Among the first original anthology series to be produced for cable television, The Hitchhiker was a collection of tales of the supernatural and bizarre. The title character, played during the first season by Nicholas Campbell and thereafter by Page Fletcher, was an unnamed drifter who wandered ubiquitously from story to story, sometimes briefly commiserated with the main characters, sometimes acting as a disinterested observer, but always ready with a few pithy and occasional chilling comments of the events which had transpired. Inasmuch as the series carried on pay cable and not "mainstream" commercial TV, the stories contained an abundance of nudity, profanity, and violence. Even so, in most of the half-hour playlets, Evil was severely punished (usually in an ironic "postman always rings twice" fashion) and Virtue more or less triumphed. After 39 episodes on HBO, the series moved to a basic-cable channel, USA, for 46 additional installments. While censorship was somewhat more stringent on USA, The Hitchhiker still managed to serve up rawer and meatier fare than was customary on over-the-air TV of the period. The series was first-run on HBO from November 23, 1983, to May 12, 1987, and on USA from January 4, 1989, to February 22, 1991.
hitchhiker, morale, morals, nudity, supernatural, supernatural-forces, violence