DVD Talk
Release List Reviews Shop Newsletter Forum DVD Giveaways Blu-Ray Advertise
Reviews & Columns
Reviews
DVD
TV on DVD
Blu-ray
International DVDs
Theatrical
Adult
Video Games

Features
Collector Series DVDs
Easter Egg Database
Interviews
DVD Talk Radio
Feature Articles

Columns
Anime Talk
XCritic.com
DVD Stalk
DVD Savant
High-Def Revolution
Silent DVD

discussion forum
DVD Talk Forum
Resources
DVD Price Search
Customer Service #'s
RCE Info
Links

DVDTalk Info
Review Staff
About DVD Talk
Advertise
Newsletter Subscribe
Join DVD Talk Forum
DVD Talk Feeds


Special Offer

Search: For:
Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » TJ Hooker - The Complete 1st and 2nd Seasons
TJ Hooker - The Complete 1st and 2nd Seasons
Columbia/Tri-Star // Unrated // August 9, 2005
List Price: $49.98 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by Ian Jane | posted August 24, 2005 | E-mail the Author
Buy from Amazon.com
C O N T E N T
V I D E O
A U D I O
E X T R A S
R E P L A Y
A D V I C E
Recommended
E - M A I L
this review to a friend
P R I N T
Printer Friendly
The Series:

Everyone knows William Shatner as Capt. James T. Kirk of the Starship Enterprise. Star Trek and its insane popularity made the hammy Canuck a household name and he remains instantly identifiable because of that role to this very day and will be long after he passes on. But not everyone knows him as Sgt. T. J. Hooker (the 'T. J.' stands for Thomas Jefferson), though some of us who grew up in the eighties remember the role fondly. T. J. Hooker last five seasons on ABC (CBS for its last season) and although it never enjoyed the popularity that Shatner's earlier space faring adventures did, it was an entertaining and sometimes actually clever cop action/drama.

In the first episode, we're introduced to Detective Hooker who, after his partner is murdered, decides to move back into his older position as a sergeant. His logic? If he can get back on the streets and make a difference, he might be able to prevent other under cover cops from dying like his partner did. In his personal life, we know that Hooker is divorced because of the pressure that his job caused his marriage but that he and his wife still get along well enough, even if they're both trying to move on and leave the past behind them. Hooker was soon tasked with training some of the new rookie cops and eventually found himself teamed up with the arrogant and hot headed Vincent Romano (Adrian Zmed). The two clashed and Hooker and Romano had their share of problems but generally, they liked one another and soon became friends as well as partners. Throughout the first season, Hooker and Romano solved plenty of cases together, taking the time out periodically to chat up Officer Vicky Taylor (April Clough) and to fight with their boss, Captain Sheridan (Richard Herd). In the second season, we're introduced to Captain Sheridan's gorgeous daughter Stacy (Heather Locklear) who was brought in to replace Vickey when she left but soon graduated to being teamed up with another pro-cop, Jim Corrigan (James Darren). More often than not, the two teams would work together on cases throughout the remaining seasons, though periodically one team would get more focus than the other.

Highlight episodes from the first two seasons include:

The Protectors: In this pilot episode, we're introduced to Hooker and learn of his origins from under cover detective through to rookie trainer trying to cope with an overwhelming crime wave resulting in he and his new partner having to track down two bank robbers who are on the loose.

God Bless The Child: TJ finds out that one of his young daughter's friends has been injected with a lethal amount of heroin and pushed off the top of a building. The motive? She had planned on exposing a drug dealer's operation. When Hooker gets wind of all of this he takes the case personally, concerned that it could have just as easily happened to his own girl rather than someone else's.

The unfortunately titled Hooker's War features a cameo from the one and only Sid Haig of House Of A Thousand Corpses as well as Richard Moll from Night Court. Hooker and Romano see a mysterious van run a red light. When they approach, the opens fire on them and a high speed chase gives way. Hooker and Romano soon learn that a biker gang is behind it all, but the real question is where are they getting all of the weapons from and what are they doing with them?

The first episode of the second season, Second Chance, features Robert Davi (of Maniac Cop 2 & 3) and Victor Campos of Kojak. A stripper has been murdered and the killer chopped off a lock of her hair as a souvenir. Hooker thinks the murder might be related to a serial killer that he was tracking almost a decade ago, and he worries that the killer's next victim might be a woman who he tried to kill on his first rampage but who survived the attack.

Jerry Lee Lewis of all people shows up and plays himself in Deadly Ambition. A guard tries to halt a robbery but is killed in the line of duty, but the detective investigation the scene deduces that the guard was on the take and in cahoots with the thieves before it all went sour. Hooker was friends with the guard before he was killed and doesn't think he was involved so he sets out to clear his name.

Too Late For Love features a guest appearance from M. C. Gainey. Hooker and Romano are after a couple of punk thieves who are holding a girl hostage who happens to be Romano's ex-girlfriend. They save her, but the bandits make off with the furs. Romano and his ex succumb to familiar emotions once more, but there's more to her story than he realizes.

Star Trek alumni Leonard Nimoy directs The Decoy in which the latest victim of a serial killer known as 'The Surfside Killer' is revealed to be a cop. Stacey bears an uncanny resemblance to the latest victim and Hooker worries that she might be next on his list.

Not content to simply direct, Leonard Nimoy actually shows up in the episode entitled Vengeance Is Mine. Hooker and Romano finish up a case with an old buddy of Hooker's named Paul McGuire (Nimoy). They respond to a rape call and find that it's McGuire's own daughter who is the victim. She can identify the man who did it, but he's smarter than your average scumball and McGuire and Hooker set up to catch him their own way (which surprisingly – and a little bit sadly - doesn't involve phasers or neck grip action)

Also worth noting is that in The Lady In Blue, Ken Foree of Dawn Of The Dead shows up – the episode is also directed by Shatner.

The complete listing of the episodes in this set, which make up the entire first and second seasons of the show, are as follows:

The Protectors
The Streets
God Bless The Child
Hooker's War
The Witness
Second Chance
King Of The Hill
The Empty Gun
Blind Justice
Big Foot
Terror At The Academy
The Survival Syndrome
Deadly Ambition
A Cry for Help
Thieves' Highway
The Connection
The Fast Lane
Too Late For Love
The Decoy
The Mumbler
Vengeance Is Mine
Sweet Sixteen And Dead
Raw Deal
Requiem For A Cop
The Hostages
The Payday Pirates
Lady In Blue

The DVD

Video:

Seeing as this was a television series it makes perfect sense to see the episodes presented in 1.33.1 fullframe as that was how they were composed and meant to be seen. Overall image quality is pretty good – there is some edge enhancement and some shimmering here and there but print damage isn't bad at all and the picture is quite clean through out. Skin tones look decent enough and black levels stay pretty strong as well (though if you look for them you'll notice some mild compression artifacts dancing around in the darker spots of the frame from time to time). The reds look a little bit harsh in one or two episodes but overall the show looks very nice on DVD as there's a fair amount of detail and sharpness present in the transfers.

Sound:

The sound for the two seasons worth of material is presented in its original English language Dolby Digital Mono mix. There are no alternate language dubs, nor are there any subtitle options though Sony has included English closed captions for the hearing impaired.

In terms of how it all sounds, well, no half bad, actually. The dialogue comes through nice and clear and while a scene or two might lean slightly towards the flat side, overall things sound pretty nice. The levels are well balanced and the background music and sound effects don't overshadow the performers and you can always hear what they're saying loud and clear. The theme song comes through with a nice amount of punch as do the sound effects especially during the more action intensive scenes. There are no problems with hiss or distortion and for an older television series, there's really not a lot to complain about here.

Extras:

While this set isn't exactly stacked in terms of supplements, Sony has seen fit to include the promo spot for each and every one of the twenty four episodes contained in the set. In addition to that, there are also trailers for Hitch, Man Of The House, 80s TV Hits, Guess Who, Bewitched, Rescue Me, The Partridge Family, and D.E.B.S..

Final Thoughts:

While the set certainly could have used more in the way of supplemental material, the audio and video quality don't leave much to complain about and surprisingly enough, T.J. Hooker – The Complete First and Second Seasons holds up really well. It's a nice blend of eighties goofiness with cop drama and action that works really well together. Recommended.

Ian lives in NYC with his wife where he writes for DVD Talk, runs Rock! Shock! Pop!. He likes NYC a lot, even if it is expensive and loud.

Popular Reviews
1. Eastbound & Down: Season 4
2. Mystery Science Theater 3000: XXX
3. Bob's Burgers: Season 3
4. Noah
5. Heaven Is for Real
6. Rio 2
7. Scanners
8. Shogun
9. Insomnia: Criterion Collection
10. Transcendence


Special Offers
DVD Blowouts
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
Alien [Blu-ray]
Buy: $19.99 $9.99
8.
9.
10.
Special Offers
Release List Reviews Shop Newsletter Forum DVD Giveaways Blu-Ray Advertise
Copyright 2014 DVDTalk.com All Rights Reserved. Legal Info, Privacy Policy, Terms of Use