Jim Rockford is the main character of an American detective television series called Rockford Files which was aired on NBC television network for the year between 1974 and 1980. This character has remained in constant fame to this present day. The series was very much notable for its quality scripting, which was penned by David Chase, Juanita Bartlett and Stephen J Cannell, and the extravagant charm of James Garner, who portrayed and gave justice to the character, Jim Rockford.
The television series was produced By Canell and Roy Huggins. Huggins had earlier created a television series called Maverick in which James Garner had starred and it was aired from 1957 to 1962. He wanted to recapture the same magic in a detective television series. Huggins with support of Cannell had created Rockford.
Rockford’s hobby was to investigate in cases which would often turn into quarrels with his friend Dennis Becker who was sergeant in Los Angeles Police department. The homicide detective was struggling to cope with the overbearing lieutenants in the department. The higher ranking officers were invariably in disagreement with Rockford as their perception was that he interfered in open cases and was trying to prove that LAPD was incompetent in handling the closed cases. Furthermore, Jim Rockford was alleged to be asking for favors from Becker, like using number plates with computer system, even sometimes annoying the overworked police officers.
It was in the fifth season that Becker was promoted as Lieutenant and it was the beginning of Becker’s close association with Rockford. The higher ranking officers in LAPD were against this and considered it as shifty defrauds which had probably resulted in Becker’s promotion. Lieutenant Chapman was intensely frustrated as Becker was promoted to the same rank. The character Becker appeared in 89 out of the 123 episodes and there was close bonding between Garner and Joe Santos who portrayed as Becker.
Jim Rockford resided in simple abode, a trailer house along the Pacific Coast highway in Malibu, which was not far away from his father, Joseph Rockford’s small bungalow. Rocky, the nick name which Jim used to call his father, was an Ex- Seabee, and was also a truck driver who often used to pursue Jim to get more stable job and often urged him to follow the same foot steps as a truck driver. The relationship of father-son, son -father was beautifully portrayed in the series.
Rockford was also in close relationship with glamorous, idealistic and tenacious Elizabeth Davenport who was nicknamed as Beth played by Gretchen Corbett. In the series, though there were no explicit scenes, it was understood that they were romantically very much involved. In some of the episodes, they were seen sharing open relationship, going for blind dates with others, and discussing their romances.
After the fourth season Corbett was replaced with another character called John Copper who was new legal adviser. Rockford had many romantic flings with several other women in the series, though they appeared in for significant episodes. Jim also had his brother Jack Garner, who appeared as guest performer as policeman, gas station attendant and also as stranger in bathroom.