Streets of San Francisco
Season 5 Episodes Discussion

by Mr. Mike » Wed Jun 28, 2017 7:53 am

I got season 5 of SOSF out of the library, the second box set. I don't know if I have ever watched an episode with Richard Hatch in it before, but I did not particularly like him in The Cannibals (#13), a show which in itself was not bad, though it was kind of weird to see Tim O'Connor playing a mobster after appearing as a cop working with Malden and Douglas earlier in the series. Hatch seems to be annoyed and acting tough, but there is something missing. In one tribute to Hatch after he died a while ago, the author put the blame for Hatch's SOSF performance and the fact that the show was cancelled after the one season in which he appeared on its writers and producers. I never watched Hatch in the original Battlestar Galactica, which I thought was stupid, but in the remake, he played the part of a villainous politician very well. He was on the original Five-O three times; I wouldn't describe any of his performances as "memorable." As Five-O fans, we are all familiar with what happens when a "beloved" character is replaced by someone else who left us scratching our heads saying WTF did the people running the show think by hiring someone like this? What do you think about Hatch on SOSF?

by ringfire211 » Wed Jun 28, 2017 1:17 pm

I think I mentioned it before but I didn't really have a problem with Hatch as Robbins. Was he as good as Douglas? Of course not. Was his chemistry with Malden as good as Malden and Douglas? Of course not. Is it easy to get adjusted to a new character after watching someone else for 4 seasons? Of course not. But at the end of the day it's still SOSF and Malden is still there and the premise of the show is still the same, so that's not enough for me to quit watching. What really hurts a show more than anything is not a cast change but a change in the premise of the show. That typically is the show's death knell. Like on THE A-TEAM when they were independent soldiers of fortune for 4 seasons, but then someone got the bright idea for the 5th season to have them work for this covert CIA guy played by Robert Vaughn. So they went from being soldiers of fortune to being some kind of covert IMF team for the government. Needless to say this immediately killed the show. If it ain't broke, don't fix it. Stop trying to be "clever". In the case of SOSF the show itself didn't change so it was still enjoyable. Sure it got a bit repetitive, as is the case with all shows that run for a few seasons, but it was still the show we enjoyed watching earlier. I mean even with FIVE-O's final season (where we had a major cast overhaul) I still found it watchable. Sure it got repetitive and the excitement of the earlier seasons' stories was no longer there, but the premise was still the same and Jack was still Lord.

One thing I didn't care for in the final season of SOSF is the slightly revamped theme song. They removed those cool drums and we were left with a kind of hollow tinny sound. Didn't like that at all. The theme from the previous 4 seasons had this groovy funky sound with wicked drum beats. No idea why they decided to change it. It's like someone decided to take the sting out of it. Wonder if this had something to do with that whole watered-down anti-violence movement on TV in the late 70s.

by epaddon » Wed Jun 28, 2017 5:16 pm

Them's fighting words about the original (the real!) Galactica!

I think Hatch was serviceable on Streets. Obviously not as good as Douglas but the show I think was already having problems script wise the year before and not coming off as fresh as it was in the beginning so I don't think the season would have been any better with Douglas who clearly wanted out by this point.

by Fred » Wed Jun 28, 2017 5:52 pm

I agree with Ringfire on one thing. They should have left the theme song alone for Season 5. 5-O's theme was tweaked as well. That just seemed the way things went back then. But why mess around with something that worked?

As far as Douglas leaving, Mr. Mike, mentions what happened with 5-O. Unfortunately, you can't compare the two. 5-O had four main characters. Lord and MacArthur were clearly the top two and they were together for 11 seasons. Kam Fong, probably #3 from the beginning, was with the series for 10 seasons. So we're talking about the most expendable character getting replaced. In SoSF, Malden is the star, but Douglas was integral to the series. When he left, a lot of the character of the series left. The father/son team was split up. I do believe the series suffered. But not to the point that the show was terrible. There are many decent episodes. Way more then you would see in 5-O's insufferable last season.

The show probably had other production issues that led to its cancellation. But I'd like to point out the obvious. Malden was not a young guy.
While a great actor, physically, it could have been taking a physical toll on him personally and maybe the viewer's perception as well. How much longer could the series have lasted?

by John Chergi » Thu Jun 29, 2017 12:20 am

I like the Robbins character in Streets Of San Francisco Season 5. They have constructed him as this health food nut and exercise guy. It was a smart decision because this would obviously clash with the veteran Mike Stone's way of life. I thought Robbins/Stone had a good chemistry. There were some great episodes in Season 5 and sometimes gets a bad rap. It was a good way writing Keller out of the series...Him getting shot in the heart and healing. Going into teaching. My FAV Season 5 episodes One Last Trick, No Minor Vices, Dead Or Alive, and Monkey Is Back. I would have liked to see Streets SF go 8 years but the ratings dropped and 5 years was its run. JC

by Fred » Thu Jun 29, 2017 8:34 am

My favorite 3 Season 5 episodes are:

Hot Dog
Time Out
Dead Lift

Next Tier:

Dead or Alive
Till Death Do Us Part
Monkey is Back
A Good Cop...But
Hang Tough

Don Johnson is the "Hot Dog" cop. Mike Stone can't stand his cycle riding cop antics. Johnson ends up seriously dating Mike's daughter to Mike's dislike. But in the end, They work together and Mike learns to accept the young kid as a good tough cop. Johnson is gives us a very good performance. An excellent episode.

by John Chergi » Thu Jun 29, 2017 7:39 pm

You have some good FAVS Season 5 Streets SF. I enjoyed the episode Hot Dog. Don Johnson indeed had a memorable performance. A Good Cop was another interesting episode with the gay cop and his friend and partner not really happy about it. It was very realistic the different emotions of the people involved. Dead or Alive was ahead of its time. Loved when people wanted that million dollar reward. Again, very realistic. The wealthy father wanted that criminal found dead or alive. Monkey Is Back is an excellent revenge episode. 20 years is a long prison sentence. Lockwood played "Monkey" with the right menace and intelligence. You could feel sympathy for Monkey that the other Saints got off scott free and he was stuck with the crime. They abandoned him while he was in jail. He got his revenge. I liked the part when one of the Saints had died and he went to the cemetery. JC

by ringfire211 » Fri Jun 30, 2017 11:25 am

I didn't mind the tweaking of the Five-O theme at all because it was barely noticeable. In fact I never even knew it was tweaked every season until I discovered it here. I always thought it was the same theme used from beginning to end. You have to listen pretty darn hard to hear the differences. The one that stands out the most is probably the season 10 one because it opens up with these cool rolling drums (more "drummy" than usual) but the rest sound almost identical. With SOSF season 5 theme it's very obvious that it's tweaked. In fact it's more than just tweaked.

Regarding Douglas I found it interesting that when he was nominated for an Emmy for this show he was in the Best Supporting Actor category. I always saw him as more of an equal with Malden. A duo crime-fighting team. This was different from Five-O where Lord was the head honcho and the other 3 men were clearly beneath him. McGarrett would be in his office and hand out orders to each of his 3 men to go here, do this, check that, etc. Whereas Stone and Keller would typically be out crime-solving together. It would be rare for Keller to be out there doing the leg work and reporting back to Stone in the office. There seemed to be a more equal-footing dynamic there. So I would expect more or less equal billing (even though it did say "also starring Michael Douglas" in the intro) even if Douglas was relatively a newcomer while Malden was the veteran. At the time Douglas was just "Kirk's boy". Still, I would have expected him to be in the Best Actor category whereas James MacArthur would definitely be in the Best Supporting category. Look at Martin Landau in M:I - he was nominated in the Best Actor category even though Peter Graves and Steven Hill before him were top-billed and were leaders of the IMF team. In fact during season 1 Landau wasn't even included in the opening intro. He was listed as a Special Guest Star that whole season and he still got a nomination in the Best Actor category. I don't know what all those criteria are that they go by but it's certainly interesting. Landau's Rollin Hand was definitely an integral part of the team, as well as a fan favorite.

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