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-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This series is good, campy fun and a fringe benefit would be the laughs viewers can get from outdated social attitudes and special effects.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.
5. 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 →