Starsky & Hutch burst on to UK screens in their red Gran Torino in 1976 and became an instant hit!
Starring David Soul as Kenneth “Hutch” Hutchinson & Paul Michael Glaser as David Michael Starsky this was a cop show with a difference in the 1970’s as it wasn’t afraid to focus on the strong friendship between the two lead characters.
With a supporting cast of Antonio Fargas (Huggy Bear) & Bernie Hamilton (Captain Dobey) viewers were drawn to the characters as well as the quality of the writing particularly in the first two seasons.
By season 3 concerns had risen in America with regards to the amount of violence on TV and with Glaser voicing his own concerns about the level of violence in the programme the writers were forced to tone it down with more emphasis in the last two seasons being put on the friendship between Starsky & Hutch.
Whilst airing on the BBC many episodes from the first two seasons were heavily edited with some episodes being skipped altogether. One such episode from the first season ‘The Fix’ was not shown on British TV until 1999 as it was deemed too graphic. The character of Hutch was seen being injected with Heroin by mobsters in order to extract information from him.
Whilst David Soul & Paul Michael Glaser had become well known internationally through the popularity of the programme they were becoming disillusioned by the storylines with Glaser attempting on several occasions to extricate himself from his contract but without success.
The programme eventually ended with season four due to a combination of reasons – increase in production costs, decline in ratings and Glaser’s continual desire to leave.
For those of us who were fans of the show our abiding memories will always be the friendship between Starsky & Hutch, Hutch’s brown leather jacket, Starsky’s chunky knit cardigans and their iconic car affectionately known as ‘The Striped Tomato’!