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The Streets of San Francisco: Season Five, Vol. 2 [3 Discs] [DVD]

Release Date:10/30/2012
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    Even after all these decades, there remain those loyal Streets of San Francisco fans who argue that the series would have survived long past it fifth and final season had there not occurred a radical (and somewhat controversial) casting change. Though Karl Malden remained on the job during Season Five as veteran SFPD homicide detective Mike Stone, Michael Douglas, cast as Stone's youthful partner, Inspector Steve Keller, would exit the series after the spectacular, star-studded two-part season opener in order to focus his energies on producing the Oscar-winning theatrical feature One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (On the series, it was explained that Steve Keller had retired from active duty to teach a college criminology class). Keller's replacement was another young idealist, albeit a tad handsomer and more athletic, Inspector Dan Robbins, played by Richard Hatch (not the future American Idol contestant!) Despite the best efforts of the series' writers and directors, Stone and Robbins never developed the same warm rapport that had been the hallmark of the Stone-Keller relationship, nor were Michael Douglas' legions of fans satisfied with his relatively unknown replacement. For this and several other reasons (including the stiff competition of CBS' Barnaby Jones, the ratings of Streets of San Francisco tanked during its fifth year on the air, and was cancelled after 119 episodes in September of 1977 (the series had previously gone on brief hiatus in the spring of that year to make room for a new ABC drama, Westside Medical. In fairness to Richard Hatch, his character did have a few memorable moments, notably the episode in which Robbins falls in love with a "bleeding-heart" public defender, played by a pre-Lou Grant Linda Kelsey. This year's "cast-against-type" candidates include Susan Dey of The Partridge Family and Maureen McCormick of The Brady Bunch, respectively portraying a baby-faced urban terrorist and 16-year-old call girl. And as in seasons past, the series provided a good showcase for young players on their way up: Mark Hamill as a street-gang member, Carl Weathers as a cop, Don Johnson as a reckless motorcycle cop, and, best of all, future "Governator" Arnold Schwarzenegger as a short-tempered professional bodybuilder who turns lethal whenever someone makes fun of him! ~ Hal Erickson

    Cast & Crew

    • Karl Malden - Det. Lt. Mike Stone
    • Michael Douglas - Insp. Steve Keller
    • Richard Hatch - Insp. Dan Robbins
    • Lee Harris - Lt. Lessing

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