The Sentinel: Season 1, Episode 1

The Switchman (20 Mar. 1996)

TV Episode  |   |  Action, Adventure, Crime
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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

acceptable show that's lacking something
14 November 2005 | by (chinju) – See all my reviews

Overall this show is quite entertaining but there are a few things about it which really grate on me. I quite like the acting and overall scripting of the show, but like many people I think that it was just a little contrived. The stories, though different in context, always followed the same basic premise. A crime would be committed. Someone (either a cute girl or a young male) would witness it, and be unforthcoming to Ellison and Sandberg's charm. a friend of the witness would be killed, and the person would then try and find Ellis or Sandberg. they would get in contact and then be kidnapped and Ellison will have to use his special senses to discover where they are and then he will shoot them from long range. Cue the little jokey quip between Ellison and Sandberg and roll the credits.

It could have been so much more but the creators were lazy. No wonder it got canned so quickly.

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