I get a lot of e-mails from people asking me about television shows, made-for-TV movies or miniseries they remember from years or decades past. I try to answer each question as best I can. Every now and then I like to dig through my inbox and pull out a few choice e-mails to answer here at Television Obscurities for everyone to read. Keep reading for today’s questions and answers.
I can only remember that there was a young guy, who wore this wristwatch that kept him “charged” with electricity, which he could shoot from his hands or the watch or something. After he did this a few times he got really exhausted…I cannot remember much more in detail, other than maybe he had some funny looking eyes, and I think he traveled with a partner or someone who would assist him from time to time…if you know what this TV show was, please let me know. Thanks in advance.
I’ve posted and written to several sites and I’ve not been the only one searching for the name of this show. It’s gone beyond curiosity at this point. I’m just looking for proof that I haven’t lost my mind (although the fact that a handful of others have the same specific details in their memories do negate that somewhat). Enough talk, here goes: In the late 70’s there was a show which may have been like a mini series but I really think it was just a few episodes of a failed series I seem to remember it was on Friday nights (maybe) and that there were only 3 episodes shown. I’d was about a guy that got hit by lighting and gained the power to conduct electricity. He had 2 “sidekicks” maybe an older guy (handler) and a chick his own age. He used his powers to fight crime but he had to make sure he stayed charged up or he’d die. I remember him getting “charged” in a large glass tube device. He also wore a watch that let him know if his powers were getting low.
It’s not Misfits of science, Gemini man or one other show that escapes me at the moment. I hope you can help, otherwise I’m afraid I’m going to have to start contacting the networks and see if anyone remembers this show.
This wasn’t a short-lived television show, it was a ninety-minute telefilm pilot called The Power Within aired on Friday, May 11th, 1979 as part of ABC’s “Friday Night Movie Double Feature.” Television listings suggest that it was originally called Powerman or The Powerman. Rather than paraphrase, I’m simply going to quote the review of The Power Within written by Kevin Thomas for The Los Angeles Times:
In “Invasion of the Body Snatchers,” Art Hindle was the first person to turn into a pod; here he’s a devil-may-care stunt pilot who’s struck by lightning, which instead of killing him–for reasons too complicated to explain here–turns him into a human electrocutioner. So instead of turning into an Incredible Hulk like Bill Bixby does, Hindle at will can zap you with blue bolts of lightning emanating from his fingertips!
Now, Hindle does have to recharge himself like a battery from time to time, but he comes in terrifically handy for his Air Force general father Edward Binns, who’s in charge of developing a circuitry system for suspended animation. The system is coveted by the unnamed employer of bad guys Eric Braeden and David Hedison, who have Binns’ aid Dick Sargent in their grasp.
All of this, which also involves pretty Susan Howard as an aeromedical research scientist, and Joe Rassaluo as Hindle’s understandably perplexed pal, is as silly as it sounds, but writer Edward J. Lasko and director John Llewellyn Moxy knowingly play “The Power Within” consistently straight but fast. The result is mindless fun, escapist fare that works if you let it. 
Thomas called The Power Within “an amusingly absurd comic-book-type adventure” . It was followed by another telefilm, The Nightrider, which starred David Selby as a man bent on revenge against the men who killed his adoptive mother’s parents.
What info. can you give me on this show? I was thinking the other night, about when a local station in my area was reruning it in the 70s. I remember it VERY, VERY, VAGUELY when it ran in the 60s, on either NBC or CBS. I remember from the reruns that it was about 2 young guys who ran an apt. building, and I THINK Sheldon Leonard had something to do with the show; but that’s all I remember. What else can you tell me?
When I originally answered this question, I assured Joe that Sheldon Leonard had nothing to do with Hey, Landlord. I have since discovered that Leonard was, in fact, involved in the production of the series, which was created by Garry Marshall and Jerry Belson, distributed by United Artists Television, and produced by Mirisch-Rich Television Productions. In a July 10th, 1966 article in The New York Times, George Gent writes that Leonard “will oversee the Mirisich-Rich production under the title of executive consultant” .
The half-hour sitcom starred Will Hutchins as aspiring writer Woody Banner and Sandy Baron as aspiring comedian Chuck Hookstratten. Woody’s uncle died, leaving him an apartment building in New York City, and Woody ended up managing the building. He roomed with Chuck. Other tenants included a frustrated photographer and a Japanese stewardess.
Hey, Landlord ran for a single season of 31 episodes from 1966-1967 on Sundays at 8:30PM ET, following Walt Disney’s Wonderful World of Color and before Bonanza. It premiered on September 11th, 1966 to mediocre ratings that never improved. It was nearly cancelled mid-season but instead additional episodes were ordered and Sally Field was added as Woody’s sister, Bonnie. It finished out the season and was promptly cancelled.
Joe recalls hearing Sheldon Leonard introduce the characters at the start of the very first episode when the series was shown in syndication during the 1970s. I can’t confirm that, but I don’t doubt his memory.