Sunday, October 06, 2013

Nostalgia Theater: ABC's The Phoenix -- Bennu There, Done That

The Phoenix is a sci-fi series that briefly came and went on ABC in the early part of 1982. I was like two-and-a-half, so I have no firsthand memory of it, but when I was a kid, my brother would talk to me about it all the time. "Oh, you never saw The Phoenix." "Oh, you missed out on The Phoenix." After the YouTube age dawned, I decided to finally seek it out and...yeah. Here's the intro, which has to win some kind of prize for the amount of weirdly portentous, entirely extraneous exposition packed in per capita. Observe:

Seriously, that's 80 solid seconds of impenetrable narration. In case it's still not clear, here's the gist: Awakened in the 20th century after several millennia in hibernation, an alien named Bennu (Star Trek II's Judson Scott) embarks on a quest to find his lost love Mira, using his special alien powers to help people along the way while being pursued by dogged federal agent Preminger (the late Richard Lynch). So, yeah, like a dozen other quest shows before it, and at least one since.

Created by Anthony Lawrence (with inspiration by way of the Erich Von Daniken Chariots of the Gods stuff that had gained traction back then) The Phoenix lasted for five eps (including a pilot flick) in March and April of '82 before going back into hibernation. Like I said, I never actually saw it, so there's not even really any nostalgia there. Nonetheless (and somewhat amazingly!), I've gotten more requests by more people to talk about it in Nostalgia Theater than just about anything else I've featured. Consider my work here done.

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