“Riptide” had a brief run on NBC, where it wrapped up its time on the network after three seasons and a TV movie. But after its cancellation, the series moved to the USA Network, where it became a familiar staple for children of the ’80s who spent their afternoons watching syndicated action programs while doing their homework. It’s a series that’s gone on to have a surprisingly long shelf life, later turning up on oldies rerun networks like getTV and Decades. The whole series can be watched for free over on Crackle as well. It features Jack Ging’s most recognizable role as Lt. Ted Quinlan, the by-the-books spoiler for the show’s fun-loving gang.
Quinlan bumps up against Cody Allen (Perry King), Murray “Boz” Bozinsky (Thom Bray), and Nick Ryder (Joe Penny), who collectively run a private detective agency out of Cody’s boat, the titular Riptide. The smug Quinlan represents all of the law and order that the three rogues have been avoiding since they left the army, but more often than not, he finds himself relying on them and their work, and vice-versa. The part allows Ging to be serious, funny, and tough and even lets him pitch a bit of romantic woo, making it one of his most layered roles. But Quinlan didn’t make it to the end of the series; he was killed off during Episode 8 of Season 3, “Requiem for Icarus.” By then, Cody, Boz, and Nick all considered Ted something of a friend, and his passing proved devastating to the team.
“Riptide” still has a cult following to this day, and it remains the actor’s most memorable small-screen role.
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