The Greatest American Hero: The Complete Series DVD set has a few hits and some misses as well. When I purchased it, it had been several years since I’d seen the shows, so for the most part, it was really fresh to view the episodes again. From Stephen J. Cannell, the concept is that a high school teacher named Ralph Hinkley ends up being given a space suit and an instruction book to use in protecting Earth. Included in the gift is FBI Agent Bill Maxwell.
The gist is that these two different people end up best friends as they fight crime and battle for the protection of the environment. There was a lot of battling with the network over how to play out the stories and as a result the show became more crimestoppers and like a comic strip than a story of human nature, an any man tale of ‘what would we do’ if we were Ralph Hinkley.
Regardless, there were 8 shows done during its initial mid-season run, then a second full season of 22 shows, and then a last half year run of 13 episodes. All of these are included in the collection.
However, there was actually one more episode aired, called The Greatest American Heroine. This was actually a pilot for a spin-off series in which Ralph’s identity has been discovered so he is told by the aliens to pick a replacement for him. In other words, it was a hand off show. Why this isn’t included in the set, I don’t know. It should have been because it would have wrapped everything up so nicely.
The only extra in this set is a feature with Cannell who really takes us through the show’s creation and the turmoil of filming because of the arguments with the network. It’s enlightening and interesting.
The box the disks comes in is nice and protective. However, this is one of those where when you open it, you get the disks all in their own sleeves, but just shoved into one side of the box. This means whenever you want to watch one, you have to pull out all of the disks.
The good news is that the disks are all done with nice, clear artwork that has the disk number and the contents of each disk on it. The disks also have a handy ‘play all’ button and each show is broken up into 3 chapters in case you need to go forward or backward.
On the other hand, I had problems with several of the disks. Some wouldn’t read when put in and I had to try multiple times before they’d register. There were moments of frequent freezing on some. These were mostly small stutters, but a couple were major and would not play or finish an episode.
It’s a good collection of shows, but the freezes and disk problems are annoying. I wish there had been more extras, especially the final episode. That said, find it on sale and have some fun. Katt is even better looking back on the performance than he seemed in the original run.