The Hitchhiker (30 min.) HBO
Season 1 episodes 1-26 Nov 1983 to Apr 1986
Season 2 episodes 27-39 Feb - May 1987
Season 3 episodes 40-65 Apr-Dec 1989
Season 4 episodes 66-85 Sept 1990 - Feb 1991
This set, (Volume One) has 10 episodes:
24 Last Scene
46 The Miracle of Alice Ames
18 Man's Best Friend
33 The Legendary Billy B.
30 Why Are You Here?
34 In the Name of Love
This series continued the 'wandering adventurer' style of storytelling wherein the main character is only a witness sharing his experiences. Like Route 66, The Fugitive, or The Incredible Hulk, to name a few, each story is unrelated to any other except by the conceptual vehicle of the perpetual wanderer. Like One Step Beyond or The Twilight Zone, The Hitchhiker himself is not a player in the tales. Occasionally stories involved supernatural forces, but most plot twists stemmed from the dark side of the human spirit.
In 1996, The Hitchhiker entered into syndication on the USA Channel and so was re-edited to remove the violence and/or nudity and sexuality that were featured on the HBO runs (and to make room for commercials). Originally the Hitchhiker was cast with Nicholas Campbell as the host, but Campbell was quickly replaced with Page Fletcher. In order to preserve continuity during the syndication runs, Campbell's scenes in the first three episodes were later re-shot with Fletcher. But because the character of the Hitchhiker initially had more interaction with the people in the stories, this caused certain scenes to appear very choppy.
There is a little confusion as to how many seasons the show actually ran since season one ran for two and a half years! The Hitchhiker ran for a total of seven and a half years with a ten month break between season one and two, and a two year break between two and three. There were a total of 85 episodes over four seasons on HBO (six seasons on USA Channel). The series is available on DVD in two different versions. The HBO two-disc sets for sale in the US contain episodes that are out of sequence to their original US broadcast order. The Canadian DVD box sets by Alliance Atlantis have the episodes arranged by season in the same order in which they were broadcast in Canada.