Look at what’s happened to me, I can’t believe it myself. Suddenly I’m up on top of the world, It should’ve been somebody else. Believe it or not, I’m walking on air. I never thought I could feel so free eee eee. Flying away on a wing and a prayer. Who could it be? Believe it or not it’s just me.
The opening paragraph to this review is taken from one the greatest television theme songs of all time, “”The Greatest American Hero.”” The song perfectly sets the tone and mood for what is one of the great unsung shows of all time. GAH deftly weaved sly humor, satire and standard super hero drama into one unique package.In this show Ralph Hinkley (William Katt) is a mild mannered school teacher who is stuck teaching a bunch of troubled students, on his second day in the classroom he decides to try and bond with his students by taking them out on a field trip to the desert, when the school bus break down he goes for a walk to seek help. He comes across FBI Agent Bill Maxwell (Robert Culp) who is also having car trouble. While arguing with each other a Spaceship appears out of sky, the aliens tell the two that they have been chosen to save the world. Ralph is given a suit that gives him special powers, unfortunately he loses the instructions and he and Maxwell have to learn what the suit is capable of.Everything about the pilot clicks right away, the chemistry between Bill and Ralph is spot on perfect, when you add Ralph’s lawyer girlfriend Pam (Connie Sellecca) and the students headed up by Michael Pare, and Faye Grant the sparks start flying. During the first season this weird cocktail made for fun character moments – like the classic handshake where Ralph accidentally breaks Bill’s hand, or whenever Bill and Pam get into arguments about Bill’s sexist views, all classic moments.The other funny thing was how the producers couldn’t decide what Ralph’s last name was going to be, for the first 3 – 5 episodes his name last name was Hinkley, then for some unknown reason they changed it to Hanley for the last 3 episodes of season one. But on “”The Greatest American Heroine”” pilot it’s changed back to Hinkley.Final Grade ADVD FEATURES I did not realize that the first season of the show was so short. I was disappointed when I found out that there were only eight original season one episodes. The good thing is, all of the season one episodes are terrific and appear to be uncut. The set includes the original two hour pilot and for snicks it also includes the one hr pilot for the proposed spin-off “”The Greatest American Heroine.”” Let me just say, that pilot was HORRIBLE. In many ways this is why TV Shows on DVD is a fantastic concept. This is one of those shows that I had fond memories of and has not worn out its welcome through “”over syndication.”” In fact I don’t remember this show ever airing again after it’s initial first several years of post television cancellation. I’m surprised a channel like Sci-Fi hasn’t aired reruns.[pagebreak]The DVD set is real lean on extras, there are no episode specific commentary tracks, but there is about 75 minutes worth of new interviews with Stephen J. Cannell, William Katt, Robert Culp, Connie Sellecca, and Michael Pare each talking about 15 – 19 minutes about their experiences. In a cute moment they had Connie interview Michael. There seemed to be genuine like there. It was good to see that after 23 years they were still obviously good friends. The cast has aged gracefully, Sellecca, Cannell, Culp and Pare all look pretty much the same, Katt looks tired.The quality of the transfer was interesting. The first five episodes are clean, crisp and color corrected. But episodes six – eight include some fuzziness and blemishes where things get out of focused and duo toned for a few seconds. While the pilot for “”Greatest American Heroine”” looks really bad. The audio is in Dolby Digital Stereo, and is pretty sharp. I particularly like the menu screens, they include the theme song playing in the background, with nice full motion video. The menu text fonts are clear and easily readable. As for the packaging the case cover is beautiful, and instead of the annoying fold out disks, the set comes on three DVDs in two slip cases that are easy to pull out and put away. This DVD gets extra points for taking the time and effort to include all the original music from the series. I adore the music in GAH, and it’s nice that all of it is still intact. You hear that Fox??????!! I won’t go into my “”Roswell”” was butchered on DVD rant here. DVD Extras Grade BFINAL THOUGHTSWhen they announced that this series was coming to DVD, I feared that it wouldn’t hold up, that maybe my memory of the show was fuzzy. The one thing that was consistent was how that theme song has always stayed with me, for the last three months it’s been stuck in my head and won’t go away. It’s hard to believe this series is 23 years old. Sometimes it doesn’t pay to go back and relive your childhood (I still shudder and can’t believe how much I loved Ultraman or Johnny Socko), not in this case, I was blown away and surprised by how well the special effects and stories hold up – the fashions are a little questionable, but it’s not as bad as a lot of 70s television. “”The Greatest American Hero”” has aged gracefully. It is truly a classic and must own DVD.FINAL OVERALL GRADE AThis hits the streets February 15th, and Season two is coming out April 5th!GREATEST AMERICAN HERO ORIGINAL THEME SONG LYRICSLook at what’s happened to me,I can’t believe it myself.Suddenly I’m up on top of the world,It should’ve been somebody else.Believe it or not,I’m walking on air.I never thought I could feel so free eee eee.Flying away on a wing and a prayer.Who could it be?Believe it or not it’s just me.It’s like a light of a new day,It came from out of the blue.Breaking me out of the spell I was in,Making all of my wishes come true ue ue.Believe it or not,I’m walking on air.I never thought I could feel so free eee eee.Flying away on a wing and a prayer.Who could it be?Believe it or not it’s just me