An acronym for California Highway Patrol this US cop-series starred Erik Estrada as devil-may-care Officer Francis 'Ponch' Poncherello and Larry Wilcox as the more down to earth Officer Jonathan Baker.
Together the twosome patrolled (on motorbikes) the highways and byways around the vast Los Angeles freeway system where the action was divided between enforcing the law and eyeing the City of Angels' foxy ladies. Typical of its time the series downplayed the violent aspect of a policeman's lot to concentrate on the 'human interest' and humorous elements of their work although the action was beefed up with auto-crashes galore.
Estrada fell out with the studio over pay and was replaced by former Olympic decathlon champion Bruce Jenner as Officer Steve McLeish, but this proved a temporary absence and Estrada returned. However, Wilcox then left permanently (rumour has it the two stars never saw eye to eye) and in 1983 the series was cancelled.
Michael Dorn, who would go on to find success in Star Trek: The Next Generation starred as Officer Turner from 1979 to 1982.
Published on December 3rd, 2018. Written by Laurence Marcus for Television Heaven.