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4.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining slice of 80s retro TV, 19 Jan. 2013
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This review is from: Street Hawk - The Complete Series [DVD] [1984] (DVD)
While the series "Knight Rider" remains a classic example of 1980s retro TV, it's two-wheeled relative "Street Hawk" remains relatively ignored in comparison. A pity really, as the series has a lot going for it. The 70-minute pilot lays the foundations for this short-lived crimefighting series of only a further twelve, 50-minute episodes.

Jesse Mach (Rex Smith) is an ex-motorcycle cop switched to light duties following a serious 'accident' which left him badly injured. Mach is then identified and recruited by a top-secret government department to fight crime while riding the newly developed hi-tech motorcycle "Street Hawk" after receiving an advanced prosthesis. The series is a nod towards the likes of "Batman" and "Superman" in a sense, with Mach now leading a double life - hopping between his office desk & his new secret role as the mysterious crimefighting avenger, with only one person, Norman Tuttle (Joe Regalbuto) aware of his secret identity. Tuttle is the designer of the advanced motorcycle, a shy but warm-hearted computer geek. The motorcycle has a top speed of up to 300mph and is equipped with numerous concealed weapons including machine gun & laser fire, while also able to leap over high obstacles.

The rider wears a blacked-out crash helmet which transmits everything seen through the visor back to the secret HQ run by Tuttle. The series has such a 80s feel, with familiar ingredients such as explosive action & gadgets, along with some cheesy dialogue & warm humour. Having missed the series first time round, the characters & performances eventually grew on me, with my fave being Joe Regalbuto's portrayal of Norman Tuttle, who when not finding himself awkward around women, can usually be found sitting in front of his computer screen fretting over his two-wheeled pride and joy.

While the series may not be top heavy with Hollywood A-list guest stars, you do get an appearance in the pilot from Christopher Lloyd, who plays a particularly nasty piece of work, while a mullet-coiffered George Clooney also later appears as an assassin. Good fun - good series!.... Mustn't forget to mention the ecstatic theme tune provided by German techno-wizards, Tangerine Dream - fabulous stuff! (The show also brought the band welcome publicity in the US).

While there are no subtitles, the picture & sound quality is good though not great. The sound level of the action & incidental music occasionally rises considerably higher than the dialogue, which had me keeping a finger on the volume button of the remote. I was pleasantly surprised by the extras which are as follows....

***SPECIAL FEATURES***
*UNBROADCAST ORIGINAL 73-MINUTE PILOT... Featuring different Street Hawk firepower. (Picture quality is inferior to rest of series).
*STREET HAWK 'THE MAKING OF A LEGEND'... A 40-minute documentary on the series, with interviews with Rex Smith, Joe Regalbuto & Jeannie Wilson.
*STILLS GALLERIES.
*BIOGRAPHIES... Featuring Rex Smith, Joe Regalbuto & Jeannie Wilson.
*EPISODE & SERIES SYNOPSIS.
*8-PAGE BOOKLET... With episode synopsis.
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Location: England

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