The Greatest American Hero: The Complete Series

We all know about the various superheroes that have found their way from the pages of DC and Marvel Comics into the world of live-action television series, including Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, the Flash, Spider-Man, the Hulk, and the like. The ones who often get short shrift, however, are the ones that have been created specifically for the small screen.

Remember Captain Nice? Mr. Terrific? Nightman? M.A.N.T.I.S.?

No…? Then you take my point: the costumed crusaders that originated from existing source material are the ones which have tended to remain in the public consciousness.

There is an exception to this rule, however, and we’re pretty sure the reason he hasn’t been forgotten is that, in addition to possessing the powers of flight, super strength, invisibility, and many others, he’s also the only made-for-TV hero who had a theme song that many of us still remember almost 30 years down the line:

Thank you, Joey Scarbury…but, also, thank you, Stephen J. Cannell, creator of “The Greatest American Hero,” for coming up with such an awesome concept for a series.

Ralph Hinkley (William Katt), a high school teacher, takes his class on a field trip and, after leaving them temporarily to go in search of aid for their van’s flat tire, encounters a UFO. Also present: FBI Agent Bill Maxwell (Robert Culp), who just happened to be in the neighborhood, as it were. The aliens present Ralph with a red suit and cape, inform him that wearing it will provide him with superhuman abilities, and tell him that he and Bill must work together to save the world. Sounds great…except that, while walking back to civilization, Ralph loses the instructions, leaving him uncertain as to exactly how the suit works. Cue 3 seasons and 44 episodes of superhero shenanigans, anchored by Culp’s delightfully grouchy performance and made even more watchable by the gorgeous Connie Sellecca, who plays Ralph’s girlfriend (and eventual wife), Pam.

Now, you may be asking yourself, “Didn’t they already release this set awhile back?” Indeed, they did, but that was back when Anchor Bay held the rights to the series. Since then, the rights to most of Stephen J. Cannell’s series have come to Mill Creek…and if you focus really, really hard on the awesomely low price of this set, it may help offset the depression you experience when you learn that the bonus material from the previous Anchor Bay sets stayed with Anchor Bay. The only thing you’ll get here is a 20-minute interview with Cannell. It’s something, but when compared to the inclusions on the previous sets, it sure ain’t much. Still, if you really, really wanted “The Greatest American Hero: The Complete Series,” you would’ve bought it back when it first came out. Since you apparently only kind of wanted it, though, this is the perfect chance to snap it up at a ridiculously reasonable price.

The only real drawback: you’ll never, ever get the theme song out of your head.

Click to buy “The Greatest American Hero: The Complete Series”


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