Friday, June 29, 2012

Saturday Morning's Forgotten Heroes: Super Force (1990)

In the late 80's & early 90's, live-action action series were making a bit of a comeback on Saturday mornings, albeit in syndication instead of airing on the networks.

Super Force, however, wasn't really meant for kids, even though it was marketed by Viacom as a lunch-hour entry, coupled with Superboy, which we've previously reviewed.

Ken Olandt played an astronaut returning to Earth in the year 2020, only to discover that his brother, a police officer, was killed in the line of duty, and the police weren't exactly moving quick enough to avenge their brother in arms, if you get my drift. Next thing you know, our hero is given a super suit with some gadgets, and sets out to avenge his brother's death, and carry on the crusade against crime in all forms.

Super Force launched with a 2-hour TV-movie that was later broken down into a four-part serial as part of the series. Unfortunately, it lasted just two seasons, as ratings dropped in year 2. Showho uploaded the first half of the episode, "Of Human Bondage". 60's icon Patrick Macnee (ex-The Avengers) is the off-camera announcer, and also played millionaire E. B. Hungerford, who was killed off early, and then an AI computer that had Hungerford's likeness and conscience. Macnee had returned to American television a few years prior in the short-lived primetime series, Gavilan, co-starring with the late Robert Urich, and his last known series gig was as part of an ensemble with Hulk Hogan in Thunder in Paradise nearly 15 years later.......

Here's the intro:

I think it's easy to see that Viacom made a mistake marketing this show as a daytime entry. It belonged in primetime instead, and I think viewers realized this during the second and final season.

Rating: B.


magicdog said...

I remember this show... though not the title.

I adore Patrick Macnee, but I thought it was a gip that we got a blurry "A.I." with his voice attached to it.

I think this show was in syndication so it would have been aired whenever the stations wanted to. I supposed they figured it made sense to attact teens who weren't watching the toons and weren't ready to leave the house yet.

I also remember a ghastly episode (which turned out to be a bad dream) in which the show was played for laughs (including canned laughter) and the main characters were trying to win a lottery. I remember tuning into the show one day and being very confused.

hobbyfan said...

I barely watched it, if at all, and the rating is from reviewing the episode attached to the post on YouTube before posting.

As I understand it, Macnee appeared in the opener, and then his character was killed off, replaced with the AI computer intel. El-gyppo? Probably. Could it have been done better. Definitely.