The Greatest American Hero (1981) – The Hit Car and Here’s Looking at You, Kid

 

It’s time to join Ralph (William Katt), Bill (Robert Culp) and Pam (Connie Sellecca) for more fun this week. But first, as I was watching the opening credits, I noticed that Juanita Bartlett who wrote and served as a producer on The Rockford Files, joined Cannell as Executive Producer on this show!

Alright kids, here’s the scenario – The Hit Car originally aired 25 March, 1981, and was written by Cannell to continue to help set the tone and the feel of the show, which of course features some sharp and funny dialogue, most of it coming from FBI agent, Bill Maxwell.

Starlet Wild (Gwen Humble) needs protection if she’s going to testify for the FBI and put mobster Johnny Damanti (Gianni Russo) behind bars once and for all, something Maxell has been trying to do for the past 15 years. Unfortunately she refuses to fly to LA, so co-opting Ralph, who is trying to get his students to perform a production of Taming of the Shrew, with Pam’s help, they prepare for a long road trip, San Francisco to L.A. Something that may leave them prey to Johnny’s armored and outfitted Hit Car.

Starlet flirts with Ralph constantly, leading to much eye-rolling on Bill’s part, for whom it quickly turns into the road trip from hell considering his need to do things by the book.

But what if all of this is a ploy, a gambit to take out one of Johnny’s biggest problems… a FBI agent who has been trying to nail him for the past 15 years…

By episode’s end, we see that Ralph and Bill’s partnership still needs a lot of work, that Bill will resort to eating dog biscuits if he has to (I honestly tried some as a kid because of this show), and Ralph has broken the fourth wall to look knowingly at the audience.

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Here’s Looking at You, Kid aired 1 April, 1981, and was written by the aforementioned Juanita Bartlett.

With the imminent arrival of Pam’s judgemental parents, Harry (Bob Hastings) and Alice (June Lockhart) from Deer Lick Falls (a call back to The Rockford Files episode, The Mayor’s Committee of Deer Lick Falls), where Harry is mayor, Ralph is getting ready for his first meet and greet. He is also encouraging his  students with the upcoming class elections, though Faye Grant’s Rhonda is missing from this episode.

Bill shows up to mess things Ralph’s emotional and personal life right on cue to recruit him to track down a prototype targeting system that a fighter plane was testing. As the pair comb the desert to find the missing plane and weapon, Ralph gets plenty of flying practice in, still to no avail. While they eventually find the plane, the targeting prototype is missing (having been removed to be sold to the highest bidder on the arms market).

Things get more complicated when a new power crops up for Ralph, yet another thing he can’t control, invisibility. This, of course, causes problems with Pam, but Bill is already looking for a way to exploit. Unfortunately, the terrorist group grabs hold of Bill, and it’s up to Ralph to save the day, and stop the weapon from falling into the wrong hands, and hopefully make a good impression on Pam’s parents.

Three episodes in, I’m loving it, as much as I used to, but never realized there were so many songs featuring Mike Post and Joey Scarbury throughout the episodes!

Believe it or not, there will be more next week!

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