So MacGyver will now become a movie. But what other, dodgier '80s TV shows are still lurking, waiting to be discovered?
We thought we'd dig through the archives...
Why it was cheesy: The neon backlighting. The soundtrack that resembled nothing so much as a synthesiser was having a nervous breakdown. And, last but certainly not least, the fact that it was a blatant rip-off of Knight Rider, which was already so cheesy it could be covered in pickle and put in a sandwich.
Why it’ll be made into a movie anyway: Despite the seeming lack of brand awareness compared to some other ‘80s telly, it still featured a cool concept: a bike that could go really, really fast. Albeit for short periods, using a sort of rocket fart
Who should tackle it: George Clooney scored one of his earliest TV roles on this show, you know. He OWES Street Hawk that much. Clooney should abandon his high-profile projects and direct a film starring blandly heroic Disney moppet Zak Efron.
Obligatory fan-pleasing cameo: One of the original show’s bikes, currently to be found living at Cars of the Stars Motor Museum in Keswick, Cumbria.
Why it was cheesy: The hero was a cello playing wannabe renaissance man named Stringfellow Hawke. The series had about three shots of the helicopter in action and mercilessly reused them. And not forgetting the obligatory “comedy” sidekick in Ernest Borgnine.
Why it’ll be made into a movie anyway: Who doesn’t love a helicopter that can do cool stuff? And while planes have been getting up to nifty action in Transformers, when was the last really awesome film where the chopper was more than set dressing? Wings Of The Apache? This cannot fly!
Who should tackle it: Michael Bay’s a much too easy choice, so we’re shoving David Green back into the spotlight. What has he done? Wings Of The Apache, people! Oh, and he also made Phil Collins-starring Great Train robber biopic Buster. But we won’t hold that against him. Much. Okay, fine, call Michael Bay.
Obligatory fan-pleasing cameo: Jan-Michael Vincent must be dragged from wherever he’s hiding to play a cranky, yet sympathetic air marshal.
Why it was cheesy: You mean, aside from the numpty running around in the Tron-alike suit? Who fought crime with a cursor that could somehow become a car, a plane, a helicopter or even just a set of clothes to hide the hero’s LCD taste in outerwear? Oh, not much.
Why it’ll be made into a movie anyway: If Tron 2.0 (or TR2N or whatever it bloody ends up being called) makes some dosh, you just know a producer will call this swiftly cancelled series to mind and ponder how much cooler it would be with today’s CG techniques. They’d probably not bother making it any less preposterous, though.
Who should tackle it: James Cameron, who can put all the expertise he’s accrued making Avatar into something much more worthwhile. Plus – bonus! – Sam Worthington could use up all the kudos he’s about to earn for that and Terminator to play Automan.
Obligatory fan-pleasing cameo: Desi Arnaz Jr, son of the I Love Lucy Pair, is still kicking around. Get him in front of the cameras quickly.
Why it was cheesy: Meet Dr Jonathan Chase, a wealthy type with a hidden ability… The power to turn into ANY ANIMAL! Provided you want a hawk, a panther or… sometimes… a snake. Budget issues, you see. This one was so bad that NBC (which will throw up almost anything: see the current Knight Rider remake series) cancelled it after 8 episodes.
Why it’ll be made into a movie anyway: Like Automan, the advances in effects technology mean this’ll prove an attractive proposition once every other possible show has been used.
Who should tackle it: With a strong horror element (those transformations always looked painful), it could be John Carpenter’s return to form. Or the bargain bin. Can’t decide.
Obligatory fan-pleasing cameo: The superbly named and strongly chinned Simon MacCorkindale should appear as the new Manimal’s dad.
The Fall Guy
Why it was cheesy: Lee Majors’ big telly franchise followed a similar formula for most episodes. Majors’ Colt Seavers does a stunt on a film. Then gets assigned, in his bounty hunter capacity to track someone down/stop something bad happening. He gets into trouble and needs to do something similar to the earlier stunt. Rinse. Repeat.
Why it’ll be made into a movie anyway: Stunts are cool. Stuntmen are cool and in this age of digital extras, we need to celebrate them more than ever. Plus, the script’s already been written, 113 times.
Who should tackle it: Since he loves trying to cram as much real action into his films as possible, Chris Nolan should use this as the film to follow any third Batman outing.
Obligatory fan-pleasing cameo: There is only one choice. And his name is Majors.
Why it was cheesy: Actually, this one was lighter on the cheese than some. Pierce Brosnan played a smarmy, smooth character who is the fake front for a detective agency run by Stephanie Zimbalist’s Laura Holt. The show is the reason Brosnan couldn’t be come Bond years before he finally got the role.
Why it’ll be made into a movie anyway: Brosnan is no longer Bond, but if he ever fancies trying to compete with the franchise and the Bourne series, he could always turn to this.
Who should tackle it: With Brosnan starring, someone needs to call Martin Campbell and beg him/bribe him to work the ol’ Casino Royale magic on the Steele concept.
Obligatory fan-pleasing cameo: When you have the Brosnan, you don’t really need anything else. But Stephanie Zimbalist is still working, so why not?
Why it was cheesy: Ah, Hooker… The show in which William Shatner attempted to prove that Captain Kirk wasn’t the typecasting albatross around his neck. To his credit, he was pretty successful on that point, and the show managed to be occasionally gritty, more than the smile-to-camera-credits would have you believe. But Shatner’s style and sometime habit of grabbing his belt and smiling appears to be a forerunner of David Caruso’s annoying tics in CSI Miami. Thanks for that, Shat.
Why it’ll be made into a movie anyway: The essential idea – veteran ‘tec sees his partner murdered, then slips back into uniform to patrol the streets and clean up the scum who offed his buddy – is essentially sound and could be given a realistic retooling.
Who should tackle it: As long as Shatner stays away from the director’s chair, we’ll be happy.
Obligatory fan-pleasing cameo: He’ll bitch and whine and moan if he’s not involved (see: Star Trek), so the Shat can have a meaty supporting role.
Liked This? Then see:
- The 10 Greatest Gross-Out Moments Of The '80s
- The 10 Coolest Death Scenes Of The '90s
- The 31 Stupidest Oscar Moments
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