In the near future, an organized crime group known as the "Outfit" has become a major force in America. Engineer Julian Wilkes develops a high-tech crime-fighting vehicle called the Viper, ... See full summary »
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1994  

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Cast

Complete series cast summary:
...
 Joe Astor / ... (12 episodes, 1994)
...
 Franklin 'Frankie' X. Waters (12 episodes, 1994)
...
 Julian Wilkes (11 episodes, 1994)
...
 Mara Wilkes (6 episodes, 1994)
...
 Commander Delia Thorne (5 episodes, 1994)
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Storyline

In the near future, an organized crime group known as the "Outfit" has become a major force in America. Engineer Julian Wilkes develops a high-tech crime-fighting vehicle called the Viper, which is intended to be a "flagship" in a new crackdown on crime. The Viper needs a driver, so when Outfit driver Michael Payton is injured and captured, his memory is erased, and he is given a new identity as Joe Astor, MetroPol employee. The Outfit discredits the Viper project, but when it is canceled, Joe and Julian steal the Viper and strike out on their own private war against crime. Written by Marg Baskin <marg@asd.raytheon.ca>

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Genres:

Drama | Sci-Fi

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Release Date:

2 January 1994 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Száguldó vipera  »

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Trivia

Filming in Calgary, Alberta required frequent closure of the city's Deerfoot Trail - its major freeway - much to the consternation of locals. Nonetheless, the use of the city for location shooting for this series sparked a decade-long upswing in film and TV production in Calgary as many US and European productions set up shop in the Canadian city. See more »

Connections

Followed by Viper (1996) See more »

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User Reviews

Lots better than Knightrider
30 June 2009 | by See all my reviews

OK so the year was 1994, this series dropped on me out of the blue, I accidentally watched the pilot episode and got drawn in. The near future looked amazing, the mood was dark and desperate, special effects were amazing for TV back then(love the snake morph, love the stylized damages on the car when it gets hit by a rocket) the idea of a lone hero with a dark past kinda like Knightrider but much cooler looking and feeling here played by an actor that wasn't very conventional looking but had some good points to him. Viper may have been a product placement thing from Dodge/chrysler corporation but it was certainly worth its while, anyone notice the designs of the buildings ? kinda reminiscent of Tim Burton's first batman movies, amazing, loved those busts on the ceiling beams of the Viper hideout. For the technology I can only say bravo and I suspect the automobile industry had a lot of advice to give, who else had shown us those flatscreen monitors and TV's back in those years, who else had handsfree carphones the way we have now back then (bluetooth technology anyone ?)actually the only thing that looks a little dated by now is the red Viper. Even the Defender still looks hot. The first 13 episodes absolutely rocked and the final episode where Joe and Julian steal back the replacement heart for a kid who needs it was absolutely fantastic. If it had to stop somewhere, it was there. Season two and three sucked big time, somehow the morphing had changed, the timeframe was different and gone was the dark gloomyness. Jeff Kaake just didn't cut it as a replacement for James Mccaffrey and the proof was that the final series kinda made up for the two crappy ones in the middle when Joe came back. But even then, they should have left it in the near future's darker world, it was not a good idea to turn it into KnightriderII but I guess it made it all more accessible to a younger audience which is what the suits in the offices want these days, no more good storytelling, just sell sell sell and make money. I almost forgot to mention the music, the first season soundtrack absolutely fit the mood, amazing work for a TV show. OK so in short, good points : premisse, looks, music, wardrobe, casting, believable technology (not talking about the morphing here although... who knows), setting, production design, details, stories. Bad points : everything from season 2 on was crap in my opinion except for the new Viper in season 4 and the return of Mccaffrey.


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