A fast paced look at life for the officers of the El Camino Police Department, High Incident takes the viewers into the trenches with the street police officers, where the war on crime is ...
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A fast paced look at life for the officers of the El Camino Police Department, High Incident takes the viewers into the trenches with the street police officers, where the war on crime is being fought, one criminal at a time, and the casualties are mounting up. Written by
Brian Junkin <Spartapd@hotmail.com>
I have a background in TV production and technical aspects, and I do love a good cop show. I think several factors helped HI become one of the best ever.
First in my mind was the involvement of Steven Spielberg. Look at the man's early work and his great use of pacing for the stories, but often with a well-positioned 'BOO!!!' at some point in the show. HI often had more action before the opening credits than other shows had in their first half hour with many instances coming from the 'total shock' department.
Next, the Technical work was magnificent! From the precision driving to the firearms aspects to the lighting of suspenseful scenes, this series rocked! The series made use of special cutaway Crown Vic Police cars that enabled seamless camera transitions from in-car to exterior camera work, perhaps another Spielberg method...
Casting was magnificent! Louis Mustillo as Russell Topps was and remains one of my favorite characters ever! R Lee Ermey as the female officer's retired Marine father in ep 2 was a masterstroke! The sense of history, the San Fernando Valley quirkiness, the frequent onset of genuinely funny and sweet comments from even minor characters was just about perfect. ('Richard, you were the best of them all!') Officer Topps in particular was put in many situations that showed the humanity of the character.
With the second season Lindsay Frost was added to the cast, and I'd watch Ms. Frost read the phone book!
Much was made of the final episode, 'Shootout' written by Ann Donahue after the infamous North Hollywood bank robbery shootout. Better fare has never been shown on TV! It had everything, and was a fitting sendoff to a great series that ended many seasons too early.
H.I. should rank with 'Boomtown' and 'NYPD Blue' as the best ever. Ms. Donahue's reward for her work on HI was her EP gig for the various CSI series, and many of the cast went on to greatness. Wonderful work!
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