Obscure 1980s TV show intros

Sarah Marshall and Michael Magnes offer The 17 Best Failed TV Shows Of The 80s (As Judged By Their Openings) Be sure to stay at least long enough to find out why Voyagers! star Jon-Erik Hexum suddenly vanished from your telescreens. [The Awl]


  1. It appears to have disappeared down a television rabbit hole, but any mention of Voyagers reminds me of one of the first times I watched David Letterman. In a brilliant parody of after-school specials he was helping a young boy named Jimmy get over the cancellation of Voyagers by showing him the fall lineup. This, of course, is after Jimmy runs away and is found destroying a TV Guide. 

  2. I could have been Jimmy.   I loved Voyagers back when it was on and just couldn’t fathom why it was cancelled.  I’m going to avoid watching it now just so I can live in my perfect memories.  For more context, see Manimal: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ugb_TIpPoWA

    1. I never watched Voyagers, although I can’t understand why, because it seems like just the thing that would I would have loved. And, frankly, it really sounds like Voyagers might have been a decent, enjoyable show. I may be reading something into Letterman’s parody that isn’t there, but I feel there may have been a criticism of the network cancelling a good show before it could develop an audience and replacing it with…Mr. Smith. About a hyper-intelligent talking orangutan who helps kids with their problems. 

      Some people will be horrified to find that I’m not making that up. For others it will conjure up feelings they thought years of therapy had put behind them.

    2.  wow.  I had forgotten.  I see your Manimal and raise you a Renegades (best. music. ever.) and a Stingray.  Quite the rabbit-hole, but what’s with the Awl’s list?  none of the action shows, all schmaltzy dramas.  Oh yeah, it’s The Awl.


      Came here to show love for Voyagers, I knew I’d be in good company ITT, and to absolutely no surprise, we Boingers are all Voyagers fans.  Kid brainiac?  check.  Steampunk-looking time-travel device?  check.  visiting Ben Franklin and getting his kite to fly into the lightning?  check.

      Whiz Kids was also cool.  Which reminds me of a third gem:  Masserati and the Brain.  I don’t think it made it past the pilot, but I was eagerly watching.  [looks for link]  oh snap, it was a made for TV movie.  it sucked *so* bad there is no video available on the entire internet.  BUT–I did find BRAT Patrol!

    1. I am *so* glad to know that I wasn’t the only one watching and enjoying that show.  Part of me wonders if it was the inspiration for what would eventually become Stargate SG-1.  
      The two episodes I remember best are the one where the son enrolls in the Stormtrooper Academy and another where men are treated as second class citizens and sex objects instead of women.

  3. I loved Voyagers as a kid. And if you think about it, it is exactly what you’d get if you asked an ’80s kids’ TV producer to create an American version of Doctor Who. 

  4. I seem to be the only person who remembers The Highwayman, a sort of excuse to dress Sam Jones and other muscly men like Mad Max (there was even an Australian dude)  and have them drive badass juggernauts (with embedded helicopters!) through the current-day desert.

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