Thursday, January 27, 2011

Saturday Morning's Forgotten Heroes: The Zeta Project (2001)

The seminal 60's crime drama, The Fugitive, has been the inspiration for a number of series that followed, some of them on Saturday mornings. The most recent example was The Zeta Project, a futuristic science-fiction series that surfaced on the Kids' WB! as a mid season replacement in 2001, after being spun off from Batman Beyond. Interestingly, series creator Robert Goodman never made a deal with DC to adapt his series to comics, which would've helped immensely. Here's a sample of the first episode, uploaded by Computerperson1234 to YouTube:

Diedrich Bader (The Drew Carey Show) voiced the title character, forever on the run from his former bosses at the National Security Agency, led by Agent Bennett (Kurtwood Smith, That 70's Show), serving as Lt. Gerard to Zeta's Dr. Kimble, if you will. Bader currently is the voice of the Dark Knight in Cartoon Network's Batman: The Brave & the Bold, and as is the case there, Bader's characterization is light years removed from his live-action work. Sadly, Zeta was decommissioned after 2 seasons. Given how Kids' WB! tended to shuffle their lineup at a moment's notice without advance notice to the newspapers and cable companies, the series wasn't given a fair opportunity to find an audience. Like so many series from that period, it languishes in the WB vaults, waiting for someone to give it a home.

Rating: B-.


magicdog said...

I used to liek this show, but I think what hurt it was the storyline with having Zeta find his creator and Ro trying to find her brother was dragged out too long.

The series finale ending on a cliffhanger (with the scientist finally found but thrown overboard during an explosion) didn't help matters. I wondered if the creators were implying that either Zeta's creator was an andoid copy or his female assistant was.

I also enjoyed the sibling like relationship between Ro and Zeta.

hobbyfan said...

Too bad, then, that it's been completely ignored by CN/Boomerang, like so many other concepts that are too far over the heads of the current administration.

Considering that its' parent series, Batman Beyond, now airs on The Hub, maybe that channel can take a chance on it. Wouldn't hurt.