Man, machine, DVD: Street Hawk!

Street Hawk is one of those shows that holds a certain place in the affections of thirtysomething British males. There’s a whole legion of us that grew up with Knight Rider, Automan, Manimal, Blue Thunder and other ropey super-thingy shows from the early 80s and we still love them.

How many adrenaline addictions were launched by those shows and their high-testosterone content? I had a provisional motorcycle licence for ages thanks to Street Hawk and only the other day, I was looking up the cost of helicopter lessons because I’ve had a hankering to learn, ever since the glory days of Airwolf. Turns out they’re very expensive so I didn’t book any (there’s a reason my mate Steve went to Ghana to learn how to fly a micro-lite).

As proof of the nostalgic love for these shows that still exists in the heart of grown men, I present three pieces of evidence:

  1. Bravo TV: gamely recycling US imports since 1996, its schedules are constantly packed with Knight Rider et al.
  2. Every day, at least one person comes to my blog via a Google search for “Street Hawk torrents”. I can guarantee more will arrive now I’ve used that precise combination of words. It’ll increase even more once I use the phrase “Tonnerre Méchanique torrent”, the French name for Street Hawk – I’m sure my translation of “Thunder mechanic” is off (mechanical thunder, perhaps?). Anyway, sorry to disappoint you guys, but I don’t have any torrents for you. But read on for info on how to get hold of some episodes…
  3. Rare TV Shows, a web site dedicated to selling DVDs of all those old TV shows that haven’t actually been released on DVD. Available for the discerning punter are Manimal et al, as well as The Mary Whitehouse Experience, Chelmsford 123 and much revered puppet drama Star Fleet – you had to get up on early on a Sunday morning to see that, but it was well worth it.

Anyway, I succumbed to nostalgia and ponyed up the nine pounds necessary for the three-DVD, “complete collectors (sic) edition” Street Hawk box set from said web site. Yes, the site looks a bit unprofessional, has typos all over the place and the Paypal confirmation page doesn’t work, but don’t let that worry you: the DVDs arrived yesterday.

Ah, tis a delight indeed to once again hear the delights of Tangerine Dream’s Le Parc overlaid on motorcycle revs, even if it is on hand-labelled DVDs created from VHS copies of Bravo re-runs (three DVDs for nine quid? I didn’t have high expectations and they’ve been met). I’m on a complete adrenaline high: yes, Street Hawk still has what it takes.

But you know what? It’s not as good as I remember. In fact, one might almost say it was a bit silly. Going 200 miles an hour over woody mountainside on a motorbike? It had better have some damn good traction on those road tyres. Plus I’m not entirely sure it’s legal for a police motorbike to have rocket launchers.

Maybe I should have followed my own advice more carefully? Nah, this is great!

UPDATE: If you’re desperate to download episodes of Street Hawk, this site has some DivX versions on its “Downloads” page.

UPDATE 2: There are also Street Hawk torrents available at this site. They have Finnish subtitles though.


  • I’m Rob Buckley, a journalist who writes for UK media magazines that most people have never heard of although you might have heard me on the podcast Lockdown Land or Radio 5 Live’s Saturday Edition or Afternoon Edition. I’ve edited Dreamwatch, Sprocket and Cambridge Film Festival Daily; been technical editor for TV producers magazine Televisual; reviewed films for the short-lived newspaper Cambridge Insider; written features for the even shorter-lived newspaper Soho Independent; and was regularly sarcastic about television on the blink-and-you-missed-it “web site for urban hedonists” The Tribe. Since going freelance, I've contributed to the likes of Broadcast, Total Content + Media, Action TV, Off The Telly, Action Network, TV Scoop and The Custard TV.