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TV

Misfits of Science (NBC 1985-1986, Dean Paul Martin, Courteney Cox)

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Hour-long adventure series Misfits of Science presented crimefighting with a twist: its heroes were genetic mutants with special abilities. Okay, fine, it wasn’t much of a twist if you read The X-Men, but it was new to TV.

The team was formed by Dr. Billy Hayes and Dr. Elvin “El” Lincoln, two scientists who were employed by the Humanidyne Institute. Non-mutant Billy had no powers to speak of (other than looking good), but functioned as the team’s leader. El could shrink down to a size of six inches for fifteen minutes at a time.

The team also included Gloria Dinallo, a reformed juvenile delinquent with telekinesis (the power to move objects with her mind), and John “Johnny B” Bukowski, a former rock musician who developed the power to channel and release bursts of electricity after being accidentally shocked during a concert (which technically made him not a genetic mutant, but we’re not ones to nitpick). Dick Stetmeyer was the director of the institute, and Miss Nance was the institute’s receptionist, who was more interested in filing her nails than paying attention to mutant phenomena. Rounding out the cast was Jane Miller, the probation officer for young Gloria.

There were criminal plots to foil in every episode, and rival mutants occasionally made life miserable for our little misfits. But regardless of what foe they faced, you could be sure that El, Gloria and Johnny B would do some serious super-powered rump-kicking before the hour was through. Comic book fans, who had been in deep withdrawl since The Incredible Hulk was cancelled in 1982, breathed a sigh of contented relief.

But don’t breathe too comfortably, kids—keep those inhalers handy, because if there’s one thing we’ve learned about prime time TV, it’s that superheroes generally have sadly short life spans. Such was the case with Misfits of Science, gone after less than a season. Despite the resume of producer James Parriott (The Bionic Woman, The Incredible Hulk) and the pin-up appeal of future Friend Courteney Cox, the show never managed to convince a wide audience that mutants are people, too.

production details
USA / NBC – Universal / x50 minute episodes / Broadcast 4 October 1985 – 21 February 1986

cast
Dean Paul Martin as Billy Hayes
Courteney Cox as Gloria Dinallo
Kevin Peter Hall as Elvin Lincoln
Mark Thomas Miller as Johnny Bukowski
Max Wright as Dick Stetmeyer
Diane Civita as Miss Nance

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TV

Clochmerle (BBC-2 1972, Cyril Cusack, Roy Dotrice)

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Clochmerle BBC 1972

Period sitcom, based on a novel by Gabriel Chevallier that was adapted by Ray Galton and Alan Simpson, that saw the French villagers of Clochmerle kick up a fuss over plans to install a new toilet.

cast
CYRIL CUSACK as Major Piechut
ROY DOTRICE as Ponosse
KENNETH GRIFFITH as Ernest Tafardel
WENDY HILLER as Justine Putet
HUGH GRIFFITH as Alexandre Bourdillat
BERNARD BRESSLAW as Nicholas the Beadle
MADELINE SMITH as Hortase Girodet
GEORGINA MOON as Rose Biraque
PETER USTINOV as Narrator

crew details
Writers: Ray Galton, Alan Simpson
Novel: Gabriel Chevallier
Producer: Michael Mills

production details
Country: UK
Network and Production Companies: BBC Two – Bavaria
Duration: 9×30 minute episodes
Aired From: 18 February – 14 April 1972 Fridays at 10.05pm

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TV

Clairvoyant, The (BBC-2 1986, Roy Kinnear, Sandra Dickinson)

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In Roy Clarke penned sitcom The Clairvoyant used car salesman Arnold Bristow is knocked down in a car accident and suddenly finds himself with psychic powers – or so he believes. There was a pilot broadcast 27 Nov 1984.

cast
ROY KINNEAR as Arnold Bristow
SANDRA DICKINSON as Lily
HUGH LLOYD as Burma
SHAUN CURRY as Newton
GLYNIS BROOKS as Dawn
CARMEL CRYAN as Carmen

crew details
Writer: Roy Clarke
Producer and Director: Alan J.W. Bell

production details
Country: UK
Network and Production Companies: BBC-2
Duration: 6×30 minute episodes
Aired From: Pilot – 27 November 1984 and Series – 15 May – 19 June 1986

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Christmas Princess (UP 2017, Nicole Munoz, Zak Santiago)

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Christmas Princess Nicole Munoz

Christmas Princess is the true story of Donaly Marquez who, through a childhood of neglect and abuse, achieved her dream of becoming a rose bowl princess. An inspirational story of resilience, strength and finding a family to call your own.

cast
Nicole Muñoz as Donaly Marquez
Rosa Blasi as Sara
Zak Santiago as Ignacio Marquez
Olivia Steele Falconer as Emily Marquez
Jaedon Siewert as Abraham Marquez
Lina Renna as Young Donaly
Paloma Kwiatkowski as Chloe
Ty Wood as Trent
Pendo Muema as Monique
Kalyn Miles as Maria
Kaaren de Zilva as Roberta
Garfield Wilson as Dr. Miller
Clay St. Thomas as Judge #1
Patti Allan as Judge #2
Natalie von Rotsburg as Judge #3

crew details
Director: Allan Harmon
Writer: Tracy Andreen

production details
Country: Canada
Network and Production Companies: UP
Duration: 1×120 minute episode
Aired From: Sunday 10 December 2017

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