Carter Nash was a chemist in a police department who discovered a liquid which could turn him into Captain Nice, an odd sort of superhero: very shy and dominated by his mother. Captain Nice...
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Carter Nash was a chemist in a police department who discovered a liquid which could turn him into Captain Nice, an odd sort of superhero: very shy and dominated by his mother. Captain Nice flew (he feared heights) in his tattered leotards, fighting badguys because his mother told him to do so.Written by
Ed Stephan <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The origin of the name "Captain Nice:" When Carter Nash is first discovered as a "superhero", he has a belt engraved with his initials, "CN". A passer-by asks him what the "CN" stands for and, not wanting to give his real name, he comes up with, "Captain . . . Nice." See more »
A quirky, silly but fun series from the late sixties.
I enjoyed this series. Of course, I was eleven years old when it originally aired, which is about the age the series was obviously aimed at. It wasn't meant to be high-class t.v. It was meant to entertain kids, primarily.
This was the silver age of comic books and the original Batman t.v. series starring Adam West and Burt Ward had been airing for a year or so. The Green Hornet, starring Van Williams and Bruce Lee, was airing around this time as well. Captain Nice was poking fun at the superhero genre (in the spirit of the Underdog animated series, perhaps?) for which Batman and The Green Hornet were not necessarily new contenders ( by consideration the Superman series from the fifties which starred George Reeves), but were certainly the reigning kings during the time.
Captain Nice, in his alter-ego, was a bespectacled nebish-like chemist named Carter Nash who had accidentally stumbled on to a serum that gave him super powers.
Nash was played by William Daniels (Saint Elsewhere's Dr. Mark Craig, Boy Meets World's Mr. Feeney, and the voice of "K.I.T.T." from Knight Rider). Much like The Greatest American Hero, Nice wasn't able to manage his powers well, due to the fact he didn't like flying (heights scared him - Nice's "Kryptonite," perhaps?).
His mother, played by Alice Ghostly (Bernice Clifton from Designing Women), sewed his costume from bedsheets (he wore canvas high top tennis shoes for footwear). Ghostly antagonized Carter, who still lived at home, by her constant worry over him.
You never saw his Dad. His Dad was always hid behind his newspaper.
Ann Prentiss (Paula Prentiss' sister - who later got into trouble with the law) played Nice's police contact, Sergent Candy Kane, a wide-eyed brunette and quasi-equivalent of Lois Lane to Superman. The sexual tension between Nice and Kane was, well... not very tense.
The fun of the show was when Nice finally triumphed after puzzling over all types of difficulties in apprehending whatever baddie happened to be committing the crime during the show that week. Kind of like whenever Barney Fife actually apprehended a bad guy on The Andy Griffith Show.
Particularly fun were the flying scenes in which Captain Nice's billowy Rayon cape fluttered around him as he appeared nauseous.
Personally, I loved the theme song - corny and much in the flavor the theme song from Car 54 Where Are You? It featured an annoying Brooklyn accented man repeating the world "Nice" (as in Captain Nice) several times at the end.
The series only lasted a short while - 15 episodes. I was seriously bummed out when it was canceled. It is largely forgotten today.
The series was produced by Buck Henry who also produced Get Smart. The series died because, I believe, adults just didn't get it. They might have tuned in for an episode or two, however, it just didn't have the long term appeal it needed to pull in adults.
Kids like myself got it. It was intended to be hokey. How many shows such as Gilligan's Island and the Munsters, which were also intended to be hokey, made it and Captain Nice didn't remains to be pondered. Although DVD's may be found of the series on the internet (reportedly copied from VHS recordings from the time - although, home VHS recorders were not available then), I heartily wish the series would be released in DVD - if not purely for the sake that it was an odd and unusual show that, I believe, should be remembered.
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