Shazam! (TV Series 1974–1977) Poster

(1974–1977)

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Captain Marvel triggered the production of Superman: The Movie
Mike-3098 March 2003
Back in the mid-70's, Captain Marvel became the sensation of superheroes on TV. It had mysticism, morale and emotion; even though, Captain Marvel never fought against a foe that could match his abilities. And the special effects were cheap, considering the time it was made.

The storyline was much more interesting. Billy Batson was privileged by receiving the combined powers of the Six Wise Immortals: Solomon, Hercules, Agamenon, Zeus, Achilles and Mercury. Each one gave him respectively: wisdom, strength, courage, stamina, invulnerability, and speed. He only had to invoke the acrostic of their names: SHAZAM!, and he transformed himself into the Mightiest Mortal of Earth (with Superman-like powers, without the inconvenience of kryptonite).

Alongside him, was Mentor (who probably was a former receiver of the powers). Both of them traveled through the country, helping the ones in need.

The most interesting part came when Captain Marvel and Isis (a "sister" TV show) made cameos in their respective TV shows. It was nice to see both characters working together, and helping each other when the situation was getting out of hand.
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A Nice Show for Kids
mikeg55_949547 January 2006
I just watched an old episode and it was light hearted entertainment with nice morals and a good message. Unlike that other reviewer who is either homophobic, has a complex, or was trying to be funny, I saw the relationship between Billy Batson and Mentor as an Obi Wan and Luke thing. He was being a mentor!!! Hence the name. I don't know why people like that have to bash anything that has 2 males in it, like Batman and Robin, etc. Two men can be friends. An older men can pass on his wisdom to the young without being gay. And if anything would endanger Billy in anyway, all he had to say was SHAZAM!!!! All you haters get a life and give this nice 1974 show a break.
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Saturday Mornings fakeness at its best
raysond26 October 2002
This show was part of my 70's childhood,but still it was the most fakeness live action series ever depicted for the minds of the Saturday Morning youth. The series was called "Shazam!",and it was produced by Filmation Productions and it was on CBS-TV from 1974-76 and continued in repeated episodes throughout the rest of the decade. Even though,it was part of Captain Marvel was played by two different actors(Season 1-3 by Jackson Bostwick,and in Seasons 3-4 by Bruce Davey who went on to do a numerous array of TV shows and specials) the special effects were some of the hokeyest ever where in one scene our hero is flying through the air(but WE kids know he was connected to a wire with a fan blowing through him under a very low budget of lets say,around 50 to 70K),and others(like they travel the country in a Winnebago in the same exact neighborhood where they last were just up the block from the previous episode) that were a laughing stock. But lets just say that the series from the early 70's has found a home,and its part of TV Land's late night line-up for LOST forever series and sitcoms. Catch it on TV Land!

NOTE: Coming soon to TV Land,more of the best/worst of the live action Filmation genre series from the 1970's continues including LOST shows like "Isis"(starring former Vogue 70's fashion model Joanna Cameron in her first and ONLY TV "Saturday Morning" series),"The Adventures of Thunder","Ark II","Jason of Star Command",and "Space Academy"(which stars Jonathan Harris of Lost In Space,James Doohan of Star Trek,and Pamela Ferdiyn of Lassie). Don't Miss It!
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I used to love this show
theopus3 January 2004
When I was a Kid I loved this show... I never missed an episode. Now I re-see it on Nick at night and realize I have been desensitised. After the show I used to run outside and over to my friends house and we would play super heros the rest of the day... Superman could still kick Shazams butt... However Billy Batson turning into Shazam was way cooler then clark kent running into a phone booth....
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25 years ago This September... (Special Interesting Facts)
DgrWoman20 September 1999
This TV show got the kid's Saturday Mornings going. For 3 seasons, the world mightiest mortal saved lives, fought evil drug pushers and ended the episode with an educational moralistic message, which became a Filmation staple.
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Good Show
markus0101673 November 2005
This show was good for what it was. Too bad Filmation couldn't afford to get the rights to Mary Marvel and Captain Marvel, Jr. Instead, they created the Isis series. That would've been cool to see Billy & Mary Batson, Freddy Freeman, and Mentor and/or Uncle Dudley. Imagine seeing one or all of the Marvels transforming and on occasion working with Isis. Interesting points: John Davey (Captain Marvel #2) left show business in the early 1990's and is currently in the real estate field in northern California; Les Tremayne (Mentor) passed away in late December of 2003, Michael Gray (Billy Batson) is the owner, along with his wife, of a floral shop in L.A., Jackson Bostwick (Captain Marvel #1) is basically the only one still in the business. Joanna Cameron (Isis) left the business in the 1980's , was in the medical profession (a registered nurse) for awhile, and as of recently, is a hotel marketing manager in Hawaii. The show's budget per episode was $70,000 with a crew of about 80 people.
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I'll never forget this serie
Marcival10 February 2002
What can I say. In South America the spanish version for this TV show was on the air till 1977 and it was great for me. I'll never forget the ending morals what show me about the good and bad things of life. I am not a fan of Captain Marvel but I think that Billy Batson and Mentor show me little pieces of the person that I am today. I must thank for that. Of course if I could see it again I'd be laughing about how Captain Marvel use to fly... but I couldn't ask for more on that time.
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Captain Marvel, "Shazam" very underrated
richardleeevange28 April 2000
"Shazam" was a very good show considering it had a budget of $70,000 per episode and only consisted of 28 episodes. The show brought life back to the D.C. Comics character, who was revived after a 20 year absence. Had the show had a prime time slot and been based more on the comic, it's potential would have been even greater.
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S-weet H-unk A-nd Z-any A-ged M-an!....SHAZAM!
Poseidon-316 October 2002
"SHAZAM!!" With this desperately bleated out word, young Billy Batson (Gray) turns from a 25 year-old teenager to a bland, 30-something guy in a red body suit who saves horses lives and puts out school fires. (...a far cry from the loftier efforts of the comic book superhero who inspired this Saturday morning kid's show!) Pretty, youngish Gray (who owns one shirt) travels the globe (actually the same neighborhood over and over) in a Winnebago with his 'Mentor' (chickenhawk Tremayne sporting the worst comb-over in the history of TV.) While Tremayne dispenses sage advice with his formerly-velvet announcer voice, Gray learns lessons each week from an animated (actually one picture in which only the lips move!) array of 'elders'. These elders spout platitudes on how things should be and then, miraculously, Gray and Tremayne stumble across an example in which they can put their newfound knowledge to work. On cue, a danger comes about which is beyond Gray's ability to solve. This invariably means that Gray will have to call out "Shazam!" (an acronym of the elders' names) and Captain Marvel will appear in his place. Marvel was played by two men, neither of whom were able to get anywhere after this show, though the second one did do a large amount of TV guest roles. While they are handsome, they are hopelessly average in build and strength. The costume just sort of clings here and there, rather than being stretched across rippled muscles. The producers may as well have gotten the guy who played "Dennis the Menace's" dad to do the part. The poor guys are further humiliated by eternally cruddy flying effects in which the men lie on a board while a fan blows on them and stock footage of sky is projected behind them. More hilarious is watching Tremayne ALMOST keep his hands off Gray. He paws on the kid at every opportunity, telling him what to do, and his "this just in" vocal style adds a campy, homoerotic flavor to their scenes. Still, the show is irresistible and watching it brings back a lot of memories. The overbearing music is like a brainwashing device. Once one hears it again, it sticks in the mind and can't be excised. A flood of childhood memories involving jumping off a rock and landing face down in the dirt reappears. A delightful companion piece is it's spin-off "Isis".
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6/10
From a sort of hybrid of LIL' ABNER & SUPERMAN, CAPTAIN MARVEL became a fine teacher of manners & mainstay in CBS Saturday morning Cartoons Line-Up.
redryan6412 July 2008
THAT the Golden Age of Comic Books started with the publication of ACTION COMICS No. 1, featuring that sensational action-adventure character, "SUPERMAN", is fact. Created by a pair of former High School buddies from Cleveland, "The Man of Steel" would prove to be a veritable overnight success; providing impetus for not only its publisher, National Comics Publications (aka Detective Comics, Inc. and ultimately, D.C. Comics), but also energizing the whole comics field with the desire to bring the public more and more Super-hero "Long Underwear" Characters.

HENCE, it came to pass that from all corners of the New York's Publishing section, the World saw the rise of every imaginable variation on the "Superhero" theme. That meant a bumper crop of literally a thousand superman' all arising from every and all corners of "publishers' row."

NATIONAL Comics was responsible for a great portion of the bu$ine$$ driven proliferation of those altruistically driven, abnormally endowed with unusual powers and abilities "far beyond those of Mortal Men!" Within a year, DETECTIVE COMICS No. 27 premiered the non-super powered, but highly trained and prowess laden"BATMAN" Feature.

FROM that point on and in rapid fashion, the D.C. dual headed editorial offices* gave us "THE FLASH", "GREEN LANTERN", "THE SPECTRE", "HAWKMAN" , "THE SANDMAN", "DR. FATE", "HOURMAN", "STARMAN" and the inevitable female variation in "WONDER WOMAN".

BUT the other publishing companies weren't standing by idle. From Timely (later Atlas, then Marvel Comics*) we received such luminaries as "THE HUMAN TORCH", "Prince Namor, THE SUB-MARINER" and that pure symbol of patriotism, "CAPTAIN America" THE editorial staff at MLJ Publications brought out a crew of super characters all of their own with the likes of "THE SHIELD", "WIZARD"and "THE BLACK HOOD." MLJ would later change its corporate moniker in honor of a "Henry Aldrich-Andy Hardy" type of Teen-aged comedy strip. To this day it's known as Archie Comics Publications!

THERE were literally hundreds of characters that fit into this category; but we feel that there are a few more which merit at least a mention. Quality Comics Publications gave us the visually stunning and literary whimsiness of "PLASTIC MAN"; as well as publishing Will Eisner's copyright feature of "THE SPIRIT" , both in their POLICE COMICS monthly.

AND from Fox Features, we had an interesting assortment, most interesting of which was "THE BLUE BEETLE", which merited a short lived adaptation to a Radio Series, which starred Frank Lovejoy in the title role.

IRONICALLY the biggest rivalry for Superman and Company came from a character who is in many ways the one with the closest resemblance to the Progenitor of all Super Heroes. Fawcett Publications "CAPTAIN MARVEL" bowed in their WHIZ COMICS No. 2 (there was no # 1 published), dated February, 1940. From the start, it was clearly evident that perhaps Superman-D.C. had met its match, from another super-strong, flying, totally noble hero. As further evidence of this, Fawcett's 2nd comics title to feature Cap & his gang, CAPTAIN MARVEL ADVENTURES, went to publishing every 2 weeks, the first comic book to do so.

BUT all would not remain peaceful in the escapist 4 color mag world as D.C. filed several suits, claiming copyright infringement against Captain Marvel and Fawcett. The legal tug-of-war dragged on for several years; until Fawcett threw in the towel with a figurative "No Mas"! They agreed to never publish the adventures of Captain Marvel in exchange for an armistice. The year was 1953 and comic book publisher faced a lot of changes in the business; including a sharp drop-off in popularity for the "Cape and Mask" set. It was a done deal; no Fawcett Comics, no Legal Troubles.

NOW we must fast forward nearly two decades. A great Super Hero revival had been in progress for several years and once again, the bu$ine$$ $en$e of the 'Suits' at D.C. reasoned that it would be foolishly wasteful to leave the old "Big Red Cheese" on the shelf during such an era of "super-powered" good will. A deal was struck and D.C. first paid royalties to publish Captain Marvel and later acquired the rights to him outright.

SOON, Television beckoned; as the Super-hero was a most desirable item ever since the Pop Art-Camp BATMAN TV Series had made such an impression on the Nation and indeed, the whole World in 1966. Filmation, known for its TV animation projects, which included the NEW ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN, AQUAMAN, JUSTICE LEAGUE OF America and the first BATMAN Cartoon Series, came up with a format for a sort of juvenile coming of age/road trip scenario for the weekly episodes. In a typical we would have young Billy Batson pondering some great mystery of life and conferring with the old Wizard, Shazam (and oft with those gods and heroes whose name spelled the acronym of Solomon, Hercules, Atlas, Zeus, Achilles and Mercury). All this was rendered by FIlmation's Animation Department.

PROVIDING proper adult or even a sort of "parental" guidance was the character "Mentor"; played by long time distinguished actor of stage, screen, Radio and Television, Les Tremayne. The character is somewhat mysterious and he seems to be some sort of Wizard, himself; possibly even being Old "Shazam", himself.

ONLY one problem remained as the name of Captain Marvel was tied up under Trademark Law in a more recent character, a member of Stan Lee's Marvel Comics Stable. The name was their's to use, but not as a title. So, the title of "SHAZAM!" was settled on and Captain Marvel was known to whole new generations. The mixed Live Action & Animated "SHAZAM" had a successful 3 year run on CBS, with two guys in the lead. There was Jackson Bostwick (1974-75) and John Davey (1976-77). There was little noticeable difference in the two's performances.

Poodleschnitz!
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10/10
A Worthy, Enjoyable Show
ramsfan6 February 2011
Shazam! represented another great memory of childhood in the 70's and a weekly Saturday morning TV staple. Billy Batson (Michael Gray) is a teenage young man who "travels the highways and byways" in a Winnebago camper with an older gentleman, Mentor, (Les Tremayne) seeking to help people in need. Given the power by the immortal gods Solomon, Hercules, Atlas, Zeus, Apollo and Mercury to transform himself into Captain Marvel upon yelling the word "Shazam", Billy tries to right wrongs, put people on a righteous path and rescue those in distress. Each episode presented a moral parable involving the importance of honesty, lawfulness, or trust. Young viewers were treated to an entertaining, yet meaningful half hour of television, and parents could be assured of their children watching a wholesome Saturday morning program that helped to instill life lessons.

Devoid of great special effects or visuals, it is no doubt considered "cheesy" by today's standards of programming but was nonetheless a highly enjoyable show in its day. Unfortunately, rarely are shows like this offered to kids today, and Saturday morning cartoons are all but a memory.

In this sick world we live in today, a show about a young man driving around with an older stranger would be considered unsavory- a sad reminder of just how we've regressed as a society. But to a young kid in the 70's, this was just a cool show to watch, completely free of any dubious intentions or improprieties. Childhood simplicity is a wonderful thing- and Shazam! didn't disappoint. Wish it were still on today.
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10/10
Minor inaccuracies
lrc-728 June 2008
Warning: Spoilers
Captain Marvel was played by Jackson Bostwick (Season 1 and just two episodes of Season 2) and by JOHN Davey (Season 3) for a grand total of 28 episodes. The characters of Billy Batson (Michael Gray) and Mentor (Les Tremayne) traveled around in an Open Road motor home, commonly misrepresented as a Winnebago. Filmation acquired the rights to the Shazam title from DC comics, and is the first time that the characters of Billy Batson and Captain Marvel have been seen on television. The story format had to depart from the comics as the comics did not translate well for television. Filmation declined to use other characters from the Shazam mythos since it would have required the payment of more licensing fees.
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7/10
Bringing Back Memories
kranson-764-57144930 November 2013
I Just Watched this On DVD; This really Takes Me Back to when Saturday mornings were Saturday Mornings! The Thing i remember most is The Background music,Which Was used For other Filmation Cartoons/Series As Well; And, Like Most Saturday morning Shows,They Tried to Educate, As Well As Entertain; Now, as For the Accuracy Of the Captain Marvel Character, That Really Didn't factor Into This,As Far as i Know; To Me,He Was a 'Poor man's Superman', Even Though, They Could Have Benefited from a Little Bit of help From Richard Donner; Overall, This Is a Must Have For People like me,Who Are Attempting To Bring Back 'Saturday Mornings' As we Knew Them, Because, Today, They just Aren't The same Anymore.
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4/10
Nah avoid it..
BatmanFunReviews201824 November 2018
Shazam! is a show that packs some of the cheesiest and dumbest moments i've seen in quite a while to be honest and just showcases how dumb the early 70's were for pretty much anything related to superheroes so yeah thank Richard Donner for everything that happened in 1978 alright? Thank only him for that.
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5/10
Check the details
awhiteb-8645625 July 2018
Ummm.... Captain Marvel is A Marvel character. Shazam is DC. You'll want to check your facts if you're going to write a synopsis, IMDb.
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5/10
Captain Marvel On The Cheap
bkoganbing18 July 2008
One of the most popular of superhero comic strip characters came to us in the middle seventies in the form of a very low budget television series that only lasted for two seasons. It had actually two Captain Marvels when Jackson Bostwick left and was succeeded by John Davey for season two.

Since the grownup Marvel was merely a manifestation of the teenage Billy Batson and since Michael Gray as Billy was the main reason most of us watched the show, that the Elders decided Marvel needed another personality would be accepted without question.

Billy and this older man Mentor played by Les Tremayne traveled around in this motor home and Billy was what we would call home schooled. But what home schooling he got. The Elders are a group of mythic heroes of the past and we only saw them as animated manifestations. Zeus, Atlas, Mercury, Achilles, Hercules from Greek religion and King Solomon from the Bible. Can't do better than that for teachers. The Elders would summon Billy through some kind of celestial pager and he would travel in his mind to see them. They'd offer him a piece of wisdom that would be necessary for a situation he'd be involved in shortly.

When things became necessary, Billy would utter the single word 'Shazam' and he'd morph into Captain Marvel. It certainly had a powerful cultural influence, but it never worked for me and Gomer Pyle never did become a superhero and he was always more than uttering 'Shazam'.

Les Tremayne came to films and television late, he cut his acting teeth in radio and that strong voice was one of the most familiar out there. Michael Gray and he never seemed to have any kind of life outside of each other which certainly could lead to all kinds of speculation about their relationship. Except for Solomon those Elders were Greek heroes and they sure had no problem with being gay.

One thing is for sure, the cheapness of the production was manifested not just by the same stock footage used over and over again, but that I don't recall Mentor or Billy ever changing their clothes through 30 episodes.

Still 'Shazam' was entertaining kid's stuff and it seem to run in syndication for years afterwards. I've seen worse out there.
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Campy Childish Entertainment
Thor200024 September 2001
I think I loved this show when it first aired, but now years later after studying mythology from the Greeks to the Native Americans and seeing the television show "Hercules:The Legendary Journeys," I can see what tripe this show really was. For a hero with the powers of the mightiest immortals (and one ancient king of Canaan), Captain Marvel was really sort of a one dimensional character wasted in so-so adventures (a school catches fire with little or no damage, a bird escapes the zoo,,,,). He never did anything great except spout "pearls of wisdom," which by some miracle the kids actually took. Neither of the two guys looked right in that cartoonish costume right out cartoon land, and the actor playing Billy Batson was old enough he didn't need to change to pull some of the overstaged good deeds he does. Why the gods of old were interested in trivial matters when Ares by himself was far more dangerous was never explained. This show is proof that when kiddie shows are made, logic and common sense are the first thing to go!
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7/10
Good for kids
preppy-322 November 2010
This is based on the comic book. In this show young Billy Batson (played by 20 something Michael Gray) says the magic word "Shazam" and becomes Captain Marvel--a superhero. He has the power of the Greek gods Solomon, Herculeus, Atlas, Zeus, Achilles and Mercury. He travels the country with his "mentor" (Les Tremayne) to fight for truth and justice. Each episode had a little moral lesson dished out by the mentor to Billy.

I haven't seen this since I was a kid and won't--there is NO way this is going to live up to my childhood memories. I remember finding the special effects great (hey--I was only 12 when I saw this!) and loved the show. Also the first Captain was played by Jackson Bostwick who looked a LOT like the Captain in the comic books. OK--he had no muscles and the suit didn't exactly fit him but as a kid u ignore this. He was replaced for the second season by John Davey who looked NOTHING like the Captain and (to be totally truthful) was way too heavy to be playing a superhero. I still liked it though. So, I think this is a great show for kids. BTW there was NO homoerotic tension between Billy and his mentor like some posters have suggested. This is a KIDS SHOW! Anybody who actually sees that is very mistaken.
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the greek gods and crime fighting meet superhero tripe..great kids show.
orangegreenknight192716 June 2001
Thsi story is the tale of a boy who rides around ina RV with a old guy who looks like RUSS DOUGHTEN, battling evil. The RV has the shazam thunderbolt product placement logo on the front. The show was live action superhero with animated greek gods sequences and secenes of the SHAZAM all grown upon viagra flying behind a rear projection screen in faked aerial shots. The show was CHIPS gone SUPERMAN just on a lOW budget. Not a bad show for kids, not CITIZEN KANE either. yet, everyone on the show got paid so..kudos to them. Great family harmless fluff show.
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Thank God They Don't Make This Crap Any More
Sargebri25 March 2003
This piece of garbage comes from the era when the programmers of Saturday morning television felt they had to be more socially relevant. Whenever I would watch this show, I would imediately head for the local newstand and get a copy of the comic book. At least the comic book had some action in it. This show with differed so much from the comic book it was inspired by, it wasn't even funny. At least in the comic book you had action and some humor. This was so full of moralizing, that I couldn't stand it. Also, the acting was a joke. If you want to see the real Captain Marvel, read the comic book or check out the original serial.
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6/10
Fans of Captain Marvel
flapdoodle6427 May 2008
This was a pleasant and inoffensive show that helped a lot of kids survive the 1970's. I was heavily into comic books and felt that TV would be perfect if all you could ever watch were superheroes, sci-fi, horror, monster (especially Godzilla) and war (especially submarine) shows. It being the 1970's, you could at least watch sci-fi and monster movies a lot on the weekends. But there were never enough superheroics to satisfy a comic book fan.

A little background is necessary to understand this show: in the mid and late 60's, there were lots of superhero cartoons on Saturday-morning TV. But in the late 60's, a group called 'Action for Children's Television' successfully lobbied against these cartoons by alleging that they were too violent for kids and by 1970 most of them were gone. Hanna-Barberra, which produced Space Ghost and similar shows took a big hit, and Filmation, which produced the Superman and Batman cartoons took an even bigger hit: unlike Hanna-Barberra, Filmation had no funny animals to fall back on.

Around 1973 Hanna-Barberra produced 'Superfriends,' which featured Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman teamed with 2 obnoxious kids and a Scooby-Doo wannabee fighting over-zealous anti-pollution activists and other harmless foes, the idea being to replace violence with 'social message' stories. Strangely, Superfriends was a hit.

This led to Filmation securing the rights to the comic book 'Shazam!,' which was a revival of the classic 1940's hero Captain Marvel. Filmation's Shazam show had almost nothing in common with the Shazam comics, excepting that both featured an adolescent boy named Billy Batson who, by saying the magic word 'Shazam,' could be turned into the super-powered, flying, Capt. Marvel.

Taking a cue from Superfriends, 'Shazam!' emphasized social messages and morals and minimized violence. Besides hedging against the excesses of censor groups, this strategy helped keep the special effects budget low.

While 'Shazam!' was even less exciting than Superfriends, at least it didn't have those 2 stupid kids and their stupid dog. And 'Shazam!' was not obviously trying to insult comic books and their fans, as did the live action 'Batman' show, which was then being rerun extensively.

Another advantage Shazam! had over Superfriends was that Shazam! was live action, which made it seem a little less childish than Superfriends, which was cartoon. Also, Michael Gray seemed like a cool guy, the kind of guy I might want to be like. In the opening credits, they showed him getting on a dirtbike, and in the 70's dirtbikes were really cool.

Most importantly, Jackson Bostwick, who played Capt. Marvel, was a very credible hero. He was leaner than the steroid-soaked heroes of the 1980's and beyond, like Arnold Schwarzenegger, but IMO that made him look more like a real athlete. The overwhelming number of men look completely stupid in superhero tights: Jackson Bostwick looked like the real deal.

Bostwick also had a voice that sounded like a strong man's voice, strong eyebrows, and a handsome but fatherly face. He appears to have been a decent actor, as well. I don't think 'Shazam!' would have been any good without Jackson Bostwick. They fired Mr. Bostwick (unfairly) after Season 1, and replaced him with a guy who had more of a gut, and it hurt the show.

Shazam! was popular with my brothers and I for a while because it wasn't as silly as Superfriends or the Batman reruns, but we always knew that Capt. Marvel was there to just draw in the ratings, but that the real point of the show was morality. Just like 'Davey and Goliath.' Once WYTV Channel 33 in Youngstown began running reruns of George Reeves' 'The Adventures of Superman,' Shazam! couldn't compete, and we eventually lost interest.

I saw an episode of 'Shazam!' on TVLand a couple years ago, and my impression was this: for an ultra low-budget kids' show that tries to emphasize morals over superheroics, this show isn't bad. But it isn't really that great, either. At least Jackson Bostwick still holds up as an excellent Capt. Marvel.

If you grew up with this show and liked Capt. Marvel as a hero, I strongly recommend you check out the original 1941 movie serial 'The Adventures of Captain Marvel,' which is the 1st ever filmed version of a superhero, anywhere. This serial is totally awesome, and is inexpensive to buy on Amazon.com on either DVD or VHS. The world needs more Captain Marvel.
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7/10
Never quite knew what to make of this.
mountain92416 September 2016
I watched Shazam just like every other kid who was glued to Saturday morning TV in the 70s. Captain Marvel was considered kind of an off-brand superhero in those days, as Marvel Comics ruled at that time- at least where I was growing up. I actually thought the concept was cool and different when it first came up, since it had someone you didn't see very often.

It was a mid 70s cheese-fest throughout. We all enjoyed it, but we weren't quite sure what to make of it. I think everybody was hoping that the show would suddenly u-turn into the old comic book style, and Captain Marvel would spend 30 minutes every Saturday in harrowing battle against some bona fide super villains. As I recall, Captain Marvel's most heroic acts were picking up a car to save a guy and scaring off a bear. The point of the whole show seemed to be to position Billy Batson as some kind of early social justice warrior prototype. That's all not really meant as harsh criticism, as those were the times. Bill Bixby's Hulk show was largely the same in that regard. Other programming was diving into social issues as well- mainly saving people from oppression by other people.

I think I saw somebody write that this show is available on DVD. If so, it's definitely worth it for any fan to run through this series and get a real feel for how Saturday morning TV was back then.
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Child-Like Sight And Sound Wonder That Is Still Rather Cool
StuOz22 March 2010
I nice harmless show, with a touch of the very clean Adam West Batman series, that you can screen to your kids. By today's standards it is as corny as hell, but what is wrong with a bit of corn sometimes? I like the fact that Shazam! is on the road each week, with new locations and new people each episode. To my surprise there was even a drug-taking storyline in it once.

The episode towards the end about the kid film-makers is a favourite. Isis appears in that one complete with a memorable action scene at the end.

The mix of animation with live action is oddly pleasing. Some of the kid actors in it are known for doing other things before or after Shazam! The regular characters in it are just fine.

Some of my reasons for liking Shazam! are too private to mention here. Let's just say that this is the other version of Superman, complete with footage of Billy talking to The Elders that resembles Clark talking to Brando in the 1978 movie.

Shazam! also makes extensive use of the colour red which is a less talked about element to this series. I love red. Shazam! is also a great sounding series with cool voice work from The Elders and energy charged music playing over many scenes.

I was a child of the 1970s and my clothing/hairstyle was like the clothing/hairstyle of the many kids in Shazam!...that is also part of the appeal to me...the show takes me back to my youth (when I watched the show).

And, unlike Adventures Of Superman (1952-58), Shazam! was nearly always out doing location filming, not stuck in a not-so-super-studio.

Granted, each Shazam! episode ended with Captain Marvel or Billy looking into the camera repeating some cornball lesson we learned in this week's episode. I agree these endings are VERY hard to watch now.

The Shazam! studio - Filmation - also did 1970s live action hits: Ark 11 and Isis.
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