Exposure to a mad scientist’s radioactive experiment, especially when said scientist lives in North Dakota, is usually going to lead to something, well, interesting… In the case of high school student Andrew Clements (played by Jerry O’Connell), it led to a bevy of super powers.
Andrew had a neighbor pal named Dr. Jeffcoate, and after a brush with one of Jeffcoate’s latest jerry-rigged marvels, he developed some unexpected comic book superhero powers. Now, instead of just a regular kid at Briarwood High, he was super strong, super fast, capable of taking flight and incapable of getting hurt.
Andrew’s mom and sister had no idea of his power, but Jeffcoate did, and he constantly counseled the boy on how to use his powers for good. Andrew worked within that paradigm just fine—foiling criminals and giving school bullies their comeuppance—and doing it without the regular cape and unitard, thank you very much. In his diary, he called himself “Ultraman”—as any kid with super powers would.
Later on in the show’s three-year syndicated run, Andrew’s super powers were nudged out of the spotlight a bit, in favor of typical teenage melodrama—girls, school, girls, friends, girls and well, girls.
High school can be a grueling experience, but super powers sure do help things along. And super powers of the syndicated TV ilk help them along even better.
USA / Syndicated / x25 minute episodes / Broadcast 1988-1991
Theme Song: My Secret Identity by Fred Mollin
Jerry O’Connell as Andrew Clements
Wanda Cannon as Stephanie Clements
Marsha Moreau as Erin Clements
Derek McGrath as Dr. Benjamin Jeffcoat
Elizabeth Leslie as Ruth Shellenbach