which leaves only the texts and speculations about them. This study is an attempt to tease out some of Cannell's creative influences from the assortment of influences that may have gone into the production of each of his shows by looking for themes, characters, ideas, and concerns that run through all of Cannell's work. Much of what we find, however, may not be unique to Cannell's shows nor unimpeachable evidence of Cannell's pen. He has written hundreds of television episodes, and it would be possible to find isolated lines and fragments from them to support nearly any assertion; similarly, one could take the themes and concerns I am about to attribute to Cannell and prove that he wrote Hamlet.
But that is the nature of interpretation, and such limitations should not necessarily reduce us to silence. While they will remain speculative, enough evidence will be brought in to make the conclusions plausible. Cannell does not confess to the nature of his creativity; so the evidence we use in examining it is at best circumstantial. Nevertheless, a consistency of themes, characters, ideas, and styles that are found throughout all of Cannell's work does indicate that he has been in creative control of the production environments he works within. His methods, like most in television, may be recombinant, but it is clear that he is the one dictating the nature of that recombination. Our goal is to juxtapose biographical information about Cannell with the texts he wrote and produced and to examine the fit.
Cannell said in the same interview:
I like television, because it's an industry basically controlled by writers. Somebody like me could never have happened in the motion-picture industry, where things are basically controlled by direc-