USA / ABC / x60 minute episodes / Broadcast 24 February 1975 – 29 June 1976
Creator: Robert Hamner / Theme Music: Theme from S.W.A.T. by Barry DeVorzon / Executive Producers: Aaron Spelling, Leonard Goldberg
With a theme tune straight out of prime era Shaft and leading men like Steve “The Baron” Forrest and Robert “Vegas” Urich, you just know S.W.A.T is classic viewing.
S.W.A.T (which stands for Special Weapons and Tactics) first aired in early 1975 and was based of course on the real life S.W.A.T teams that sprang up in America in the 1970’s.
The show ran for two seasons on the ABC network, episode one introduces new boy Jim Street who joins the S.W.A.T. team after his partner is killed in the line of duty. This was Urich’s first major role in TV and he acquits himself well, the series was inspired by the growing number of such police units in Los Angeles and other U.S.cities in the wake of the civil disturbance of the late 1960’s. The show actually grew out of popular show The Rookies with Steve Forrest’s character Hondo Harellson appearing in an episode of that show training up the Rookies in SWAT methods.
Like any good ensemble show there is a real mix of characters, Dominic was the Marksman, Sgt Kay was communications and T.J. handled back up. Hondo ran around a lot and spouted things like “Police work is dull, boring and repetitious.”
Although viewed today it may seem somewhat on the violent side but by it’s very nature S.W.A.T has to pretty much feature a siege or a shoot out in every episode.
Steve Forrest as Dan “Hondo” Harrelson
Rod Perry as David “Deacon” Kay
Robert Urich as James Street
James Coleman as T.J. McCabe
Mark Shera as Dominic Luca
Ellen Weston as Betty Harrelson
Michael Harland as Matt Harrelson
David Adams as Kevin Harrelson