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Series / The Mod Squad

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Left to right: Linc, Julie, Greer and Pete.

The Mod Squad is a television series that ran on ABC from September 24, 1968, until August 23, 1973. This series starred Michael Cole as Peter Cochran, Peggy Lipton as Julie Barnes, Clarence Williams III as Lincoln "Linc" Hayes, and Tige Andrews as Captain Adam Greer.

The Mod Squad was a police drama that featured three young, hip crime fighters. "One White, One Black, One Blonde," was the promotional hype-line. The basic premise was that three young people in trouble with the law (wealthy Pete stole a car; Linc was arrested during the Watts riots; Julie ran away from her San Francisco prostitute mother) can avoid jail by infiltrating the counterculture and exposing criminals who prey on other kids. The show's premise centered on the three young officers using their youthful, hippie personas as a guise to get close to the criminals they investigated.


The Mod Squad contains examples of:

  • Abandoned Mine: In "The Cave," the team takes refuge in one to escape a dust storm, but a man crazed by the death of his son in "the war" blows the entrance with dynamite, trapping them inside.
  • Badass Preacher: Father John Banks (Sammy Davis, Jr.), who takes down an armed thug twice his size in "Keep the Faith, Baby."
  • Bait-and-Switch Credits: The opening credits always made it appear as if Captain Greer was some bad guy pursuing the heroes when he was in fact their benevolent boss.
  • Blind Black Guy: Rollie in "When Smitty Comes Marching Home."
  • Blind Musician: Linc goes to see a friend, Rollie, in "When Smitty Comes Marching Home," and Rollie, wearing pure black glasses, is playing a clarinet.
  • Boxed Crook: The three primary heroes.
  • The Boxing Episode: "The Comeback," featuring "Sugar" Ray Robinson.
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  • Circus Episode: "Color of Laughter, Color of Tears." A circus owned by an old friend of Greer's is sabotaged so the team works at the circus undercover to find the culprit.
  • Crash Course Landing: Linc had to do this in "Real Loser" after he knocked the pilot of a small single-engine plane out (to keep the man from killing both of them in an insurance scam).
  • The Film of the Series: In 1999 (starring Claire Danes, Omar Epps and Giovanni Ribisi as Julie, Linc and Pete).
  • Identical Stranger: In "A Double for Danger," a young woman who was helping the police as an informant is killed, and Julie looks exactly like her, so she takes her place.
  • Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: In "A Time of Hyacinths," it's never completely clear whether John Wentworth was still alive or was actually a ghost.
  • Not in Front of the Parrot: In "When Smitty Comes Marching Home," a mynah bird helps to establish the scene of a murder — a zoo.
  • Obfuscating Insanity: In "Who Are the Keepers, Who Are the Inmates?", Linc fakes being insane to go undercover in an asylum where he suspects abuse and even murder are taking place.
  • Psychic Powers: Dr. Eric Santos in "The Girl in Chair Nine." Julie's convinced of his abilities, but the others (especially Greer) spend most of the episode thinking he's a Phony Psychic. By the end, it seems clear he's the real deal.
  • Reunion Show: 1979's Return of the Mod Squad, where the Squad reunites to investigate an attack on now Deputy Chief Greer. It later turns out to be only a ruse for a revenge plot on the Squad itself.
  • Shell-Shocked Veteran: At the beginning of "When Smitty Comes Marching Home," some cops try to arrest a man for murder, but he sees them as Vietnamese soldiers. His time in the army made him a close-quarters combat specialist, which doesn't work out well for the police.
  • Smart People Play Chess: In "Can You Hear Me Now?", Walter, a friend of Linc's, is shown playing three games of chess simultaneously. He then shows Linc how to break a code a car-stealing ring was using.
  • Soul Brotha: Linc Hayes.
  • Split Personality: In "We Spy," the team is investigating a shady businessman, Endicott Farraday. They also meet his timid twin brother, Nelson, and at the end it turns out they're the same man.
  • Sunglasses at Night: Linc wore sunglasses a lot, including at night.
  • Token Trio: Perhaps the prototypical example.
  • Two Guys and a Girl
  • Wrongful Accusation Insurance: In "When Smitty Comes Marching Home," some cops try to bring in a friend of Linc's on suspicion of murder, but he beats them up and runs off. Later on they get him, but he escapes and goes on a rampage to find the real killer (while the team is simultaneously investigating). In the end, he's exonerated and let go, though Greer does jokingly present him with a bill for a window he crashed through.


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