A while back I wrote a piece on B list villains. Those villains who never got as much recognition as like Lex Luthor or Darth Vader*, but who were still worth remembering. This weeks entry is a sister to that one, but instead of villains we are going to focus on heroes. Those who unlike Superman or Luke Skywalker are now a footnote in the pages of geek history.
1. Nada – They Live (1988).
Played by “Rowdy” Roddy Piper he gave gave us one of the best lines ever uttered in a movie “I came here to kick ass and chew bubble gum, and I’m all out of gum”. This, on top of saving the world from a hidden Alien menace makes Nada a worthy hero on any list. Outside of geek circles however you would be hard pressed to find anyone that has heard of him. Which is a shame because besides hitting Jimmy Snuka with a coconut on televison this is Piper’s finest hour.
2. Kitt – Knight Rider (The Orginal Series)
What really galls me about this entry is that when they remade the series recently they gave us a whole new Kitt, like it didn’t matter. Despite what “The Hoff” may think the real star of this show was the car and the stellar voice-work by William Daniels. I wouldn’t go as far as to say that the new show failed because they didn’t use ether of these elements but nostalgia is a powerful thing, and messing with a classic is a bad idea. So for this reason alone Kitt makes the list.
3. Madmartigan – Willow (1988)
Val Kilmer played a swashbuckling cad long before Captain Jack Sparrow, and it’s a shame we never got more of his adventures. Willow is a good film, perhaps George Lucas’ last good one but it often gets overlooked when people talk about fantasy moives. Kilmer’s Madmartigan is the true star of this one in the same way Han Solo is the true star of Star Wars., A lovable rouge who comes good at the end and gets the princess. A great character played by an actor in his prime.
I have spoken before about the genius’ at Cosgrove Hall and how in the 80’s they provided us with a whole hoast of great cartoons, but Dangermouse is their crowning achivement. A secret agent mouse with half blind hamster for a sidekick, fighting against a toad and his crow henchman. Only in the 80’s could they have come up with such a premise. If you ask me it’s this, not Del Boy or Detective Inspector Frost that is David Jason’s finest work.
Dangermouse really should be re shown on television.
5. Wilma Deering – Buck Rodgers in the 25th Century.
Everyone knows Sarah Conner and Ellen Ripley but I think Colonel Deering gets overlooked a little to much. In fact if you go back and watch this show it’s Deering not Rodgers who saves the day, Buck is more of a Lois Lane character than the hero. Erin Grey (who played her) has often spoken of how many women have written to her saying Wilma was an inspiration to them, which should give her a place on this list alone. However for me, she makes the list because of how great she looks in a White Jumpsuit….
So there we have it. a short salute to some forgotten greats. So next time you are arguing about who would win a fight, Superman or Batman** take a moment to remember that for every one of them we there is another hero who has been forgotten.
* Here it is, if you fancy reading it. http://www.chud.com/2500/b-list-villians
** The answer of course is Batman.