Mr. Terrific

CBS (ended 1967)
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  • Episode Guide
  • S 1 : Ep 18

    The Pill Caper

    Aired

  • S 1 : Ep 17

    The Sultan Has Five Wives

    Aired 5/8/67

  • S 1 : Ep 16

    Stanley Joins the Circus

    Aired 5/1/67

  • S 1 : Ep 15

    Try This On for Spies

    Aired 4/24/67

  • S 1 : Ep 14

    Stanley the Track Star

    Aired 4/17/67

  • Cast & Crew
  • Dick Gautier

    Hal Walters

  • John McGiver

    Barton J. Reed

  • Paul Smith

    Harley Trent

  • Stephen Strimpell

    Stanley Beamish/Mr. Terrific

  • Ellen Corby

    Mrs. Walters

  • show Description
  • "A scientist, both wise and bold, set out to cure the common cold. Instead he found this power pill, which, he said, most certainly will turn a lamb into a lion. Like an eagle he'll be flyin'. Solid steel will be like putty. It will work on anybody. But then 'twas found this potent pill made the strongest men quite ill, so the secret search began to find the one and only man. What they found made them squeamish, for only Stanley Beamish, a weak and droopy daffodil, could take the special power pill that sent him soaring through the skies fighting foes and fighting spies. When he took the pill specific, it made him the most prolific... terrific... Mr. Terrific!" New York stage actor Stephen Strimpell starred in this series as Stanley Beamish. Stanley was a below average guy whose unique metabolism made him the only person who could take the power pill that was developed by the Bureau of Secret Projects. TV's Mr. Terrific was an unusual super hero. He was neither alien, god nor mutant. He was not highly disciplined like Batman. Unlike the comic book Mr. Terrific he was no mental or physical prodigy. He didn't even excel in science like Iron Man, Spider-man or his chief TV competitor Captain Nice. He was a schnook. Stanley Beamish was everything Clark Kent pretended to be only he wasn't pretending. Mr. Terrific struck a chord with many of the same types of kids who had been beguiled by Superman for decades. When he took his power pill, he was still the same guy, naive and painfully shy around girls, but his great strength did give him a certain level of confidence. Mr. Terrific may have provided one of the purest forms of wish fulfillment fantasy for insecure adolescents. If only the show had gotten some better scripts to work with it might have become a true classic.moreless

  • Top Contributor
  • mrterrific729

    User Score: 181

    EDITOR

  • Trivia & Quotes
  • Quotes (1)

    • Reed: I want action, A-C-T-I-O-N, action!

    Notes (5)

    • Its inclusion in the compilation film The Pill Caper makes Matchless one of the few Mr. Terrific episodes available for viewing today. Of course, it survives in an extremely edited form. This is considered to be the "aired" pilot for the series. It does not fully detail the origin of Mr. Terrific as the unaired pilot starring Alan Young did. There is some minimal exposition in the dialogue, but even this seems to contradict the story told in the show's regular introduction.

    • Cleveland Amory, in his scathing TV Guide review of the series (February 11-17,1967 issue), cited this episode as an example of what was wrong with Mr. Terrific. He found Mr. Big and the whole situation "just not funny." The only redeeming point was that Stanley's two super sneezes would wake the audience which had almost certainly fallen asleep watching. Well, at least the review ran with a really neat Hirschfeld drawing of Stephen Strimpell as MT.

    • David Carlile (Detective) is credited as Dave Carlile.

    • Unique, perhaps, among episodes of this series, Stanley the Safecracker was actually aired again, complete and unedited, more than thirty years after the show was cancelled. Malcolm Bondon, winner of TVLand's Ultimate Fan Search in 1999, made this episode one of his weekly picks, although he had never before seen Mr. Terrific. There are some good prints floating around out there. This also appears to be an outstanding segment with some amusing lines, whimsical situations and snappy direction.

    • This ep also appears in The Pill Caper, so it has pretty much survived. Henry Brandon was a Hollywood fixture for decades. His earliest film role was as the evil Silas Barnaby in the Laurel & Hardy version of Babes In Toyland. At a 1986 convention of L&H buffs he talked about his appearance on Mr. Terrific, remembering how he drove the CBS legal department crazy. As the knife throwing Von Brock he had Paul Smith strapped to a large circus wheel and happily adlibbed a German folk song he'd learned as a child. Director Arnold loved it, but the lawyers went nuts trying to find out who wrote the song and who owned the rights.

    Trivia (6)

    • In addition to being the episode that loosely connects the plot of the compilation film The Pill Caper, Matchless has survived in at least one other form. Although edited, this was one of only two Mr. Terrific episodes to air on TVLand. (Matchless and Stanley the Safecracker were picks made by two different "Ultimate Fans.") Hence, it is one of only two episodes ever to air on American television after the show's initial run ended.

    • Howard Wendell is listed in the cast credits as Mr. Thornton, but Stanley repeatedly refers to him as Mr. Cooper.

    • Stephen Strimpell's stunt double, Chuck Courtney, is listed in the cast credits as "Gentleman." He actually plays another waiter at the party and confuses Hal who is looking for Stanley.

    • Dick Gautier, because of his mastery of this particular impression, suggested the bit in which Nina hypnotizes Hal into thinking that he is a pigeon. Stephen Strimpell, anxious to share the burden of getting laughs with (what he considered to be) the show's consistently unfunny scripts, eagerly agreed.

    • Early in the episode, Von Brock tells Harley that he is in Washington for the singular purpose of killing him with his bare hands and has, in fact, been strengthening his hands for just such an opportunity. In the climactic scene, it's pretty apparent that Von Brock plans to kill him with a knife.

    • George (Bonnie Hughes) seems to appear, in stock footage, in the establishing shot after the opening credits. She does not appear in the episode itself.

    Show More Trivia

    Allusions (1)

    • As Hal confronts Stanley at the Embassy party, the orchestra is playing a waltz tempo rendition of the, then current, Petula Clark hit "My Love."

  • Fan Reviews (1)
  • In an era of silly television, one silly hero could make shy, insecure kids feel good about themselves.

    By mrterrific729, Jun 24, 2005