"Battling Crime on Two Wheels: A Look Back at Streethawk

22 March 2023
"Streethawk" is a cult classic TV series that aired for one season in 1985. The show revolves around a high-tech motorcycle, Streethawk, and its pilot, Jesse Mach (Rex Smith), a police officer turned vigilante. The show was created by Paul M. Belous and Robert "Bob" Wolterstoff, who were also responsible for "Knight Rider" and "Airwolf," and shared many similarities with those shows.

The plot of "Streethawk" follows Jesse Mach as he secretly patrols the streets of Los Angeles on his technologically advanced motorcycle, equipped with a plethora of gadgets and weapons. He fights crime and protects the innocent, often at the cost of his personal life and relationships. Mach's alter-ego as Streethawk is known only to his close friend and mechanic, Norman Tuttle (Joe Regalbuto), who maintains and upgrades the bike. The show also featured a variety of villains, such as drug dealers, corrupt cops, and terrorists, who threatened the city's safety and required Streethawk's intervention.

The characters in "Streethawk" were fairly standard for a show of its era. Jesse Mach is the archetypal lone wolf hero, driven by a desire for justice and a tragic past that motivates him. Norman Tuttle provides comic relief and technical expertise, while Captain Leo Altobelli (Richard Venture) serves as Mach's boss and sometimes adversary.

The acting in "Streethawk" was serviceable, with Rex Smith delivering a believable performance as the lead character. However, the show's special effects were somewhat dated, even for the time. The use of miniatures and practical effects for the motorcycle scenes was impressive, but the green screen effects used for the cockpit shots were often obvious and jarring.

In terms of entertainment value, "Streethawk" is an enjoyable but flawed show. The action scenes are well-staged, and the bike itself is an iconic and memorable piece of machinery. However, the writing and storytelling often fall flat, and the show suffers from repetitive plotlines and predictable twists.

As for its cultural context, "Streethawk" fits squarely into the 1980s era of action and adventure shows. The show's emphasis on technology and gadgets, as well as its use of a lone hero battling against corrupt authority figures, are hallmarks of the time. The show also reflects the cultural anxieties of the era, such as concerns over crime and the changing role of law enforcement.

Despite its short run, "Streethawk" has left a lasting impact on pop culture. The show's iconic motorcycle has been referenced and parodied in various TV shows and movies, and the concept of a high-tech vehicle used to fight crime has become a staple of the action genre. The show's influence can be seen in subsequent shows like "Knight Rider," "Airwolf," and "Street Legal."

In conclusion, while "Streethawk" may not be a groundbreaking or critically acclaimed show, it remains a nostalgic and enjoyable piece of 80s television. Its influence on pop culture and subsequent TV shows and movies is a testament to its enduring legacy.


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About the author Jimmy Jangles

My name is Jimmy Jangles, the founder of The Astromech. I have always been fascinated by the world of science fiction, especially the Star Wars universe, and I created this website to share my love for it with fellow fans.

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From exploring the latest news and theories to discussing the classics, I aim to provide entertaining and informative content for all fans of the genre.

Whether you are a die-hard Star Trek fan or simply curious about the world of science fiction, The Astromech has something for everyone. So, sit back, relax, and join me on this journey through the stars!
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