CBS' classic 80's cop show "Cagney and Lacey"

Among the perils of re-presenting all the original Trekker stories along the way to getting to the brand-new tales that will follow is seeing these “old” stories with fresh eyes. Quite apart from the familiar cringe I get when I see many of my drawing clunkers, I can also see now so clearly how Trekker wears its influences on its sleeve. Artistically, I was always very aware of most of my jumping-off points: Al Williamson’s peerless, elegant sci-fi characters and comics, the noir-ish world of Blade Runner, the blend of sleek and bulky sci-fi hardware and costumes from Wally Wood and the other EC artists. But in a way that didn’t seem nearly as obvious back when I was creating these stories, I also see where aspects of the writing came from.

For starters, large chunks of the character of Mercy St. Clair can be traced to the great writing and acting of the classic buddy-cop show Cagney and Lacey. This was a ground-breaking show featuring two strong, driven women cops with vastly different, fully-realized backgrounds and personalities who worked together wonderfully and with tremendous dignity. Brought convincingly to life by leads Tyne Daly and Sharon Gless, who won a combined 6 consecutive Emmies for Best Lead Actress in a Drama. By now, inevitably, aspects of the show feel “dated” or “of it’s time”, but its consistent high-quality over seven seasons and its influence on all of the TV cop-show writing that followed it, especially for women characters are real, lasting and hard to over-estimate.

More on where Trekker came from and where it’s heading will follow in later blog posts. But for now- do yourself a solid and check out or revisit Cagney And Lacey.