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Strike Force (TV series)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Strike Force
Strike Force 1981.png
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons1
No. of episodes20 (list of episodes)
Executive producers
  • E. Duke Vincent
  • Elaine Rich
Running time60 minutes
Production companyAaron Spelling Productions
DistributorCBS Television Distribution
Original networkABC
Original releaseApril 2, 1981 (1981-04-02) –
May 21, 1982 (1982-05-21)

Strike Force is an American action-adventure/police procedural television series that aired on ABC during the 1981–1982 television season, and was produced by Aaron Spelling Productions. The program starred Robert Stack as Capt. Frank Murphy, the leader of a special unit of specialized detectives and police officers whose job is to stop violent criminals at any cost (usually with a hail of gunfire). Mixing elements of Stack's classic television series The Untouchables from 20 years earlier with doses of Mission: Impossible and Dirty Harry, the series immediately provoked controversy over its violence – at one point the series was labeled the most violent in American TV history – though the series attempted to interject liberal amounts of humor into its regular characters and balanced the violence by focusing on the detectives' personal lives.


  • Series star Robert Stack's character, SCPD Det. Capt. Frank Murphy, is the head of the special Strike Force unit. He is a tough, incorruptible cop, tenacious and efficient on the job, but whose personal life is as unkempt as the home he lives in. He is a recent divorcé who is stuck with a house that was painted pink by his ex-wife, Eve, (who left him for a career in show business, but whom he still obviously loves dearly), where he lives with Sam, his scruffy, oversized, beer-drinking dog (whose main source of nutrition appears to be a brand of dog food labeled "Doggone It").[1] He is as tough as nails, but caring and fair...and loyal to the people under his command.[2] Capt. Murphy's favorite food was chili dogs (which he seems to "require" everyone on his team of "Strike Force" detectives to eat)...and his constant nemesis was the squad room soda machine, which seemed to work for everyone in the precinct but him...and is a running joke in the series.
  • Det. Sgt. Paul Strobber, played by Dorian Harewood, is the only married member of the team, and the most serious; A loving family man, with a wife and young son, but easily the most fearless and dangerous Strike Force member on the street. He is like a coiled spring, ready to strike when provoked, as he did when his family was threatened by White Supremacists in the episode "The Outcasts"[3] He likes to wear turtleneck sweaters instead of ties, and hates Murphy's chili dog diet, refusing to share in it.
  • Det. Sgt. Rosie Johnson, played by former Australian teen singing star Trisha Noble,[4][5][6][7] is tough, curvaceous, and beautiful...and very much a lady. She became a police officer after her husband went missing in Vietnam and enjoys making-and-deflecting- jokes about her bust size. She is crazy about Gunzer, and often tries to get him to notice her.
Main cast: (L to R) Richard Romanus, Trisha Noble, Michael Goodwin, Dorian Harewood; (seated) Robert Stack
Main cast: (L to R) Richard Romanus, Trisha Noble, Michael Goodwin, Dorian Harewood; (seated) Robert Stack
  • Det. Lt. Charlie Gunzer, played by Richard Romanus, is the group's free- spending ladies man, with a dry, wicked sense of humor, who Rosie likes, but is afraid to tell him. He likes fast cars (in one episode, he bought a Mercedes SL sports car)...and faster women, and looks upon the chaste Rosie as nothing more than a friend and colleague.
  • Michael Goodwin plays Det. Sgt. Mark Osborne, the youngest member of the team...and clearly the most "normal" in this dynamic, yet dysfunctional group.[8] Called "The Kid" by Gunzer, he is a dedicated police officer whose favorite food is chocolate chip cookies. He likes Rosie, and has asked her out at least once, but to no avail.
  • Herb Edelman played Deputy Police Commissioner Herbert Klein, the immediate superior of the Strike Force, and a close personal friend to Capt. Murphy. A dedicated cop and family man, Herb was cited several times for valor in his early career, but seemed to have lost his taste for the violence in the streets, and now is content simply to stay behind a desk and wait out his time until retirement. He is also an amateur author, who often asked Murphy his opinion on the novels he writes, that strangely never seem to ever get published.

Although initially popular, the novelty of the series quickly wore off; only 19 episodes were produced, plus the 90-minute pilot.[9] According to Todd Gitlin's 1983 book Inside Prime Time, Strike Force finished a dismal 76 out of 105 shows in the Nielsen ratings for the 1981–82 season.[10] The first episode was released on video in North America in the late 1980s. Another factor in the series' demise was the competition: Strike Force was pitted by ABC against the successful CBS soap-opera Falcon Crest, which had, as its lead in, the then # 1 show on television, "Dallas".

As of 2018 there has been no official DVD release of this series, though there have been several requests for its release and bootleg copies have circulated in the "collectors market" for the last three decades since its cancellation.[1][11][12][13][14][15][16]

Composers (incomplete listing): Dominic Frontiere (1.1, and series theme), John E. Davis,[citation needed] Allyn Ferguson, Mark Snow, Nelson Riddle (1.15).

Guest stars

Notable guest stars during the series run included:


No.TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air date
1"Pilot"Richard LangLane SlateNovember 13, 1981 (1981-11-13)
2"Kidnap"Lawrence DobkinMichael FisherNovember 20, 1981 (1981-11-20)
3"The Victims"Lane SlateLane SlateNovember 27, 1981 (1981-11-27)
4"The Predator"Richard LangCalvin Clements Jr.December 4, 1981 (1981-12-04)
5"Magic Man"Richard LangE. Nick AlexanderDecember 11, 1981 (1981-12-11)
6"Night Nurse"Cliff BoleMichael FisherDecember 18, 1981 (1981-12-18)
7"The Hollow Man"Richard LangWilliam Douglas LansfordDecember 25, 1981 (1981-12-25)
8"The Outcasts"Don ChaffeyStory by : T J. Miles
Teleplay by : T J. Miles & Gene Hanson
January 8, 1982 (1982-01-08)
9"Ice"Cliff BoleJeffrey BloomJanuary 15, 1982 (1982-01-15)
10"Internal Affairs"Bob SweeneyLes CarterJanuary 22, 1982 (1982-01-22)
11"Lonely Ladies"Bob SweeneyWilliam HopkinsFebruary 5, 1982 (1982-02-05)
12"Fallen Angel"Lawrence DobkinStory by : Robert Brennan
Teleplay by : Joe Gores
February 12, 1982 (1982-02-12)
13"Shark"Cliff BoleStory by : Ron Friedman & George R. Hodges
Teleplay by : Ron Friedman
February 19, 1982 (1982-02-19)
14"Turnabout"Cliff BoleStory by : Fenton Hobart Jr.
Teleplay by : Calvin Clements Jr.
February 26, 1982 (1982-02-26)
15"The John Killer"Don ChaffeyStory by : F. Michael Johnson & E. Byrne
Teleplay by : Michael Fisher & Calvin Clements Jr.
March 5, 1982 (1982-03-05)
16"Humiliation"Robert GistBill StrattonMarch 19, 1982 (1982-03-19)
17"Deadly Chemicals"Charles PicerniStory by : William Douglas Lansford
Teleplay by : Bill Stratton
March 26, 1982 (1982-03-26)
18"Revenge"Don ChaffeyRick KelbaughApril 2, 1982 (1982-04-02)
19"Chinatown"Mike VejarCalvin Clements Jr.April 9, 1982 (1982-04-09)
20"Death Fare"Don ChaffeyStory by : Glen Olson & Rod Baker
Teleplay by : Bill Stratton & Michael Fisher
April 16, 1982 (1982-04-16)


  1. ^ a b "Strike Force (1981)".
  2. ^ a b "Straight Shooter Robert Stack Pounds a Tough 'strike Force' Beat – Vol. 17 No. 15". April 19, 1982.
  3. ^ "Watch Strike Force Season 1 Full Episodes".
  4. ^ amajor2002 (November 22, 2008). "Patsy Ann Noble - Accidents Will Happen". Archived from the original on December 22, 2021 – via YouTube.
  5. ^ "YouTube". YouTube.[dead YouTube link]
  6. ^ sallie6 (August 26, 2011). "♫ Patsy Ann Noble ★ Mama ♫". Archived from the original on December 22, 2021 – via YouTube.
  7. ^ thecountofbasie (July 31, 2010). "Patsy Ann Noble - If You Wanna Be More Than Friends". Archived from the original on December 22, 2021 – via YouTube.
  8. ^ "Sarasota Journal - Google News Archive Search".
  9. ^ "Strike Force TV show". November 13, 2011.
  10. ^ Gitlin, Todd. Inside Prime Time. New York: Pantheon, 1983.
  11. ^ "STRIKE FORCE starring Robert Stack - COMPLETE".
  12. ^ "STRIKE FORCE: The Complete T.V. Series 1981-1982 Robert Stack & Trisha Noble ..."
  13. ^ "Strike Force". November 13, 1981 – via IMDb.
  14. ^ "Strike Force - The TV IV".
  15. ^ "STRIKE FORCE: The Complete T.V. Series 1981-1982 PG Robert Stack Mystery DVD for sale in Dallas-Fort Worth, TX area (2SKZRM) :". Archived from the original on August 12, 2017.
  16. ^ "STRIKE FORCE starring Robert Stack - COMPLETE". Archived from the original on October 9, 2017.
  17. ^ cinemobile (June 26, 2010). "strike force pilot teaser" – via YouTube.
  18. ^ a b "Lawrence Dobkin". IMDb.

External links

This page was last edited on 15 April 2022, at 13:15
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