Sidekicks (ABC 1986-1987, Gil Gerard, Ernie Reyes Jr)

Half-hour action/drama series Sidekicks was adapted from The Last Electric Knight, an installment of The Disney Sunday Movie. It focused on the life of Sergeant Jake Rizzo, a policeman who was chosen to become an adoptive father to Ernie Lee by Sabasan, his dying grandfather. Rizzo was reluctant to have his bachelor life and police career co-opted by unwanted fatherly duties, but he reluctantly gave in.

Soon enough, Rizzo discovered that he had gotten more than he bargained for. Both Ernie and Sabasan came from an obscure country known as Patasan, which was the home to a clan of mystical martial artists known as “The Electric Knights.” It turned out that Ernie was the last heir of this clan and had inherited the martial-arts skills and mystical abilities that came with the designation.

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The show’s plotlines usually revolved around Ernie’s using these natural skills to help Rizzo solve his cases while trying to adjust to his new life. Patricia Blake, a social worker, turned up on a regular basis to keep an eye on Ernie. Sabasan would occasionally appear to Ernie is Kung Fu-style flashback sequences. Rounding out the cast of characters were Rizzo’s compatriot, Detective R.T. Mooney, and Rizzo and Mooney’s boss, Captain Blanks.

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The show ended its run in June of 1987 after only one season. It was a real family affair for young star Ernie Reyes Jr. (who played—you guessed it—Ernie): his father, Ernie Sr., choreographed the action sequences, and his little brother Lee portrayed the young Ernie in the flashbacks involving Sabasan.

production details
USA / ABC / x25 minute episodes / Broadcast 19 September 1986 – 27 June 1987

Gil Gerard as Jake Rizzo
Ernie Reyes, Jr. as Ernie Lee
Nancy Stafford as Patricia Blake
Keye Luke as Sabasan
Frank Bonner as Marty Mooney
Vinny Argiro as Captain Blanks
Joy Garrett as Randy
Gary Hudson as Coach Kite
Magda Harout as Jake’s Mother

Alastair James is the editor in chief for Memorable TV. He has been involved in media since his university days. Alastair is passionate about television, and some of his favourite shows include Line of Duty, Luther and Traitors. He is always on the lookout for hot new shows, and is always keen to share his knowledge with others.