Monday, February 14, 2011

More Non-Comic Television Monday!

Whilst I was researching Friday's blog, I discovered a glut of old television shows that an uniformed viewer might  think could be blamed on comics, but weren't.  Let's look at some more!

You knew it was coming.  It lasted for sixteen episodes - the first season of The Kroftt Supershow in 1976. You may or may not know that Deidre Hall (Electra Woman) spent nearly thirty years as a soap opera star on Days of Our Lives.   Sadly, Judy Sturgis (who played Dyna Girl) quit being in front of the camera and only did voice over work shortly after that because she was being stalked.  Fun Comic Fact: She was the voice of "Baby Doll" on Batman: The Animated Series.  

Now things get kinda strange.  Here's a look at The Greatest American Hero, which ran from 1981 to 1983:

Keep in mind that I was a young person in the late 1970's / early 1980's, and pickings for live-action heroics were pretty slim.  I quit watching The Greatest American Hero after the first few episodes because they seemed to milk his "I can't get my powers to work" gag ad nauseum, and this montage gives me the impression I was probably right.  I felt legally and morally obliged as a child to support anything and everything that put super-powered characters on television or in the movies, but even I had my limit.

The weird part?  Do you recognize that stuntman at the beginning?  Well, let me help jog your memory:

Yup.  That guy.

Moving on.

You may be thinking I should include this:

I only saw this once or twice, because I was past watching Saturday morning stuff at the ripe old age of eleven, but I seem to remember the Captain Marvel "Shazam!" cartoons to be fairly decent, all things considered.  In any rate, Captain Marvel is one of the original comic book characters, so we'll leave him alone.

But what about Hero High?  Well, we can technically say it isn't based on any comic books, but we'd actually be wrong.  It turns out the characters were based on the Archie gang.  It turns out the rights to those characters were lost somewhere between idea and execution.  If you know your Archie, you won't have a hard time figuring out which character was meant for whom.

I actually liked Hero High as well.  Let's see more:

I should totally get that DVD.

I don't know how much tinkering was done, because Archie, Reggie and Jughead had their own super-identities (Captain Pureheart, Evilheart, and Captain Hero, respectively) in the comics.  So, if we were going to see those characters before the rights were lost, I don't know.

Fast forward to 1994 and M.A.N.T.I.S.:

I never watched it myself, but I understand it got very weird in the latter half of its three season run.  I believe the title character was killed in the last episode fighting an invisible dinosaur, which means now I simply have to buy that DVD as well.

Another show I've always meant to watch but never got around to was Mutant X:

This ran from 2001 to 2004, and based on the plot as I read it, I'm not seeing it as an X-Men ripoff, although Fox and Marvel apparently had some legal discussions about that.  In any respect, I'm probably missing out on something.

And, of course, my love for The Incredibles knows no bounds:

Can you believe they're making a sequel to Cars but they still won't give me another Incredibles?  This is but one of many reasons why I am convinced that the universe only gives me things so that it can deprive me of them later.

Take us to No Ordinary Family (which I enjoyed, but it appears I was the only one because it's teetering on cancellation even as we speak), and I think I've hit 

So, not counting Japanese creations (which are too numerous to mention), I think I've hit most of the highs.  Anyone know of any others I may have missed?

That was fun.  Back to normal funny book business tomorrow!


Unknown said...

Yeah man, like I already said,

My Secret Identity


The Phoenix

The Powers of Matthew Star

Unknown said...

Also I remember a show, but I can't remember the name. It was a reimagining of the Arthurian legend in the present. An old man who worked at a gas station (who turns out to be Merlin) has changed the "sword in the stone" to look like a crowbar in a bucket of tar. A young boy pulls it out one day and thus a series is born. Anyone remember the show?

Wayne Allen Sallee said...

I remember that one, too, mostly because you mention the gas station. Tells you how my memory works.

Adam, you likely know how after the attempt on Reagan's life, TGAA became Mr. H instead of Mr. Hinckley. The main reason I enjoyed the show was Robert Culp.

Lazarus Lupin said...

How about the Pretender, the Immortal, pushing daisies, Saphire and steel, and that one BBC show where one of the detectives was a ghost.

Lazarus Lupin
art and review

Adam Barnett said...

Yeah, I had written the second part of this on Thursday because I was going to be out of town. There are a bunch I didn't get to, but someday....

I don't remember the Phoenix, but I'm surprised I had forgotten The Man from Atlantis!

Erich said...

The show with Merlin at the gas station was "Mr. Merlin," with Barnard Hughes:

Unknown said...

Thanks Erich.

Gene Phillips said...

It should be mentioned that "Mr. Merlin" wasn't a superhero or even a knight-hero show; just your average comedy-fantasy programmer. I don't remember the episodes well but I don't think the young reincarnation of Arthur got into any trouble beyond standard ARCHIE shenanigans.

Two other obscurities from the Golden Era of Syndicated Adventure-Series:

SUPERFORCE (1990)-- about a guy with a GUYVER-like suit. It was sold alongside SUPERBOY eps.

QUEEN OF SWORDS (2000)-- A smokin' hot Tessie Santiago stars as a female Zorro.

Unknown said...

Fair enough. I only had a vague memory of it. I couldn't remember anything except what I posted.