The Blue Knight
Time Out saysFeature cut-down of US TV's first ever mini-series (originally aired over four nights in November 1973), perhaps now less interesting as a digest of a fair LAPD drama (covering the lead-up to veteran cop Holden's retirement from the force) than for its intriguingly tentacular influence over subsequent developments in US police representation, primarily exerted via creative personnel Butler, E Jack Neuman and Joseph Wambaugh. The quality anthology series Police Story was the first result, supervised by writer Neuman and shadowed by cop-turned-novelist Wambaugh who, as that series began spinning off its own variants, moved his awareness of law'n'order contradictions and his own brand of special pleading to the big screen (The Onion Field, The Black Marble). Butler, after playing shy of the cop genre for some time, then re-emerged to establish the particular radical texture of the opening series of Hill Street Blues. Seminal stuff.