Hunter: Season 1, Episode 1

Hunter (18 Sep. 1984)

TV Episode  -   -  Action | Crime | Drama
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This was the pilot to the long running series, about a cop, Rick Hunter, who has two things going against him. The first is that his family is involved with organized crime. So, most of the... See full summary »



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Title: Hunter (18 Sep 1984)

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Dr. Bolin
Captain Cain
James Whitmore Jr. ...
Dr. Kettering
King Hayes
Whispering Willie
Richard Young ...
Lee Patterson ...
Uncle John
Luke Andreas ...
Big Cowboy
Marilyn Tokuda ...
Cathy O'Neil
Security Guard Tony
Michael Mancini ...
Det. Levine


This was the pilot to the long running series, about a cop, Rick Hunter, who has two things going against him. The first is that his family is involved with organized crime. So, most of the cops don't trust him. And most of his partners get seriously injured. Now his commanding officer, Captain Cain, has it in for him. Currently, he is forcing him to see a psychiatrist, and that if he wants to work in the field, he has to have a partner and the only one who is willing to work with him, Bernie Terwilleger, a less than competent cop. Hunter then decides to team with the only other cop, who has a hard time with partners, too, Dee Dee McCall. Currently, they are working on a case involving a possible serial killer, but since Terwilliger was the first cop at the scene, it's his case. But Hunter sensing that Terwilliger will not give it his all, decides to investigate on his own. Written by <>

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PG | See all certifications »




Release Date:

18 September 1984 (USA)  »

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Hunter is an officer for the Police Department of the City of Los Angeles. However, in the briefing room, seen while the Captain is haranguing his detectives, the wall map behind the lectern is clearly of Orange County, which is an entirely different jurisdiction. See more »


Followed by The Return of Hunter (1995) See more »


Easy Ride
Performed and Written by Herb Pedersen
See more »

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User Reviews

Well Punk, ya gonna go for it?
6 September 2012 | by (Toronto, Canada) – See all my reviews

In this pilot for the highly popular TV series loose cannon Los Angeles cop Sgt. Rick Hunter (Fred Dryer) is investigating serial murders of attractive blonde women who frequent a country western bar. He would have an easier time doing his job if police bureaucracy i.e. his superior Captain Cain didn't interfere.

Hunter is ordered (department regulations) to see police shrink Doctor Bolin (Brian Dennehy) a duplicitous quack colluding with Captain Cain to get Hunter thrown off the force.

Meanwhile Hunter, having been paired with Bernie Terwiliger (James Whitmore Jr.) an incompetent yo-yo he loathes strikes an arrangement with outcast cop Sgt. Dee Dee McCall (Stepfanie Kramer) - a trigger-happy, Lynda Carter lookalike referred to as "The Brass Cupcake" by her more sexist colleagues like Terwiliger.

They will be partners in name only. Since neither could keep a partner and they both worked better on their own the arrangement appeared to make sense. They would sign each others reports and vouch for one another conducting investigations separately. But somehow they manage to co-operate long enough to catch the killer.

The biggest criticism of the show was the acting chops or lack thereof of ex-pro football player Fred Dryer. Dryer actually appeared to be affecting an impression of Eastwood with an angry glare and clenched teeth sneering his lines early in the series. That worked quite well for the role and the simplistically formulaic rip-off of "Dirty Harry" made the show popular as a vapid guilty pleasure.

The fantastic performance given by Brian Dennehy makes this episode worth watching all the more. Dennehy is the type of actor who might be seen in Bronson/Eastwood vigilante action movies and was thus an impeccable casting choice who fit the formula perfectly.

The series production team should have gotten more supporting cast members from Bronson/Eastwood movies - as many as they could and copied the plot-lines of those films as they appeared to be doing in the first couple of seasons and in this episode.

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