Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Superhero TeeVee!!

Okey dokey, so awhile ago, I did DC TV, and Marvel TV, now, to fill in the gaps with all the off-brand supers.

Many of whom, established their own "brand".

Mr. Terrific

The show-

Came out about the same time in the 60's as Batman, and Green Hornet, as an answer to that trend.
(Course, it bears mentioning that George Reeves's Superman was the first TV superhero period)

About  a gas station attendant who secretly works for the government as a superhero.
He changes into Mr. Terrific by popping  a power pill that only works on him, and lasts an hour (cue bad Viagra jokes) and, he's the one superhero that actually had to fly by flapping his arms (he had a wing suit).

The comedy came from him losing his powers at the worst possible moment.

The history-

Never heard of this until researching for this post, but I'd check it out.

Captain Nice

The show-

Created by Buck Henry.

A mild mannered nerdy chemist, Carter Nash, discovers a formula that turns him into a superhero.
His powers include flight, but he's scared of heights.

He chooses the name "Captain Nice", because he already has everything monogrammed "CN", for Carter Nash.

Came out the exact same time as "Mr. Terrific", but MT had the earlier time slot, so...

The history-

My folks remember this one.
Although, they had the names mashed together as "Mr. Nice".

Funny, Nick at Nite never reran these....

The Six Million Dollar Man

The show-

Well, who doesn't remember this guy?

...oh, yeah...young whippersnappers...*grumble*

Okay, Steve Austin, astronaut, test pilot, gets blown to bits on the launch pad, the government spends 6 million bucks rebuilding him as a cyborg to test the limits of their technology, then he's The 6 Million Dollar Man A.K.A. The Bionic Man, and goes on secret government missions fighting bad guys to help pay for his body.

His powers are super strength in one arm, superspeed in both legs, and telescopic and infra-red vision in his left eye.

For some reason, his speed and strength were depicted in slow motion with an accompanying "na na na na na", sound effect.
Must see to appreciate.

The history-

This was the first live-action superhero thing to come along in my childhood, and led (IMO) to Spiderman, Hulk, Wonder Woman, etc, etc.

The Bionic Woman

The show-

A spinoff of "Six Million Dollar Man", this time, it's a chick.

This time, instead of exploded, she's squooshed by her parachute failing to open, and landing in a tree (sss...ahhh..), and gets bionic legs, an arm, and an ear.

Later on, in the late 80's, early 90's, there were Steve Austin/Jaime Sommors reunion TV movies.
One of which had a young Sandra Bullock as a new model bionic woman.

In 2007, there was a remake, in this one, Jaime had bionic legs, and arm, an ear, an eye, and self-repair nanites called "anthrocytes".
I never watched it.
Apparently, it bombed.
Ah, well.

The history-

I think I watched both the Bionic shows at the time...
Also, SyFy reran 'em back when it was Sci-Fi, and didn't suck.

The Invisible Man

The series-

Ducky from NCIS makes an invisible ray, and turns himself permanently invisible, and has to wear an artificial skin to be visible again.

Apparently, there was an early 00's remake of this.
I never watched it.
I don't even remember it.
Well, it was by USA/Sci-Fi, so it was probably ass.

The history-

The '75 one with Ducky I kinda remember as Sci-Fi reruns....

The Shazam/Isis Power Hour

The show-

Dammit, left this out of DC TV.
(Even mentioned it in the next entry)
Well, now I'm fixing it.

From here...

I'm told I had a raging crush on Isis.
I wish I could remember.

Um...I've gotten back some memories of Isis from watching clips...well, screw it, I'll get a boner for her from scratch, she's a honey.'s like Star Wars at two, I don't remember it, but I remember remembering it, cuz I drew all kinds of Shazam pictures.

ElectraWoman and DynaGirl

The show-

By Sid & Marty Croft of "H.R. Puffenstuff", and "Land Of The Lost", fame.

Essentially, an updated girly version of 60's Batman but they had Star Trek/Dr. Who level tech.
Their powers were all electronics based.
Apparently, ElectraWoman had an IQ of one thousand....

Actually...kinda cool.

The history-

Nick at Nite reran a marathon of Croft stuff, including this.
Again, cool.

Buck Rogers In The 25th Century

The show/history-

Biddy, biddy, biddy!

See here.

The Greatest American Hero

The show/history-

See here.

Knight Rider

The show-

Take the buddy-cop formula, but make one of the buddies an A.I. and wire it/him up to a sports car, and, as history shows, your network can now print money. the crummy 2008 remake's not just the formula, apparently, there's something magic about Hasselhoff. He's the X-factor. For some reason, it turns out, he's as important to the whole thing as Frosty's top-hat.

As you can see from the graphic, there was a reunion movie "Knightrider 2000", (actually, made in 1991) and then another, "Knightrider 2010", (in 1994) but that one had nothing to do with anything but the title.

Both of their future predictions were way off the mark.
In 2000, we didn't get sonic stun guns, or computer display windshields, and we still haven't in 2012.
And Hoff? Wrong hairdo, the 00's thing was the Caesar cut as popularized by George Clooney.

And, in 2010, we didn't get nuked back to the Mad Max stone age, and the stealth bomber isn't in some random junkyard to be looted for a hotrod.

And scanning the soul of your dead girlfriend into a holographic prism hardrive to be your hotrod's A.I. unit?
Forget it.
2050 maybe....

The history-

I...don't recall seeing much of KR on its original run...I remember the one with the evil double, KARR.
That was cool.
Another one Sci-Fi refreshed me on with reruns.

The Powers of Matthew Star

The show-

An alien prince hides out on Earth as an every day teenager, while developing this powers to someday be strong enough to free his people.
Sometimes, he is forced to fight crime.

Pretty heavy Star Wars influence there...

Co-executive produced by Harve Bennett (of the original Star Trek Movies) and featuring an episode directed by Leonard Nimoy, and one written by Walter Koening.

The history-

I barely remember this.


The show- much TRON in reverse, and with an ass TV budget.

Instead of a human guy getting scanned into the computer, a simulated guy is beamed into this world.
The lame pseudo-science being that, if you just give a hologram enough power, it'll become real.

This is done, and Automan is born.

He brings with him a semi-sentient cursor that buzzes about like an electric pixie, and can draw clothing onto him to cover up his weird glowing TRON body, and also draw his laser-car "the Autocar", that could brake and corner without inertia, but blipped instantly sideways (with a camera trick) like a video game.

There was also an "Autocopter", with glow-y shit on the blades.

The history-

Loved the damned thing as a kid.
Saw it in reruns, hasn't held up.

The human guy who created Automan was played by Desi Arnaz Jr. and the show tanked when he died of a drug overdose.

A shame....


The show-

Well, I'm already seeing the pattern, and...I guess in some ways, it was admirable, of TV networks trying to bring the latest hot trends in the multiplex to the small screen.

Battlestar, and Matthew Star, it was Star Wars-y stuff, Automan, it was TRON, and in this case, it was a response to the spate of latex-laden transformation stuff like "American Werewolf In London", and "The Howling", and "Michael Jackson's Thriller".

So, Manimal learned some voodoo bullshit or something that allows him to morph into any animal.
Although, he mostly tuned into a panther, or a hawk.
Hey, the morphing I can buy, but, how did his clothing come back?

Anyway, the transformations were handled by Stan Winston.

The history-

Liked it as a kid.
Like Automan, didn't hold up in reruns.

Got its ass kicked by "Dallas".
....really? Execs were stupid enough to put shit up against "Dallas"?
*Head shake*

Misfits of Science

The show-

Oh, wow, how 80's are those clothes, and hairdos, and that logo, huh?

So, these guys were a superhero team, the guy in the leather jacket could shoot lightning, and run at superspeed when charged up, the black guy could shrink to the size of a Ken Doll, and Courtney Cox (yes, that's her) was a telekinetic.
The remaining guy is just the brains who got them all together.

It was all played very tongue in cheek, almost spoofy.
It was cute.
Didn't last long though.
SF had a helluva time on TV in the mid-80's....

The history-

Commander USA's Groovie Movies

The show-

The hosting segments to, and the title of USA Networks' weekend monster movies from 1985 to 1989.

The Commander was retired, and had the power of flight, and microwave vision, which he only seemed to use on food.

His base of operations was allegedly underneath a New Jersey shopping mall, and his sidekick was "Lefty", a speechless puppet he created by simply drawing a smiley face on his right hand with cigar ash.

The Commander always greeted the latest films with gusto, no matter how z-grade, and schlocky.
Shit, pretty sure some of the ones I've reviewed here were on there.

Ahhh, man, the 80's were fucking great.
You kids really missed out.

The history-

...and, that's a good one to go out on.

Up next, part 2 of these.

Same Dicky time, same Dicky channel.


hyla2 said...

HA-HAA! Wondered when you were gonna squeak ol' Knight Rider in there!

. . .

Holy shit. Is that frigging Jason Statham on the pic for Knight Rider 2010!?

Diacanu said...

Nope, it's not Statham, I checked.

And what was with that "Anthony", bullshit, huh?

Wonder if he's any relation to Kevin....

hyla2 said...

Well, there was just Kevin, and then there was Kevin with a last initial . . . I deleted all the email notifications I received . . . but I wonder, was it Kevin . . . 'A'!?

Hm. Probably the same douchebag.

Diacanu said...

Meh, takes less than a minute to make spam eat electric death, dunno why they bother.

hyla2 said...

I think that's where the douchebaggery comes into play.

It's more about making you clean up the mess than accomplishing anything valuable.

Diacanu said...

They'll tucker out.

So, any Commander USA memories?

hyla2 said...

Not specifically . . . although I had labored under the belief for years that Commander USA was the same guy who played Schneider on 'One Day At A Time'.

Y'know, same hair, 'stache, build, etc.

Watching some Cmdr. USA now, though . . . I think I were mistaken.


Diacanu said...

Hmm, yeah, I could see that...the Schneider resemblance.

Hey, who knew he was the HEALTHY one of that cast, huh?

hyla2 said...

Remind me, what happened to the rest of them?

I mean, the one who played the daughter had eating disorder written alllll over her, but what else happened?

Diacanu said... was really the daughters.

Valerie Bertinelli had a coke thing going on through the 80's/80's, but she's clean now.

McKenzie Philips revealed in her latest book that her and he father had a sexual affair, so....everyone feels dirty listening to "California dreamin", now.

So, that kinda makes the Bertinelli stuff pale...

hyla2 said...

. . .

OH! You meant Bertinelli's problems. For a second I thought you meant her work.


Diacanu said...

Hmm, wonder which has the darker storm cloud of tragedy and pity hanging ove rit "one day at a time", or "diff'rent strokes".

...II'd have to go with "Diff'rent strokes".

Everyone's fuckin' dead.

hyla2 said...

( :[

. . .

Yeowch. Forgot about that. Yeah, that's right, Coleman kicked off just a little while back, didn't he?

Geez. Late '70's/early '80's sitcom-dom . . . do you have any happy endings?

hyla2 said...


*watches the clock flip digits*

Reckon that's a 'no' . . .

OH! Wait. Tom Hanks. He's a superstar, and his lucky break was impersonating a woman. Unattractively.

But . . . oh, what then ever became of Peter Scolari . . . ?

Diacanu said...

Um...Happy Days.
I never hear the Happy Days horror stories...

Diacanu said...

Peter Scolari played the Rick Moranis role in "Honey I Shrunk The kids: The Series".

After that, he vanished from the spacetime continuum.

hyla2 said...

RE, Happy Days: Wait, though . . .

Didn't Joanie turn into some kind of vindictive Born Again and turn on all of her costars behind their backs or something?

Swear I heard that somewhere.

Diacanu said...

No, you're thinking Kirk Cameron.

And, Blair from Facts of Life got a little Jesus-freaky...but she can't hold a candle to ol' Kirk.

hyla2 said...

RE, Scolari:

He was also featured on an episode of American Dad, along with Wendy Jo Sperber, hosting a 'Newlyweds Game' type gameshow for best friends.

But, other than that, yeah, I haven't heard of him in forever.

Diacanu said...

Well, he must be doing shows on Broadway, or Vegas, or something.
We don't get to see that shit, so...

Whenever there's someone who vanishes, and they pop up not homeless, they're keeping alive with theater.

Steve from "Married With Children", is still going strong on stage.

hyla2 said...

Ahh, good for him. Poor guy got bounced off the show too soon.

And hey, speaking of MWC, David Faustino is doing a voice on the new Last Airbender cartoon, whenever the hell they get around to airing it (grmble-mmble . . .)

Diacanu said...

Well, that's cool.

And, we know where Peggy Bundy is.

But where's poor Al?

hyla2 said...

SHIT, YES! Where's the love for Ed O'Neill?

I remember when he had that movie, 'Dutch'! I was all like, YEAH, GO, AL! Gitchyoself some furthered career!

Then, pthh.

Come back, Ed! TV needs you . . .

Diacanu said...

Last I saw of him he was Relish the Troll in "The 10th Kingdom".

hyla2 said...

Hey, yeah, you mentioned that before.

Hmm . . . mebbe . . . I should check it out, this '10th Kingdom' . . .


Diacanu said...

Uuum....III...wouldn't. :P

hyla2 said...


Well . . . mayhap, there is YouTube clip of this 'Relish'? Would be better?

Or . . . No, not even for that.

Diacanu said...

Um...they don't have a specific clip of him, no...but, they do have the whole show cut up into bits.

Well...okay, for FREE check it out.

I mean, you watched Disco Dr. Strange...

Diacanu said...

...and the thread is killed, so I take my leave...

GCangemi said...

I've seen all those superheros as a kid going back to the original Superman with George Reeves. But here's one few will remember. Bob MacAllister as MIKE FURY. On Bob's morning show (he also hosted Wonderama on Sundays) he oftern did a bit where the evil Silas Sinister (also played by Bob) would sneak onto the set and wreak havoc, knocking things over, tearing up newspapers and squirting shaving cream everywhere. Then Bob Macallister would transform into Mike Fury and fly back to the TV set, where he would magically restore the set by using reverse camera tricks...untearing the newspaper and having the shaving cream go back into the can, etc. The secret of Mike's power was eating onions, which he said made him "strong." Totally ridiculous, but kids loved it.

Blog Archive