Thursday, 27 October 2011

The Road! The Bird! Street Hawk!

I remember Street Hawk from my youth. It was one of those shows about a man out by himself, aided with some mechanical device. Like Knightrider. Like M.A.N.T.I.S. (which I'm proud to say I never saw a whole episode of). And like Viper later. And, recapturing the joys of youth, I grabbed this when I found out it was available on DVD (from Street Hawk Online).

Boy, it didn't age well. Street Hawk is an all terrain attack bike, yadda yadda, basically a suped-up motorcycle with guns and a laser... a quite amazing laser it has to be said. The DVD set has the original pilot, which I didn't watch (having watched the actual pilot) and one of the changes that is pointed out is that the laser, in the original, was blue instead of red... ! Yeah! Take that network decision! (Admittedly, red would be easier to see than blue.) And I think the laser was the first of its kind, in that it must have been psychically controlled. With a push of a button, a little gun swings out, and then another push fires the laser... which can pin-point cut through door hinges, disable cars, or scare someone who's running around. Umm... how? It was only one button! And then there's the episode where 'you can't shoot that high' means he needs to do a wheelie, whereas in a later episode he shoots higher!

Anyway, the point of the series is the motorcycle, and so we get a lot of scenes of Jessie (or the stunt man) riding around on the bike. When it is in HyperThrust mode, the camera speeds up to show him rocketting around (when the camera is close on the helmet) or slowing down when in longer shots to make him appear faster... as you do. I found myself fastforwarding through those scenes as nothing happened except padding, and, indeed, in scene in which there was background music was dialogue light so I didn't need to slow down for those either.

Now, while the plots didn't expand the nature of story-telling, they were decent, although every episode ended with the tag humour moment, at which point it would have been entirely appropriate to bring in the 'wah wah' trumpet. (But that's hardly the sole fault of this show.) There were only 13 episodes, and then the series was cut. On the DVD set is a talking head segment with some of the main cast circa 2010, and they said they were willing to come back if the series was remade, perhaps as webisodes? Um... I'm not seeing a lot of hurry for that to happen.

As ever, this is another case when memories were fonder when they were vague.


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