Randolph Spencer and Martin Brubaker were ex-Navy SEALS-turned-mercenaries who hired themselves out as soldiers of fortune for a very high fee. On their missions, Spence and Bru relied ... See full summary »
Randolph Spencer and Martin Brubaker were ex-Navy SEALS-turned-mercenaries who hired themselves out as soldiers of fortune for a very high fee. On their missions, Spence and Bru relied heavily on Thunder, which was a souped-up, gadget-ridden speedboat originally built by Spence for the U.S. Government Written by
Marty McKee <email@example.com>
I first saw this not as a series, but as a movie in Italy. I was surprised because everything in Italy was dubbed, and this was not. Not even subtitles. But the audience didn't seem to mind. They loved it. Carol Alt (one of the regulars), was a huge star in Italy, and this was all about her. She gets kidnapped, and ends up in a "Morocco" type country, and has to be rescued. You get the picture. But I was surprised by the quality of the writing, directing, and especially the production values. Beautifully photographed, and just a delight. Clever. Yes, Hulk Hogan was even clever (well, the writer made him clever, and the director made him a good actor).
When I back home came to the States, I soon discovered that what I saw was once a two part episode, that had extra footage shot, and made into a feature for foreign distribution (though I think now you can get these on DVD). They did this for a few of the shows. The actual series was running on TV, and I watched them all with my kids. They got better and better. As I've read, they were all shot at Disney World, and Disney, (which was not the production company), opened up their doors. Literally. They even shot in Sleeping Beauty's Castle, and had their high-tech talking stealth boat in the moat! Jack Lemon's son, Chris was Hulk's sidekick, and showed both his father's humor, along with a new kind of intensity. Of course Carol Alt was wonderful, and my all time favorite, Patrick Macnee from the original "ADVENGERS" series gave it the foundation and roots you need. You know, like Leo G. Carroll in "The Man From "U.N.C.L.E.", or Edward Mulhare in "Knightrider". But Patrick is in a class all his own.
I'm sure TV budgets aren't that big, but every episode looked like a feature film. Lots of great guest stars, especially from the ranks of wrestling, when they had stars! Lots of original music too. This was produced, I've discovered by the same guys who brought you "Baywatch". This was so much better. Maybe because they were able to get off the hot sand! You can see a lot of the same formula, but this one actually had well written story's, good dialogue, and movie class action and special effects (the explosions were spellbinding!). In one episode I believe they blew up an entire school! And this is before CGI.
It's easy to put shows like this down. Especially when Hulk Hogan is in it. And this was long before his entire family went on TV, and then self-destructed. But really. It takes a special talent to pull something like this off give you comedy, action, warmth, and even emotion and message! I wish they'd bring this back. I can't think of a show on TV these days that has such wonderful "escapism"! Ah, for the days of "Thunder In Paradise", and "Magnum PI"!
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