Friday, August 22, 2014

Geek TV: Eerie, Indiana

Concept: Teenager Marshall Teller's family moves to the town of Eerie, Indiana, where he becomes friends with Simon Holmes, and the two of them encounter all sorts of odd and downright weird stuff that the town seems to be a locus for.

Total Episodes: 19

Original Air Dates: September 15, 1991 - April 12, 1992

Original Network: NBC

Characters:

Marshall Teller (Omri Katz): Marshall is the hero of the stories. He grew up in New Jersey prior to his family moving to Eerie. He can be arrogant at times, but is also very smart, resourceful, and thinks quickly on his feet. His best friend is Simon Holmes, although as he becomes interested in girls, he finds himself split between girls and Simon.

Simon Holmes (Justin Shenkarow): Marshall's best friend, Simon's parents argue most of the time. He was a lonely kid before Marshall befriended him. He is the only resident of Eerie who thought anything was weird before Marshall's family moved there.

Edgar Teller (Francis Guinan): Marshall's father, he works at "Things Incorporated," a product testing company. Edgar is a scientist who was the member of the family who decided to move to Eerie.

Marilyn Teller (Mary-Margret Humes): Marshall's mother, she operates her own party-planning business at the Eerie Mall, and tends to be disorganized.

Syndi Marie Priscilla Teller (Julie Condra): Marshall's older sister, ridiculed by Marshall for the spelling of her name. Wants to be a reporter.

Dash X (Jason Marsden): A mystery character, he has no memory of his past, nor how he got to Eerie. He lives on the streets, and occasionally helps Marshall and Simon.

Geek Pedigree:

Joe Dante directed five episodes of the show, more than anyone else. His previous geek credits include directing the genre films Piranha, The Howling, Gremlins, Innerspace, Gremlins 2: The New  Batch and Explorers, segments of Twilight Zone: The Movie and Amazon Women on the Moon, episodes of Police Squad!, The Twilight Zone (1985), and Amazing Stories. Later, he directed the films Matinee, The Warlord: Battle for the Galaxy, Small Soldiers, and Looney Tunes: Back in Action, among other credits. Bob Balaban directed three episodes, he had previously written a single episode each of Tales from the Darkside (1988) and Monsters, directed single episodes of Tales from the Darkside and Amaziing Stories, and acted in Close Encounters of the Third Kind (playing David Laughlin), 2010 (playing Dr. R. Chandra), and guested in an episode of Amazing Stories. He later directed two episodes of the 2002-2003 The Twilight Zone.

Bryan Spicer directed two episodes, he was a director on Superboy, and later directed episodes of The Adventures of Brisco County Jr., SeaQuest 2032, The X-Files, The Lone Gunmen and the movies Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie, among other credits. Also directing two episodes was Tim Hunter (who previously directed three episodes of Twin Peaks and later episodes of Dark Justice, The 4400, and Caprica, among other shows), and with single episodes Greg Beeman (also directing two episodes of Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color in 1986, a segment of Tales of the Unknown, and later episodes of The Adventures of Brisco County Jr., Heroes, Smallville and Falling Skies and the films Mom and Dad Save the World and Aquaman (2006 TV movie), as well as producing episodes of Smallville, Heroes and Falling Skies), Mark Goldblatt (who'd directed The Punisher in 1989, and edited Piranha, Humanoids of the Deep, The Howling, Halloween II, The Terminator, Nightbreed, Predator 2, Terminator 2: Judgement Day, Super Mario Bros., Starship Troopers, and many other films) and Todd Holland (who'd directed episodes of Amazing Stories and Max Headroom, and later The Wizard, episodes of Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventures and Firefly, as well as the TV Movie The Time Tunnel (2006).

Series lead Omri Katz had previously appeared in an episode of Zorro and played Timmy in Adventures in Dinosaur City, and later played Stan in Matinee. While co-star Justin Shenkarow didn't have prior genre credits, he did voice Jordan Hill and Timmy Frye in the episode "Be a Clown" of Batman: The Animated Series, and did voices in single episodes of The Little Mermaid, Captain Planet and the Planeteers, Gargoyles: The Goliath Chronicles, Hercules, Kim Possible, Totally Spies!, multiple episodes of 101 Dalmations: The Series, Recess, and was a regular voice actor on Life with Louie and Hey Arnold!, and assorted other voice acting roles.

Mary-Margaret Humes was previously in History of the World: Part 1 playing Miriam, and guested in episodes of Knight Rider, Manimal, The A-Team, The Fall Guy, Night Court, T. J. Hooker, and later in Dark Justice, Time Trax, Legend, Touched by an Angel, and Ghost Whisperer. Francis Guinan had previously appeared in The Serpent and the Rainbow, Knight Rider 2000, Alien Nation (TV series), and later in the TV-movie Journey to the Center of the Earth, and episodes of Dark Skies, Sliders, Beyond Belief: Fact or Fiction, Star Trek: Voyager, 3rd Rock from the Sun, and Star Trek: Enterprise.

Jason Marsden is mostly known for his voice work, previously voicing Cavin in Adventures of the Gummi Bears, Peter Pan in Peter Pan in the Pirates, and appeared onscreen as Eddie in The Munsters Today, as well as episodes of Tales from the Crypt and Star Trek: The Next Generation.  Later, he guested on The Adventures of Brisco County Jr and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, and voiced in episodes of Batman: The Animated Series, Sonic the Hedgehog, The Mask, Duckman: Private Dick/Family Man, Extreme Ghostbusters, Jungle Cubs, Histeria, Superman (1996-1999, voicing the young Clark Kent), Batman Beyond, and many, many other shows, including voicing Snapper Carr in Justice League as well as Bart Allen and Ray Palmer in Young Justice.

Archie Hahn, who appeared in 6 episodes, had earlier guested in episodes of The Partridge Family, Tabitha, The Fall Guy, Madame's Place, ALF, and could also be seen in This is Spinal Tap and Amazon Women on the Moon. He later appeared in The Brady Bunch Movie, Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman, Doctor Dolittle, Small Soldiers, Once and Again, Looney Tunes: Back in Action, and appeared in a few episodes of the original version of Whose Line is it Anyway?

Geek Guests:

John Astin guested in a handful of episodes, and of course you'll recall him as Gomez Addams from The Addams Family as well as being a regular on Brisco County Jr. and the second Riddler on Batman, among many other credits.

Guesting in single episodes included such actors as Henry Gibson (perhaps best known for being a regular on Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In), Tobey Maguire (who went on to be the first big-screen Spider-Man), Matt Frewer (known for Max Headroom as well as a host of other genre roles), Dick Miller (who can be seen in a multitude of genre movies, many of the "B" quality), Rene Auberjonois (perhaps best known for his role on Benson or as Odo in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine), and Ray Walston (My Favorite Martian).

DVD Release: Complete series. The series can also be seen on the online service Hulu.

Website: I wasn't able to find an official website for the show, and it doesn't look like a fan site is set up, either (at least, none that showed up in the first few pages of Google results).

Notes: This was another show that my family and I faithfully watched and were disappointed to see it cancelled. The series was later shown on The Disney Channel and Fox, garnering high enough ratings that a follow-up series, Eerie, Indiana: The Other Dimension to be produced for Fox Kids, lasting 15 episodes in 1998. 

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