Sledge Hammer!

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Television series
German title Sledge Hammer!
Original title Sledge Hammer!
Country of production United States
original language English
Year (s) 1986-1988
length 22 minutes
Episodes 41 in 2 seasons
genre Comedy , crime thriller
idea Alan Spencer
music Danny Elfman
First broadcast September 23, 1986 (USA) on ABC
first broadcast
January 8, 1988 on RTLplus

Sledge Hammer! (in German: Sledgehammer ) is an American television series from the 1980s. The concept of crime - parody with 25-minute episodes comes from Alan Spencer . The main character is the police officer of the same name, Sledge Hammer (an allusion to the fictional character Mike Hammer from Mickey Spillane ). The most famous quote of the Sledge Hammer figure is the sentence: Trust me - I know what I'm doing! (Originally: Trust me. I know what I'm doing. ).

The series polarizes with an ostensibly unreflected depiction of violence, but otherwise lives from comedy and slapstick . In various episodes, borrowings from well-known films such as RoboCop , Kampfstern Galactica , Crocodile Dundee - A crocodile to kiss or The Only Witness keep creating new twists and turns.


Sledgehammer is working for the homicide of police of San Francisco . The character Hammer is based on the film Dirty Harry with Clint Eastwood , in which a policeman exercises vigilante justice. This character is embodied by David Rasche . Sledge Hammer is fascinated by violence and weapons, which is why he has a special relationship with his .44 Magnum called "Susi" (the Smith & Wesson Model 629 revolver has no name in the original , it is just an invention of German dubbing).


  • Inspector Sledge Hammer ( David Rasche ) is the protagonist of the series. He was born in Passaic , New Jersey ; his parents, Jack and Armande Hammer, raised him largely at fairgrounds. He was married to a former classmate, but is divorced and does not let his ex-wife have a good hair. He calls his Magnum "Susi" and often talks to herself with her. Sledge Hammer drives an old Dodge St. Regis riddled with dents and bullet holes . He is a nihilist and loves violence and weapons. The sticker on the car, "I ♥ VIOLENCE" ("I love violence"), illustrates its attitude. Dori is the only person he accepts as a partner. His favorite film, however, is not as expected Dirty Harry , because Sledge thinks the film is "too violent". His inappropriate clothing style is also noticeable: he usually wears a combination of striped shirts, floral ties and checked jackets.
  • Detective Dori Doreau ( Anne-Marie Martin ) is Sledge's partner, the rational in Sledge's team. She is a computer and karate specialist, is very good with weapons, and is largely the only person Sledge respects. She and Sledge sometimes spend their free time together, even going on vacation together once. Doreau is convinced that there is also a lovable person in Sledge. She is considered diplomatic and only takes up arms when necessary, unlike Sledge.
  • Captain Trunk ( Harrison Page ) is the choleric boss of Sledge and Dori. He often yells loudly around the police headquarters because Sledge upsets him over and over again with his manner. His father and grandfather were police captains. He loves coffee and cigars and hates Sledge Hammer's methods. He suffers from extremely high blood pressure, for which he blames Sledge.


The German dubbing was done on behalf of Deutsche Synchron Filmgesellschaft mbH & Co. Karlheinz Brunnemann Produktions KG in Berlin-Tempelhof , Michael Nowka was responsible for the dialogue direction and the German-language dialogue book .

role actor speaker
Sledge hammer David Rasche Hans-Jürgen Dittberner
Dori Doreau Anne-Marie Martin Karin Buchholz
Captain Trunk Harrison Page Engelbert von Nordhausen

Episode list

Season 1 (1986-1987)

No. Original title German title First broadcast particularities content
1 Under the gun A perfect team September 23, 1986 As in Dirty Harry , John Vernon appears as mayor. The mayor's daughter has been kidnapped. The suspended Sledge Hammer is supposed to take over the investigation, but he is assigned a partner: Dori Doreau.
2 Hammer Gets Nailed Hire and fire September 26, 1986 The police have a bad reputation. So a TV reporter wants to make a report. Unfortunately he is put aside Hammer.
3 Witless Pious and chaste 3rd October 1986 Parody of "The Only Witness" The mafia has put a $ 1 million bounty on Hammer, who is now trying to go into hiding in a peaceful Jesuit village.
4th They Shoot Hammers, Don't They? Showdown for hammer 17th October 1986 Jonathan Brandis plays the young Sledge Hammer in a flashback. A former friend of Hammer swears death revenge on him. And he's an even better shot than Hammer.
5 Dori Day Afternoon Have a good flight October 24, 1986 Sledge and Dori are taken hostage in a bank robbery. Because Sledge only has one bullet left, they have to think about something.
6th To Sledge, with Love Bambule at the school October 31, 1986 Terror and violence rule a high school. Inspector Hammer is supposed to help with his methods.
7th All shook up Jailhouse Rock November 6, 1986 The two titles refer to Elvis songs of the same name . A serial killer murders Elvis impersonators. Hammer investigates undercover while hunting.
8th Over My Dead Bodyguard In Hammer's care November 13, 1986 Because his superior, Captain Trunk, is threatened, Hammer is supposed to serve as a bodyguard. From whom is Trunk now in greater danger?
9 Magnum farce Vigilante justice November 22, 1986 A parody of Dirty Harry II . Somebody murders released criminals. Although Hammer actually approves of that, he has to follow the lead.
10 If I Had a Little Hammer The baby trade November 29, 1986 The English title is borrowed from the song by Pete Seeger . After numerous babies have been kidnapped, Hammer and Doreau investigate and pose as potential parents.
11 To Live and Die on TV The million dollar question December 13, 1986 Time and again, participants in a quiz show die shortly before the big win. Time for Hammer to introduce himself as a candidate.
12 Miss of the Spider Woman Countdown to hammer December 20, 1986 Sledge Hammer is mistaken and accidentally poisoned. There are only hours left to find the culprit and the antidote.
13 The Old Man and the Sledge From old grist and grain 3rd January 1987 Sledge's former role model as a police officer should go to a retirement home. Before that happens, he wants to see it in action again.
14th State of Sledge The devils are coming January 10, 1987 Bonds from the film Die City-Cobra Hammer locks up a member of a gang while almost all police officers are out and about. So the gang storms the police station.
15th Haven't Gun, Will Travel Beloved Susi 17th January 1987 To destroy Hammer's will, gangsters steal his Magnum "Susi". Without his revolver he's neither a full cop nor a man.
16 The Color of Hammer Hit completely January 24, 1987 Bond girl Martine Beswick in a guest role. Hammer's favorite judge suddenly makes soft judgments. He wants to get to the bottom of the matter.
17th Brother, Can You Spare a Crime? Brother dear January 31, 1987 Does Hammer have an illegitimate brother? At least that's what he claims, and he is completely different from Sledge.
18th Desperately Seeking Dori Stereo hammer February 7, 1987 After an accident, Doreau behaves and dresses like Hammer, and is just as trigger-happy! To the horror of Captain Trunk.
19th Sledgepoo Wash - claw - blow dry February 14, 1987 All victims of a gang of burglars have one thing in common: the hairdresser. So Hammer sneaks in there undercover.
20th Comrade hammer Comrade Hammer February 21, 1987 Cornfield scene from the film The Invisible Third is satirized at the beginning, and a Hitchcock double then walks past Hammer. A Russian scientist wants to overflow. Hammer should accompany him to his testimony.
21st Jagged Sledge The justice gavel April 21, 1987 Inspector Hammer is charged with the murder of a criminal. Unfortunately, he wants to defend himself in court.
22nd The Spa Who Loved Me That ends well, nothing good at all! April 28, 1987 The English title is a corruption of the 10th James Bond film title . Bikini girls raid an army truck and steal an atomic bomb. Sounds like a normal case for Sledge Hammer.

Season 2 (1987-1988)

No. Original title German title First broadcast particularities content
1 A clockwork hammer The red shoes 17th September 1987 The English title is the movie A Clockwork Orange ( A Clockwork Orange borrowed). Contains allusions to the Max Headroom series . A colleague of Hammers goes crazy in court for brain manipulation. When Hammer should testify in his place, one tries to do the same on him.
2 Big Nazi on Campus Nazis at the university September 24, 1987 A student is found dead. Hammer and Doreau find out that she financed her studies with Nazi gold.
3 Play it again, Sledge Visit from the old days 1st October 1987 A homage to the Bogart films with Humphrey Bogart double Robert Sacchi . Because of Sledge's methods, he and Dori are suspended for six months. So both found a detective agency.
4th Wild About Hammer Deadly feelings October 8, 1987 A policewoman falls in love with Hammer and tries to seduce him. Since this does not respond, it shows it.
5 The Death of a Few Salesmen Saved a scalp October 15, 1987 Hammer appears in his disguise as a Crocodile Dundee offcut . When six wealthy car dealers die, Hammer plays the Australian billionaire "Crocodile Bruce" to lure the murderer.
6th Vertical Viewed from above October 29, 1987 Borrowings from the Hitchcock thriller Vertigo . Instead of consulting a psychologist, Hammer wants to treat himself from fear of heights. He promptly loses an important witness.
7th Dressed to call Advice to the woman 5th November 1987 The English title is derived from the thriller Dressed to Kill . A radio presenter is threatened during her broadcasts. Find out Hammer and Doreau.
8th Hammer Hits the Rock (aka Sledge on the Rock) Mini papillon November 12, 1987 The German title and some dialogues borrow from the film Papillon . The English title alludes to the nickname of Alcatraz . Bill Bixby in a guest role. The FBI puts Hammer in jail. He is supposed to help a gang boss escape.
9 Last of the Red Hot Vampires Hammer in Transylvania November 19, 1987 Homage to the films of Hammer Studios . The director of the vampire film is Steven Spielmann, who is also a visual allusion to Steven Spielberg . The vampire actor's name is Vincent Lagarski, a reference to Vincent Price and Bela Lugosi . Those involved in a horror film gradually die. Is there a curse on production? Hammer doesn't believe in it.
10 Hammeroid Remote controlled November 26, 1987 Parody of the movie RoboCop . With the later Star Trek star Armin Shimerman . An android commits theft and seriously injures Hammer, who is then transformed into the police cyborg "Hammeroid".
11 Sledge in Toyland Played out 3rd December 1987 One of the toy manufacturers is called "Goldfunger", a clear reference to James Bond 007 - Goldfinger The head of a toy company is shot dead by a model tank. Hammer soon faces murderous toys too.
12 Icebreaker The icebreaker December 10, 1987 Singer Adam Ant in a guest role. Dori and Sledge are asked for help by an Interpol agent. But when he flirts with Doreau, Hammer suspects evil.
13 They Call Me Mr. Trunk High blood pressure 17th December 1987 The military warns of a spy with a deadly virus. Ironically, this is what Hammer grinds through the whole area.
14th Model Dearest The favorite model January 7, 1988 Doreau is undercover in a model agency. It doesn't really fit Hammer that his colleague is so feminine.
15th Sledge, Rattle & Roll Hammer's rock 'n' roll January 15, 1988 A rock star is shot dead in his limousine and Hammer has to investigate even if he hates rock'n'roll.
16 Suppose They Gave a War & Sledge Came? War games January 22, 1988 The English title refers to the saying by Carl Sandburg "Sometime they'll give a war and nobody will come". Real balls also fly at a company paintball game. Hammer is supposed to find the killer, but almost everyone is suspect.
17th The Secret of My Excess Hammered January 29, 1988 The English title refers to the Michael J. Fox film The Secret of My Success . Hammer gets an order from the governor. But it's so secret that nobody is allowed to know about it.
18th It Happened What Night? KO on the wedding night 5th February 1988 A friend of Captain Trunk calls in Sledge and Dori for an undercover investigation. Shortly thereafter, three men are dead and the two are in bed.
19th Here's to you, Mrs. Hammer A bond for life February 12, 1988 Hammer meets his childhood best friend. Unfortunately, he's now a lawyer - and wants to marry Sledge's ex-wife.


After the first season was broadcast on US television in 1986, no second season was initially planned. Accordingly, the first season ended with an attempt by Hammers to defuse a nuclear warhead, which destroyed the entire city. Surprisingly, another season was commissioned. At the beginning of the first episode of the second season, a board with the following text appears: “The following season of Sledge Hammer! takes place five years before that nuclear explosion. Thank you. ” (In the German dubbed version, the board was translated by an off-speaker with the words “ The following season of Sledge Hammer! Took place five years before the atomic explosion. ” ), Under the title the addition“ The early years "is displayed.

Since Hammer only met his colleague Dori Doreau at the beginning of season 1, and the events with her in season 2 take place five years before the explosion, this indicates that the episodes of the first season will take place over a period of more than five years .

During the German first broadcast January to May 1988 (first season) and June to October 1989 (second season), and also in later reruns (until 1993), the series was announced by RTLplus as Der Hammer , although the title was not changed in the opening credits. Since 1993, from the repetitions on VOX - and later also on RTL , Super RTL and B.TV - the original title of the series has been used.

Bill Bixby , who plays Dr. David Bruce Banner in the 1970s television series The Incredible Hulk , directed eight episodes. He also made a cameo in one of the episodes, Hammer's Rock 'n' Roll .

In the episode "Eisbrecher" (original: "Icebreaker" 1987), in which Bixby also directed, Adam Ant, better known as a musician, played the eponymous role.

In the first three German dubbed episodes of the first season, the sentence “Trust me. I know what I'm doing. Translated in the opening credits with “ Trust me - I know what I'm doing ! ” . In addition, the shot in the pilot is not commented on with “Ouch!” But with “No!”.

The literary critic Denis Scheck quotes the sentence “Trust me, I know what I'm doing” as a recurring element in the ARD program “Hot off the press”.


DVD release

The first season was released in Germany on May 2, 2005 on DVD , the second season on June 24 of the same year. In both seasons, the laugh track , which was prescribed by the ABC station at the time, was removed. As a bonus, the box for the first season contains the uncut pilot film, the box for the second season contains the feature film Double Cop , which is a compilation of the episodes A perfect team , Guten Flug and Die Teufel are coming . At the end of October 2009 a DVD box containing all the episodes was released.


In 1988, Marvel Comics brought two episodes of Sledge Hammer! Comics that also feature Spider-Man .

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Sledge Hammer! In: German dubbing file , accessed on March 2, 2017 .
  2. [1] , Interview with Denis Scheck in the magazine “Cicero”, October 2012.