Tuesday, October 03, 2006

What's the scenario?

I couldn't wait for it to be done. I only had a few minutes until it was time.

The steady chatter of my mom's sewing machine stopped, and she turned around in her chair to show me the project she'd been toiling over at my request.

"Here you go," she said, whirling it around.

Just in time. My Greatest American Hero cape was ready just as the familiar strains of the theme song came on our TV in the living room.

Yes, I was a nut for that show. Don't believe me? Check it out:

I loved the idea that a superhero could also be a klutz despite the powers. And I fully thought that Bill Maxwell was the coolest guy on TV. He was so cool, he'd even eat dog biscuits out of the box.

Ralph Hinkley was a high school teacher who, while out in the desert on a field trip, was given the suit by aliens to combat crime. Bill Maxwell was the tough FBI agent he met there.

Along with the occasional help from Ralph's girlfriend Pam Davidson, they took on all kinds of foes, from crooks trying to fix baseball games, to lonely spirits who just want to live again.

As a kid, I couldn't understand Ralph's reluctance to be a superhero. Just being able to fly (more or less) would've been worth it. Now I understand it a little more, though flying would still be pretty sweet.

I mention this because on the shelves today, you might spy The Greatest American Hero: The Complete Series box set.

Not only do you get all three seasons of the show, but it comes in a limited numbered tin with a full-size cape, an iron-on of the suit's emblem and (this is my favorite) an instruction manual replica with working lights. That is just plain cool, I say.

Even cooler for GAH fans, 200 of the sets -- at random -- will contain an autographed photo of William Katt, who played our hero Ralph Hinkley.

So if your favorite Greatest American Hero fan has, say, a birthday coming up in just over a month, this would be a make a cool gift.

Here's a clip to whet your appetite:

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