Greatest American Hero... A Marketable Story or a Disastrous Flop?



It's a question that has been burning in the back of my mind for a long while.

It starts with an ordinary everyday schoolteacher Ralph Hinckley, who's given a gift unlike anything known to man.   


It's given to him in the most unconventional way, and soon he's thrust into a situation where he is tasked to tackle worldly matters.

 

To top it off, he's teamed up with an FBI Agent by the name of Bill Maxwell.


Maxwell considers himself as a "No-Nonsense Chap" who does everything by the book!

 

So, he's traditional in his own right, until he nearly runs over the innocent bystander teacher when they cross paths later on.


It's also at that point where they get to know each other better, even though, they start off on a sour note due to the fact that Bill nearly cans Ralph!


Hinckley, who's now steaming mad SLAMS the car door shut!

 

He demands to know from Bill, why he just tried to turn him into yesterday's roadkill.


Bill informs Ralph that he didn't try to hit him and clarifies his argument announcing to him that he's a strait-laced FBI Agent.

He claimed he lost control of the vehicle.


Ralph, stares at Bill briefly; and turns away with the perception of him as if he's a crooked picture hanging on a wall.

Bill grabs a flashlight from the car trunk and prepares to check under his vehicle for anything unusual.


Unbeknownst to him, are two miniature-sized sparkling orbs hovering and twirling around one another in the distance.

Seemingly, tensions between Ralph and Bill have simmer down to the halfway boiling point. 


Although Ralph is STILL a bit shaken after nearly being run over by Bill.   

 

Bill continues to inspect, for anything that caused his vehicle to spin out of control. 


A conversation strikes up...


- Ralph


 "Well?"


- Bill


"I can't see anything... It looks ok to me."


- Ralph


He's not all too convinced by Bill's response.


 - Bill 


Meanwhile Maxwell, voices his frustrations after his trusty-rusty flashlight mysteriously gives out!


- Ralph


"Something weird is going on out here."


Bill hops back in the car making an attempt to start the engine.


And here it is, where Ralph's suspicions have now been tangibly confirmed


Bill stops and turn to accommodate Ralph's unsuspecting airborne find.


And both men now stand witness to these two morbidly lit orbs twirling away in the backdrop of the night sky.  

 

- Bill


"What is it?"

Ralph, not much for words dives over into the passenger seat of the car, he's followed by Bill seconds later.

 

- Ralph


"Let's get outta here!"


Bill honors the noble request by turning the keys in the ignition, unfortunately; he does so without any luck!


Meanwhile, the enigmatic orbs draw closer to their current location, twirling around each other with laser-like precision!


Bill tries the engine again, BUT IT'S OBVIOUSLY UNLESS AT THIS POINT!


The mysterious orbs are now upon them...


They come to a near stop over the roof of the vehicle.

 

The continual scratching sounds coming from the vehicle, are the results of Bill's frantic attempts to start that damn engine!


Suddenly, a mundane light conjures up toward the front left-side of the vehicle. 


Bill stops reluctantly, knowing that the gig is up! 



The realization now is that he, along with Ralph, are about to receive an unexpected visit...


To further confirm they're up s**t creek, are the car doors that lock without either of them initiating the automatic car door locks.



Ralph leaning forward, dons a look of utter concern upon his face.


Both The strange glowing orbs, now retreat into the darkened night sky, as if they're making way for something BIG...

 

BOTH MEN UNCONTROLLABLY PANIC!

They're pulling at the door locks!

Elbowing the windows!

Ralph, aiming his feet at the window(s) it hopes to shatter it!

IT'S SIMPLY TOO LATE!


And why, you say?


It's because of the eerie sounds; now looming somewhere afar...


To complicate matters an illuminated Night Ship, is now streaming across the night sky.


 Seemingly without a care in the world!


BILL SEES THIS!


Yet Ralph, STILL is to realize it...


And this ship...

This thing draws closer, and closer AMASSING IN SIZE!


With each and every mile it advances.


UNTIL...


Until.   


IT HAS ARRIVED!!


OH S@#*!!



AND THEY STOP!


STILL AND MOTIONLESS!


NO DOUBT RIDDLED WITH UTTER FEAR!


SOUNDS SEEMINGLY SO AERODYNAMIC! 


EVEN OTHERWORLDLY!


Fills the base of their ears for they can barely manage to hear!!


The light becomes immense, too blindly for them to make head or tails of it.

So, they cover up with their arms draped across their faces.

Until FINALLY, in undisputed "GLORY-OF-SORTS!"

It sits there RADIANTING!

A brightly lit ship, twirling slowly within their mists! 


And now it's time for them to confront what has been there all along!   

 



The aerodynamic sounds die down to barely a whisper. 


Not knowing what to expect, not realizing why this thing has chosen them to reveal itself to them for whatever reason is creepy enough!


Yet, Ralph and Bill are simply AWE-STRUCK! Stifled rather; they're left without a damn thing to say!

Suddenly, a bright illuminous light radiates an outward electromagnetic booming pulse.


And next thing you know, the ship establishes a "Wi-Fi link like" form of communication with Bill's car radio!

 

The following is spoken through the various channel shifts chosen on the car radio.


"You... will... not... be... harmed..."

"You... will... listen..."


"You... will...DECIDE!"   

 

Both Ralph and Bill are now TERRIFIED!


Seemingly, the ship has issued an offer to them.


And if things couldn't get any stranger, is the voice that now emerges from the car radio.


- Voice


"Bill?"


"Hello, Bill?"


- Bill


"John!?"


The look on Ralph's face says it all!


"John? Is... Is that YOU?" 


"Bill, I'm in the spaceship." 

 

"The people here want you and Ralph Hinckley to work for them." 


 "They want Mr. Hinckley to accept this gift that contains these unearthly powers." 



- Ralph



“Unearthly powers?"


- Voice


"It's a suit. It will only work on Mr. Hinckley, nobody else."

"There are these instructions, and you're supposed to work with him."


"You're supposed to work with him, to tell him what problems that need to be solved." 


"It's up to you whether to accept it."


"If you don't accept, then the suit will disintegrate within two weeks."

 

- Ralph


"A suit?"


"I don't need a suit, I got plenty of suits!"


- Voice


"I'm coming down, ok?"

 

Bill is left stifled...


Why?


Because John was his former FBI partner who was killed at the start of this first episode. 


He was targeted by a terrorist militant group, one who Mr. Hinckley will later contend with along with Bill.


A powerful beam races downward from the mid-section of the ship, John soon appears holding the mysterious box of which he speaks.


Once he reaches the surface, John approaches the driver side of Bill's car, and he's holding a shiny black oddly shaped box.


- John


"Hey Bill, I'm gonna put it in the trunk, okay?"

"OKAY?"


Obviously, Bill is at a TOTAL LOSS OF WORDS after glancing up at his former partner seeing that the way he is.


- Ralph


"Yeah?? In the trunk... Whatever!!"


If looks could kill that would in fact, be it!


Nevertheless, John makes his way to the rear of the vehicle.


He his hand, he places only so far from the trunk...

AND SUDDENLY IT POPS OPEN!

Then he places the box inside, and slams it shut.

He precedes back to Bill's side of the car.


Bill manages to get a glimpse of the HUGE dried-up bloodstain splattered on the left side of his suit.

- John


"Mr. Hinckley, it's up to you and Bill now! 

"YOU GOTTA DO THIS! 


"YOU GOTTA TAKE THIS ON!"


"You can change things."


"You can save this planet from destruction!"


- Bill


Bill addresses the dried blood splatter stain on his suit.


"Who shot ya?"


"Who did that to you John?" 


Looks down at his suit.



"Are you alright?"


- John


"I'm dead!"

"Isn't that a lap!"


"I've been dead for six hours."


"The ship came and picked me up afterwards."


"I'm leaving with them!"


"It's a new life for me!"


"Nice working with you Bill."


John places his hand against the window, as so does Bill from within inside.


And with that, he departs for that odd mystery ship to begin his newfound journey.


John stands in proper position, underneath that ultra-bright fluorescent lit spacecraft, and then is showered with a beam of immense light taking him aboard the ship. 

 

The point of contact has been a success.


The aerodynamic sounds flushing from the ship slowly rev up, as it slowly hovers away upward into the dark recesses of the night sky. 

(Bill's Cars Doors Unlock)


iAnd like a snap of the fingers...

It ZOOMS AWAY seemingly out of existence!



So, it's fair to say they pretty much lost their freakin' minds at this point!


- Bill


"He's Dead..."


- Ralph


"I noticed."


After gathering what's left of their senses, they make their way over to the car trunk.


They stand there for a few seconds trying to figure out what’s in that odd-shaped box!


Ralph eventually bolsters up enough nerve to grab and remove it from the base of the trunk.

Bill looks as if he had one too many rounds of Olde English 800 to realize all of what just happened!!

 

- Bill


"I'll see ya kid!"

"Enjoy the package!"



Bill slams shut the trunk and makes a break toward driver side door to occupy his vehicle.


- Ralph


"Wait a minute... What are we supposed to do!!"


- Bill


"You're the teacher..."


Turns the key in the ignition.


- Ralph


"Mr. Maxwell, we have to talk about this!" 


Bill slams the side door shut and shifts into reverse.


- Bill



"You talk about it and let them put you in a bug-bin, not me!"


He hits the gas and zooms backward, then stops and shifts in drive.


- Ralph


"Hey! Wait a minute!"


Ralph firmly grips the side of the car; though, not for long...


- Bill


BILL FLOORS IT!


- Ralph


"SHOULD WE AT LEAST EXCHANGE NUMBERS!?"


Ralph is dragged along for a short distance until he loses his grip. 


Bill speeds away in his car toward the darkness of the night, not bothering to look back!


So now there's Ralph, stuck with that odd-shaped box!

Along with a brightly lit instruction booklet lunged within its side, he removes it from the box to see exactly what it's for...

But he realizes he won't be able to make heads or tails of it.

So, he inserts it back in the side of the box.


He turns walking away in the opposite direction from which Bill sped off to.


And Unbeknownst to him, the booklet slips out the side of the box hitting the ground. 


He keeps walking until he meets back up with his class of students.


They'll probably ask about the gas he was supposed to bring back for the bus!


Even though, that won't turn out to be the case.


For he, and wherever Bill sped off to, already know the cause for the temporary power outages and strange lights witnessed by many from outside the city.


Even his students mentioned the strange anomalies to him, but nevertheless, as far as Ralph is concerned, this night is a one and done!


Well, that's until Bill musters up the courage to seek him out to team up with him to stomp out international crime organizations.


After all, it was what his former partner John would have wanted!


For Ralph, whenever he finds a burst of energy to carry on; he'll first have to learn the basics!


Because Bill will DEFINITELY have to help him out there, especially after he learns Ralph lost their only saving grace...


That instruction booklet which is the key to unlocking the suit's many capabilities in the fight to save the planet from itself!


That's not to mention how it would have helped him to avoid those bone-crushing horrific flight landings!!


> CUT SCENE.


This is as far as I go.


But I wanted to see how great a superhero script could be written, using The Greatest American Hero as a base example.


Now understand this isn't my written literary work, it's the created TV Series product of one-time ghostwriter Stephen J. Cannell. 


This superhero show ran for two seasons, which was rare for superhero shows back then. 


Credit: Wikipedia

Earlier shows such as Wonder Woman ran three seasons.

Credit: Wikipedia

For the Amazing Spider-Man, barely ran two. 


Credit: Wikipedia


And the Incredible Hulk, well, it was the one to rival all three; and it ran for an impressive five seasons!


That's important to keep in mind that these were not guaranteed blockbuster superhero shows.


Because the majority of viewers could have cared less about those types of genres shows back then.


So, in terms of marketability by today's standards, it would probably go either way.


As for the Greatest American Hero, who really knows...

I only brought it up as a possible long forgotten TV Series that could be revamped into a modern-day superhero movie.


The only condition I have is if it's done correctly!


Because the current MCU and DC Movie Markets have abandoned the notion of sticking with true storyline elements needed to tell a story properly.


Especially in the case of superhero comical classic such as this.  


But maybe some movie producing company, might stumble upon it one day.


They might consider revamping it.


Well... That's if they don't screw it up!  


LOL.


Because if they did, then you damn well know that YouTube movie critics such as Critical Drinker, or Eric July will be there to point it out in a quick New York minute!


Even so, one can only imagine the potentials of a movie matinee masterpiece such as this right?


Basically, that's about it.


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