Wednesday, April 08, 2009

If You Can't Beat 'Em, Join 'Em

Yesterday, during an e-mail exchange JB Doubtless pulled a classic Eighties television show from the clear blue and hit us with a reference to Riptide:

The series featured Cody Allen (Perry King) and Nick Ryder (Joe Penny), two former army buddies who decided to open the Pier 56 Detective Agency (later known as the Riptide Detective Agency) in Los Angeles. However, realizing that computers and technology play a major role in many investigations, the guys recruited the help of Murray 'Boz' Bozinsky (Thom Bray), a brilliant but socially inept scientist and computer hacker whom the guys had met while serving in the military. Riptide was created by Frank Lupo and Stephen J. Cannell, and produced by Stephen J. Cannell Productions in association with Columbia Pictures Television. The main theme was composed by Mike Post and Pete Carpenter.

The team operated out of Cody's boat, the Riptide, which was moored at Pier 56 in King Harbor, California. The guys had several other tools in their fight against crime and injustice. These included Murray's robot (The Roboz--which, unlike most television robots, did not talk), Nick's aging Sikorsky S-58T The Screaming Mimi[1] helicopter (which Nick occasionally used for his sideline business, aerial harbor tours), and Cody's speedboat, the Ebb Tide. (Nick also had a classic red Chevrolet Corvette and Cody had a "Woody" station wagon.)

I literally haven't thought about this show for close to twenty-five years, but when JB mentioned it the memories came flooding back. The two cool guys living on a boat in California solving crimes and chasing chicks. The nerdy side-kick. The pink helicopter. And the robot, yes the frickin' robot. How could that formula not succeed? Stephen J Cannell, you magnificent bastard! I watched your shows!