The Sentinel (1996–1999)
11 user

The Switchman 

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 »


Danny Bilson


Paul De Meo (created by), Danny Bilson (created by) | 2 more credits »


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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Richard Burgi ... Jim Ellison
Garett Maggart ... Blair Sandburg
Kelly Curtis ... Carolyn Plummer
Bruce A. Young ... Simon Banks
Molly Parker ... The Switchman
Ken Earl Ken Earl ... Joel Taggert
Tim Henry ... Colonel Winters
Roger Cross ... Captain Mathis (as Roger R. Cross)
William deVry ... Master Sergeant (as William De Vry)
Deryl Hayes ... SWAT Sergeant
Maria Herrera ... Tour Guide
Jason Furukawa Jason Furukawa ... 1st Investigator
Althea McAdam Althea McAdam ... 2nd Investigator
Aurelio DiNunzio Aurelio DiNunzio ... Waiter (as Aurelio Di Nunzio)
Arnie Walters ... Doctor


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 <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

police | friendship | buddy | See All (3) »







Release Date:

20 March 1996 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

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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 »

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User Reviews

acceptable show that's lacking something
14 November 2005 | by gporrittSee 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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