Sam Jones, Nana Visitor, Garry Walberg, Daniel Davis, John Allen, Sarah Dammann, A cemetery in a studio, A street-wise kid with medical training
Dir: Michael Schultz
Wri: Steven E. De Souza
Ellen Dolan - “How do I get myself into these things?”
WHAT IS IT? A pilot for The Spirit television show that never happened, starring former Flash Gordon, Sam Jones as Denny Colt/The Spirit.
GOOD IDEA/BAD IDEA: The Spirit created by comic’s legend Will Eisner is highly regarded material and this pilot isn’t a bad attempt at bringing the iconic hero to the small screen.Casting Sam Jones however kept the character of The Spirit two dimensional and the simple fact is it’s just really really dull.
WHAT’S THE STORY?
Denny Colt (Jones) is a police officer, doing police business, which means sometimes having to attend a crime scene where say...his best friend has been bumped off.This irritates Colt, and as he lacks the acting ability to get upset about the situation, he searches out the Commissioner of police to tell him he has plans to follow a suspect!
Commissioner Dolan (Walberg) is less impressed at this, as he thinks a police officer’s job is to follow suspects anyway, but it does seem to impress the Commissioners daughter, Ellen (Visitor).She is taken aback by his rugged manliness, his direct approach, and the fact she always dreamed of playing Dale Arden in Flash Gordon.
Growing rapidly bored of Ellen’s infatuation, Colt turns his attention to dishing out advice to a streetwise kid who he spots selling knock-off goods.He tells him that selling counterfeit items is bad, that appearing in live-action adventures about The Spirit is worse, and no matter how much he is asked he can’t get anyone Max Von Sydow’s autograph.
Before the kid can say “what you talking ‘bout Denny?”, Colt is off to a museum on the trail of his chief suspect Simon Teasdale (Davis).But Teasdale is less than happy at being dragged into such a boring show and pleads for Colt to do something interesting as thirteen minutes have passed so far and it almost feels as though time is moving backwards.Denny informs Teasdale that interesting stuff is happening, but it’s happening in a quirky and off-beat manner, which he and the audience might not appreciate, but it’s going to continue that way anyway.
Teasdale agrees to disagree and sends Denny off to a pier, where he is shot and thanks mostly to the acting skills on display it’s presumed he must be dead.In fact he hasn’t passed on just yet, and wakes up in an unconvincing cemetery in a studio, where the streetwise kid drags him into a crypt and performs life saving medical attention.
The kids ability to wrap bandages around his chest works, and now back from the dead, deciding to fight crime undercover, backed by an action montage and donning a mask, Denny Colt becomes.... The Spirit!
With a new outlook on life, the Spirit races off to see Commissioner Dolan to tell him there’s a new hero in town.Dolan is mildly interested, but this pales into insignificance when his daughter Ellen arrives to create a bit of sexual tension, 80s style.Despite all this there is still very little going on, so The Spirit returns to the museum to confront Teasdale, has a punch up, nearly gets boiled alive, dresses up as an old man and then discovers he had the wrong suspect all along.
Heavily depressed at wasting so much time and considering whether this is really the best line of work to be in, The Spirit manages to find the right suspect, but lets her slip through his fingers.As he walks off into obscurity, he prays things won’t get any worse then he gets a call from Frank Miller.
SPIRITED AWAY: *The Spirit pilot never made it into a full series, mostly because despite some fun moments it’s just dull!
*In 2008 The Spirit made it to the big-screen courtesy of comic’s legend Frank Miller, but it’s safe to say it’s unlikely there will ever be a sequel. If you haven't ever seen that version, then thank God for such a blessing and pray that you never...ever...do!
*Sam Jones is most famous for playing comic-book hero Flash Gordon in the 1980 film of the same name.He even made an appearance in the 2007 series Flash Gordon...but he probably doesn’t like to talk about it....and he shouldn't.