A recent murder makes Hooker suspect "The Night Ripper" has resurfaced.

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Cast

Episode cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Robert Thaler ...
Doug Richards
...
Todd Hunter ...
Sonny
Leslie Ryan ...
Mary Stockman
John Petlock ...
T.K. Beaman
Anthony Darren ...
Tom Williams (as Tony Darren)
John Christy Ewing ...
Mr. Williams
Karrie Emerson ...
Heidi Davis
Judy Jean Berns ...
Louise Banning
Jaime Alba ...
Larry Dunn
Heidi Helmer ...
Tina
...
Melissa
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A recent murder makes Hooker suspect "The Night Ripper" has resurfaced.

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Action | Crime | Drama

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Release Date:

29 January 1986 (USA)  »

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1.33 : 1
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Goofs

At the studio, Stacy has her gun out when they enter the room. It disappears when she is taken hostage, and then despite not picking it up she has it again after the foot chase. See more »

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User Reviews

A Cheap & Sleazy Episode
9 April 2014 | by (Toronto, Canada) – See all my reviews

Veteran cop Sgt. T.J.Hooker (William Shatner) is summoned by dispatch to investigate a domestic disturbance and heads to the scene. It turns out to be a sorority house and a young woman was brutally murdered and mutilated in her room there by a guy in cowboy boots who escaped into the night. Hooker gives chase but loses him in the shadows.

It is similar to a case Hooker worked on six years earlier but could never solve back when he was still a homicide detective. The serial murderer of attractive young women was dubbed 'The Night Ripper' by the press. The new killing is the seventh victim. Hooker has long harboured guilt over the first six. It isn't long before the body count rises.

By the fifth and final season of T.J.Hooker the show had diminished. It never again cracked the ratings top thirty after its truncated first season. ABC cancelled it in spring 1985 and Adrian Zmed, who had portrayed Hooker's young partner Vince Romano the first four seasons moved on. Whether much production budget money was saved without him is open to conjecture.

CBS picked up the series but moved it to very late at night. The budget was lower as evidenced by the relative lack of profile of guest-stars many of whom were soap opera actors. The lower cost to produce and the fact that it could accommodate double the commercials in its late night time-slot by filling 70 minutes instead of 60 kept it on the air for 18 more episodes in the 1985-86 season.

The performances in this episode of some of the young actors they brought in are beyond terrible. The scene in the police interrogation room and the sensationalistic/sleazy finale are cringe-inducing. The network should have done more to get its roster of talent to guest-star but evidently everyone was more concerned about doing it on the cheap.

Few episodes of the show ever really delved in to the psyche of the criminal balancing out the narrative and this one is far from an exception. It was almost exclusively an unsubtle indefatigable good vs murky evil dialectic and villains carried with them an 'otherness' for lack of a better word. This one in particular really exaggerated that 'otherness' in a primitively kinky kind of way.


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