or, How Old Does That Make Me in Adam-12 Years???**
Trying to figure out the timeline for Adam-12 can cause a migraine. As far as I know, there are two schools of thought regarding the march of time on this show, one based on the number of hash marks on Pete's sleeve and the age of Jim Reed's son, and the other based roughly on the model year of the actual cars seen on the streets.
For purposes of consistency--and because it makes the most sense to me and I'm the editor and this is my site, so there--the stories on this site should follow the "hash mark/baby timeline" (what that is in dog years, who knows).
|Seasons 1 - 2||approx 1 year|
|Seasons 2 - 3||1 year|
|Seasons 3 - 4||1 year|
|Seasons 5 - 6||1 year|
More on the hash mark theory of time relativity and why I prefer it:
In the first episode, Jim mentions that his wife is due in six months, but she doesn't have the baby until not quite midway through season 2. By season 7, there is still what could be a high chair (or a kitchen stool that has a seat on top which could be used for small children) in the Reeds' kitchen, so that implies that Jimmy is still under 4, at the oldest. Jim Reed still doesn't have his 5-year hash mark on his uniform sleeve by the end of season 7, although Pete's 10-year hash had appeared by then. One last little bit of "evidence"--in the sixth season episode "Skywatch", Walters makes a reappearance, now working as a helicopter pilot. He makes a passing remark about Reed finally being off probation, and Pete's reply is to the effect that Jim got off probation a "couple of years ago".
Yes, there are still problems, most notably that we see obvious 1977 model cars on the streets by the end of the show, but in the conflict between reality vs. dramatic license, for me it's too jarring to think that Jim's still a rookie on probation after two years and that by the end of the show his child is still using a high chair past kindergarten.
Or maybe it's just those Reed boys are slow learners. ;)
**Special thanks to Karen for helping me get this reasonably straight!