Sunday, August 29, 2010

Saturday Morning's Forgotten Heroes: Young Samson (1967)

Of all the "super adventure" heroes that Hanna-Barbera produced between 1966-68, Young Samson somehow has fallen right through the cracks, such that it was not included in Hanna-Barbera's World of Super Adventure rerun anthology package 11 years after the series' initial airing on NBC. Here, courtesy of muttley16 & YouTube, is the show's opening, with a sample episode title card on the tail end:



Samson (Tim Matheson, Jonny Quest) is at first glance a typical teenager roaming the highways & byways with his dog, Goliath. When danger threatens, however, the youth clangs a pair of special wristbands together to transform into an adult analog of himself, purportedly derived from his Biblical namesake. At the same time, Goliath is transmuted from dog to lion, with one black front paw intact. In his lion form, Goliath can shoot laser beams from his eyes and leap long distances.

All that aside, Samson was really not much different from his superhero brethren in the H-B stable, though he didn't have a Rogues' Gallery of arch-enemies like, say, Space Ghost or NBC stablemate Birdman.

When it came to syndicated distribution, Young Samson, along with 1966's Space Kiddettes, somehow got thrown together with some entries from other studios' shows. I can recall seeing a "Fractured Fairy Tale", from Rocky & His Friends, being packaged with Samson, for example. Young Samson has turned up periodically on Boomerang, but WB seemingly is not in any hurry to release this show on DVD. Would they revive it? Only if they could find someone who cared enough to not only revive the show, but expand on the original stories so it wouldn't seem so convoluted.

Rating: B-.

2 comments:

magicdog said...

I'll be the first to admit this show didn't age well, but I give HB points for trying.

I do find elements of the show appealing and I think it's very rebootable!

I think what may have gone wrong was pairing it with the Space Kiddettes. These shows were polar opposite in style and tone and yet were expected to support an audience looking for two differnt things.

Good news! The show is on DVD now and the preview clips released by WB on YT look cleaner than past broadcasts. Trouble is it's still paired with Space Kiddettes in the collection.

Am I the only one who things He-Man is, in part inspired by this show?

hobbyfan said...

I'll have to keep an eye open for the DVD. As for the link to He-Man? I don't think so.