The Highwayman

Season 1 Episode 4

Summer of '45

Aired Friday 8:00 PM Apr 01, 1988 on NBC
out of 10
User Rating
5 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

Summer of '45
Winthrop goes into some kind of facility that's sealed to the public. Later Highway and Jetto follow her and they find themselves in 1945.

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  • A mysterious road takes Highway and Jetto back in time to 1945, to rescue Ms. Winthrop who has disappeared after pursuing a twisted genius intent on stopping the atomic age before it even starts. Possibly the best episode, and one very special to me...moreless

    This review contains minor spoilers.

    "Summer of '45" (sometimes billed as simply "1945") may well be the single best episode of 'The Highwayman's short run. This seems to be the episode that just about everyone who ever saw the series, remembers. It has a very engaging storyline, and, coming from such a short-lived show, left me desperately wanting more.

    A couple of production notes: This is the only episode of the regular run not to feature Tim Russ as D.C. Montana (making it the only episode where one of the four main cast members does not appear at any point). It is also the only episode not to feature Highwayman's truck, as Jetto's truck is used throughout.

    The episode is executed very well, and has a great atmosphere (complete with some suitably mysterious, enigmatic in-episode musical score). I did feel that at some points, particularly later on in the story, maybe the budget of a fledgling future-set (or in this case, past-set!) TV series kicked in slightly, and as a result maybe the final act, with the ballroom dance, does seem a bit basic; but it doesn't matter too much, and doesn't spoil the story in any way.

    One thing that always did niggle me, even as a youngster, was how Highway, Jetto and Ms. Winthrop return to the present at the end. Presumably, they just used the same stretch of road, affected by the atomic explosion, that had carried them back in time in the first place. This element is glossed over and never touched upon, but again, it doesn't really matter too much to me.

    I love the final scene, where, in the present day, Highway is reunited with a now elderly Leslie, the aspiring singer waitress who develops a crush on him in 1945. The scene plays out perfectly, and I think they were right to only show her from the rear, leaving what she looks like now up to our imagination.

    This episode is also very special to me personally. As covered on some of my previous episode reviews for the series, the series was shown here late at night here in the U.K. (Saturdays in my local ITV region), when I was still young and long after my bedtime(!). My Dad recorded every episode, but not "to keep", as we didn't realise the series would be so short-lived and never repeated, so recorded over most of them. "Summer of '45" was one of the few that survived (I think because my Dad really likes the story; plus maybe also feeling that, as it was less violent than some episodes, it was more appropriate for my young age). As such, long before I obtained an unofficial private copy of the series on DVD, this was one of the only complete episodes that I had for MANY years, and watched this one over and over and OVER again.

    As a child, I loved movies such as 'Back to the Future' (which still generally ranks as my favourite film of all time), so this story appealed to me even more.

    Although I gather that some don't like him, Jetto is both my father and mine's favourite character in the series. I remember when I came downstairs the next morning after this episode aired in my ITV region – the first thing my Dad told me was "They went back in time. And the Australian rang his Mum up!". Indeed, Jetto phoning his Mum in Australia (she died giving birth to him) is one of my favourite moments from the whole short run.

    All-in-all... for a very short-lived (and little known) series, this episode to me stands as a classic. It is most probably the single best episode to come from 'The Highwayman's short run (rivalled only by the next episode, "Send in the Clones"). The show really felt to have found this footing at around this point, and one can only ponder and speculate on how this would have continued if it had been allowed to run for longer. I never tire of this episode; I give it a top scoring 10/10.moreless

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (1)

    • Trivia: Highwayman's parents got married in 1945 while Jetto's mother lived on her father's sheep station. She died giving birth to him.

  • QUOTES (18)

    • Guard: A guy busted through on the Tuesday night shift.
      Highwayman: Did you guys catch him?
      Guard: No, not a lot of pursuit through there. Level 3 – danger of the highest order.
      Jetto: Sounds like fun, Highway.

    • Guard: We pushed the hotline and a woman shows up in a little red sports car. A real pretty number.
      Jetto: Bet you liked the car too!

    • (looking at their fake FBI IDs)
      Jetto: Joey McIntyre, that must be yours, mate. And I'm Terrance Owen. Terrance? Terrance? I'm not a Terrance, Highway! Do you wanna trade?

    • Highwayman: Why don't you keep watch on the rig? Lot of people staring out here.
      Jetto: At the truck, or us?

    • (Highway shows a photo of Tania)
      Lesley: She's very pretty. How come all the cute guys are always married?
      Highwayman: She's not my wife.
      Lesley: There is a God.

    • Jetto: Somebody got a flat?
      Joe: Yeah, your face in about ten seconds!
      Jetto: Somebody's already beaten you to it, or didn't you notice?

    • Jetto: Since we've got tomorrow's paper today, why don't we both head to the racetrack and make a real killing? (Highwayman looks at him) Just trying to make the best of a bad situation!

    • Highwayman: God, that's the year my parents got married!
      Jetto: Why don't you surprise them and turn up at their wedding?

    • Highwayman: You could visit your folks too.
      Jetto: Lets see, right mum'd be a young lass, living on her father's sheep station, just outside of Melbourne. I'd give anything to hear her voice just once. She died giving birth to me.

    • Tania: You can't stop history from happening.
      Ed: Oh the test is not history, not until tomorrow. The future can always always be changed.

    • Ed: You want to understand? That should be easy. Look all around you at the fear in the world we live in, that's what I did. I looked at the men of the government who took every peaceful tool we ever created and turned it into war machines. Someone had to stop that.

    • Highwayman: Lesley...
      Lesley: I know, I talk too much, don't I?
      Highwayman: Yeah. But with you it's kinda nice.
      Lesley: Really?

    • Lesley: You really think I could?
      Highwayman: Honey, if you could sing anywhere close to the way you can talk, oh you'd be dynamite.

    • Ed: Donald, you're testing the most powerful weapon of all time. Right now, we have it, but suppose everybody did, our allies and our enemies. You're making a mistake. The entire world lives in fear of the mushroom cloud.

    • Donald: If it helps us win the war...
      Ed: I know you have high hopes for all this, I know that. But just think, I mean think about it, will ya? The impact it will have on your children and their children, children of the atomic age.

    • General: Stop this vehicle immediately.
      Jetto: And ruin a perfectly good head-start?

    • Tania: You can't accomplish anything by changing history. You have to work with the present.

    • Narrator: This story was intended to be fiction. After its production it was discovered that on July 15th 1945 Les Brown and his band had journeyed to a secret military base in New Mexico where they played for the men and women of the Manhattan Project the night before they detonated the world's first atomic bomb.

  • NOTES (3)


  • 10:00 pm