Tag Archives: media

FORGOTTEN TELEVISION – PSI FACTOR: CHRONICLES OF THE PARANORMAL 1996-2000

PSI Factor depicted a series of investigations into the paranormal conducted by the fictional Office of Scientific Investigation and Research, or OSIR. This Canadian-made series was often unfairly dismissed as “X-Files Light”, but that in no way does justice to a very  entertaining  program. The members of the OSIR’s  various field teams went about their business in a much more convincing mock-scientific way than conspiracy  kook Fox  Mulder ever did, and that helped the audience suspend their disbelief.

Each episode featured Continue reading

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SIX TELEVISION SHOWS THAT DESERVE HUGE CULT FOLLOWINGS

With the flood of unimaginative new television programs, especially on various cable channels, I’m often surprised that some of the most entertaining shows in history don’t have their very own following of people who know waaaaay too much about them. As always here at Balladeer’s Blog I like to shine the spotlight on everything that is unjustly overlooked. Feel free to start holding conventions devoted to, and launching flame wars about, these six criminally neglected television programs.

Captain-Z--R0_500

Captain Z-Ro and Jet

6. CAPTAIN Z-RO – (1951-1960) Over a full decade before Great Britain’s ultimate cult show, Doctor Who, hit the airwaves this American show featured the  titular Captain traveling in time and space with various sidekicks, including Jet, the young man pictured with Captain Z-Ro in the photo to the left.

In addition to adventures that saw the Captain dealing with a robot run amok in San Francisco and with a potentially fatal meteor collision, his “experiments in time and space” (the show’s oft-repeated tag line) found him helping out some of the exact same historical figures that Great Britain’s Time Lord from Gallifrey would go on to encounter, like Marco Polo, William the Conqueror and the Aztecs. As an added bonus Captain Z-Ro solved the mystery of the Great Pyramid itself!

This series is good, campy fun and a fringe benefit would be the laughs viewers can get from outdated social attitudes and special effects. The show’s pricelessly campy opening alone is worth the effort to track episodes down. 

MASTERMIND5. MASTERMIND (also known as Q.E.D.) (1981) – A young, bearded Sam Waterston starred in this incredibly charming series set in 1912 England. Waterston portrayed the title genius, American Ivy League scholar Dr Quentin E Deveril, whose  initials were, of course, a cutesy play on the Latin expression “quod erat demonstrandum”  (“what was to be demonstrated”), the famous Q.E.D. from academic  exercises.

Deveril’s adventures could be best described as a cross between Indiana Jones and Continue reading

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TODAY’S FORGOTTEN TELEVISION TREASURE – PSI FACTOR: CHRONICLES OF THE PARANORMAL (1996-2000)

 PSI Factor depicted a series of investigations into the paranormal conducted by the fictional Office of Scientific Investigation and Research, or OSIR. This Canadian-made series was often unfairly dismissed as “X-Files Light”, but that in no way does justice to a very  entertaining  program. The members of the OSIR’s  various field teams went about their business in a much more convincing mock-scientific way than conspiracy  kook Fox  Mulder ever did, and that helped the audience suspend their disbelief. Each episode featured menaces either scientific or supernatural in very inventive ways that Continue reading

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TODAY’S FORGOTTEN TELEVISION TREASURE: CROSSBOW (1987-1990)

 This French-produced (but English language)  series about William Tell was the perfect antidote for fans of derring-do who were bored with the umpteen versions of the Robin Hood legend. The series starred Will Lyman as the  crossbow- wielding Tell and Jeremy Clyde (of Chad and Jeremy fame) as Gessler, the tyrant Tell opposed during the Swiss Uprising against the Austrians in the 14th Century. Each episode featured Continue reading

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SIX TELEVISION SHOWS THAT DESERVE A “LOST”- SIZED CULT FOLLOWING

Balladeer's Blog

Balladeer’s Blog

With the flood of unimaginative new television programs, especially on various cable channels, I’m often surprised that some of the most entertaining shows in history don’t have their very own following of people who know waaaaay too much about them. As always here at Balladeer’s Blog I like to shine the spotlight on everything that is unjustly overlooked. Feel free to start holding conventions devoted to, and launching flame wars about, these Continue reading

20 Comments

Filed under Forgotten Television