‘Turner & Hooch’ is a comedy-drama created by Matt Nix that tells the story of U.S. Marshal Scott Turner Jr. (Josh Peck), who inherits a dog after the mysterious and untimely death of his police detective father. Soon, the dog becomes a partner to Turner, and the two, with help from the rest of the Turner family, investigate the death of Turner’s father.
The premise is easily appealing to canine lovers and promises some enjoyable and inciting drama. However, does the concept of a detective partnering up with a dog have any connections to reality? We got curious and decided to sniff out the answers for you. Here’s everything you need to know about whether or not ‘Turner & Hooch’ is inspired by a true story.
Is Turner & Hooch Based on a True Story?
No, ‘Turner & Hooch’ is not based on a true story. The series is based on the 1989 film of the same name (starring Tom Hanks) and serves as a reboot/legacy sequel to the original film. The original film introduces us to the character of Hooch, a French Mastiff dog, who becomes the partner of Scott Turner. The movie is a subversive take on the buddy-cop genre movies that were popular throughout the 80s.
Dogs are vastly used by the police in the investigation of cases and are specially trained to use their skills for the purpose. Therefore, you can say that the idea has some semblance to reality. However, a dog companion to a detective is also commonly seen in fiction. Notable examples include Timmy, a Bernese Mountain Dog, from Enid Blyton’s popular children’s novel series ‘Famous Five,’ and Snowy, a white Wire Fox Terrier, from ‘The Adventures of Tintin,’ a comic series created by Hergé. In fact, the original film is not the only instance of pairing a dog with a detective in a buddy cop film. ‘K-9,’ directed by Rod Daniel and starring Jim Belushi, which was also released in 1989, months ahead of ‘Turner & Hooch,’ follows a similar premise.
In the modern and updated iteration of the concept, ‘Turner & Hooch’ the series, Turner Jr. is a US Marshal who takes the help of his friend Erica Mounier to train the titular dog. Erica works at the US Marshal K-9 facility. In reality, the US Marshals Service indeed has a separate department responsible for training dogs. One such real-life example is of dog Casey, who joined the force in 2010 under the stewardship of Deputy US Marshal Triana Luce. According to Luce, Casey and the other dogs on the force can sniff up to 19,000 different types of explosives. The dogs are also capable of sniffing shell casings and gunpowder residue.
Actress Lyndsy Fonseca who essays the role of Scott’s sister, Laura, described it as an exploration of the bond between the siblings who have somewhat drifted apart in their adulthood. The investigation of their father’s death reunites them as they seek closure. From Fonseca’s words, we can infer that the series has some strong family themes, which adds a layer of relatability to the plot. Ultimately, ‘Turner & Hooch’ is an original story based on a concept that has some connections to reality as well as fiction. People with pets, especially dogs, will naturally find a sense of relatability in the story, while others can resonate with the family dynamics and themes of legacy.
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