Misfits of Science

Misfits of Science Information

Misfits of Science is an American superhero fantasy television series that aired on NBC from October 1985 to February 1986. It features super-powered humans and their madcap adventures. A double-length pilot and 15 additional episodes were created; however one episode did not air before the show was cancelled due to low ratings (due to competition from CBS's Top 10 hit Dallas).

In France, the series was known as Superminds, and in Germany as Die Spezialisten unterwegs (The Specialists on the way).

The name 'Misfits of Science' (and other conceptual ideas) was the brainchild of the then president of NBC Entertainment, Brandon Tartikoff. Notably, episode 9 was the first paid writing job for Tim Kring who later originated and produced the thematically similar Heroes(TV series) in 2006.

Cast and characters

  • Dean Paul Martin as Dr. Billy Hayes " the non-powered yet undisputed leader of this misfit team. Billy is a young research scientist at the Humanidyne Institute who specializes in "human anomalies" and a fast-talking but good-hearted schemer full of boyish enthusiasm who often gets the team into as much trouble as he gets them out of. Although easily distracted whenever an attractive woman walks by, he is honestly interested in getting involved in a serious relationship with Jane Miller even after she showed up pregnant by another man.
  • Kevin Peter Hall as Dr. Elvin "El" Lincoln " Billy's colleague and close friend. El is a towering man who gives himself the ability to shrink for minutes at a time from his height of seven-foot-four to eleven inches via hormonal treatments which he activates by pressing a nerve on the back of his neck. A recurring joke after such transformations is that he always has to put on the tiny change of clothes he carries with him for his small size. The character is shy and struggles socially, and despite being so tall he is a poor basketball player.
  • Mark Thomas Miller as Johnny "Johnny B" Bukowski " a rock and roll musician who was electrocuted on stage, thus giving him formidable electrical powers. He wears sunglasses because his eyes glowed when he is fully charged, he can hurl lightning bolts and run at superhuman speed, easily outracing in one episode a parody of the Six Million Dollar Man, but he is vulnerable to water which short circuits him and burns his flesh. He is a big Chuck Berry fan, in the pilot singing "Johnny B. Goode" when he goes into battle.
  • Courteney Cox as Gloria Dinallo " a troubled telekinetic teen with a history of juvenile delinquency and a mother in a mental institution who claims Gloria's father is from outer space. She has a crush on Johnny.
  • Diane Civita as Miss Nance " the scientists' secretary who, although she usually seems more interested in doing her nails, going on her coffee break and watching her soap operas, is actually the one who keeps their department running and is always there at the end of the show to turn off the lights and say good-night to the bunnies in their cages.
  • Jennifer Holmes as Jane Miller " Gloria's probation officer. Although attracted to Billy, she is often put off by his eccentric behavior. Her character appears only in the earlier episodes.
  • Max Wright as Dick Stetmeyer " the uptight director of the Humanidyne Institute. Unlike the other cast members, he is not actually considered to be one of the Misfits.
  • Mickey Jones as Arnold "Beef"/"Ice Man" Beifneiter " got his power to freeze anything he touches from placing himself in an experimental cryogenic suspended animation unit back in 1937 due to grief caused by the loss of his beloved Amelia Earhart. The team drives around in an ice cream truck because the lumbering and now rather simpleminded Ice Man dies if he gets too warm, so they keep him in the freezer. Beef only appears in the pilot episode due to legal objections from Marvel Comics who published a similar character in X-Men, but the characters continue to use the ice cream truck.

Similarities to the "Ghostbusters" film

With the film Ghostbusters having been a massive hit the previous year, NBC's chief of programming Tartikoff set about making something with a similar tone, but with fantastical scientific phenomenon replacing the Ghostbuster's supernatural theme. Misfits of Science also shared a similar comedic style, particularly with the Misfit's de-facto leader Dr. Billy Hayes who had a similar penchant for off-the-cuff gags like Bill Murray's Dr. Peter Venkman in Ghostbusters. The Misfits had a Jewish secretary that could be comparable in demeanor and dialogue to the Ghostbuster's character Janine Melnitz. Similarly the Misfits are seen as outsiders, thwarted by authority figures, and under constant financial strain. "We'll rely on the National Enquirer for story ideas. It's loosely inspired by the dynamics we saw in Ghostbusters... sort of a kick-back, Friday type of show" said Tartikoff.


# Title Directed by Written by Original air date Production
ProdCode = 83516 ShortSummary = 90 minutes series pilot: Billy and El, scientists for the Human Investigation Team, put together a team of super-powered individuals to deal with a secret government project to create a neutron beam cannon. Larry Linville and Edward Winter guest star. LineColor = f56606 }}

ProdCode = 60803 ShortSummary = On behalf of a dead friend of Billy's, an archaeologist, the Misfits set out to prove the existence of buried Mayan treasure beneath Beverly Hills. LineColor = f56606 }}

ProdCode = 60802 ShortSummary = A friend of the Misfits claims to have made contact with aliens from Mars. Problems arise when the authorities try to prevent him from continuing his contact. LineColor = f56606 }}

ProdCode = 60806 ShortSummary = A primitive in a loin cloth comes ashore at Venice Beach and no one knows who he is "? in fact it's believed he may be a caveman. It turns out that the man, "Link," is in fact an Aborigine from a lost tribe in New Guinea and the Misfits help him to set free the soul of his deceased child by placing a small totem aboard the space shuttle. LineColor = f56606 }}

ProdCode = 60804 ShortSummary = Johnny's efforts to get a date with an attractive woman, Gina, go amiss when it turns out she's involved with crooks and the Misfits have to mastermind a bank robbery to help her out. LineColor = f56606 }}

ProdCode = 60807 ShortSummary = A marine biologist and friend of Billy's who works with dolphins believes they can talk, making him the target of drug smugglers who need the help of his dolphin friends to recover a sunken cache of cocaine. LineColor = f56606 }}

ProdCode = 60801 ShortSummary = Three senior citizens end up with super-powers from irradiated hamburgers, and the Misfits have to both help them out and restrain them from injuring themselves. LineColor = f56606 }}

ProdCode = 60811 ShortSummary = The Misfits assist Brick Tyler, a part-bionic CIA agent (and Billy's college friend) who has managed to lose the "football" "? the briefcase that the President carries that can activate nuclear war. LineColor = f56606 }}

ProdCode = 60808 ShortSummary = Johnny's friend Lonnie begins having premonitions of danger, but it turns out in fact he's linked to his previously-unknown twin Dwayne, a motorcycle racer, and the Misfits have to help them both out. LineColor = f56606 }}

ProdCode = 60810 ShortSummary = Bad guys manipulate the Misfits into helping them unleash a plague on Los Angeles with the aid of a contaminated bunny rabbit. LineColor = f56606 }}

ProdCode = 60812 ShortSummary = Billy recruits the gang to help a fellow scientist's daughter defect when she and her father tour America as part of a Russian girl's gymnast team. The gang takes the place of the magician hired to perform for the tour thanks to a judicious use of super powers, but the daughter refuses to leave without her father. Complicating matters, the KGB minder Galenkov has sworn to make sure the scientist Nikolai never gets away. The Misfits have to pull off an elaborate bait-and-switch to make sure that both Nikolai and Tatyana manage to escape. LineColor = f56606 }}

ProdCode = 60813 ShortSummary = Gloria's pen pal Jaye is the object of a hunt by unknown assailants. Glo is kidnapped, LineColor = f56606 }}

ProdCode = 60817 ShortSummary = El goes undercover as an incredibly talented basketball player (with some help from Gloria) to expose a crooked owner who is having his players throw their games. LineColor = f56606 }}

ProdCode = 60819 ShortSummary = Suffering exhaustion, Billy takes a nap and wakes up in an alternate reality, believing his adventures with the Misfits were a dream. Clips from prior episodes are shown as he tells his co-workers at a nuclear project of their counterparts in the dream. LineColor = f56606 }}

ProdCode = 60816 ShortSummary = Gloria helps out an aspiring pro wrestler with the use of her telekinetic powers without telling him; the wrestler, Milt, soon decides he does have super powers and Gloria needs to keep helping him out when he decides to go after crooks trying to sell him protection. LineColor = f56606 }}

DVD releases

On January 25, 2008, the series was released in Germany as a five-disc DVD box set (Region 2) with all episodes (including the final episode, which was originally unaired on NBC but broadcast in Germany) with both English and German soundtracks and German subtitles.

This webpage uses material from the Wikipedia article "Misfits_of_Science" and is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. Reality TV World is not responsible for any errors or omissions the Wikipedia article may contain.



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