The Greatest American Hero (1981) – Saturday Night on Sunset Boulevard and Reseda Rose


Alright kiddies, here’s the scenario; Bill (Robert Culp), Ralph (William Katt) and Pam (Connie Sellecca) have even more fun this week.

Cannell scripted Saturday Night on Sunset Boulevard, which aired on 8 April, 1981. Ralph and Bill find themselves mixed up in an international mess, when a married couple, Theresa (Alexa Hamilton), an Italian heiress, and Serge (Kai Wulff), a Russian, are being watched by both the American and Russian services. They both end up on the run, separated and looking for one another.

Bill sees the perfect opportunity to use Ralph and the jammies to find them, and get back in good with his superiors as he flunked his 6 month lie detector test (Has anything strange happened to him lately?), which comes with an automatic suspension (which doesn’t stop him from wanting to keep working). Ralph sees the opportunity to teach his class a valuable civics lesson, and gets them to help in looking for Serge.

As such, we get some wonderful character moments and development for each of the major characters. It also looks like the suit has been updated a little bit, some of the colors are a little darker.

Pam gets to help out in the action, thwarting an escape of the villains, though it ends up seeing her getting grabbed instead, and Bill runs the hostage swap, while the little nods to other superheroes continue. Racing to change out of his suit into the jammies, he decides to try out the tried and true tradition of changing in a phone booth.


Reseda Rose was written by Juanita Bartlett and aired 15 April, 1981.

For the first time since the pilot, we get to see Ralph’s son, Kevin (Brandon Williams), who is eager to go to Marineland. It also features the first episode to change Ralph’s last name from Hinkley to Hanley. The name change was due to the attempt on Reagan’s life by a Hinkley.

Marineland gets put on hold for Ralph as Bill shows up to get him to use his vision to run down a security threat list, then Rhonda (Faye Grant) shows up because her mother, Rose (E.J. Peaker) didn’t come home last night.

Rose didn’t only work at a local dive, she also did paperwork in a government office. Seems, she saw something that she shouldn’t have, and may in fact be key to a spy ring that is stealing weapons and documents to give to the Russians, who are apparently off the coast in a sub (some truly terrible model work).

Rescuing Rhonda’s mom, Bill and Ralph use vibes to track down the sub and while Bill is busy capturing agents on the beach, Ralph has to take on a Russian submarine.

Much like her work on the Rockford Files, Bartlett continues to write great character moments, as the series continues to set its tone and style.

I remember it being a great show as a kid, I never remembered it being this much fun! Maybe I’m getting more out of it now…

More next week!





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