Retro Review: Street Hawk (DVD Region 2)

Only one man, Norman Tuttle knows Jesse Mach's true identity. The Man, The Machine... Street Hawk.

Synopsis:Jesse Mach, an ex-motorcycle cop injured in the line of duty – now a police trouble shooter, has been recruited for a top secret government mission to ride Street Hawk. An all terrain attack motorcycle designed to fight urban crime, capable of incredible speeds of up to 300 miles an hour and immense firepower. Only one man, Norman Tuttle knows Jesse Mach’s true identity. The Man, The Machine… Street Hawk.

Review: I picked up this DVD set last week because I was feeling nostalgic for some 80’s television and ‘Street Hawk’ was a show I used to enjoy.

The bike used for normal shooting before the stunts.

Rex Smith, who is better known for his work on broadway puts in a likeable performance as Jesse Mach alongside Joe Regalbuto as the super geeky FBI engineer and computer whiz Norman Tuttle.

Before getting this DVD set. The last time I had seen this series was in the very late 80s when it was repeated on ITV. I’d missed the repeats on cable because I tend not to watch day time television.

The question is. Does it hold up well.

The answer to that isn’t really clear cut.

Like most shows in the 1980’s it runs to a fairly strict villain of the week formula, but this first season was beginning to generate some interesting character arcs. Especially for Rachel Adams. Jesse’s boss at his public relations job at the police department. Rachel who was played by Jeannie Wilson was beginning to suspect Jesse’s secret identity. We also had a fun friendship forming with Jesse the jock and Normal the geek, which was developing quite nicely.  So as far as characters are concerned it holds up.

Where it falls down is the effects look very dated, but given that I picked this up for nostalgia I wasn’t really looking at the special effects with to much scrutiny. Though they were cutting edge at the time.

In this set. You get two versions of the pilot episode where the bike has different lasers and such. I think the effects in the original pilot looked sort of cool, but going with the red laser as apposed to the blue lightning laser effect was probably the best call.

The stripped back version of the bike used for stunts.

Another area where it falls down a little is the bike when its doing action scenes that require it to jump and such. Its blatantly obvious that the bike doing the stunts has been stripped way back. Having watched the series through I was surprise at just how stripped back the bike is when doing the stunts. When I was younger. I didn’t really notice as much.

One of the cool things about watching some of these older shows is the guest stars. In this series two stands outs have to be Christopher Lloyd who played the villain in the pilot episode and a very young George Clooney who plays a friend of Jesse Mach.

In terms of the theme music Tangerine Dream do a great job with the main opening credits, but I found the incidental music to be rather boring and not particularly varied. Though the occasions where Tangerine Dream tackled a few well known songs with synths. That worked well. But the music used as a means of building up to the shows action beats got very tedious very fast.

Extras: This set comes with a few extras, which includes a 40 minute documentary in which Rex Smith, Joe Regalbuto and Jeannie Wilson fondly remember there time on the show. Regalbuto and Smith talk about the shows ratings, which were apparently pretty good at the time. They also talk about having worked with a very young George Clooney who guest starred in the second episode of the series.

A 20 something George Clooney takes on Rex Smith as Jesse Mach in a bout of arm wrestling.

Other extras include a photo gallery and the unaired pilot episode, which is really cool to view and compare to the final pilot.

Overall: Street Hawk was a fun show to revisit and is something that feels very much of its time, but could very easily be updated for the modern audience if treated right. Though I’d only recommend this release to the avid collector of 80’s television shows.

Street Hawk is available on Amazon for a reasonable £14.99.

8.3
Street Hawk
  • The Good: Fun characters and solid acting
  • The Bad: Effects look dated and Incidental music gets a little tedious
  • Stories
    8.0
  • Acting
    9.1
  • Special Effects
    7.0
  • Stunts
    9.5
  • Incidental Music
    7.0
  • DVD Packaging
    8.1
  • DVD Extras
    9.2

Ian Cullen is the founder of scifipulse.net and has been a fan of science fiction and fantasy from birth. In the past few years he has written for 'Star Trek' Magazine as well as interviewed numerous comics writers, television producers and actors for the SFP-NOW podcast at: www.scifipulseradio.com When he is not writing for scifipulse.net Ian enjoys playing his guitar, studying music, watching movies and reading his comics. Ian is both the founder and owner of scifipulse.net You can contact ian at: ian@scifipulse.net
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