PILOT The opening is scene just perfect. Watching New Yorkers stirring and a quiet street suddenly filled with bustle is neatly symbolic for the start of a phenomenon. Or at least a popular, long-running show. I also appreciated the lighter touch here - sleepy people in dressing gowns sleepily moving their cars from one side of the street to another on autopilot to circumnavigate the parking restrictions coming into force at 7am. The location work in the Pilot looks just great. It's a plus that the picture quality of the DVDs is so good, but those outdoor scenes really helped me feel I was watching a feature film. Mark Snow's score also helps here. At several points during the feature I found myself impressed by the energy of the music. My lingering memory from previous watches are many plays of the Ain't That Just The Way song that was written for this Pilot. This time round it didn't feel that was the case. And on the couple of plays I noticed of that song it felt really fitting. There were some really nice touches, including a wordless scene where the music leads the action as a woman is arrested whilst her young son watches which brought tears to my eyes. It's usually difficult to watch this without wanting to compare the actors to those that would later play the characters. Not just Loretta Swit as Christine, but Harv and Isbecki. Tonight, I found myself accepting the actors on face value. Swit is actually very good here. Each time I watch the Pilot it feels like I find something new to like. She has a really lovely, quite natural way and I thought her chemistry with Tyne Daly worked well too. Her ambitiousness was clear and I appreciated that even at this point they didn't stray from conflict between Chris and Mary Beth. On previous watches I've found Ronald Hunter's Harvey a little more difficult to accept. He has a tough role here, with Harv being in the depths of depression and spending much of his screen time being grouchy, feeling sorry for himself or arguing with Mary Beth. Despite all that, I came away from it with some sympathy for Harv, so Hunter was doing something right. Daly is a wonderful actress and doesn't have to do very much for me to feel empathy. I felt connected with her character right from her first scene. There was much opportunity for her to get dramatic, but I enjoy the small stuff at least as much. Casting of the smaller roles was spot on too. Some would go on to become familiar faces during the main run. The understanding between Chris and Petrie was a really interesting dynamic here, based on their both being persecuted by their peers (Chris as a woman, Petrie as an African-American). This wasn't the only instance of that. The challenges experienced by the two women were drawn upon several times by the characters themselves who - perhaps unconsciously - used them to enhance their jobs. Chris bonded with an older Jewish woman jeweller by mentioning that she understood the challenges she faced working in a man's world. In another part of the episode, Mary Beth drew upon her own life experience as a mother to connect with a sex worker (and to give Mary Beth her due, she followed that up by actually looking after the woman's child whilst the woman was being held in a police cell). Yvette Hawkins as Female, the woman in question, is a great example of the quality of casting. She's just wonderful - from her initial appearance, full of attitude and fighting spirit to the vulnerability she showed later in the episode. She really sold it. The plot was far more intricate and layered than I remembered. I'd forgotten all about the Nazi posing as a Jewish elder. Some really powerful moments came out of that. There were some genuinely exciting action scenes that reminded me I was watching a cop show, but even during those I never lost sight of the characters thanks to how tightly everything was put together. All in all a great start. I could probably happily watch an entire series with Swit and Daly. I'm not overly looking forward to re-watching the Meg Foster episodes with the Nelson Riddle score, but it's only half a dozen episodes, after all.