Sam McCloud is a rustic country sheriff from a rural part of the United States. He travels to the big city and joins the police force, using his country ways and laid-back approach to nab the bad guys.
When a shipper of contaminated stolen beef kills a USDA inspector and flees to Colorado and his employers, McCloud tracks him down, only to run smack into a dumb-but-ambitious sheriff (Claude Akins' ...
Attorney and US Navy vet Stuart "Mac" McMillan is appointed Commissioner of Police for the city of San Francisco. He often handles the very high profile cases personally. Helping him out on... See full summary »
Susan Saint James
Ex-Marshal McCloud now is senator of New Mexico, fighting for a new environment law. His enemy is Maitland, unscrupulous owner of Chemtel, the world's most important chemical manufacturer. ... See full summary »
Sam McCloud is a Deputy U.S. Marshal from Taos, New Mexico. He goes to New York to find an escaped criminal, and there falls for reporter Chris Coughlin, who is the cousin of the deputy police commissioner. After he tracks the criminal down, Chris convinces her cousin to request that Sam be assigned to temporary duty with the NYPD, to learn modern police methods. He is assigned to the detective bureau headed by Chief Peter B. Clifford, who is less than thrilled with having McCloud under his command and gives him nothing but menial duties, but Sam always winds up deep in homicides, drug busts and various other major crimes, often helped out by Sgt. Joe Broadhurst, and solves them using a combination of good police work and good old country know-how. Written by
Brian Washington <Sargebri@att.net>
I love this website and all the comments on it! McCloud was my favorite TV series and still is way up there. I would love to trade with anyone who has the 90-minute episodes on home video. I have the 2-hour shows from A&E and some of the 90-minute shows from the CBS Late Movie, but fairly often I have only opening and closing credits for episodes (particularly from the poor second season, and the going-downhill seventh).
One correction: "Return to the Alamo," the best episode of the series, was directed by Walter Doniger. E.W. Swackhamer directed the next "Alamo" episode, "The Day New York Turned Blue," which is still my favorite. The first "This Must Be The Alamo" was directed by Bruce Kessler (who does an excellent job), and Dennis Weaver himself directed the last (and least available) "Alamo" episode, "'Twas The Fight Before Christmas," which among other things features "Dallas" star Linda Gray in her first major role. On re-watching this episode last Christmas, I think it may be the best in the whole series.
In my opinion, the show took a while to find its stride. The 60-minute first-season episodes, which were combined into 90-minute or 2-hour TV movies later on, are fair but a little too countrified for my taste. The second season is generally quite bad, due to writing by Peter Allan Fields (five of the seven episodes). When Glen A. Larson got back from "Alias Smith and Jones" and took over the reins in the third season, the writing got noticeably better (he scripted five of the best episodes -- the first three "Alamos," "The New Mexican Connection" and "Butch Cassidy Rides Again," as well as two of the worst -- "The Barefoot Stewardess Caper" and "Night of the Shark"). Michael Gleason was nearly as good a writer (with the fourth season's "The Colorado Cattle Caper" making the top five). Lou Shaw wasn't in their class, but turned in several good scripts ("The Man With the Golden Hat" was probably his best).
The show had more changes in theme music than any other series I know. David Shire contributed a pretty poor twangy theme song for the first two years. In year three, they had four themes in five episodes! (Two of them are "chase music" from the episodes themselves.") The show hit the mark with the fourth-season theme, which was re-arranged each season to lead off with the hard-driving music as McCloud and the horse pounded the pavement. It's my favorite theme of all time (the arrangement for season six is the best). In the seventh season, among many disappointments, the theme was cut down in the opening and used only three times over the opening credits. The 1989 "Return of Sam McCloud" reunion-film theme was forgettable and had no relation to the others. When will people learn that a good theme song and opening sequence is vital to a show's success????
The series really Jumped The Shark when Michael Sloan came on as producer and head writer during the final season. His debut, "Bonnie and McCloud," was pinned by Variety as "perhaps the sappiest episode in the entire series," and his next episode, "The Great Taxicab Stampede," is just plain idiotic. Surprisingly, his other two scripts ("'Twas The Fight Before Christmas" and "London Bridges") are pretty good; I suspect he had uncredited help and a lot of it.
Great job, fans!
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