Retired Los Angeles district court Judge Milton C. Hardcastle (Brian Keith) fights crime. Race car driver and convicted burglar Mark McCormick (Daniel Hugh Kelly) was Judge Hardcastle's last case. McCormick was remanded into the custody of Hardcastle and together they investigate two hundred of Hardcastles unclosed cases. Hardcastle knows the system and how to work with and around it. McCormick complains a lot and drives a really fast kit car called the Coyote. He dotes on his car like a mother bear over a cub, until he needs to jump a closed bridge or force a four-door sedan full of suspects off the road.
It would seem that Hardcastle and McCormick fight evil in a parallel universe Los Angeles where cars are fueled by some sort of incendiary and explosive mixture. Vehicles in this Bizarro LA explode when turned over with such frequency that the two have some sort of betting game that involves a watch and an exploding vehicle. The rules of the game were never explained to my satisfaction, but the two were often seen examining a wristwatch while in the background an automobile caught fire and exploded in a huge greasy ball of flame. Once the horseless carriage detonated, the winner claimed a cash prize from the other, and the loser expressed consternation at his loss before completing the arrest.
The whole premise of this show seemed on shaky ground to me. I will grant that I am no cross universe legal expert and the subtlety of Bizarro LA Law probably escapes me, however, I don't believe judges, retired ones at that, in the company of convicted felons have the authority to issue parking tickets, let alone stalk homicide suspects dredged up from the dusty files of a vengeful old coot. Regardless, I still watched every episode I could and have many fond memories of the show itself.
Hardcastle and McCormick ran from 1983 to 1986 and, you guessed it, music by Mike Post.