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Category:    Home > Reviews > Action > Adventure > Motorcycle > TV > Street Hawk – The Complete Series (1985/Universal/Shout! Factory DVD Set)

Street Hawk – The Complete Series (1985/Universal/Shout! Factory DVD Set)


Picture: C     Sound: C     Extras: C     Episodes: C



In an attempt to capitalize on the success of Knight Rider, Universal thought some of the same elements would work with an advanced motorcycle and the result was Street Hawk, a 1985 series that only lasted half of a season and has a cult following of sorts.  Rex Smith was a singer, teen heartthrob and actor cast as Jesse Mach (geez, that name), a police officer who is about to be demoted for his bike stunts when he meets Norman Tuttle (Joe Regalbuto) who has invented the most advanced motorcycle in the world and done this in secret so it can fight crime.


The bike is not bad for its time and some of the special features are now with us, but this only lasted 13 episodes (including the pilot) and it became a formula TV show before any kind of character development could occur or it could distinguish itself from either Knight Rider or any of the other reactionary 1980s dumb action shows.


Smith could do some comedy and was in shape for the disguise outfit made of PVC, maybe leather and possibly secret alloys like the bike, but the bike was too often the star and the show was just too expensive to produce and it died on the ABC Network at a time when it had hit the worst period on the network’s history for hit shows and good shows.


Each of the creators had interesting previous TV and genre experience including Paul M. Belous (Lobo, The Jeffersons, The Incredible Hulk), Bruce Lansbury (Knight Rider, Swamp Thing, The Magician, Mission: Impossible, Fantastic Journey, Wonder Woman, Buck Rogers, Powers Of Matthew Star, Murder, She Wrote) and Robert Wolterstorff (Quantum Leap, Good Times) so the experience was there, but it was being built on slickness like a bad Music Video and that was the wrong approach.


Christopher Lloyd, Sybil Danning, Barrie Ingram, Bianca Jagger, Clu Gulager, Keye Luke, Joanna Kerns, Charles Napier, Bibi Besch, Ann Turkel, Dennis Franz and George Clooney show up in various episodes and there are a few unintended laughs to be had, especially in the odd way in which the show has aged.  If you are very curious, the show is worth a look.



The 1.33 X 1 image for the pilot and TV series are filmed.  The series was definitely shot in 35mm color film, as was likely the pilot, but the episodes are color-dull throughout and detail is also an issue.  These are from old analog video masters the show apparently was finished on professional NTSC videotape typical of TV at the time, so that figures.  The Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono shows its age and is also a generation or two down, made sadder still by the fact that they hired Tangerine Dream to do the music.  If this sells well, they could upgrade all for Blu-ray.


Extras include the original pilot, Stills Gallery, text Biographies, a booklet with Episode Synopses, Series Synopses and a brand-new (41 minutes) featurette Street Hawk: The Making Of A Legend featuring interviews with the entire main cast.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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