The Sentinel: Season 1, Episode 1

The Switchman (20 Mar. 1996)

TV Episode  |   |  Action, Adventure, Crime
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Ratings: 8.2/10 from 313 users  
Reviews: 11 user

After spending years in the Peruvian jungle during his tour in Army Special Forces, Cascade PD Detective James Ellison developed hyperactive senses, which came back to him five years after ... See full summary »



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Title: The Switchman (20 Mar 1996)

The Switchman (20 Mar 1996) on IMDb 8.2/10

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Episode credited cast:
Ken Earl ...
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Daniel Chen ...
Captain Mathis
Master Sergeant
Aurelio Dinunzio ...
Waiter (as Aurelio Di Nunzio)
Jason Furukawa ...
1st Investigator
Deryl Hayes ...
SWAT Sergeant
Tim Henry ...
Colonel Winters


After spending years in the Peruvian jungle during his tour in Army Special Forces, Cascade PD Detective James Ellison developed hyperactive senses, which came back to him five years after his return to the US. He can see people in darkened windows at night from two hundred yards, hear the music playing on the radio of the car he's chasing after he's lost sight of it, and can distinguish between wood and plastic after both have been in a three thousand degree fire. Blair Sandburg, a local anthropology student, tells Ellison that he is a "Sentinel," who in ancient tribes would protect the village and seek out game using such hyperactive senses. Sandburg becomes Ellison's back-watcher and teacher of how to use his new powers as Ellison brings a whole new edge to the war on crime in Cascade, Washington. Written by Jeff Cross <>

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Release Date:

20 March 1996 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Garett Maggart's name was misspelled "Garrett" in the opening credits. This was fixed in all future episodes. See more »


The Pilot episode "The Switchman" contains a couple of references to Seattle, the intended setting. See the trivia section for details. See more »


Jim Ellison: [throwing Blair up against a wall] Listen, you neo-hippy witchdoctor punk!
See more »


Follows The Sentinel (1996) See more »

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User Reviews

Fun, Lightweight action show
18 December 2003 | by (New York City) – See all my reviews

Jim Ellison, a policeman in the city of Cascade, has super senses. He can hear, see, touch, smell to such a high degree that he can help solve seemingly unsolvable crimes. Blair Sandburg, a college student majoring in anthropology, is the guide who helps Jim Ellison control his super senses. Together, these two men help fight crime in Cascade.

This is a really fun action show! The actors are all very good and the writers for this show really know how to hook a viewer's attention in the first five minutes of the show. All the episodes are very well plotted and very exciting. What is a real shame is that one can see that this show had the potential to be even more. I wish there was more mysticism and more magic in this show. But other than that, it's a great hour of TV.

Richard Burgi is gorgeous and a great talent. I hope he makes it on the big screen one day.

I give this great show a "B++".

2 of 2 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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