Nakia (TV series)

Nakia is a 1974 United States dramatic television series starring Robert Forster about a Native American police officer in New Mexico. It aired from September 21 to December 28, 1974.[1][2]

Nakia title card.JPG
Nakia title card
GenrePolice drama
Created byMichael Butler
Christopher Trumbo
StarringRobert Forster
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
No. of seasons1
No. of episodes13 plus pilot
Executive producer(s)Charles Larson
Running time60 minutes
Production company(s)David Gerber Productions
Columbia Pictures Television
DistributorSony Pictures Television
Original networkABC
Audio formatMonaural
Original releaseSeptember 21 (1974-09-21) –
December 28, 1974 (1974-12-28)
A promotional photo of Robert Forster as Deputy Nakia Parker in Nakia.

Nakia's pilot was the made-for-television movie Nakia, which was broadcast on April 17, 1974.



Nakia Parker is a full-blooded Navajo in his mid-30s who is a deputy sheriff in the fictional town of Concord in fictional Davis County in 1974 New Mexico. In the sheriff's department, he works for Sheriff Sam Jericho, as does fellow deputy sheriff Hubbel Martin and the office secretary, Irene James. Ben Redearth is a Native American friend of Nakia's,[1][2][3] and Half Cub is Nakia's 12-year-old nephew.

Nakia is often torn between ancient tribal customs and the use of modern police methods. Rather than use a police car, he alternates between driving a pickup truck and riding a horse while investigating cases.[2] Sometimes inscrutable and prone to voicing tribal proverbs, Nakia is deeply committed to protecting his fellow Native Americans from injustice, and at times this leads to opposition from his more narrow-minded white neighbors – including Sheriff Jericho.[4]


Michael Butler and Christopher Trumbo created Nakia,[5] and Charles Larson was its executive producer.[1] Episode directors included Nicholas Colasanto, Alvin Ganzer, Leonard Horn, and Alexander Singer,[6] and episode producers included Larson, David Gerber, Peter Katz, Ernest A. Losso, and George Sunga.[6] Butler, Larson, and Trumbo all wrote for the show, as did Sy Salkowitz, Jim Byrnes, Mark Saha, Phyllis White, and Robert White.[6]

Nakia, a rarity among American television series in its attempt to depict the challenges of modern-day Native Americans,[4] was filmed largely on location in and around Albuquerque, New Mexico.[1][2]

Broadcast historyEdit

The pilot for the series aired on ABC as the made-for-television movie Nakia on April 17, 1974.[7] Nakia premiered as a weekly ABC series on September 21, 1974. In addition to the pilot, thirteen episodes aired before the show, with low ratings in the face of tough competition in its time slot from CBS's The Carol Burnett Show,[7] was cancelled after the broadcast of December 28, 1974.[1][2] The show aired at 10:00 p.m. on Saturday throughout its run.[1][2]



Episode # Title Plot/Notes Original air date
Pilot "Nakia" Nakia is caught in the middle of a community dispute when the Concord city council decides to sell an historic mission to a housing developer and the tribe tries to save it. Linda Evans guest-stars. Broadcast as a made-for-television movie. April 17, 1974
1 "The Non-Person" A dark-skinned young Native American man wearing squeaky shoes, George Two Horses, argues with a stereo store owner who refuses to extend him credit to buy a radio. Later that day, the store owner confronts a dark-skinned burglar wearing squeaky shoes who is trying to steal the same radio, and the burglar fatally injures him. When the police attempt to question Two Horses, he flees, and when he is captured he is found to have dried blood on his shirt. Despite the opposition of townspeople and the skepticism of Sheriff Jericho, Nakia believes that Two Horses is innocent and tries to help clear him of the murder charge. A Martinez, Elisabeth Chauvet, and Edward Bell guest-star. September 21, 1974
2 "The Quarry" Nakia investigates how a once kind and loving father became a murderous wild man. Burr DeBenning, Beth Brickell, and Gale Sondergaard guest-star. September 28, 1974
3 "The Sand Trap" Nakia investigates the murder of a country boy who married into high society, and his widow is the leading suspect. Jo Ann Harris and Mariana Hill guest-star. October 5, 1974
4 "The Hostage" A tough bank robber takes a young mentally disabled woman hostage, and an unlikely bond develops between them. David Huffman, Kay Lenz, Jeanne Stein, and Emmett S. Robbins guest-star. October 12, 1974
5 "No Place to Hide" A new resident of Concord is being hunted by his former colleagues in organized crime. Gabe Dell, Ray Danton, and Gwen Van Dam guest-star. October 19, 1974
6 "A Beginning in the Wilderness" Nakia tries to save a kidnapped boy. October 26, 1974
7 "The Driver" Nakia is concerned that a naive young man is unwittingly becoming involved in criminal activities. Geoffrey Deuel, Victoria Racimo, Tim O'Connor, and Harry Basch guest-star. November 2, 1974
8 "The Moving Target" Nakia fears that an old friend may be the prospective target of a sharpshooter's revenge. Marjoe Gortner, John Bennett Perry and Conny Van Dyke guest-star. November 9, 1974
9 "The Dream" A student who is now the main suspect in a series of crimes plans to kill a Native American doctor who committed him to psychiatric treatment years earlier. Michael Ansara and Richard Hatch guest-star. November 23, 1974
10 "Roots of Anger" A fight breaks out in Jackie's, a local bar, and Nakia subdues a local troublemaker during the brawl by knocking him out. The man is found dead the next day, and Nakia is in danger of facing murder charges. Forced to clear his name, he investigates the man's death and finds that the man's teenaged brother murdered him after a disagreement. Guest star Lynda Carter made her acting debut in this episode. Pernell Roberts and Barbara Rhoades also guest-star. November 30, 1974
11 "A Matter of Choice" A deputy intensifies his crusade to arrest drug dealers after an informant disappears. Charles Aidman, Pat Carroll, and Farley Granger guest-star. December 7, 1974
12 "Pete" Nakia ignores standard police procedures to deal with a couple on a robbery spree. Johnny Doran, George Maharis, and Shirley Knight guest-star. December 21, 1974
13 "The Fire Dancer" Ben Redearth insists on undergoing a Native American traditional cure after a bear claws him. Anthony Caruso and Burr Smidt guest-star. December 28, 1974


  1. ^ a b c d e f McNeil, Alex, Total Television: The Comprehensive Guide to Programming From 1948 to the Present, New York: Penguin Books, 1996, p. 588.
  2. ^ a b c d e f Brooks, Tim, and Earle Marsh, The Complete Directory to Prime-Time Network and Cable TV Shows, 1946–Present, Sixth Edition, New York: Ballantine Books, 1995, ISBN 0-345-39736-3, p. 726.
  3. ^ a b "TV ACRES: Westerns > NAKIA – starring Robert Forster". Archived from the original on 5 September 2014. Retrieved 28 December 2015.
  4. ^ a b c "The Rap Sheet: Killed in the Ratings: "Nakia"". Retrieved 28 December 2015.
  5. ^ "Nakia". IMDb. Retrieved 28 December 2015.
  6. ^ a b c IMDb Nakia Full Cast and Crew
  7. ^ a b c "Fall 1974: ABC – Television Obscurities". Television Obscurities. Retrieved 28 December 2015.
  8. ^ "Nakia". Retrieved 28 December 2015.

External linksEdit