No. 171 – Hell Street Blues

Left: vampiric Hill Street Sector House Judges Renko and Belker extract juices, right: Hill Street Blues cast ensemble image ©NBC

Sgt. Belker

Prog 394’s (1984) Judge Dredd storyline City of the Damned (progs 393406 (1984–1985)) episode 2: Hell Street Blues, written by John Wagner and Alan Grant and drawn by Ron Smith (1924–2019) v NBC’s Hill Street Blues (1981–1987)

Critically acclaimed and highly influential police drama Hill Street Blues [so named for their blue police uniforms], set in an unnamed city and featuring memorable characters Sgt. Mick Belker (Bruce Weitz) and Officer Andrew Renko (Charles Haid) – both alluded to in the Dredd story by badge names alone and not actually lampooned themselves – ran for seven seasons, the first of which won eight Emmy Awards, (a record surpassed only by Warner Bros. Television’s The West Wing) contributing to a total of 98 Emmy nominations throughout the show’s entire run. The series became the benchmark for a new wave of gritty, realistic police dramas.

And Mike Post’s theme tune for the show still brings a lump to our throat:

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