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Series / McCloud

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McCloud is an American television police drama that aired on NBC from 1970 to 1977.

Dennis Weaver stars as Marshal Sam McCloud, a law officer from Taos, New Mexico on semi-permanent "special assignment" with the New York City Police Department. To their eternal consternation.

Not to be confused with the film Brewster McCloud, the cartoonist Scott McCloud, or a certain space fox.

McCloud contains examples of:

  • Arson, Murder, and Lifesaving: This trope was originally named the McCloud Speech.
  • The Cameo: At the end of "The Concrete Corral", the TV Western star who McCloud is told to keep an eye on is played by a disguised and uncredited Doug McClure (from The Virginian/The Man from Shiloh).
  • Catfight: Season 4's "Butch Cassidy Rides Again" had an incident where characters played by guest stars Linda Evansnote  and Stefanie Powers where Powers' character, Samantha Johnson - following an argument with Evans' character, Geri March - spritzes March with seltzer water; with the ensuing fight resulting in the apartment being wrecked, Clothing Damage that included part of Samantha's bra being visible (which was quite daring by mid-1970s network broadcast standards) and Geri holding Samantha's face down in an aquarium when McCloud arrives.
  • Christmas Episode: Season 7's "'Twas the Fight Before Christmas...".
  • Clear My Name: Chief Clifford in "Cowboy in Paradise", Sgt. Broadhurst in "Shivaree on Delancey Street", and McCloud himself in "The Great Taxicab Stampede".note 
  • Cowboy Cop: A literal example, though definitely otherwise downplayed. He may be a loose cannon sometimes, but he is definitely no rogue. He'll bend the rules if he has to, rather than break them outright, but he still drives his superiors bonkers (which is where the "McCloud Speech" comes in).
  • Curse Cut Short: In the episode "Butch Cassidy Rides Again", a passenger on a train curses as the train whistle blows.
  • Da Chief: Chief of Detectives Peter B. Clifford.
  • Fish out of Water: New Mexico to New York? Yeah, he's a Strange Cop in a Strange Land.
  • Hand Cannon: McCloud uses a Colt .45. In "The Great Taxicab Stampede," a nighttime shootout results in the death of a cab driver, and upon seeing the very large hole in the young man, everyone concludes McCloud must have shot him.
  • Heat Wave: "This Must Be the Alamo" has the precinct dealing with this as well as a Big Blackout.
  • Healthcare Motivation: Simms in "The Great Taxicab Stampede" has betrayed the department to a drug kingpin to pay for his wife's medical bills.
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: A good number of episodes, though definitely not all of them, contained a term that applied to the classic Western genre.
  • McGuffin: The "Saracen Horse" in "The Million Dollar Roundup".
  • New Old West: Although McCloud's not a time-traveler, the show's high concept could easily be defined as "What if a The Wild West lawman went to New York City?"
  • Pilot Movie: "Portrait of a Dead Girl" (aka "Who Killed Miss U.S.A.?"), which has McCloud traveling from Taos to NYC to deliver a subpoenaed witness for a murder trail, only to have said witness get kidnapped from him.
  • Replaced the Theme Tune: Twice.
  • Reunion Show: 1989's The Return of Sam McCloud. McCloud, now senator of New Mexico, investigates the murder of his niece. The guest cast included Patrick Macnee, David McCallum and Roger Rees. Unlike Columbo, this went no further.
  • Say My Name: Chief Peter B. Clifford whenever New Mexico lawman Sam McCloud gets on his nerves, which is all the time.
  • Scenery Porn: The show definitely took advantage of the New York setting, with recognizable landmarks (such as the Bow Bridge in Central Park) popping up frequently.
  • Title Drop: "Horse Stealing on Fifth Avenue" and "The Man with the Golden Hat."
  • Wheel Program: The show was part of two of these, Four in One (1970) and The NBC Mystery Movie (1971–77).