7.4/10
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The Greatest American Hero 

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A teacher is asked to be a superhero using a special alien suit with powers he can barely understand or control.
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3   2   1  
1986   1983   1982   1981  
Nominated for 4 Primetime Emmys. Another 1 win & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete series cast summary:
...  Ralph Hinkley / ... 44 episodes, 1981-1986
...  Bill Maxwell 44 episodes, 1981-1986
...  Pam Davidson / ... 41 episodes, 1981-1986
...  Tony Villicana 30 episodes, 1981-1983
...  Rhonda Blake 28 episodes, 1981-1982
...  Cyler Johnson 21 episodes, 1981-1983
Don Cervantes ...  Paco Rodriguez / ... 20 episodes, 1981-1983
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Storyline

Ralph Hinkley was minding his own business, a teacher on a field trip with his high school students, when the bus he's driving mysteriously drives itself out into the desert. A startled Ralph is soon visited by aliens, who had decided to endow him with superhuman powers to fight the battle against injustice and crime. To this end, they gave him a special suit and an instruction manual. Unfortunately, Ralph managed to lose the instruction manual, and the aliens have a nasty habit of never being around when you need them. Written by Murray Chapman <muzzle@cs.uq.oz.au>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

What America needs is a super hero. What America got was Ralph Hinkley!


Certificate:

TV-14 | See all certifications »
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Details

Official Sites:

Stephen Cannell Productions

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

18 March 1981 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El gran héroe americano  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Show more on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (43 episodes)

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Ralph's son Kevin was only seen occasionally during the first season, and was phased out as the show went on. See more »

Quotes

Bill Maxwell: OK, let's not panic.
Pam Davidson: I feel like panicking. I can panic if I want to panic.
See more »

Crazy Credits

During the opening credits of the pilot "Greatest American Heroine", the three-note NBC theme is heard as the letters "i-n-e" appear one at a time on screen. (An in-joke as NBC was the network the series was being pitched to at the time) See more »

Connections

Referenced in Seinfeld: The Chronicle (1998) See more »

Soundtracks

Believe It or Not
Written by Mike Post & Stephen Geyer
Performed by Joey Scarbury
(theme song)
See more »

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User Reviews

 
The "Katt" was Cool!
22 July 2005 | by See all my reviews

I'll keep the review simple,10 stars! Loved it! Have nothing bad to say about this show! (Heck,I still have the 45rpm record of the theme song with the original picture sleeve and Joey Scarbury's album!)

I wasn't too crazy about the fact (at the time) that I had to watch the debut at a local hospital(visiting my grandmother ). I was still 12 when the show debuted and had looked forward to it's premiere and I certainly wasn't disappointed!

William Katt,a dramatic actor who got no respect from critics in the forgotten yet wonderful 1978 dramatic/surfing film "Big Wednesday",didn't get much more respect here but..to all of us who watched this show,he was cool and the "greatest". I'm sure he was just glad to be working...and with "I Spy" vet Robet Culp yet! Not to mention Connie Selleca. (Ralph must've used some smooth line to land her!)

Even though the "green screen" effects are obvious,it doesn't take away from the action one bit. I'll never forget watching Ralph stop a nuclear missile from being launched by simply holding it down with his hands! Pretty darn great effect for that time,not to mention just for TV! It makes me glad to see this come out on DVD,despite the fact there's no conclusion to the series.

I agree,it was unfair to call this kiddie-TV. This is a kind of satirical look at what would really happen if someone on earth got to be a hero. Wheather they asked to be or not. Not surprisingly,choose an earthling....lose the instruction manual! Get the DVD,you wont be sorry (unless you have no sense of humor.)


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