Officers Don Burdick and Gil Foley battle crime in a major city in Southern California from the air. They are "chopper" pilots who aid officers in "black-and-white"'s by contributing added surveillance or assisting in chases of suspects. Sometimes they have their own problems to worry about, such as snipers. Mitch was Gil & Don's crusty mechanic, while the two men received their orders from Capt. McKeegan. Written by
Marty McKee <email@example.com>
The short-lived television action/adventure-crime drama series "Chopper One" was another of ABC's attempts to cash in on the success of two of the most realistic shows of the 1970's "Emergency!",and the action drama "Police Story". However "Chopper One" was seen on Thursday nights right after another short-lived series as well "Firehouse",which was on before this show. This was another one of the Aaron Spelling produced shows that he served as executive producer. Spelling was the mastermind behind an array of shows that exploded onto the 1970's such as "The Rookies","Starsky and Hutch","Charlie's Angels","S.W.A.T.",and so forth.
Anyway,the real star of the show was the helicopter itself since Chopper One's registry numbers are N2098(on its bottom)and N40MC(on the side)with the symbol of The Los Angeles Police Department.
"Chopper One" was the radio code name for a special kind of police helicopter that was used by the Western California Police Department which was basically the standard police helicopter used by the California State Highway Patrol and the Los Angeles Police Department. Amidst the noise of whining propeller blades officers Don Burdick (Jim McMullan)and Gil Foley(Dirk Benedict)soared over the concrete jungles of Los Angeles chasing down the baddiest of the bad under the tight supervision of the commanding officer Captain McKeegan(Ted Hartley)while also to keep the helicopter running smoothly and operational was the head mechanic of Chopper One Mitch(Lou Frizzel). The officers were assigned helicopter duty and to make things more easier these guys were given the task to catch and apprehend dangerous criminals in tight places the police couldn't get to so with the guys up in the air they can get a description of the suspect whether he is located with the help of the local authorities. Their adversaries included chasing automobiles,bank robbers,rooftop snipers,renegade cyclists,kidnappers, muggers in the park and other desperadoes foolish enough to work out in the open. The series produced 13 episodes for ABC-TV from January 17, 1974 until the series finale on July 11,1974. The show,which ran a half-hour was on Thursday night and despite the ratings it received was right in the same time slot against a ratings powerhouse drama "The Waltons" which was on a rival network.
Several episodes in this short-lived series were very good including one episode where a child's kite gets tangled in the rotor blades where Mitch,the mechanic calls it "A Five-Cent disaster". Another astounding episode is where the chopper is hijacked by two dangerous convicts putting the two pilots in constant danger every minute. Foley stays on the ground while Burdick files the chopper with the two convicts inside. In an attempt to psyche out the bad guys where one of the cops says, "If the engine goes out on a chopper,you drop like a rock." At the climax of the story,the chopper files behind a hill and there is a huge explosion. Foley subdues the bad guy and it turns out the Burdick cleverly dropped an external fuel tank to fake a crash. Fantastic episode. One of the stars of this short-lived series who played Officer Gil Foley(Dirk Benedict),when on to other TV shows after this one ended. Benedict when on to portray Lt. Starbuck on "Battlestar Galactica",and also was Lt. Templeton Peck on the 80's action series "The A-Team".
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