The Greatest American Hero

Season 1 Episode 1

The Greatest American Hero (1)

Aired Wednesday 8:00 PM Mar 18, 1981 on ABC
out of 10
User Rating
39 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

The Greatest American Hero (1)
Odd couple Ralph Hinkley (a liberal school teacher) and Bill Maxwell (a conservative FBI agent) are approached by aliens who give them a suit that grants superpowers to the wearer, with the caveat that it must be used for the common good.

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  • Lamest American Hero

    Oh man, this show is really painful. Even as a kid I found it lame. And it's a real shame cause the idea was great.

    But the writing was just so sloppy.

    Like how does he lose the instructions? He just drops it. That's it. The writers really put no thought into such an integral part of the premise.

    And he had already identified the mile of road where he dropped it. So does he go look for it, 1st chance he gets?

    Nope. Nor the 2nd. Nor 3rd.

    Get the pattern?

    Not that I want him to find it, but at least have some good writing instead of lazy ignoring the obvious.

    This show coulda bin so good.

    But sadly, 'twasn't.moreless
  • Suprisingly good.

    For being 25 years old, this pilot episode holds up surprisingly well. Sure, there are some very hokey elements, such as the fact that the "high school" students all look like they are older than the actor playing the teacher.

    But overall, this pilot episode features a complexity to its characters and storyline that is surprising. The lead actor is a dad going through a messy custody battle with an ex-wife. We see what appears to be a white supremacist movement hunting down a black man in the desert, and we see a power hungry Vice President hatching a devious plan to take over the government.

    What always made this show a bit odd is that the premise is extremely comedic, but for the most part the actors play their parts straight. I think this helps make this pilot episode remain watchable. Instead of having to sit through painfully dated comedy, we instead are treated to a type of storyline that is very unusual for a TV show. So, no matter how dated this episode may be, the fact that almost nothing has been made for TV like it since it originally aired, makes it still a worthwhile viewing experience.moreless
Richard Herd

Richard Herd

Adam Taft

Guest Star

G.D. Spradlin

G.D. Spradlin

Nelson Cory

Guest Star

Ned Wilson

Ned Wilson

Col. Shackelford

Guest Star

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions