|partnered with David Starsky, was married once (perhaps twice)
|Starsky & Hutch
|Click here for related articles on Fanlore.
Kenneth Hutchinson, more commonly known as "Hutch," is half of the crime-fighting duo Starsky & Hutch. He is portrayed by David Soul.
Some Brief Canon Facts
- went to the police academy with David Starsky, his partner
- mentions an ex-wife named Nancy in the pilot, another (or the same woman with a name change) ex-wife, Vanessa, appears in the third season and is murdered in Hutch's apartment
- grew up in Duluth, Minnesota
- health nut
- plays guitar
- likes driving beat-up Ford sedans, and claims not to like Starsky's Torino
- talks to his houseplants
- his middle name is Richard, also his father's name
- he is afraid of needles and having morphine administered to him due to his ordeal in the episode, "The Fix"
- has a cold and disapproving family
- attended, or planned to attend, law school or medical school
Topics of Discussion and of Fanworks
Some Hutch Tropes
The Fourth Season
The show's fourth season features a Hutch whose physical appearance had noticeably altered. Many fans claimed they saw major changes in his behavior as well, feeling that he was more bitter and depressed, and more abrasive towards Starsky. Near the end of the season, he became so disillusioned by his job that he temporarily quit (Starsky did as well, but only after hearing Hutch's decision). He also slept with Starsky's girlfriend Kira behind his friend's back, which nearly destroyed their friendship and which many fans saw as OOC. A great many fanfics (particularly character studies and Angst) are dedicated to exploring or explaining Hutch's behavior during this season, as well as Starsky's concern for (or contribution to) it.
Family and Background
- Parents: There is almost no canon on Hutch's parents, but fanfic leans heavily towards writing them--especially his father--as an upper-class couple who are demanding, materialistic, and emotionally negligent or abusive towards Hutch. Frequently they are shown to disapprove of his job as a police officer and his relationship with Starsky. Even stories with positive portrayals of the characters sometimes mention that they are not emotionally demonstrative, usually set up as a contrast to Starsky having a warm relationship with his mother or extended family.
- Sister: Hutch is commonly written as having a sister (occasionally more than one) due to a mention of one in an unfilmed script and Hutch's claim to have a brother-in-law in the episode "Starsky's Lady".
- Brother: In the episode "Starsky and Hutch are Guilty" Hutch says he doesn't have a brother. Fanfic usually abides by this, but a handful of stories instead suggest that he has a brother who is dead or presumed dead.
- Grandfather: Hutch mentions having a grandfather who was a farmer; this grandfather is frequently referenced in fanfic. He is universally portrayed as having a strong positive relationship with Hutch as a child, sometimes giving Hutch the love and guidance he didn't receive from his parents.
- Friends: Jack Mitchell was Hutch's best friend from high school. He was extremely wealthy, popular and successful.
Hurt/Comfort and Angst
Who suffers more, and more beautifully, Starsky or Hutch?
I, too, have always been fascinated by why Hutch seems to be destined for such mental anguish always, and every other story seems to be a "get-Starsky." Speculation often has it that Hutch doesn't accept physical comfort well, closing up when he's hurting, while Starsky seems to crave it, making Starsky the ideal comfortee and Hutch (who bleeds so very nicely for people)" the perfect comforter. But as to why Hutch should be so tortured - the Hutchinson guilt complex has already been discussed, and he is a quieter, more thoughtful person than Starsky, so perhaps that gives people the idea that he has a lot of demons to face. Or maybe it's just balancing all the physical hurts Starsky faces. I don't buy a lot of it myself; I see Hutch as an idealist who slowly becomes more cynical with experience, but who still doesn't lose that idealism or his capacity to give, because of Starsky's influence. I gotta admit, it does make for some great fanfic, though. 
For all of you who have read or written S&H fanfic, you know that there's a real trend toward showing Starsky in physical pain and Hutch in emotional/mental pain, but it is very rarely done the other way around. Does anybody have any thoughts on why this pattern has developed in the fandom? Does this pattern also hold true in the series, or is it something the fanfic writers have imposed on the dashing duo? 
Hutch's Guilt Complex, His White Knight Complex, His Insecurities, His Practical Jokes
Family and Background: Fan Comments
Thought I'd take a moment to reply to the recent post from Kati (concerning Hutch's family background). Now, when a television show or other form of entertainment doesn't give fans all the "specifies," what do we do? We fill in the blanks! And that leaves the door open to a multitude of interpretations. I've read fanfic in which Hutch's family was totally loving and supportive. On the other extreme, I've read stories in which he was abused by both parents" Neither of these view points is necessarily wrong... we don't know. It's exploring the possibilities that makes fanfic fun. Personally,I always felt that there was a certain insecurity and lack of self-confidence at the core of Ken Hutchinson. Sure, he comes across as cool and collected, but there is an element of, "I'm not good enough and I'm destined to fail" at the heart of his personality, and a need to try and prove himself. He feels responsible for the world and often seems to blame himself for everything - even events over which he has no control. control. [This is another frequently-occurring “eldest sibling” trait! You are constantly told “you have to look out for your younger brothers/sisters” and that carries over to the rest of your life. 1 feel the same way myself. And it's another reason that 1 believed Hutch had a younger sibling or maybe more. SB] That is why Starsky's acceptance is so important to him. In Starsky, he has found someone who accepts him for what he is and doesn't try and change him or make him into something else - someone who trusts him completely and sees success where others see failure. But there is always the fear that Starsky will "wise-up" to his shortcomings - this helps explain a lot of the "prove to me you real ly care" games Hutch initiates later in the series. He is testing Starsky because he can't quite believe the guy really won't abandon him like so many others have done. Of course, Kati is right, there is also the loving, caring, sensitive side of Hutch that we find so irresistibly appealing. So how do I unify these different aspects of Hutch? The "background" IVe created allows for an emotionally reserved, sometimes abusive, father who is overly judgmental and quick to criticize. Someone whom Hutch constantly strove to please while growing up, but found that no matter how hard he tried his efforts were never quite good enough. However, in Hutch's mother, I envision a warm, supportive influence - someone who taught him how to love and the importance of compassion, why would such a caring mother stay with such a father? The usual - financial need, fear, the shame of divorce for that generation, etc. Anyway, that's my view on things. No doubt many will disagree, but you asked!
I personally never pictured Hutch as coming from a cold, dysfunctional family. When I wrote a story that included a visit to Hutch's family, I hadn't read a lot of other fanfic, and i n a way. I’m glad because 1 didn't see them as being cold or abusive. I think Hutch would have a much harder time expressing concern or sympathy or com fort than he does if that were the case. There are only a couple of reasons I can think of that would explain why so many writers portray it that way: a history of child abuse or emotional neglect is fertile ground for h/c stories, and Hutch’s occasionally mean streak at Starsky. There are a few times during the series where Hutch seems to actually enjoy Starsky’s misfortunes (never the dangerous ones, but things like the rental tag and tom tuxedo in "Photo Finish", or kicking the cane out from under him in the tag to "The Trap" seemed like an odd trick to play on someone recovering from a gunshot wound in the leg who is still obviously limping and is back to work sooner than expected) and his tendency to sometimes cross the border from joking to insulting. While I think a lot of this was inflicted on Hutch’s character by scriptwriters, it’s still there to be dealt with as the "reality" given to us by the show. It's like a cold streak in his character that is inconsistent with the Hutch of’’Shootout", "ACFS", "Lady Blue" or "Starsky’s Lady". Maybe we’re looking for a way to make those negative qualities or behavior not his fault, or at least more logical. Oddly enough, given the tag to "The Game”, there’s more of a series indicator that Starsky had some form of abuse or harshness in his upbringing. There’s nothing in the series to indicate anything like that for Hutch. 
Examples of Hutch-Centric Fiction
Some popular fan fiction topics: the trauma of having heroin injected into him by force, his past with Vanessa Hutchinson, speculation about his family and upbringing, the ordeal of seeing Starsky shot in the fourth season, helping Starsky with various canonical misfortunes, how he copes with things after the end of the fourth season, and of course, his intense relationship with his partner.
Examples of Hutch-Centric Vids
Examples of Hutch-Centric Art
from Zebra Three #3, artist is Deanna Lloyd
depicts Hutch's dark side from The Pits #2, artist is Connie Faddis
from Forever Autumn, artist is Min
from S and H #7, artist is Cheryl Newsome
from Casa Cabrillo, artist is Tim Richardson
from Me and Thee, artist is Julian Thompson
from L.A. Vespers, artist is Kay McElvain
from You and I, artist is Glynis Jones
from Who You Know, What You Know, & How You Know It..., artist is Nancy Broll
from Bonaventure, artist is Jean Bushnell
from Distant Shores, artist is J. Jones
from In Your Eyes, artist is Helen
from Mind If I Join Ya?, artist is Evelyn Thomas
from Reflections of the Way Life Used to Be, artist is Julie H