Monday, 25 May 2015

SIR: Quantum Leap

Jump around to anywhere in (recent) history and have an adventure around an individual life. This is a different way to sort of do an anthology series, ie a show with different characters and basically different leads each episode. Except there’s the continual presence of Sam and Al to provide meta-commentary on what should be happening and to help make it happen.

When this series came out, the future with the Leaping device was set in 1999, with techno glow everywhere. When the novelisation came out (written much later), going into the lead up to the pilot, they explain the outfits away as being 'ironic' and not at all the style at the time.

However, by the last season, the writers had given up on the 'everyman' scenario, and seeing how many famous people they could interact with. Then we hit the final episode, which ended up being one of the best ways to send out a series ever.

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Sunday, 24 May 2015

SIR: Man from Atlantis

Patrick Duffy is a man... and man with memory loss. He can survive in the ocean, swimming happily, and can survive great pressure. Oh, and there’s a large man who wants him for his own evil purposes. But that's all right, because there's a female scientist with her own ship (which Patrick ends up taking command of in the second season for some reason) to help him out.

Most adventures are 'bad things are happening in the sea, send the Man from Atlantis in to solve them'. Although there was also a notable twin episode, where his identical brother (maybe with a moustache?) is a cowboy in a town and goes around shooting people. (And sometimes encounters goofy monsters.) While he gets a few clues, the man never gets back to Atlantis during the course of the series.

And there was also a comic book that ran for a dozen issues, so check those out too.

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Saturday, 23 May 2015

SIR: Knight Rider

Another one everyone remembers! Again, basically a detective/crime of the week series, but with a talking car! A sleek looking talking car! That’s has more personality than any of the other characters! Who wouldn't watch! (Not to mention Bonnie, rrrrr.)

This show even pulled the evil twin trope twice! Evil Michael… and Evil Kitt! Otherwise, the episodes seemed to be a checklist of the car’s powers. Hyperboost, check. Seat eject, check. Someone trying to steal it and Kitt defending himself with hilarious results, check.

I have also seen Knight Rider 2000. And Team Knight Rider. And the Knight Rider reboot, which didn't have a talking car, so what's even the point?

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Friday, 22 May 2015

SIR: Greatest American Hero

Now a lot of people remember this. And they even made three seasons of it! Aliens turn up and give a superhero suit to Random Good Guy, and he also gets an FBI helper. Together, and with Good Guy's fiancee, they have random wacky adventures!

The main gimmick, aside from the supersuit, was that Ralph had no idea how to use the suit properly, because they lost the operating manual (in a later episode, the aliens come back, and give them a new manual… and they lose that one too!). So while he had flying, it was flailing flying, and heat vision that worked in the wrong direction and... yeah, this was not serious.

And yet it did tackle serious issues. Ralph is a high school teacher of (elderly) teen youths, and gets caught up in their problems. And he tackles the imminent threat of war breaking out. That said, the best remembered episode is the one where he fights an alien from space and gets magnetised. And second the one where Bill gets possessed by a ghost lady.

Great series, it is on DVD, and one of them comes with the theme song built in!

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Thursday, 21 May 2015

SIR: Early Edition

While this isn't very actiony, it does have a solid gimmick behind it. Gary gets the paper in the morning every day... except it's for the next day! WHAT???? And so he goes through and turns around hard luck stories, and, more actiony, stops crimes from before they are happening.

Gary is played by Kyle Chandler, and he has a white friend played by Fisher Stevens. And filling in for the token characters, we have Marissa Clark, played by Shanésia Davis-Williams, who is female, black and blind. She beats out Georgi La Forge for combining tokenisms!

One scene I recall is Gary getting himself some money (because he doesn't have a job, but he does have a cat - it comes with the paper) by going to the TAB. He has to be careful about how much he bets (one episode he meets someone who took advantage to get wealth and finds out what happens in that case), but by the end of the scene all the other punters are waiting for him to bet and then place the same bet!

This lasted four seasons, and I'm not sure how many of those I saw. I definitely started strong with watching it, but over time, it couldn't sustain me.

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Wednesday, 20 May 2015

SIR: Automan

I missed the pilot episode of this show, and remember my dad trying to describe it to me. That didn't come across well. I thought Automan was this blocky computer CGI guy, with a sprite called Dot on a stick... That wasn't quite true.

In many ways, this is simply a detective series with the spin that the computer guy has access to a 'cool' dude to help him out. And there's the Autocar, and Autoplane (which I think was a helicopter) and probably even an Autoboat, but I don’t remember that.

Again, this only lasted for a season, with only 13 episodes made. Why do I remember these one-shot series? Endless repeats, I'm guessing.

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Tuesday, 19 May 2015

SIR: Ark II

From what I remember, this show was set on some random planet, and Ark II was... basically a van that a team of three people drove around in having adventures. Like a more serious Lost in Space. Except this one had a jetpack! I totally remember the jetpack, and that the terrain was essentially a desert environment... and that's about it.

And yet when I look at the wiki page, this was in fact Earth. Huh.

It was quite fun, and I do remember making sure I tried to catch all the episodes. It even lasted for three years! (Although only one season - with endless repeats.) And yet, this isn’t currently available on DVD, huh.

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