Season 1 Episode 1

Pilot / Renegade

Aired Friday 8:00 PM Sep 14, 1992 on USA
out of 10
User Rating
16 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

Det. Reno Raines becomes a fugitive from justice when his investigation of corrupt police activity leads a corrupt lieutenant to frame him for murder.

Watch Full Episode

Who was the Episode MVP ?

No results found.
No results found.
No results found.
  • When Det. Reno Raines plans to testify against corrupt officers, an attempt is made on his life, which leaves his girlfriend brain dead and him framed for the murder of another officer. Reno goes on the run, pursued by a bounty hunter. Great opener...moreless

    As my reviews for various other shows probably reflect, I'm a huge fan of American 1980s action-adventure series. We were spoilt – there were so many; 'The A-Team' remains my all-time favourite TV show (I even run my own detailed fan site – check my profile for more). Sadly, these kind of shows had very much petered out by the arrival of the 1990s, a decade that, for the most part, I found bland TV (until late on, when the likes of 'Hercules', 'Xena' and 'Buffy' livened things up a bit). It's a shame that 'Renegade' wasn't properly run here in the UK to take me through that empty period.

    As he said himself in various interviews, 'Renegade' was Stephen J. Cannell (who sadly passed away a couple of months ago)'s unique, 1990s take on 'The Fugitive' from the 1960s, mixed in with being a modern day Western (his previous shows has Western elements – 'The Rockford Files' was an extension of James Garner's 'Maverick' character, and 'The A-Team' had definite Western influences in many episodes; the Pilot alone is a take on 'The Magnificent Seven'). But this was the first time that Cannell really delved into modern-Western territory.

    As with most 1980s/very early 1990s US action-adventure series, 'Renegade' was shown here in the United Kingdom on ITV. However, unlike nearly all of those other shows, it never received a prominent nor stable slot, with most regions showing it very late at night as it suited them, often in disjointed runs as it made way for other programmes. As such, I never really "discovered" the series back then. It wasn't until very late on in the show's days on ITV in the late '90s, that I occasionally started to catch the odd episode, but just as I was starting to get into it, it disappeared.

    More recently, it has turned up on Freesat channel CBS Action, where again I've caught the odd episode, but don't always have access to the channel enough to properly follow the series. But I love this kind of show, and am a huge fan of anything by Cannell, so with the release of the complete series on DVD (on Region 1 at least – I had to get it imported), I've decided it's time to give this series that I know I'll like, the chance it deserves. And after seeing those many other greats so many times over that I known them word-by-word (literally in some cases), it'll be nice to have something "new" to sink my teeth into.

    Anyway, this Pilot itself... wow! As well as 'Renegade', I'm also in the process of tackling a couple of other 80s/90s shows that bypassed me fist time, which after watching the Pilot in some cases has made me ask "do I really want to stick with this series?" (though of course, I shall). But with 'Renegade', I immediately took to the series upon seeing the Pilot.

    The writing, while not Shakespeare (and never claiming to be), is typically Cannell, very sharp and snappy. The situations play for their seriousness, but at the same time, in classic Cannell style, the show knows not to take itself *too* seriously.

    I actually expected this Pilot to be a two-hour / two-part job, but it's the standard length episode. (By the way, I'm curious about the DVD version – we suddenly cut into the standard opening credits, giving us the run-down of the show's premise, even though these events haven't taken place yet. I wonder if this is a 'standardised' rerun version? I don't yet have an off-air recording to compare with.)

    On the odd glimpses I saw of the show years ago, I never warmed to Lorenzo Lamas (though in fairness I never saw enough to make a fair judgement), but after seeing this first episode in full, already I like him and his character, Reno Raines, a whole lot more.

    But star of the show for me is definitely Branscombe Richmond as Bobby Sixkiller. Richmond had been doing the guest star circuit for years (he did several 'Magnum, p.i.'s, and 'The A-Team's third season 'Beverly Hills Assault', one of the weaker episodes of that show), before finally getting a co-starring role in this series. He is perfectly cast, and I really like the character.

    Kathleen Kinmont (Lomas's then wife) is pretty much the eye candy of the piece, but works with what she's given. And Cannell himself plays the bad guy behind the whole thing, Donald "Dutch" Dixon, who would be recurring throughout the series. I always felt it was a shame Cannell didn't do more acting – he delivers the goods here, and – if he had got into acting further, I feel could have done some truly excellent stuff.

    The plot of this first adventure doesn't hold any real surprises, but it serves to set up the scene for the series, and has some good action sequences.

    Then, of course, there's the obligatory Mike Post theme tune (Post was a long-time collaborator with Cannell). Sadly long-time writing partner Pete Carpenter had passed away by this point, but Post delivers a catchy theme that perfectly sums up the feel of the show.

    After seeing this Pilot, I'm really looking forward to the next episode, and know that I will really enjoy seeing this series "properly" for the first time. I give the Pilot a high-ranking 9.5 out of 10.moreless
Deprise Brescia

Deprise Brescia

Valerie Prentiss

Guest Star

Grand L. Bush

Grand L. Bush

Harry Wells

Guest Star

Don Gibb

Don Gibb

Hog Adams

Guest Star

Stephen J. Cannell

Stephen J. Cannell

Donald "Dutch" Dixon

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (1)

    • Goof: In the final scene of the episode, the shot of Dixon looking down at 'Hog' Adams being stabbed, clearly isn't Stephen J. Cannell. It is not Cannell until cutting to a close-up.

  • QUOTES (1)

    • Introduction: He was a cop, and good at his job. But then he committed the ultimate sin and testified against other cops - gone bad. Cops who tried to kill him, but got the woman he loved instead. Framed for murder, now he prowls the badlands. An outlaw hunting outlaws, a bounty hunter - a RENEGADE!

  • NOTES (0)