Long before The Sopranos and Breaking Bad, a golden era of TV built a city of quality drama and comedy, a RETROPOLIS.
From 1981 to 1986, Glen A. Larson pioneered a brilliant TV drama that only superficially resembled the Burt Reynolds movie Hooper: The Fall Guy. Lee Majors played Colt Seavers, the unknown stuntman ‘who made Eastwood looks so fine.’He was joined by his dumb ass cousin Howie (Douglas Barr) and a girl stuntwoman Jody Banks (Heather Thomas) as he supplemented his meagre stuntman income as a bounty hunter tracking down fugitives and trapping them via stunts. Larson was a stickler for gritty realism and insisted that all the stunts looked as dangerous as possible regardless of the cost in human life. Every episode involved a large number of fatalities, until the death toll began to worry the studios.
As his fame increased, Lee Majors became an enthusiastic supporter of the show and together Larson and Majors quieted the studios fears, insisting the criticisms were simply Union troublemakers. By the final season, Larson was insisting on a ‘death quota’ so that even if the episode had been made and all the stunts completed safely without loss of life, a number of extras were taken into the back lot of the studio and summarily killed.
A proposed remake starring Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson and directed by Martin Campbell is still stuck in development, but both star and director have promised to kill as many stuntmen as is absolutely necessary.
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