Season 3: Episode No.Episode Name

1

Murder on Voodoo Island part 1

2

Murder on Voodoo Island part 2

3

Fatal Charm

4

I Love You, Rosey Malone

5

Murder Ward

6

Death in a Different Place

7

The Crying Child

8

The Heroes

9

The Plague part 1

10

The Plague part 2

11

The Collector

12

Manchild of the Streets

13

The Action

14

The Heavy Weight

15

A Body Worth Guarding

16

The Trap

17

Satan's Witches

18

Class in Crime

19

Hutchinson: Murder one

20

Foxy Lady

21

Partners

22

Quadromania

Season 4: Episode No.Episode Name

1

Discomania

2

The Game

3

Blindfold

4

Photo Finish

5

Moonshine

6

Strange Justice

7

The Avenger

8

Dandruff

9

Black and Blue

10

The Groupie

11

Cover Girl

12

Starsky's Brother

13

The Golden Angel

14

Ballad for a Blue Lady

15

Birds of a Feather

16

Nintey Pounds of Trouble

17

Huggy can't go home

18

Targets Without a Badge part 1

19

Targets Without a Badge part 2

20

Targets Without a Badge part 3

21

Starsky VS. Hutch

22

Sweet Revenge

starsky-hutch-the-series-whats-your-favourite-episode

Do You Have a Favorite Episode of Starsky and Hutch?

Comments

annerivendell (author) from Dublin, Ireland on September 14, 2016:

Hi Hutchfan, Sorry I only saw your comment today! Looks like Aaron Spelling listened to you! Thank you, I'm really happy that you saved Starsky's life ;-) x

Hutchfan on August 12, 2016:

Loved the episodes picked, but i would have to include The Fix in my list. Hete in Australia they didnt show the fourth season, but I had read in a fan magazine. Tigerbeat that Starsky was going to die and I wrote to Aaron Spelling begging him not to let Starsky die

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