A television series
aired on NBC
beginning in 1975 and starring Steve Forrest
During the 70's, some of the most popular shows on television were those dealing with private investigators and the police. The shows of the time were filled with gun battles and fist fights which were beamed into living rooms nationwide. Years later, psychologists determined that hours and hours of television violence were detrimental to the development of young children who were watching it. This caused a downplaying of violence on television and the introduction of the "family hour" between 8 and 9 PM, in which shows were scheduled that were more kid friendly. However, before the network watchdogs began their changes of their formats, one show above all others embodied all that the psychologists were worried about - S.W.A.T..
Standing for Special Weapons and Tactics, S.W.A.T. is a special branch of the police forces in many large cities. The officers of these units are specially trained to handle difficult situations, like hijackings and hostage situations. The show S.W.A.T. highlighted the adventures of the Los Angeles unit headed by one Lt. Dan "Hondo" Harrelson played by Steve Forrest. Harrelson had under him a crack band of officers who were ready at a moments notice to jump into their black panel van, repel down the side of a building and rain a curtain of screaming, lead death upon the bad guys in the form of bullets from their automatic weapons. The rest of the team consisted of second-in-command Sgt. David "Deacon" Kay (Rod Perry), young idealist and potential heart throb Jim Street (Robert Urich before his days in Vega$), and others. The show was a joyful violencefest for my grade school self and as it was accompanied by a theme song that became a radio and disco hit, it stuck in my mind for years to come.
During Hollywood's recent spate of remakes, S.W.A.T. was remade for the big screen with Samuel L. Jackson taking over Steve Forrest's role and starring Colin Farrell, LL Cool J, and Josh Charles.