"Ironside," the Universal-produced TV series about a wheelchair-bound police detective that ran from 1967 to 1975 on
It will last I don't know how long. The cleverer Sherlocks among you will have already deduced what they have in common.
One thing they do not have in common, naturally, is the late Raymond Burr, who starred in the first version as a San Francisco police chief-turned-special-consultant after being paralyzed by a sniper's bullet. Blair Underwood, who resembles Burr physically only in that both are male human baritones, is the new Robert Ironside, now a
Where the first was bulky, the second is buff. Where Ironside Mach I was often pushed in his chair and driven around town, usually by Don Mitchell's reformed delinquent Mark Sanger, Ironside II is self-powered all the way, a paraplegic hero for an age of wheelchair basketball and double-amputee sprinters. He'd roll over your foot if you tried to give him a hand.
"Are you really a cripple?" asks a perp.
"You tell me," says Ironside, who has been sitting with him in the backseat of a police car, alternately handing him a knife and taking it away with a punch in the nose. Old Ironside was not immune to bending a rule or two, but new Ironside has a touch of Dirty Harry and a pinch of Martin Riggs in him. In a (pre-chair) flashback we see him dangle a suspect from a roof.
As in the original, and most every modern procedural, there is a support team, though not the little family group that surrounded the Burr Ironside in his specially fitted clubhouse, and whose cares were first and foremost for one another.
I'll let the official website tell you about them: Holly (
There are also a grumpy superior (Kenneth Choi) and a sad ex-partner (
Apart from Underwood, who has class-A TV-star appeal, the show is nothing special. No worse than or much different from your average character-driven cop show.
The opening episode involves high finance and sex parties, pretty standard for the genre. (Admittedly, the end is a bit of a twist.) I can neither recommend it nor recommend you leave it alone. Perhaps it will run 20 years.
When: 10 p.m. Wednesday
Rating: TV-14-DLSV (may be unsuitable for children under the age of 14 with advisories for suggestive dialogue, coarse language, sex and violence)