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As a kid, I grew up with out cable television. I realize the blessing of it now seeing as it leads only to a bigger waste of time. Anyway, for the little coastline town I grew up in, we were at the mercy of 7 channels on the family's little U.H.F. television set. But that never stopped my twin brother and I from watching Saturday morning cartoons. We watched the usuals: power rangers, G.I. Joes, transformers, the like. But one morning, the usual line up of cartoons ended around 11 o'clock like it usually does. But I had nothing else to do, so I kept watching TV and this show came on. It wasn't on the TV guide and I never saw any adds for it on the regular channels. This show was action man, the first version that was done in hand drawn cell animation. however it happened, I got hooked. It was like this mix of G.I. Joe and James Bond, and what made the show more appealing, was there was this live action short preceding every show. Very simple, not too in depth, but it set the tone for the rest of the episode. From the few episodes I saw before it got replaced by some dumb sports show, I gather action man was this rogue agent. He would do missions assigned him by the UN or some other world defense organization. Almost all the missions were to foil the plans of the evil Dr. X (complete with eye patch and robotic hand, how else were you supposed to know he was evil), and his army of skull henchmen. But Action man had no idea who he was. The opening sequence of the show barely touched on it, but I (at the genius age of 10 or so) gathered that somehow he and Dr. X got into a scuffle in some Danish villa, Action man get's his world rocked and barely escapes with his life. However, upon his recovery, he can't remember anything before his bout with Dr. X in the villa. But he soon finds out he's a master at martial arts, covert ops, and almost every extreme sport imaginable. He had 3 partners to help him on his assignments: Knuck, Natalie, and Jacques (who was a computer whiz in a wheel chair). At the end of every episode, there would be another live action short where the live action version of action man would take a virtual journey into his amnesiac mind to find random memories in his brain (which, ironically, had some connection to the characters, places, or scenarios that took place in the preceding episode). The C.G.I. remake of the show in 2000 was nothing like the original. The only characters that carried over were action man, Dr. X, and Dr. Gangreene. The story was redone and given a new plot. It lacked the intrigue of the original and made Action man look like a jock and some what of a thrill junkie with no motivation in life.
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