Highway Patrol was a film-for-syndication series, made by early producer, ZIV. It followed the career of Sergeant Dan Matthews, the plain clothes boss of the officers that protect and serve the population on wheels. The part was essayed by the great character actor Brodrick Crawford, a gruff, gravel voiced, overwieght man with a permanant, jowly frown. He seemed an unlikely man of crime-busting action, but this, and the fact the show was done on the cheap, with actual highways and other locations, without studio lighting, added to the air of a gritty, non-Hollywood realism. The crooks that came under Matthews' jurisdiction were always commiting usual crimes like knocking over small town banks or motels, but on occasion escaped cons or kidnappers would appear. One memorable episode featured a psycho with his car rigged out to be a huge bomb that would detonate if his hand left the steering wheel, and Brodrick was put in the position of holding on with one hand, and fighting off the bomber with the other. The use of fast-talking technical cop jargon and codes were fascinating too, and everybody learned from Highway Patrol that "10-4" meant a completed message twenty years before CB radios.
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