In the fall of 1966, prime time television came down with a severe case of Batman fever. ABC’s campy take on the cowl-clad comics hero was a laugh riot, and all things bat were suddenly very hip. After a few months of watching this Bat-mania sweep the country, the folks at CBS decided there was room on the airwaves for more than one silly superhero. Enter Mr. Terrific. (Incidentally, the folks at NBC had the same idea, leading to the creation of Captain Nice).
Stanley Beamish wasn’t any more superheroic than the rest of us—in fact, the mild-mannered gas station attendant was probably less so. But Stanley had one thing we didn’t: a constant supply of super-power-inducing “Power Pills.” The U.S. government’s Bureau of Secret Projects had developed the pills as a crime-fighting tool, but through testing, they discovered that normally heroic men simply got sick when the large power pill was ingested. To work properly, the pills had to be taken by “a weak and droopy daffodil” like Stanley. Actually, the pills would only work on Stanley, much to the bigwigs’ collective chagrin.
Stanley did his patriotic duty, popping the pills when his government needed him. To his friends (including best pal and fellow gas pumper Hal Walters), Stanley was still just plain old Stanley. But to BSP chief Barton J. Reed, Stanley was the caped wonder Mr. Terrific—a man of super strength, various powers, and even the ability to fly (though he had to flap his arms to do it).
There was a catch, however: the pills only lasted an hour. Forgetful guy that he was, Stanley often found himself in exactly the wrong place when his super powers wore off, and much comedy ensued. The pills could only be taken once a day, but in a pinch, a pair of booster pills would give Mr. Terrific an extra twenty minutes of power.
Mr. Terrific debuted in January of 1967 and was gone by that fall, but it wasn’t without its fans. Unfortunately, the fact that Stanley got his power from drugs made Mr. Terrific a bit of an outcast in syndication. A few episodes were edited into the TV movie The Pill Caper, but the full run of Mr. Terrific remains a largely forgotten testament to the influence of one very silly man-bat and his trusty Boy Wonder.
USA / CBS / 13×30 minute episodes / Broadcast 9 January – 28 August 1967
Stephen Strimpell as Stanley Beemish
Dick Gautier as Hal Waters
John McGiver as Barton J. Reed
Paul Smith as Henley Trent
Ned Glass as Dr. Reynolds
Ellen Corby as Hal’s mother
and this just in
Savage Wilderness (1955, Victor Mature, James Whitmore)
Victor Mature, the ’50s star once dubbed ‘a beautiful hunk of man’ but now often unfairly labelled the Sylvester Stallone...
Let Him Have It (1991, Chris Eccleston, Paul Reynolds)
Let Him Have It is Peter Medak’s vividly dramatized account of the infamous and still controversial 1952 Craig-Bentley case focused,...
Legend Of The Lost (1957, John Wayne, Sophia Loren)
Henry Hathaway’s Boys Own adventure Legend Of The Lost is given extra curiosity value by Ben Hecht’s philosophical script. John...
I Could Go On Singing (UA 1963, Judy Garland, Dirk Bogarde)
In I Could Go On Singing Jenny Bowman (Judy Garland) is a great singing star. A Palladium season brings her...
Private Life Of Sherlock Holmes (1970, Robert Stephens, Colin Blakely)
This entertaining addition to the Sherlock Holmes canon saw Billy Wilder come up with a new adventure for the famous...
A Million Little Things: Pilot (Series Premiere ABC 26 Sep 2018)
Pilot: hey say friendship isn’t one big thing, it’s a million little things; and that’s true for a group of...
A Million Little Things: Band Of Dads (Episode 2 ABC 3 Oct 2018)
Band Of Dads: The group tries to be there for Sophie as an upcoming father-daughter dance recital approaches, and when...
Modern Family: I Love a Parade (Season 10 Premiere ABC 26 Sep 2018)
I Love a Parade: The Pritchett-Dunphy-Tucker clan are going to be setting off more than a few fireworks when they...
Bus Stop (TCF 1956, Marilyn Monroe, Don Murray)
Bar-room singer Cherie in Bus Stop was Marilyn Monroe’s first screen performance after she had retrained at Lee Strasberg’s Actors...
Guns Of The Magnificent Seven (1969, George Kennedy, James Whitmore)
After the success of The Magnificent Seven the men were no longer mere movie icons. They were also a popular...
Amorous Prawn, The (1962, Joan Greenwood, Cecil Parker)
Director Anthony Kimmins and Nicholas Phipps collaborated on the slick script for The Amorous Prawn a lively screen version of...