The Streets of San Francisco...

younger1968

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I have watched all the episodes of S5 now and i was pleasantly surprised with the quality. I do not remember much of S5 and some of the episode i am watching for the first time. The supporting casts in many episodes was excellent. I really like the episode with the reward as it had Tom Bosley and Max Gail.
 

Carabimero

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Glad to hear nice words about season five as I put off buying it because Douglas left. Thanks for the comments. I am on the final disc of season one volume two, so I have a ways to go yet.
 

younger1968

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Carabimero said:
Glad to hear nice words about season five as I put off buying it because Douglas left. Thanks for the comments. I am on the final disc of season one volume two, so I have a ways to go yet.
Alan, Micheal Douglas is in S5/Ep1, which is two-part episode and is shot. Michael Douglas character is also moving on to a teaching position and Dan Robbins character was transitioned into role with Mike Stone. Richard Hatch will grow on you as he does good work. The problem was Michael Douglas developed a huge following so it was hard for Richard Hatch to break into the series.
The Streets will always have special spot in my heart as it was film in San Franscisco and i love the city of San fran. I like watching the episodes and then doing a google earth on the street addresses!!
 

Carabimero

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Thanks for the additional comments. Perhaps season five will drop in price a bit by the time I get close, though the prices on those STREETS sets seem to hold their value over time pretty much.
 

HenryDuBrow

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younger1968 said:
I have watched all the episodes of S5 now and i was pleasantly surprised with the quality. I do not remember much of S5 and some of the episode i am watching for the first time. The supporting casts in many episodes was excellent. I really like the episode with the reward as it had Tom Bosley and Max Gail.
The S5 episode with Marlyn Mason is superb and I think would be regarded a classic for any series, it helped prove Streets came back strong after a (in my views) much weaker S4. Hatch was indeed good, the role should've been a lot bigger and made more important to the plots (it was in the Mason episode though) rather than just tagging alongside Malden whose show this now became even more. I'm looking forward to eventually go through all five seasons again, it's great storytelling with interesting characters for the most part and of course unforgettable faces.
 

younger1968

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HenryDuBrow said:
The S5 episode with Marlyn Mason is superb and I think would be regarded a classic for any series, it helped prove Streets came back strong after a (in my views) much weaker S4. Hatch was indeed good, the role should've been a lot bigger and made more important to the plots (it was in the Mason episode though) rather than just tagging alongside Malden whose show this now became even more. I'm looking forward to eventually go through all five seasons again, it's great storytelling with interesting characters for the most part and of course unforgettable faces.
Hi Henry,
I would have to agree with you about Richard Hatch's character as it was not given much of a chance to succeed. Karl Malden was good, but too controlling and not listening enough to Richard Hatch's suggestions. Karl Malden appear to be to the Streets like Jack Lord was to Hawaii Five-O and that did not help either show over the long haul. Both Jack and Karl are great actors, but they have far too much control over the lines and the scenes. There are many episodes of S5 were Richard Hatch comes up with alternative approaches to finding evidence and Karl lets him go a head. The Hot Dog episode is neat due to fact Don Johnson plays a young motorcycle cop with a mustache and has a thing for Stone's daughter.
 

younger1968

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Carabimero said:
I finished season one. Terrific stuff.
I
You will like S1-S4 as well. The scenery of SF at the time is amazing. Much has changed in 40 years, but areas like the precidio still look the same along with fisherman wharf, etc. I like looking up the streets name and then comparing then and now.
I have all the seasons and love the show. I am also a huge police drama fan as such have many of the cops dramas from the 1960s - 1980s era.
 

Rick Thompson

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Just finished Season 4, and got a pleasant surprise when a young Tom Selleck (complete with mustache) turned up as an electronics whiz. Although it was a pretty substantial part, he didn't get guest star billing in the opening credits, only at the end.
Just goes to show how "pre-Magnum" this was!
 

JohnHopper

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Season 5 suffers from a flat dramatic leaning because this is a different era: the mid-Seventies unlike the gloomy early Seventies, especially the first season which feature a collection of madmen.
Oddly enough, the narrative structure is modified: you have five acts instead of four and Act 1 is very short and is used as a prologue to introduce the main foe.
The new cinematographer named Michel Hugo doesn't help to increase the dramatic tension: it's very over-lit and dull.
Karl Malden plays his part harsher, almost like a one-man show and Richard Hatch's character is never developed and left aside in the background.
There is no chemistry between the two leading men.
 

Carabimero

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I am on the last disc of season two volume two and enjoying myself immensely. The writing is solid but I come back episode after episode, night after night, for Malden and Douglas.
 

The Drifter

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I never caught TSOSF when it was originally on (too young), and for whatever reason I never saw it on re-reruns, either.

However, being a huge fan of '70's cinema (and a lesser fan of '70's TV shows), I decided to finally check this out on the DVD sets. And, I'm about half-way through S01. Very impressive - this is truly a hell of a show! I.e. - to speak in the vernacular of the era - I am really digging this series ;)

Really enjoy the opening theme music & the accompanying imagery of iconic S.F. landmarks; fisherman's wharf, etc. I especially enjoy the night-time scenery with the neon lights of Chinatown, etc.

The two leads (Karl Malden & Michael Douglas) have great camaraderie/chemistry; It's nice that they work so well together despite the large age difference. I.e. - when the show came out in 1972, Douglas was 28 & Malden was 60 - and they both seemed to be playing their real ages.

Very realistic story-lines involving prostitution, drug abuse, theft, prejudice, the difficulty ex-convicts have when trying to live a "straight" life after getting out of prison, etc.

So far, some of my favorite episodes have included:

-The pilot, involving a young woman whose body was found floating in the bay, and the lawyer (Robert Wagner) who was suspected of the crime. Great episode, with a lot of twists & turns.

It is eerily prophetic & disturbing that in 1981, RW's real-life wife (actress Natalie Wood) also died by drowning, under possibly suspicious circumstances. Creepy:


-The episode dealing with a serial killer going after prostitutes in the S.F. area.
Extremely disturbing, especially when the killer was revealed to be a local businessman who had a split personality & a hatred towards these woman.
I got a whole modern "Jack the Ripper" vibe from this episode. Very unsettling, which I know was the whole point.

-The episode involving a detective (David Soul) who was especially prejudiced towards Hispanics during an murder investigation. And, the reasons for this were that he had a lot of issues with his own racial identity - and was taking it out on those they came across during the investigation. However, I liked the positive way this episode ended.

That being said, I don't buy Soul as Latino/Hispanic. I.e., if there was a 1970's TV actor who was more of a W.A.S.P. than Soul, I don't know who it was - LOL. That being said, I have known Hispanics/Latinos who are light-skinned/blonde-ish, so I guess it's possible.
 
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The Drifter

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My review of TSOSF DVD S01 (so far):

-Though the pilot had just OK Picture Quality (PQ), I am extremely impressed by the PQ of Episode 02-on. Wow! The restoration of this series is stunning. Beautiful prints. Similar to the original series Hawaii Five O DVD sets, I have 0 complaints about the PQ here - overall, it is extremely good. Kudos to everyone who worked on these.

All older TV shows should look this good when they're remastered, but it's rare that this happens.

-My only quibble re: this series are the way each episode of the show is treated as a play, i.e. the "The Streets of San Francisco - Act I, II, III" and the "Epilog" title cards (for lack of a better word) that are shown throughout the episode. I find these distracting & pointless; i.e., the viewers don't need to be reminded that the story is moving along & that the "Epilog" is wrapping up the episode, etc. And, these "title cards" are obscuring relevant scenes - even though they're brief. But, that's a minor complaint.
 
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Jeff Flugel

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My only quibble re: this series are the way each episode of the show is treated as a play, i.e. the "The Streets of San Francisco - Act I, II, III" and the "Epilog" title cards (for lack of a better word) that are shown throughout the episode. I find these distracting & pointless; i.e., the viewers don't need to reminded that the story is moving along & that the "Epilog" is wrapping up the episode, etc. But, that's a minor complaint.
That's just the Quinn Martin house style, Jim. Besides Streets of San Francisco, his company produced such series as The Fugitive, The Invaders, Twelve O'Clock high, Dan August, The F.B.I., Cannon, Barnaby Jones, etc. All of the shows he produced have the "Act I, Act II" etc. structure. It's a style that many classic TV fans like, as it makes his shows quite distinct from their contemporaries. That said, I can see how it might not be to everyone's taste. Glad your enjoying the show overall, anyway - thanks for the review!
 

JohnHopper

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That's just the Quinn Martin house style, Jim. Besides Streets of San Francisco, his company produced such series as The Fugitive, The Invaders, Twelve O'Clock high, Dan August, The F.B.I., Cannon, Barnaby Jones, etc. All of the shows he produced have the "Act I, Act II" etc. structure. It's a style that many classic TV fans like, as it makes his shows quite distinct from their contemporaries. That said, I can see how it might not be to everyone's taste. Glad your enjoying the show overall, anyway - thanks for the review!

The structure of QM shows is very 1950's and also inspired by classical plays.​
All QM shows are more or less derived from Desilu’s The Untouchables as a template.​
 
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bmasters9

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Find my selection of favourite episodes for season 1.
[Top list for season 1, volume 1]
TIMELOCK
[Top list for season 1, volume 2]
ACT OF DUTY
THE ALBATROSS
That "Timelock" episode from the first part of season one, and "Act of Duty" and "The Albatross" from the second part, are among my favorites too-- "Deathwatch" is another for me.
 
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The Drifter

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Another especially notable S01 TSOSF episode was "Bitter Wine". This starred Paul Michael Glaser as Jason Kampacalas - an ex-con who had just gotten out of prison & was trying to re-connect with his tight-knit Greek-American family, who own a restaurant in the S.F. area. He had apparently been driving in a hit-and-run accident years before, which is why he was in prison.

However - as the episode progressed, it became obvious that the family was hiding something. And, it was eventually revealed that JK was actually not driving the car that had been involved in the accident; his older brother had been the one - but, JK took the fall to protect the brother & keep him from going to prison.

Really superb episode that explored the lengths that a family would go to keep terrible secrets/protect each other - and how these secrets can destroy people's lives.

It's interesting that this series featured DS & PMG as guest-start in S01 - and they both went on to star in another iconic '70's crime drama, Starsky & Hutch (1975-1979). This is yet another of many series on my long list of shows to watch.
 
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bmasters9

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Here are my most favorites across all seasons on The Streets of San Francisco:

First go:
"Timelock"
"Deathwatch"
"Act of Duty"
"The Albatross"

Second:
"Before I Die"
"Shield of Honor"
"The Hard Breed"

Third:
"The Most Deadly Species"
"Cry Help!"
"License to Kill"
"The Twenty-Five Caliber Plague"
"Labyrinth"

Fourth:
"Poisoned Snow"
"Murder By Proxy"
"Dead Air"
"The Cat's Paw"
"Police Buff"
"Judgment Day"

Fifth (Hatch):
"Dead or Alive"
"Hot Dog"
"Once A Con"
"Breakup"
"Let's Pretend We're Strangers"
 

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