Based on the 1983 movie, ABC's "Blue Thunder" focused on the Blue Thunder Unit, a Los Angeles police unit which operated a high-tech helicopter (actually a modified French-made Aérospatiale Gazelle) with ground support. A few of its features included an electric cannon, night sensors, turbo-speed and a "whisper mode" that allowed it to run silently.
The series starred James Farentino (Police Story) as pilot Frank Chaney; Dana Carvey (Saturday Night Live) as his observer Clinton "JAFO" Wonderlove; Sandy McPeak as Cpt. Ed Braddock, the unit commander; Ann Cooper as Officer J.J. Douglas; and ex-NFL jocks Dick Butkus (Any Given Sunday) & Bubba Smith (Police Academy) as Officers Richard "Ski" Butowski & Lyman "Bubba" Kelsey, the ground support team.
ABC first launched Blue Thunder for a midseason run on January 6, 1984. Unfortunately, CBS's slightly more sophisticated helicopter drama "Airwolf" (which debuted 2 weeks later) from creator Donald P. Bellisario (Quantum Leap, JAG) countermanded Blue Thunder's intended run, thereby facilitating its cancellation after just 11 episodes.
While Airwolf was the more successful series with its grim and moody tone, Blue Thunder was just as watchable for its A-Team, Hunter-like tone: standard 80s blend of action and tongue-in-cheek humor. Regardless, the real star [in both shows] was, of course, the helicopter. Not to mention the catchy opening theme music. Again, in both shows.
Blue Thunder - The Complete Series is a 3-disc (529 min.) set featuring all 11 episodes from the 1983-1984 season. Special Features include: Digitally Remastered English Audio and High Definition Full Frame (1.33:1) Video, Bonus Previews, Closed Captioning.
1. Second Thunder
2. A Clear and Present Danger
3. Arms Race
4. Revenge in the Sky
5. Trojan Horse
7. Clipped Wings
9. The Long Flight
11. The Island
First Knight Rider, then Airwolf, and now Blue Thunder.
Bring on "The Man...The Machine...Street Hawk!"