Of the two versions of 'HUMAN TARGET', the Mark Valley series was better-received, but that's not to say the original version with Rick Springfield was bad, and it definitely deserved better treatment than it received from ABC during the summer of 1992.
The comic book wunderkind, Danny Bilson & Pau DeMeo ('The Rocketeer', 'The Flash') brought a third-string, sketchy, and barely-known comic series to TV, successfully giving it the gravitas it needed to be more than just a one-dimensional, 'victim-of-the-week' series. The cast had good chemistry, the writing was better-than-average TV fare for the time, and the premise was unique (I won't belabour the plot, as it's been described numerous times).
Probably the one sticking point that brought the show down was, ironically, the one selling point that garnered the majority of its audience: star Rick Springfield. While he was definitely old enough to have been a Viet Nam veteran (albeit it on the younger side), his matinee` looks made it somewhat difficult to believe he was as haunted and hardened as his character. To his credit, Springfield was up to the task, and it showed onscreen.
The show wasn't anywhere close to perfect, the effects were dicey a good portion of the time, and it wore a bit thin in coming up with valid reasons for Christopher Chance to break character and return to his crew so that the series could benefit from Springfield's onscreen drawing power in more scenes than just the beginning and the end of the episodes (one of the reasons I think the Mark Valley incarnation worked better/longer than its predecessor is that his version of Christopher Chance never had to disguise himself as one of his clients). That being said, the Springfield series had a lot of potential and should have been treated better than just a summer replacement series, especially going up against the Olympics.
It would be nice to see this version of 'HUMAN TARGET' get a good DVD release with interviews with the cast and crew 20+ years down the road. If it ever comes out, I'll be in line at the video store on the day it comes out.moreless