1 9 7 2 – 1 9 7 6 (USA)
92 x episodes
In contrast to producers’ Spelling and Goldberg’s violent S.W.A.T series, more humane methods of law enforcement were emphasised in The Rookies.
Three rookie cops in a large Southern California city provided the focus of this series.
Willie Gillis (Michael Ontkean) was fresh out of college; Terry Webster (Georg Stanford Brown) came from the ghetto via a government social programme, and Mike Danko (Sam Melville) – the eldest of the three – came fresh from the Air Force and was married to a nurse (Kate Jackson).
The trio were dedicated to new, more humane methods of law enforcement, which often put them at odds with their hard-nosed mentor, Lieutenant Ryker (Gerald S. O’Loughlin).
The combination of their youthful enthusiasm and Ryker’s experienced guidance helped mould them into effective officers.
Though constantly at odds with their hard-boiled superior, the three wet-behind-the-ears recruits proved that there’s more to being a good cop than toting a gun.
In 1974 a cast change occurred with Willie replaced by Chris Owens, a new recruit.
Officer Terry Webster
Georg Stanford Brown
Officer Mike Danko
Officer Willie Gillis
Officer Chris Owens
Lt. Ed Ryker
Gerald S. O’Loughlin
Darlyn Ann Lindley