TJ Hooker

After commanding the USS Enterprise around the galaxy for three years on the television series, Star Trek, William Shatner made a celebrated return to the airwaves in the early 80s. This time around, he traded his gold shirt, spaceship and phaser for a police uniform, cruiser and a gun, keeping the streets safe from crime on the ABC series, TJ Hooker.

Debuting in 1982, the series followed the daily adventures of Thomas “TJ” Hooker, a former detective who, following his partner’s murder, took off the plainclothes and returned as a uniformed sergeant, responsible for overseeing the development of cadets at the police academy who were ready for some heart-pounding, on-the-job training. He was paired with a rookie named Vince Romano, an enthusiastic and ambitious new cop who was still wet behind the ears but showed plenty of promise.

Together, the two patrolled the streets and kept them safe as best they could, while always under the watchful eye of Captain Sheridan, who didn’t always approve of TJ’s methods. Still, Hooker and Romano made a formidable team and the Captain couldn’t help but respect their efforts. In the second season, the Captain’s lovely daughter Stacy (Heather Locklear) joined the force as well. She was paired with another trainer, the no-nonsense Jim Corrigan. From this point forth, both teams worked in conjunction with each other to solve the many crimes that plagued the metropolitan area.

Although TJ Hooker came out of the gate strong in its opening season, it never quite managed to re-capture those stellar ratings in the seasons that followed. It remained on ABC until 1985, when the network decided to cancel the show. Thinking that there might still be some life left in the series, however, CBS picked it up for the next two years, without actor Adrian Zmed (Romano) who decided to pursue other interests.

William Shatner did have one notable visitor during his tenure on TJ Hooker, when Mr. Spock himself, Leonard Nimoy both guest-starred and directed one of the episodes. It might not have been quite as fulfilling as cruising around the universe for Klingons, nor did Nimoy don pointy ears and pull out the dreaded nerve-pinching technique, but it was still nice to see the duo side-by-side on national television again.

Do you remember watching this classic cop show in your youth? If so, we hope you’ll take a moment to share your TJ Hooker memories with us in our comments section.

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