Monday, August 20, 2012

Mr. Terrific (original TV pilot) (Universal, 1966)

by Mark Gabrish Conlan • Copyright © 2012 by Mark Gabrish Conlan • All rights reserved

One item we watched last night was a really weird thing I got from, a download of the first, rejected pilot for a short-lived 1967 TV show on NBC called Mr. Terrific (a similar show called Captain Nice aired right after it on CBS and you could watch both if you changed the channel at the right moment), a superhero spoof in which a nebbish named Stanley Beamish turned out to be the only person in the entire U.S. who could take a special pill invented by a secret government agency to give its user super-powers. The show actually lasted 17 episodes, but before that they shot a rejected pilot starring Alan Young, the actor who’d played the human companion of the equine title character in Mr. Ed, and Edward Andrews (in what was basically the counterpart to Edward Platt’s character on Get Smart!), before deciding they wanted young and nerdy in the title role rather than middle-aged and nebbishy. It was a pretty silly show — obviously NBC and Universal were going after the audience that had made the 1966 Batman TV series, with its blatantly campy approach, a smash hit — and the plot, to the extent there was one, featured the chief of the secret agency being kidnapped by a bunch of Russian agents disguised as an ice-skating troupe. I found that the 17 episodes that were actually aired in 1967-68 were collected on a four-DVD boxed set and issued by a company called — I’m not making this up, you know! — “Old Westerns for Cancer” because they ostensibly sell these old movies and TV shows to raise money for people with cancer who need help covering the ghastly expense of treatment in the U.S.