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SECRET of the EIGHTH SUPERMAN - PART 5 of 8
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CHAPTER FIVE
TV's MR. TERRIFIC

The Golden Age Mr. Terrific, the first to use the name, was the guy who had FAIR PLAY written on his chest. The modern rebooted version of the character is the black guy with a huge letter "T" over his face. But did you know there was ANOTHER Mr. Terrific, one who had his own prime-time network television show? There was!

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Back in the Sixties, and still today, new television shows were sold to networks on the basis of a pilot episode. Sometimes, the pilot was accepted as is, and it went on to become a TV series. But more often, the networks would demand that certain elements of the show be changed, or certain cast members be replaced.

That's what happened to the pilot episode of MR. TERRIFIC. The original star of the show was Alan Young, who played Wilbur Post on Mister Ed for six seasons. When Mr. Ed was cancelled in 1966, Young went looking for work, and got cast as the original Stanley Beamish in the pilot episode of MR. TERRIFIC. A kooky animated title sequence was created for the show (pictured below).
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The original pilot never aired, but YOU can see it some of it right now -- click the PLAY button below to see a 90-second clip of Alan Young in the unaired MR. TERRIFIC pilot!
The network bought the series -- but insisted that almost the entire cast be replaced. Stephen Strimpell was given the lead role, and Dick Gautier and John McGiver were brought as supporting players. Here's an ad for the show's premiere that ran in TV Guide...
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A new, more colorful animated title sequence was created when the show went to series, along with a new them song that explained MT's origin. Basically, he took a pill. Here are the lyrics to the song...
xx xx xx A scientist both wise and bold
Set out to cure the common cold
Instead he found a power pill
Which he said most certainly will
Change a lamb into a lion
Like an eagle he'll be flyin
Solid steel will be like putty
It'll work on anybody
Then it was found this power pill
Made the strongest men quite ill
So the secret search began
To find the one and only man
Who can take this power pill specific
And turn into the most prolific, terrific, Mr. Terrific!
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Here's Mister T, played by Stephen Strimpel -- a gas station attendant named Stanley Beamish who secretly fought crime for the government's "Bureau of Secret Projects."
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Mr. T took a "power pill" that gave him super strength and the ability to fly -- although he had to flap his arms furiously while wearing a special winged suit. Each pill had a time limit of one hour, with two 10-minute booster pills available per episode.
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Mr. T's sidekick was played by Dick Gautier.
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MR. TERRIFIC lasted only 17 episodes, and it was cancelled after a single season, running from January 9, 1967 to May 8, 1967. The approach and themes of the show were similar to NBC's Captain Nice, which followed Mister Terrific on Monday nights during its run. We'll be covering Cap next issue!

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SECRET OF THE 8th SUPERMAN - PART SIX
CAPTAIN NICE
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AND COMING OH SO SOON
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