Y'know, I never did ask you why you wanted to be a cop.
Sgt. T.J. Hooker:
It's just something I do. I don't try and analyze it.
Maybe you should.
Sgt. T.J. Hooker:
Hey, lady, I'm a garbage collector. I collect it and I dump it. I file my report and I never look back.
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veteran cop Sgt. T.J.Hooker (William Shatner) and rookie partner Vince Romano (Adrian Zmed) are first on the scene after police are summoned by dispatch to a North Hollywood supermarket parking lot. A woman has been attacked by a vicious assailant dubbed 'the Bible Mugger' - a young creep (Gary Frank) who delivers a sermon then a beating before accepting 'donations' and leaving behind a pocket bible.
TV news reporter Tracy Hill (Karen Carlson) clashes with Hooker over access to the latest victim. Even though the gruff curmudgeonly cop indicates complete contempt for her sneering derisive missives at her she gets his superior (Richard Herd) to let her go on a ride-along. Meeting him for a drink after work she is unable to soften his resistance.
Here we see 'cop's cop' Hooker trying to appear emotionally disconnected when he clearly lives for his work, has noble intentions and knows that he has made a difference. The reporter wants him to show that side of himself and that side of cops in general. If that side of cops in general happens not to be readily apparent it is because the media had been less than kind in broadcasting about police excesses and indiscretions. Hence his reluctance in co-operating.
As the attacks continue and get more serious Hooker closes in on the culprit. Hill isn't very helpful and in fact shows both Hooker and his religious fanatic criminal adversary in an unflattering light on her broadcast. If you've watched enough TV cop shows you can guess how the rest of it plays out, who does what to who etc leading to the stereotypical whimsical denouement so characteristic of series upon which Shatner starred.
The real purpose of the episode is to communicate the heroism of the title character and give mainstream audiences the kind of cop they wanted to believe was always on patrol just outside their homes protecting them from any kind of baddie. Evidently it was not enough that this cop be diligent. They wanted the type who would jump on the hood of the baddie's car.
T.J.Hooker was a replacement series launched in early 1982. It did well enough to get picked up for the fall. As it became a regular part of the ABC network schedule the show changed. April Clough who had portrayed Officer Vicki Taylor for four of the five episodes of season one did not return for season two. Clough was displaced by Heather Locklear who joined the show as Officer Stacy Sheridan at the start of the 1982-83 season and would remain for the duration of the series run.
Shatner's weight noticeably fluctuated during the series but in the early episodes viewers saw a less chunky version.
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