Stanley Beamish, the weakling proprietor of a Washington gas station, is also a top-secret super agent. When the Government’s Bureau of Special Projects needs Stanley, he takes a pill that gives him an hour’s worth of strength, courage and flying time.
Season 1 Ep.01: Matchless
A foreign scientist named Petrov has offered to sell his Portable Power Paralyzer, a compact device that can immobilize any machine, to the U.S. Government’s Bureau of Secret Projects for $30,000. On board a non-stop train to Washington DC the BSP agent trailing Petrov is killed, so Bureau Chief Barton J. Reed calls a Purple Alert summoning service station owner Stanley Beamish to take the power pill that turns him into Mr. Terrific. Stanley uses his terrific powers to board the train and unknowingly receives the device when Petrov switches matchbooks with him. Stanley then mistakes a toy salesman for his contact and pays 30 grand for a simple child’s doll. The matches change hands a few times before Stanley’s partner Hal winds up with them and is subsequently captured by a beautiful foreign agent named Mala. Stanley uses his back up “booster” pills to catch up with the bad guys, rescue Hal and recover the Paralyzer.
New York stage actor Stephen Strimpell starred in this series as Stanley Beamish. Stanley was a below average guy whose unique metabolism made him the only person who could take the power pill that was developed by the Bureau of Secret Projects.
TV’s Mr. Terrific was an unusual super hero. He was neither alien, god nor mutant. He was not highly disciplined like Batman. Unlike the comic book Mr. Terrific he was no mental or physical prodigy. He didn’t even excel in science like Iron Man, Spider-man or his chief TV competitor Captain Nice.
He was a schnook. Stanley Beamish was everything Clark Kent pretended to be only he wasn’t pretending. Mr. Terrific struck a chord with many of the same types of kids who had been beguiled by Superman for decades. When he took his power pill, he was still the same guy, naive and painfully shy around girls, but his great strength did give him a certain level of confidence.
Mr. Terrific may have provided one of the purest forms of wish fulfillment fantasy for insecure adolescents. If only the show had gotten some better scripts to work with it might have become a true classic.
Cast and Crew:
Stephen Strimpell, Richard Gautier and Paul Smith
Production Company: Universal TV
Audio/Visual: mono, color
Date Release: 1967
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Filed Under: Mr. Terrific