Furillo breaks the news of Esterhaus's death. Bates is given serious consideration for Sergeant. Coffey's girlfriend is sexually assaulted. Belker goes undercover as a truck driver to try and catch ...
"Hill Street Station" introduces us to the many stories on the street, in the squad room, and in the homes of both the uniform and plainclothes officers at Hill Street. After Sergeant Phil Esterhaus ...
The original "ensemble drama," this is the story of an overworked, under-staffed police precinct in an anonymous inner city patterned after Chicago. We follow the lives of many characters, from the lowly beat and traffic cops to the captain of the precinct himself. This is the show that blazed the trail followed later by such notable ensemble dramas as "St. Elsewhere" and "L.A. Law."Written by
The pilot script said the show took place in an unnamed Midwestern city. Throughout the show's seven-year run, the exact name of the city was never mentioned, although there were hints as to its location. The police cars were based on those of the Chicago Police Department, while the officers' uniforms were based on that of the New York City Police Department. Neither city has a precinct known as "The Hill", although Pittsburgh, PA (where series creator Steven Bochco attended Carnegie Institute of Technology, now known as Carnegie Mellon University), does. In addition, the City Hall shown in the series, is actually that of Philadelphia, PA. Also, several times characters talk about how they're going to or just came from "the shore", which is a term used by East Coast (mostly New York/New Jersey) residents referring to the "Jersey Shore", which is a beach resort area. On the other hand, at several points some of the elevated train cars that pass through the city can be seen with "CTA" painted on their sides. "CTA" stands for Chicago Transit Autority. See more »
When the various characters speak into the radio microphone in their patrol cars, they seldom press the "transmit" switch, and Andy Renko is occasionally seen speaking into the back of the microphone. See more »
Each episode of the critically acclaimed series begins with another morning at the office at the Chicago Police Department's Hill Street precinct.
Overworked, underpaid, understaffed and under equipped the boys and girls in blue do their best to put on a decent show of fighting crime whilst under continual threat of violence from many of the craziest criminals on earth.
The guy in charge of this circus is less of a ringmaster and more of a lion-tamer. His name is Captain Frank Furillo (Daniel J.Travanti). Soft-spoken and diplomatic he, at first, doesn't strike the viewer as having the intestinal fortitude to be a cop let alone one in charge of a precinct.
Brow-beaten by public defender Joyce Davenport (Veronica Hamel) then by his crazy ex-wife Fay (Barbara Bosson) Furillo looks even less formidable and his very manhood is called into question by his psycho SWAT team commander Lt. Howard Hunter (James B.Sikking).
After seeing him stare down the barrel of a gun during a hostage crisis then shield a couple of kids with his body so they don't get hit by machine gun fire we are able to formulate a more balanced assessment of Furillo. This is the most genuine kind of hero. He exemplifies the best qualities of the men and women who serve under his command and leads by example.
It is evident that both cops and criminals coming through Hill Street precinct are there due to varying degrees of insanity. Furillo's own psychosis is perhaps the same as that of the public defender - he thinks that he is making a difference for the better. After what we have seen him do it is difficult to argue that he is wrong.
This was a cop show unlike any other that people had seen before. Part comedy and part soap opera set against the back-drop of an environment viewers were used to seeing simplistic good vs evil narratives and dispassionate procedurals got something of greater complexity.
With sombre strokes of piano keys the understated yet resilient tone of the title theme better matches the continuing narratives of this series than that of most other shows though the mixture of mellotron and orchestra may seem a tad pretentious.
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