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14 out of 19 people found the following review useful:

Like any revival, falls short of the original

Author: Jack Yan from Wellington, New Zealand
29 December 2000

The original Viper (1994) adapted the Bilson–De Meo formula of mixing comic-book adventure with live action, something that the pair had successfully done with The Flash and Rocketeer. With the big-screen Batman and other films of the era re-creating the comic-book feel, Viper, with its part-science-fiction, part-crime storylines brought the style to the small screen. The villains in futuristic concept cars or Richard Burgi playing golf on a life-size simulator; the haunting lair of the Viper team and the excellent special effects – there was courage by a crew that tried to paint a picture of a time just after now. The same philosophy helped the success of series across the Atlantic such as The Avengers or UFO.

When Viper was revived in 1996, the ingredients that had made the original so charming and distinctive had disappeared. Relocated to another city, Viper was set firmly in the present, rather than the near future. Replacing the science-fiction style was the tried-and-trusted American cop-show formula. Whereas the original team had been outside the law, the new one would be a legally sanctioned police team. Motor pool suit Franklin X. Waters (Joe Nipote) got a larger role but as the Viper mechanic and HQ-based geek, but his promotion meant the disappearance of his beloved Plymouth Barracuda.

Now, the only difference between the police detectives here and those on any other American police show was the use of a morphing Dodge Viper, updated to the relevant model year.

This allowed for more unimaginative storylines and plot holes, just as any everyday American police series had. One could easily transfer a story from any other cop show into the new Viper: this series now smells of metooism and cheapness. It had lost any of the originality that the first writers and current executive producers, Danny Bilson and Paul De Meo, injected. Less logical and less distinctive, it was relegated to late-night slots in New Zealand, while its 1994 predecessor had enjoyed prime time. The programmers made the right decision.

Despite the return of James McCaffrey in the lead in 1998 and a guest appearance by original cast member Dorian Harewood, little improved. The new formula is just that: a formula. About the only distinction remaining is one's ability to observe Chrysler product placements. Like so many American shows, Viper became far weaker on its revival and was probably another victim of US network tinkering.

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6 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

One of the greatest tv shows ever!

Author: lone-star-state ( from Germany
9 December 2003

I think "Viper" is just great. Of course, some people out there might think "hey, just another high-tech car like the one of 'knight rider'". But trust me, this is different and this tv show features (in my opinion) a number of great actors. Well, especially J. Downing aka "FBI agent Sherman Catlett" does a good job.

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7 out of 11 people found the following review useful:

Viper returns against the bad guys with a new team...

Author: ( from Istanbul, Turkey
28 February 1999

The NBC show Viper, after the success of first Season returns to the scene as syndicated. Joe Astor left the project together with Julian Wilkes. A new team was created, this time with the support of MetroCity officials. Thomas Cole(Kaake), an expert driver from UN Security Drivers, Cameron Westlake(Medway), a police detective, Frankie X. Waters(Nipote), a mechanic, and Dr.Allie Farrow, an engineer. Viper is the ultimate barrier between the criminals and the city again!

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

this is a good candein show

Author: Liam wuthrich from Canada
27 September 2012

i like this show because they used state of the art Equipment and i watched as a kid and this show proved that a car could take on villain's of that time era and Thomas Cole he played the part's well up until season finally and i wonder if if they could complete with show's like Hawaii five o with grace park and the gang.

also why can they not have a car like this in every city or town that could afford one

i hope in the present car's like and trucks can use the viper show as a role model if this show come's back in rerun's or in a movie for theater's after more then 25 year's being pulled from TV.

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Surprises and Disappointments

Author: mieguy from Germany
13 May 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Season 1 of the Syndicate Series (or Season 2 if you count the Original Series) is quite a surprise. It has an actor relatively unknown to the audience and a story sounding like Team Knight Rider which was not a very successful series (ended after one Season). So what you can expect? Jeff Kaake does a great acting Job here. His only major role before he started being the main actor in Viper was in Space Rangers. But i think he is perfect for the role as the new Viper driver. Jeff shows Coolness and Superiority in one place, but can be a good partner as well.

The more disappointing part is the plot. All stories are refreshing and not standard Hollywood plots. But the writers didn't make much of their good ideas. We see too often episodes with 40 minutes of talking and 5 minutes of action. That would be okay but the talking doesn't seem to drive the story forward. Car chases get boring in some episodes because of the lack of traffic.

But there are also Exceptions. We see street racing with classic muscle cars ("Breakdown on Thunder Road"), a man with super powers going mad ("Manhunt") and a chase between two Vipers in "Wheelman". These stories may not sound refreshing but thats what maybe makes them better than the other episodes.

From all episodes of this season "Shutdown" might be the best. In Germany this was broadcast in a 2-hour pilot together with "Winner Take All" and it literally blows the audience away. We see an explosion of 16 Chrysler Corporation cars, the Defender is blown up and the story is also mind-blowing. What else does it need?

So my overall review is that there are ups and downs but the better episodes are so overwhelming that you easily forget about the bad episodes. I would watch them again.

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Just did not have the heart of the NBC series!

Author: ShelbyTMItchell from Seymour Tennessee
15 September 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Like one reviewer has said. The formula which worked on NBC. Just seemed to have disappeared. As it went indeed from the Sci-Fi to the police cop formula and the in the future that goes into a more rainy thing set in Metro but actually was filmed in Vancouver.

Replacing Joe Astor is Jeff Kaake's Thomas Cole an CIA ex-operative with evasive driving skills. As he recruits Heather Medway's detective and liaison. And Joe Napote returns as Frankie with a goatee and a bigger role. And Dawn Stern as Dr. Allie, the computer whiz.

Just the chemistry was not there. Kaake is OK but no Joe Astor. Napote gave the show much needed zip. But when Dawn was replaced by J Downing as FBI Agent Sherman Catlett. He and Napote were the comic reliefs in the show.

But just did not have the heart of the NBC series and really got ruined over it. Even though James McCaffrey would return as Joe Astor, still it was too little too late to save the show. If McCaffrey would had stayed on, it would had at least enjoyed a five year run. Not a three year one.

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