Saturday, July 28, 2012

Saturday Morning's Forgotten Heroes: Captain Power & the Soldiers of the Future (1987)

One of the earliest attempts to use CGI animation on television came in 1987 with the syndicated science-fiction series, Captain Power & The Soldiers of The Future, which boasted a standout creative team including television vets such as Michael Reaves, J. Michael Straczynski, Christy Marx, and comics writers Marv Wolfman and Steve Gerber, the latter of whom had been responsible for an earlier post-apocalyptic sci-fi hero, Thundarr the Barbarian.

Tim Dunigan, who'd played Templeton "Face" Peck in the A-Team pilot 4 years earlier, stars as Capt. Jonathan Power. Veteran Sunn Classics announcer Brad Crandall is heard providing the opening narration. There were plans for a second season following the cliffhanger finale, but protests from parent-driven focus groups over the show's violent, adult content scuttled those plans.

As memory serves me, Captain Power aired in an early morning slot on Saturdays, around 7:30 am (ET), at least in the East. The series was released on DVD last year, just in time to mark the show's 25th anniversary this year. Believe it or else, there is enough fan interest such that the series has a Facebook page. Who'da thunk, right?

Anyway, here's the series premiere, "Shattered".

Mattel produced a toy line, but a lot of the dialogue meant the series was aimed more at teens and adults, rather than young children, and that was at the heart of the protests. To me, the early air time was the wrong time, as it should've aired around lunch, when parents can watch with their children and help explain the plot. Of course, Saturday afternoons in the fall mean plenty of sports (college football in particular), so while it was a more appropriate option, it wasn't utilized, and that decision proved costly.

Rating: B.


magicdog said...

This show had quite a pedigree, although I think most people didn't know it at the time.

I think if the special effects had been better and a better time slot chosen, this show could have taken off.

I wouldn't mind seieng a reboot of it sometime. What we have currently looks like something the Sci- Fi channel would have concocted visually.

hobbyfan said...

It was produced in part in Canada, according to sources.

As I implied, I believe it might've succeeded if it wasn't marketed for children. The same thing happened with Super Force just a couple of years later. Too adult for kids, IMPO.