Supertrain: Season 1, Episode 1

Express to Terror (7 Feb. 1979)

TV Episode  -   -  Comedy | Drama
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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Harry Flood
Robert Alda ...
Dr. Dan Lewis
Rose Casey
Aarika Wells ...
Bill Nuckols ...
Lou Atkins (as Michael Delano)
Charlie Brill ...
Mike Post
Char Fontane ...
Cindy Chappel
Jack Fisk
Winfield Root
Deborah Benson ...
Barbara Root


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Comedy | Drama





Release Date:

7 February 1979 (USA)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


"How much shake is there when riding a high speed train?" This question was argued and discussed by Ned Parsons, the director/producer Dan Curtis, and the cinema-photographer Dennis Dalzell. Referencing the speed of the Japanese Bullet Train and the high speed French trains implied that no obvious motion such as swaying nor bounce should occur. Dan Curtis decided the train's riders should have some form of swaying motion. After this decision was determined, preliminary camera tests were made with cast members and background extras, all photographed in selected Super Train compartment sets and dining carriages. Company grips were stationed at the train car set's platform end and middle with 4"x4"x10'0" long wood logs placed under the set platform. During the scene's filming, the grips would "rock" and raise the carriage set platform a few inches off the stage floor. The grips (who each looked like a Japanese wrestler) earned their nick-name "the gorillas". The teams of gorilla gangs were picked by the assistant director! Who would give the camera-cue, "gorillas rock!" (Prop makers do not qualify as gorillas because, when a set is turned over to the filming company, construction grips take over moving and handling stage scenery (sets) from the construction department's prop makers! Union rule dictates company film construction grips even repair and rebuild damaged sets during the filming process). Returning to the art department, Ned Parsons and Hub Braden would discuss how the "gorillas would rock the set units"! Ned's secretary would listen to their conversations, finally announcing that she wanted a set visit! Josephine, Ned's secretary, wanted to see what a gorilla looked like! See more »

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User Reviews

"Supertrain" pilot movie re-titled for video

Those familiar with NBC's short-lived and big-time failure "Supertrain" series from 1979 will immediately know what they've gotten into when "Express to Terror" starts to roll. The copy of "Express to Terror" that I have seen is a VHS release on the PRISM label. The quality of the transfer is good and I believe it is out-of-print now. As mentioned, this is simply the two-hour pilot movie that launched the "Supertrain" series. It is a rather weak attempt too, even by "Supertrain" standards. The story involves Steve Lawrence playing a guy with a gambling problem who is returning to L.A. on Supertrain and is working for Stella Stevens. Stevens plays a Hollywood agent who is using the trip on Supertrain to try and put together a movie deal with George Hamilton and Vicki Lawrence, who are on board under the credit 'Special Guest Appearances.' Neither George Hamilton or Vicki Lawrence have much of any screen time in the entire movie. In fact, I'm not sure Hamilton and Lawrence deliver more than a handful of line between themselves. The movie centers around Steven Lawrence's apparent troubles with the mob. He's borrowed money and thinks his time to repay has run out and now the mob is trying to kill him. Bumming along with Steve Lawrence is Don Meredith. Meredith plays Vicki Lawrence's husband, he is jealous of her possible relationship with George Hamilton. Steve Lawrence's job is to keep Meredith away from Hamilton and allow Stella Stevens' character the time to put together the movie deal. The plot gets rather muddy by the end, with Don Stroud thrown in as a person apparently trying to steal Steve Lawrence's identity...though considering his troubles who'd want it? Fred Williamson turns out to be the person who is hired to "off" Steven Lawrence, by literally putting him off Supertrain. It's not "Murder on the Orient Express" and not even a good "Love Boat" clone. To introduce the series, Keenan Wynn is shown announcing he is devoting his remaining years and large fortune to create Supertrain and revolutionize rail travel. Wynn is along for this first trip, but does very little. Throughout the proceedings, we are introduced to the various people who made up Supertrain's crew and regular cast.

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