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.
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.
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.
Other extras include a photo gallery and the unaired pilot episode, which is really cool to view and compare to the final pilot.
Street Hawk is available on Amazon for a reasonable £14.99.
- The Good: Fun characters and solid acting
- The Bad: Effects look dated and Incidental music gets a little tedious
- Special Effects7.0
- Incidental Music7.0
- DVD Packaging8.1
- DVD Extras9.2