Captain Power and the Soldiers of the Future
It’s a pretty generic title, but the show itself is actually somewhat ambitious.
This 1987 Canadian Sci-Fi show centers around the conveniently named Jonathan Power. His team, the Soldiers of the Future, are some of the last humans left alive after the Metal War, your basic man vs. cyborg conflict. Powers’ late dad, Doctor Powers (seriously), developed a system called Overmind to put a stop to the cyborg uprising but Doctor Powers’ friend took control of the system and integrated himself with the system and turned evil and called himself Lord Dread and… yeah. So now, fifteen years later, the world is a mess and Lord Dread and his mechs are seeking out the last remnants of humanity in order to wipe it out. The Soldiers of the Future aim to stop that, with a variety of power suits and weapons that are as distinct as the SKUs that make up their shelf space.
It’s a toy show, to be sure, but the toys were ambitious as well. Several of them interacted with the episodes, encouraging kids to play while watching the show and sometimes even shoot the bad guys on the screen themselves. As you can imagine, this combined with the fact that it was live action didn’t go over too well with parents. Even without that component, it’s a pretty violent show for Saturday Morning.
The show tried to strike a balance between kiddy action sequences and adult-themed storylines. The choice to go with live action and the ambitious effects for a late-’80s television show demonstrate that they’re trying to deliver on something more than just another toy show, but ultimately it comes across as a pretty bad toy show. In a lot of ways it feels reverse-engineered from the toy line that Mattel probably already had in mind, but there is a somewhat original story there. It’s a shame that the rest of the show doesn’t hold it up.
Captain Power and the Soldiers of the Future was cancelled after one season. It’s tough to make a solid call one way or the other on this show – there’s a nugget of a good idea in there, but so much gets in the way of it actually being a good show. Given a choice between this and, say, Power Rangers, though, I’d probably go with Captain Power. Check out an episode.
Texas Instruments Sales Video
It’s Cos, back when you would still take his advice on purchases! Here’s Bill Cosby convincing Texas Instruments salesmen to buy more products from Texas Instruments in order to have more stock to sell their customers. These appear to be the wraparounds to a longer video. We’re probably lucky that we were spared the rest.
He kind of does an impersonation of himself there toward the end.
The cover to this 1950s Bar Guide is pretty fantastic.
Canadian Anti-Drug PSA
The last Canadian Anti Drug PSA was over-the-top ’90s but this one is just..strange. Did they drug test the people who made these things?
The Prologue and the Promise
This mural by Robert T. McCall never fails to inspire. It was part of the EPCOT ride Horizons, one of the more influential rides/experiences of my childhood.