T.J. Hooker

Season 1 Episode 1

The Protectors

2
Aired Saturday 8:00 PM Mar 13, 1982 on ABC
8.6
out of 10
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Episode Summary

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The Protectors
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With a crime-wave sweeping the city, a new police program has been formed to fast-track recruits to get them patrolling on the streets, and it's up to tough veteran cop Sergeant T.J. Hooker to bring them up to scratch. Trying to cope with his recent divorce and money problems, Hooker struggles with a job that he can't get away from. Meanwhile, the spate of crimes, including robbery, murder and a sniper is quickly getting out of hand. Only Hooker can train the eager but inexperienced young recruits as he leads them in bringing peace back to the streets, but the pursuit of the two murderous armed robbers at the head of the crime-wave inevitably leads to an explosive confrontation...moreless

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  • The pilot episode shows the beginning of the greatest cop show of the 80's and beyond. Sergeant T.J. Hooker trains new recruits, including Vince Romano, to see who can cut it while doing on the job training.moreless

    10
    The first episode(Pilot) which runs in a 90 minute time slot. It begins with Sergeant T.J. Hooker telling the trainees what he is expecting from all the recruits. They will undergo intense on the job training. One of the recruits girlfriends talks with a crook named Harry who is the Deputy DA. He expects her to help him with his crooked activities. We cut to Hooker on the workout field giving pointers and critique to the new recruits. The next scene shows a man named Whit loading a gun. His girlfriend and baby are upset about it. His buddy Travis walks in and they go to do a job. They rob a couple for $17 and Wit is upset and kills them. Hooker continues to train. He is upset about laws and judges that throw out cases on a technicallity. Later at the bar, he talks about a cop who dies because of all of the procedure he must follow while the criminal does not follow any rules. He also talks favorably for the death penalty for the scum who kill innocent people. He leaves by saying "I've seen the past and it works".(Love this line about the death penalty and the way it used to be working-That is something you will never see on tv again and it is a sad thing). Hooker goes to his ex-wifes home to watch his kids. He meets his daughter Chrissy. He then see his ex Fran with her date Harvey waiting to leave. He and Fran talk about why Hooker is still on the beat. He had lost part of his stomach in a shooting and still has some lead in his back. He says he likes doing his job. Hooker watches Harry the DA taking a shot at him on tv for a shooting he did on the job. The recruits then call him about another hit by the two bad guys. Hooker tells them they are going out for on the field training in the morning. Hooker takes Romano and Mcneil with him. They stop a man from running a red light. Then a woman runs over to tell them there is a sniper on the roof. Ramano has flashback to nam as he is shot at. He snaps out of it. He tackles the guy and loses control for another minute. Hooker sanps him out of it and tells him to call it in. Later that Mcneil & Country are out with a superior officer. Country goes over to check on a guy fixing his car when the superior is in the bathroom. It is one of the crooks and he is shot and killed. Mcneil is shot and is alive. Hooker tells the recruits that Country made a mistake by leaving the car. He says that the badge is a target. The next day a woman reports a disturbance at a house next door. The crook Wit answers the door and is real testy. He gets his wife to the door to tell them she is ok. The next day the recruits have a picnic with their family. A few of the wives go over to a store where Wit and Travis are hitting. Hooker and the other hear shots and they go to help. Wit tries escape in a car and Hooker shoots through the window to stop him.(Great close up shot of Hooker shooting his gun. Mcneil tells Hooker of how His Ex Fran was telling him how she still loved him except for his insane antics sometimes. Hooker replies that he thought sanity was a little overratted. The last scene show all the recruits getting an assignment. Romano is left alone with no assignment. Hooker walks up to him and tells him he lucked out and got him as a partner. What a wonderful start to a classic series. Shatner is in top form and the other recruits all do a fine job. It would have been nice if they could have kept a few more recruits on theshow for the series run.moreless
William Shatner

William Shatner

Sgt. Thomas Jefferson "T.J." Hooker

Adrian Zmed

Adrian Zmed

Officer Vince Romano

Richard Herd

Richard Herd

Captain Dennis Sheridan

April Clough

April Clough

Officer Vicki Taylor

Richard Lawson

Richard Lawson

Recruit / Officer David McNeil

Guest Star

Brian Patrick Clarke

Brian Patrick Clarke

Recruit / Officer Jess Canfield

Guest Star

John Gladstein

John Gladstein

Recruit / Officer Granger

Guest Star

Lee Bryant

Lee Bryant

Fran Hooker

Recurring Role

Nicole Eggert

Nicole Eggert

Chrissie Hooker

Recurring Role

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Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

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  • TRIVIA (1)

    • In this episode, an officer improperly engages lights and siren after being dispatched "Code 2." In Los Angeles County, 1982 (and later in the series,) "Code 2" refers to a radio car utilizing roof beacons and no siren.

  • QUOTES (7)

    • Bad Guy: Don't you guys have things better to do than to come around here trying to intimidate tax-paying citizens?
      Hooker: Yes, sir. We do, sir. Thank you for your concern for our time, sir. Probably never paid a day of taxes in his life.

    • Trainee: I heard the word on English, Sarge. Washout, right?
      Hooker: Washout.
      Trainee: I know the rest of the guys feel the same as I do: We're sorry to see him go.
      Hooker: English didn't have it, mister. Nice guy, tried hard. He didn't belong.

    • Romano: How am I going to get to know you better?
      Trainee: Maybe you won't.
      Romano: OK. No dinner, maybe. Brunch? Breakfast? Coffee and a sweet roll? Coffee black, hold the sugar, hold the sweet roll?
      Trainee: Dinner. Saturday night.

    • Trainee: Yeah, well some of us aren't as smart as you, Sarge.
      Hooker: That's right, not all of you are! If you were, I wouldn't have to work my tail off to drill an elementary procedure into your thick skulls. I wouldn't have to spell it out by the numbers, that that badge is a target!

    • Hooker: You've already divorced me, what else do you want?
      Fran: Blood.
      Hooker: I'm fresh out; try the Red Cross.

    • Fran: You like it, Hooker. You like living on the edge.
      Hooker: I like doin' my job.
      Fran: (scoffs) When I divorced you, I should have named the department as co-respondent.

    • Hooker: T.J. Hooker's the name. But you don't have to lose any sleep wondering what the 'T.J.' stands for - as far as you're concerned, my first name is 'Sergeant.'

  • NOTES (5)

    • This pilot episode was 90 minutes long.

    • German Title: "Das Mörderduo", meaning "Murderous Pair"

    • The original title of the show was The Protectors. William Shatner was not the star; he was to have recurring role as the academy trainer and the focus was on the rookies he would train. When it was shown to preview audiences they wanted to see more of Shatner and the T.J. Hooker character—thus T.J. Hooker was born. The producers did not want to spend the money on another pilot, that's why the first episode seems so different.

    • Adrian Zmed (Romano) actually gets third billing, after William Shatner, and Richard Lawson (McNeil). Richard Herd (Captain Sheridan), who would appear on the opening credits for the first and second season, here doesn't get billed until the closing credits (reflecting his relatively small role in the story).

    • This Pilot has a unique version of the opening theme tune; it is in the same style of the theme tune version that would open the first and second season episodes, but plays more like a medley of the theme tune and familiar backing music heard in many early episodes. The closing credits contain a regular-sounding version of the theme tune, though it is a longer version than would be used on standard first and second season episodes, and is the only time that this particular version is used.

  • ALLUSIONS (0)

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