When an assassin's bullet confines him to a wheelchair for life ending his career as Chief of Detectives, Robert T. Ironside becomes a consultant to the police department. Detective Sergeant Ed Brown and policewoman Eve Whitfield join with him to crack varied and fascinating cases. Ex-con Mark Sanger is employed by the chief as home help but eventually becomes a fully fledged member of the team also. Officer Whitfield leaves after 4 years service, and is replaced by Officer Fran Belding.
On a day out with Mark, Ed finds a body in the park, but when Homicide arrives it has gone. Teased by his rival, Homicide Sergeant Larry Mullen, Ed is anxious to prove that there really was a body, but the Chief would rather have him working on a kidnapping case with the FBI. It soon appears, however, that the two cases may in fact be the same one.
The Chief links his case with a psychiatrist, who turns out to be a psychopath with a passion for brainwashing. Before he can get his evidence together, however, Fran is taken as the next victim of the doctor's peculiar brand of therapy, and is programmed to kill Ironside. Meanwhile Susan has to face past guilt over the death of her brother before she can be safe from herself.
The son of an old friend, fearing that his father's life is in danger, asks the Chief to go to Tokyo. Once there Ironside finds his old friend wheelchair-bound as a result of an accident, and begins to work on his own theory about who might have hired a hitman to kill such a respected old man.
Ed discovers that Bernie Simmonds, a man sought on assault charges, was in his high school class. Whilst pursuing the investigation, he meets with Ann Garfield, his first love; now widowed with two small children. Love, it seems, is set to blossom twice; unless Ann knows more about Bernie than she is letting on.
A violin tutor at a conservatory in San Francisco is murdered, and the suspects include an eclectic mix of talented musicians. The only clue possessed by the Chief is a message sent by the dead man to one of his students, hidden in a collection of pieces of classical music.
A string of deaths at a convalescence home leads the Chief to go undercover as a patient, whose two children (Fran Belding and Ed) hint that they wish he were "no longer their problem". It soon appears that violence and murder are considered due care by certain members of the staff.
A man dies in what appears to be an accident, but his estranged daughter is convinced that the story is not nearly so simple. A complex Japanese puzzle appears to be the only clue to the truth and the Chief struggles to solve it alone. Meanwhile the daughter of the murdered man has problems of her own; but these can only be solved by Ed's special touch.
A policeman's daughter crashes her car after taking cannabis, and her father sets out to catch the man who sold her the stuff. When it becomes apparent that he has framed the man responsible, the task falls to Ironside to decide whether to charge a known pusher or an old and trusted cop who has clearly gone off the rails.
When a drug pusher is arrested following a spate of botched drug raids he fingers Ironside as a gang informer. Ed is press-ganged onto a team set up to investigate the Chief, which leads to conflict with Eve. Meanwhile Ironside himself seems to be taking the investigation very calmly, which leads to concern all round.
Ed is shot during a raid on a jewellery store, and his life is saved by a stranger who vanishes as soon as the authorities arrive on the scene. When it later transpires that the stranger is a soldier gone AWOL following the murder of a colleague, Ed is determined to prove him innocent of all charges.
A policeman is killed, and his murderer is subsequently shot by the dead man's partner; and when it transpires that both officers were at the Police Academy with Ed, Ironside becomes involved. When he begins investigating, the Chief discovers that the second death was no murder, but a set up.
A military-issue fragmentation grenade is used in an attack on two Vietnam veterans, one of whom - a friend of Mark's - is killed. When it transpires that another of the pair's old unit has come under similar attack, the Chief sets out to trap the killer, using Ed in a cunning disguise as bait.
While in Los Angeles to testify for a trial against gangster Frank Harmon, Ed is shot and falls off the balcony of his hotel room. He is then taken to the Craig Institute where he undergoes emergency surgery. Although the bullet wounds were non-life threatening, Ed suffers a broken back in the fall and some damage to his spine. The scarring leaves him paralyzed and only an experimental surgical procedure is the only option to regaining his mobility. Also, even though all the evidence points to Harmon, Ironside has doubts that he was the person responsible for the attempted hit. Also, the chief begins having flashbacks to the night he was shot and paralyzed. Written by Brian Washington
When the team gets word of a kidnap plot, Ed goes undercover as the wheel man; but he soon finds himself battling with a fellow gang member who wants the victim dead, and is happy to kill Ed too if he gets in the way. Meanwhile the Chief struggles to gain the trust of the victim's mother, a film star whose head is being kept firmly in the clouds by her manager.
A successful folk trio comprising two brothers and a sister tour San Francisco, and Eve's suspicions are roused when the girl, an old school friend, disappears without a word. When the body of another young woman turns up, brutally murdered, the Chief knows that there is a connection somewhere; but which, if either, of the brothers killed the girl? The clue to their sister's whereabouts might just be in their music.
Ironside is the only witness to a murder, but has to go into hospital for exploratory surgery immediately after the events that he witnessed. The murderer is determined that he should not leave hospital alive, and as the Chief deals with the possibility of maybe one day being able to walk again, his presence in the hospital helps various other citizens right wrongs in their lives. Meanwhile Ed, Eve and Mark deal with their own worries and fears for the Chief as the murder attempts escalate.
Driving to the garage whilst tired, Mark knocks down an old lady, with whom he develops a close relationship. It soon seems, however, that his guilt over the affair is going to lead to some revelations about his new friend that he might rather not hear.
A string of bank robberies are being committed, all with the exact hallmarks of a certain thief recently released from prison. Having a liking for the ex-con, however, the Chief wishes to believe in his innocence, and sets out to prove that it may be a copycat who is responsible for the raids.
Peter Justin, a gentleman jewel thief and old adversary of the Chief's, returns from a five year stretch in San Quentin and is soon back to his old life. When a protÃ©gÃ© frames him for a robbery and murder charge the Chief has to prove him innocent, despite his knowledge that another recent robbery is most definitely the work of Justin alone.
A man with an uncanny ability to tame vicious guard dogs commits a series of robberies in San Francisco. The Chief has a plan to stop him, but it calls for a dog of his own and a willingness to put himself right in the line of fire.
The son of a judge involved in a fraud case is framed for the murder of a young actress, in the hope that this will force a lighter sentence in the fraud trial. The Chief sets out to ensure that justice can be done, whilst at the same time protecting an innocent young man from ruining a career he has not yet had a chance to embark upon.
A string of murders is committed, and in each case the victim has a numbered disk in their possession. After number four is found dead, it transpires that the Commissioner is the owner of disk number six; and the Chief disguises himself as number five - an irascible artist to whom he bears a striking resemblance - in order to keep him alive.
A Mob numbers racket suffers a series of robberies, but is understandably unwilling to report the thefts. The Chief, feeling that he knows who might be the guilty party, sets out not only to stop the robberies, but also to get to the thief before the Mob metes out their own form of justice.
The Chief is sure that a man just released from prison is responsible for the murder of a policeman, but as determined as he is to prove it, the man in question is equally determined that it will never be proved. With this in mind he persuades a woman of dubious reputation to become close to Ironside, so that she can assassinate him.
An old Armenian, the uncle of a friend of Eve's, appears to be hiding some secret that has his niece deeply worried. It soon transpires that his two nephews are involved in the manufacture of narcotics, drugs which are then being sold to children. But the fact that their uncle is keeping quiet about it suggests that he too has something to hide.
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