Riptide is an American TV detective series that ran on NBC from December 3, 1983 to August 22, 1986, starring Perry KingJoe Penny, and Thom Bray.

It was created by Frank Lupo and Stephen J. Cannell, and produced by Stephen J. Cannell Productions. The main theme was composed by Mike Post and Pete Carpenter. A mid-season replacement, it debuted as a two-hour TV movie in early 1984.


 [hide*1 Premise


Cody Allen (Perry King) and Nick Ryder (Joe Penny) are two former Army buddies who decided to open the Pier 56 Detective Agency (later known as the Riptide Detective Agency) in Los AngelesCalifornia. However, realizing that computers and technology play a major role in many investigations, the two recruit the help of Murray "Boz" Bozinsky (Thom Bray), a brilliant, but socially inept scientist and computer hacker whom they met while serving in the military.

The team operate out of Cody's boat, the Riptide, moored at Pier 56 at King Harbor Marina.[1] The men have several other tools in their fight against crime and injustice. These included Murray's robot, The Roboz (which, unlike most television robots, does not speak); Nick's aging Sikorsky S-58T helicopter, The Screaming Mimi,[2] which Nick occasionally used for his sideline business, aerial harbor tours; and Cody's speedboat, the Ebb Tide. Nick also owns a classic red Chevrolet Corvette and in early episodes Cody drives an orange "Woodiestation wagon which is later replaced by a four-wheel drive pickup truck.

Lt. Quinlan (Jack Ging) is a local police officer who continually harasses the trio. Lt. Parisi, the agency's police contact during the final episodes, is more cooperative. During the first few episodes, Mama Jo (Anne Francis) is the crusty skipper of the Barefoot Contessa, a tourist boat crewed by an all-female crew. Introduced later in the first season is Max, a comedienne at a local club. Second season episodes also feature Dooley, a dock boy who occasionally assists the team in their escapades.

The show's penultimate episode, "If You Can't Beat 'Em, Join 'Em", shows Allen and Ryder acting as consultants to a television series that closely resembles and parodies Moonlighting,Riptide's former prime time competition on Tuesday nights.[3] Although local mobsters were depicted in most episodes, some reflected sensitive topics, like corruption among the U.S. Army, high-level cover-ups, and black ops by Corporate America. The third season's "Home for Christmas", with a performance by James Whitmore, has a strongly emotional tone.


Some of the famous names from this show in their early careers include Geena Davis ("Raiders of the Lost Sub", S01E12) and George Clooney ("Where the Girls Are", S02E01).

Episode list[edit]Edit

Season 1 (1983–1984)[edit]Edit

Title Air date
1.01 "Riptide" (2 hours) 3 December 1983
1.02 "Conflict of Interest" 10 December 1983
1.03 "Somebody's Killing the Great Geeks of America" 17 December 1983
1.04 "Hatchet Job" 24 December 1983
1.05 "The Mean Green Love Machine" 31 December 1983
1.06 "Diamonds Are for Never" 7 January 1984
1.07 "The Hardcase" 14 January 1984
1.08 "Four-Eyes" 6 March 1984
1.09 "#1 with a Bullet" 20 March 1984
1.10 "Long Distance Daddy" 27 March 1984
1.11 "Double Your Pleasure" 3 April 1984
1.12 "Raiders of the Lost Sub" 15 May 1984
1.13 "Something Fishy" 22 May 1984

Season 2 (1984–1985)[edit]Edit

Title Air date
2.01 "Where the Girls Are" 2 October 1984
2.02 "The Orange Grove" 16 October 1984
2.03 "Catch of the Day" 23 October 1984
2.04 "Mirage" 30 October 1984
2.05 "Beat the Box" 13 November 1984
2.06 "Father's Day" 20 November 1984
2.07 "Be True to Your School" 27 November 1984
2.08 "It's a Vial Sort of Business" 4 December 1984
2.09 "Peter Pan Is Alive and Well" 11 December 1984
2.10 "Catch a Fallen Star" 18 December 1984
2.11 "Gams People Play" 8 January 1985
2.12 "Prisoner of War" 15 January 1985
2.13 "Baxter and Boz" 22 January 1985
2.14 "Curse of the Mary Aberdeen" 29 January 1985
2.15 "Boz Busters" 5 February 1985
2.16 "Oil Bets Are Off" 12 February 1985
2.17 "Girls Night Out" 19 February 1985
2.18 "Polly Want an Explanation" 5 March 1985
2.19 "The Twisted Cross" 12 March 1985
2.20 "Fuzzy Vision" 19 March 1985
2.21 "Arrivederci, Baby" 7 May 1985
2.22 "Harmony and Grits" 14 May 1985

Season 3 (1985–1986)[edit]Edit

Title Air date
3.01 "Wipe Out" 1 October 1985
3.02 "Thirty-Six Hours Till Dawn" 22 October 1985
3.03 "Does Not Compute" 29 October 1985
3.04 "The Bargain Department" 5 November 1985
3.05 "Who Really Watches the Sunset?" 12 November 1985
3.06 "Still Goin' Steady" 19 November 1985
3.07 "Robin and Marian" 3 December 1985
3.08 "Requiem for Icarus" 10 December 1985
3.09 "Home for Christmas" 17 December 1985
3.10 "Lady Killer" 7 January 1986
3.11 "A Matter of Policy" 14 January 1986
3.12 "The Wedding Bell Blues" 21 January 1986
3.13 "The Frankie Kahana Show" 11 February 1986
3.14 "Smiles We Left Behind" (2 hours) 25 February 1986
3.15 "The Pirate and the Princess" 7 March 1986
3.16 "Playing Hardball" 14 March 1986
3.17 "The Play's the Thing" 21 March 1986
3.18 "Dead Men Don't Floss" 4 April 1986
3.19 "Chapel of Glass" 11 April 1986
3.20 "If You Can't Beat 'Em, Join 'Em" 18 April 1986
3.21 "Echoes" 22 August 1986

DVD releases[edit]Edit

United States[edit]Edit

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment released a three-disc DVD set of the complete first season of Riptide on February 14, 2006, available in the United States only. Although the Sony release includes all of the episodes from the season, many of the opening teasers are missing.

In the near future, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment will soon release the final two seasons of Riptide, the complete second season and the complete third and final season.

DVD Name Ep # Release Date
Riptide: The Complete First Season 13 February 14, 2006
Riptide: The Complete Second Season 22 TBA
Riptide: The Complete Third & Final Season 22 TBA


Visual Entertainment has released all three seasons of Riptide, available in Canada only. Unlike the U.S. release, all of the opening teasers are intact. However, several episodes have music replaced and sequences edited out due to copyright issues. On October 14, 2008 VEI released Riptide: The Complete Series, a 13-disc box set featuring all 58 episodes of the show.[4] The release was initially scheduled to be released on September 9, 2008, but was delayed for unknown reasons. As of 2013, these releases have been discontinued and are out of print.

DVD Name Ep # Release Date
Riptide: The Complete First Season 14 November 7, 2006
Riptide: The Complete Second Season 22 October 30, 2007
Riptide: The Complete Third & Final Season 22 February 12, 2008
Riptide: The Complete Series 58 October 14, 2008


In Germany the show is known under the title Trio Mit Vier Fäusten (Trio With Four Fists).

Universum Films has released all three seasons of Riptide for Germany on May 29, 2009 (Season 1),[5] July 31, 2009 (Season 2)[6] and September 25, 2009 (Season 3).[7]

The DVD sets feature 4:3 Pal, DD 2.0 mono German and English, no teasers, but with a bonus episode of 21 Jump Street (Season 1). The Season 2 boxes will contain an episode not broadcast in Germany, "The Twisted Cross", in English with German subtitles. The German box sets have the original music of the U.S. series, unlike the Canadian box sets 2 and 3.

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