This series features the missions of the Los Angeles Police Department's Special Weapons and Tactics team. They are a team of highly trained and heavily armed police officers who's purpose is to make coordinated assaults on armed and dangerous criminals in sensitive situations and defensible locations. Written by
Kenneth Chisholm <email@example.com>
SWAT is a great example of '70s police action episodic TV
This was my favorite show as a kid! It's one of the best of the '70s cop shows, and never fully got the recognition it deserved. It gave the audience a look at a police unit many didn't even know existed at the time. Aaron Spelling and Robert Hamner showed them as a group of men who had to depend on each other and work as a team in very difficult situations.
Back then, people WANTED to see action shows, but the writers still had a lot of restrictions on content and visuals. What's called `violence' in this show you can find in children's television these days. This show managed to get the violence of crime across without the gore most shows rely on today.
SWAT also had a very good ensemble cast. Steve Forrest (as Lt. Harrelson) obviously had a bit more to do, but the writers did a great job of showing the personal and professional sides of all the characters. In the '70s, these shows were truly episodic - there were no story arcs or follow-ups to an episode, unless, of course, it was a two-parter. A story began, developed, and wrapped in an hour. Yet, the writers managed to give some depth to these characters (and the actors something to work with) from time to time.
Robert Urich (Jim Street) was a good actor, and I think because he was considered the `GQ' man of the group, he was given a bit more screen time than the others. I absolutely loved him in `Vegas'. Rod Perry (`Deacon Kay'), Mark Shera (`Dominic Luca' - the object of MY personal teenage crush), and James Coleman (`T.J. McCabe') ALL gave consistently good performances and delivered in every episode.
In my opinion, SWAT is a great example of '70s police action episodic television. And personally, I'm VERY glad they've put it on DVD.
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