Sunday, 15 July 2007

Classic TV - 'Harry O'


One thing about the Seventies was that it produced a good number of cop shows now rightly considered classics.

And because there were so many, the character had to have something to differentiate himself from his brethren in other productions. Something to give him life and dimension.

Columbo always had that raincoat and one more question; Theo Kojak dressed far better than a New York Police lieutenant should have been able to afford; McCloud had his laid-back, country boy manner; Jim Rockford had that car.

Harry Orwell had a boat with a hole in it.

Produced by Warner Bros and initially aired on ABC in the US, 'Harry O' ran for two seasons from 1974-76, and starred David Janssen as an ex-cop, retired on disability, who supplemented his pension by working as a private investigator.

While not without friends, Harry spent a lot of time by himself, working on his boat or running on the beach, which allowed him time to think, shared with the audience by way of voiceover.

Old-fashioned in his attitudes, Orwell's was a character very much in the Marlowe mould, laconic, set in his ways, but human beneath the tough exterior.

He could often be seen taking the bus because his car was off the road more than not, and the hole in his boat never seemed to get any smaller.

For the second season, Orwell relocated to Los Angeles after he was urban-renewed out of his San Diego beach house, taking up similar residence in Santa Monica, where his police contact became Lt. Trench, played by Anthony Zerbe.

The Harry O Page has character and episode information, screencaps and a small gallery, if you're of a mind to visit it...

This is a show I really want to see on DVD, yet there's no sign of an official release.

But I'm nothing if not patient, so I'll just be waiting over here...

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