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Author Topic: Growing up with Superheros  (Read 981 times)

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Offline Ktrek

  • A visionary without a vision
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    • The Golden Age of Hollywood
Growing up with Superheros
« on: June 05, 2007, 07:22:45 PM »
Back when I was growing up as a little kid I always enjoyed super hero TV shows and still do. I remember very clearly watching Superman (in reruns) and became a huge fan of Batman when the Adam West show premiered in 1966 when I was 10 years old. By 1967 Batman was the number one TV show in America and other networks wanted to cash in on Batman's surprising success. Two shows that I recall only made it for a half a season. The first was a show that lasted only 15 episodes called Captain Nice and starred William Daniels. Here is a short description of the series:

Carter Nash was a chemist in a police department who discovered a liquid which could turn him into Captain Nice, an odd sort of superhero: very shy and dominated by his mother. Captain Nice flew (he feared heights) in his tattered leotards, fighting badguys because his mother told him to do so.

Every hero has to have an origin story and this is that of Captain Nice!
Meek, mild-mannered police chemist Carter Nash creates a formula that grants extraordinary powers to whomever drinks it. It is not his original intention to drink it himself. He is a shy and unassuming man and prefers to have someone else take on the burden of being a hero. But his attempts to give it to the Mayor of the city are rejected (the Mayor completely misunderstands what the formula does and is in the middle of a crisis: the villain 'Chameleon' recently escaped). Rejected, Carter returns to his lab.
But events will not allow Carter the anonymity he desires and soon he'll be forced to take the potion and be transformed into the City's

All I really remember about this series is that it was quite silly but as a kid I found it hilarious.

The other show was also a superhero comedy and was one of my favorites but it also didn't last. It was called Mr. Terrific and it only lasted 10 episodes. Here is a show summary:

New York stage actor Stephen Strimpell (on the right in the photo above along with co-star Dick Gautier) starred in this series as Stanley Beamish. Stanley was a below average guy whose unique metabolism made him the only person who could take the power pill that was developed by the Bureau of Secret Projects.

TV's Mr. Terrific was an unusual super hero. He was neither alien, god nor mutant. He was not highly disciplined like Batman. Unlike the comic book Mr. Terrific he was no mental or physical prodigy. He didn't even excel in science like Iron Man, Spider-man or his chief TV competitor Captain Nice.

He was a schnook. Stanley Beamish was everything Clark Kent pretended to be only he wasn't pretending. Mr. Terrific struck a chord with many of the same types of kids who had been beguiled by Superman for decades. When he took his power pill, he was still the same guy, naive and painfully shy around girls, but his great strength did give him a certain level of confidence.

Mr. Terrific may have provided one of the purest forms of wish fulfillment fantasy for insecure adolescents. If only the show had gotten some better scripts to work with it might have become a true classic.

I remember when Stanley Beamish would take the pill that gave him his powers he would turn all kinds of colors in his face. This was when we got our first color TV.

Another show much along the super hero type was the Green Hornet. It only lasted one season with 26 episodes. Nobody could seem to match the popularity of Batman and at one point it was even considered an honor and privilege to be a guest star on Batman. Batman had a run of 124 episodes and can still be seen occasionally in syndication. It's one show that may never see the light of day for DVD release because there are too many legal entanglements.

So...what super hero type shows do you remember ? Tell us about them.

"Oh...Well, Who am I to argue with me?" Dr. Bashir - Visionary - Deep Space Nine


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