The lost shows of the 1980s

I have a good memory, which I’ve found to my dismay is slowly eroding as I grow older.  But I still cling to childhood memories, and as any reader of this blog will well know, I love to share those precious fragments of recollection.  Today I’d like to share some memories of old tv shows that I used to love as a kid.  I’m not talking about Knight Rider or the A-Team or Macgyver, though I loved all three of those.  No, I’m talking about obscure shows most people probably will never remember except in that ill-cleaned corner of their memory.

Let’s start with Wizards and Warriors, a show I swear the internet was invented to remind me about.  The show lasted for a total of eight episodes in 1983 on CBS, and starred Jeff Conaway, better known for his roles in Taxi or Babylon 5.  How Gary Gygax didn’t sue the pants off them for the title I’ll never know, but the show was goofy as hell.  Most of the series was directed by Bill “Incredible Hulk” Bixby!  I can’t honestly remember much of the plot, but I think it was about two brothers, one evil, one good, vying for control of a kingdom.  Here’s the whole first episode:

yes, that’s Jacques Renault from Twin Peaks there…

Let’s move on.  The next gem of a show was Otherworld.  Also on CBS (before they became the Old Folks Network), this show is from 1985 and shares some similarities with Stargate.  The show was about a family visiting Egypt who get stuck in a parallel world, with technology far in advance of our own, but ruled by a totalitarian government that splits the world into zones that people can never leave.  It also only made it to eight episodes, with the pilot being shown out of order.  It always amazes me with networks do something like that and then wonder why a show fails.  Here’s the opening:

Next up is Street Hawk.  This show lasted a whopping thirteen episodes on ABC in 1985, and was their answer to the insanely popular Knight Rider and Airwolf shows on NBC and CBS.  The show was about a cop chosen to be the pilot of a secret crime fighting motorcycle.  It’s pretty much as crazy as it sounds.  Check out the intro:

Finally, the craziest of all the shows from my childhood…The Phoenix, starring Judson Scott, better known as Star Trek’s Khan’s right hand man, Joachim (“Yours…is the superior…intellect…*croak*).  This show, which ran for four total episodes in 1982 on ABC, was about an alien found in ancient Aztec temple, who had come to Earth to help mankind with his powers, which included levitation, telekinesis, telepathy, and precognition.  I cannot fathom why this show ever made it to the air, but as a kid I thought it was awesome.  It was WAY new agey and hippy, and it felt a lot like The Incredible Hulk and Starman.  It also had Judson’s Scott’s chest acting its heart out.  Here’s the hippy-trippy opening, best viewed stoned:

In summation…TV in the 80s was really, really weird.

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