Ever Heard of the Rocketman?

in story •  8 months ago


Don't let the title fool you for it was the theme song played whenever this guy puts on the red and black "pajama-like" outfit, who takes off into the sky flying so high, sometimes the "Rocketman" song would be trailing along playing in the background.

This superhero show had to be one of the MOST 'overlooked' of all time (starting when it first debut on ABC years ago).

The premises (the plot) laid out for the show was pretty "odd-ball" at best, I mean here you have a phys ed school teacher who moonlights as a superhero -- type of lifestyle, while having the responsibilities of a parent, and even dating a lawyer in a relationship.

LOL, talking about walking on eggshells eh?

The story line itself always seemed rather out there, but it wasn't the show's story that was the true focus of each episode, it was the chance for the viewer to see what else that "INFAMOUS" red suit could actually do, and how Ralph Hinkley (portrayed by actor William Katt,) would react to any new found powers his learns while using it.

But there's a little more that needs to be injected into this short write up, and this is directed to the visit both Hinkley and a FBI Agent named Bill Maxwell receives from an Alien spacecraft that presents a "gift" to them (the gift is encased in a mysterious black box.)


On a slight story backstep, Ralph finds himself walking down a semi-lit highway carrying a gas can in hand (he had taken his students on a field trip for the day, ONLY TO HAVE THE BUS RUN OUT OF GAS! SUPPOSEDLY..) He hopes to come across a gas station (despite the fact that he would probably be walking till the "wee-morning" hours of the night if he actually does.)

Suddenly an automobile with its bright-beam head lights comes barreling toward his direction. He's frozen in fear that he's about to become a hit & run victim, luckily for him the automobile comes to an complete halt right as he hits the deck (military term for DUCK AND COVER). Angered from the near miss, he goes on an tirade verbally blasting out the FBI Agent, while in turn receiving feedback from the Agent suggesting a different story.


"You just tried to run me down!!"

"No.. No.. It just went.. I don't know what, I just couldn't control it. Could be the steering knuckle broken, I don't know what happened.."

(Ralph slams his door shut)

(This only further angered Ralph who then believes the Agent is psychopathic with his radical behavior)

(Bill opens the back of his trunk, as he sifts through his tools to try to fix the steering issue)



The GIF scene your witnessing, depicts a desperate man on the run from a non-traditional religious faction group that caught him spying on them to gain detail about their "hush-hush" operations (I'll point out his fate after they caught him which will depict an end result in a later GIF scene.)

You see both Ralph and Bill already met at a restaurant earlier that day, an altercation almost breaks out between one of Hinkley's students, after the student claimed that Maxwell gave him a "look of disapproval".



Ralph quickly diffuses the situation, but one can tell that Bill already thinks very little of both Ralph, and the rest of his class.

Fast forward back to the situation they're both in now after the near car miss, leads both of them to a rather disturbing / interesting moment where they both watch as whizzing orbs circle above them in the dark-painted night sky.



Things just have gone from argumentative, to nerve-wrecking as the two rush inside the vehicle. Bill tries to start up the car but nothing happens, and suddenly the doors lock on their own, they now are panicking elbowing and kicking at the window attempting for a desperate escape. Meanwhile things continues to escalate further as the orbs have disappeared, and are now replaced with a MUCH larger one taking a rather subtle approach towards the both of them.



The large orb continues to descend downward, an immense bright light radiates in the distance which causes for them to shield their eyes. Before they fully realize it, the large weird orbs was really a gigantic spacecraft, with blue lights fixated around its bottom base. The craft hovers and inches forward as it twirls slowly in a circular motion, at this point they had to be literally pissing themselves in utter disbelief and fear LOL.



That's where the fun REALLY starts when the ship hijacks a broadcast signal to use channels on the car radio to talk to them by selecting stations with the according words being spoken from various broadcasts. Whoever was present on the ship, was pitching an offer to them, one they couldn't refuse even if they wanted to.

The chosen words were used from each radio station, REALLY creeps them out as they sit helplessly and listen.

"The only thing we have to fear is, fear itself."



(Then Hitler's voice is heard on another station for a few second speaking in German.)

(And that's followed by the ACTUAL REAL message that is now being selected through the radio broadcasts)



You.. Will.. Not.. Be.. Harmed..

You.. Will.. Listen..

You.. Will.. Decide!



Ralph glances down at the radio totally clueless what has just been said.

Suddenly, the radio broadcasts are cut, and another voice sounds out loudly addressing NOT Ralph, but rather Bill.

"Bill?"

"Hello, Bill?'

(Answers back)

"John? Is that you?"

"Bill I'm in this spaceship. The people here want you and Ralph to work for them. They want Mr. Hinkley to accept this gift that obtains unearthly powers."

(A confused Ralph answers)

"Unearthly powers?"

"It's a suit, it will work on Mr. Hinkley and nobody else. There are these instructions, you're supposed to work with him, and tell him what problems need to be solved. It's up to you whether to accept it. If you don't accept, then in two weeks the suit will discinerate."



(Hysterical response)

"The suit? I don't need any suits, I got plenty of suits."

"I'm coming down okay?"



Bill glances up only to witness a bright beam of light rushing to the surface, and right in front of his own two eyes, he sees his former colleague John standing with a black box in his hands.



John makes his way toward the vehicle, and strangely enough Bill pops the magical question after John return back to the side driver's window (take note that John also has certain abilities when he opens the trunk of the automobile without Bill having to pull the trunk release lever.)



Now remember when I briefly mentioned that one guy you saw being chased by that group of religious wackos, well truth be told he was an Agent just like Bill, and further truth be told, he was Bill's partner.

"Mr. Hinkley it's up to you and Bill now, you gotta do this! You gotta take this on! You can change things, save this planet from destruction."

And there goes Bill with the magical question.

"Who shot ya? Who did that to you John? Are you alright?"

John smiles saying..

"I'm dead! Isn't that a laugh? I've been dead for six hours, the ship picked up there afterwords, I'm leaving with them, it's a new life for me. Nice working with you Bill."



He touches the glass window signaling for Bill to do the same, Bill returns the gesture for he knows this is his way of saying goodbye to his partner, and best friend.

After John is beamed aboard the ship, the craft slowly makes its way upward into the night sky. It accelerates until finally is out of sight like it was never there to begin with.

Now comes the interesting part to this rather jagged-edged puzzle, what was Ralph and Bill going to do from here? Work together? Or go their separate ways permanently.

(The trunk is open, and Ralph picks up the black box while Bill looks on)

(Bill breaks silence)

"I'll see ya kid, enjoy the package."

(Closes the trunk, he walks to the driver side and opens the door getting in)

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

"You're the teacher.."

"Look Mister Maxwell we have to talk about this!"

You talk about it, let em' put you in the bug bend not me!"

"Hey wait a minute!"

(rambles on hoping to get Bill to listen, Bill backs the the car up in reverse, then drives off)


"DAMN! YOU JERK!!"

Ralph stares at the black box, and reaches for the instruction booklet placed into its side. The booklet has a rather fancy look to it, it even has index tabs one can quickly navigate to when reading about specific abilities of what the suit can do for the user who dons it.

A cool playtime of "Ground Control To Major Tom" plays on in the background, Ralph is really confused at this point, so he places the booklet back into the black box as he walks back the way he came.

Problem unbeknownst to him is that while he has the black box tucked under his arm faced the opposite direction which he is walking, it slips out and hits the ground and into the grass.


And believe me..

THAT'S WHERE THE REAL FUN AND SURPRISES BEGINS.

Ralph finally makes his way back to the rest of the crew, he interrupts a heated situation between his students Tony and Cyler who were about to come to blows over a rather pointless disagreement. A irritated Ralph tells the two of them to put whatever parts of the bus they took out from under the vehicle's hood (they thought it was something wrong with the vehicle, which he of course knows the REAL reason why the vehicle had temporarily failed due to the extra-terrestrial interference a while ago that he and Agent Maxwell had witnessed.)

There was still a minor issue with another student, a teenage girl by the name of Rhonda who becomes rather fond of her teacher Mr. Hinkley. Ralph on the other hand knows this is where one crosses the line between student and teacher and decides to stay behind the line LOL.



This is where Rhonda becomes rather upset, and wishes him VERY bad luck in a prompt-to boxing match between his student Tony Villicana and himself.

After dropping off his students, he returns home to pay the baby-sitter who was watching his son.

Now that the sitter has left for the night it was time for him to figure out what in the world Bill's deceased partner John, has given to him -- the mysterious gift suit inside of the black box.

He opens the box and takes out a red / black suit, and on the chest area is an insignia in the form of a rocket outlay design. The suit also comes with a black cape with a slick trim red outline woven into the suit on either side. Grey trim outlines the waist line area of the suit, as well as the lower sleeve cuff area (right / left). And it also comes with a nicely styled grayish / silver belt also with that odd rocket insignia tailored to its front middle region.



The trousers' part of the suit follows a similar pattern of the upper-half (there is a slight noticeable difference), and suit has what looks to be like footies instead of boots for the feet region.

Ralph is really lost here, he doesn't know what to do, Maxwell left him high and dry wanting nothing to do with the entire situation what-so-ever, and the kicker is that he hasn't yet realized that he lost the instruction booklet in that desert-like location out in the middle of nowhere.

He decides to call his lawyer (who he's seeking a relationship with, plus she's helping him in the custody battle case between him and his ex-wife.) He holds back about what he and the Agent had came up against back at the desert, Pam informs him about his upcoming court case appearance which will ultimately decide whether he or his ex will gain custody of their son Kevin.

Morning arrives and Ralph's curiosity has been eating away at him all though the night. He decides to don the suit, in the midst of trying it on (hence it does look rather RIDICULOUS BTW), Kevin knocks on the door to let him know that his lawyer Pam is on the phone.



Unfortunately for him he's still wearing the suit, and Kevin's suspicion kicks in as he wonder what his father is doing (he watches his foot patterns shift back and forth on the floor underneath the door.)

After a little bit of comical antics, Ralph pics up the phone and engages in a conversation with Pam.

She calls to remind him about the court case he'll be attending today, she advises him to stay vigilant and upbeat as his ex-wife has invested a nice stack of cash into her lawyer. Ralph realizes that he has to be careful here, and anything can sour his chances of guardianship over Kevin, and that goes double for that ridiculous suit that was presented to him back in the desert.

But in truth he's wondering..

"What the hell can this thing do anyway?"



After dropping Kevin off at his school, Ralph is approached by the principal of the high school that he's employed.

It's obvious the principal is a douche, due to the fact that he's always seeing for ways to belittle Ralph. The principle makes it clear for Ralph to have his "so-called" buddy Bill to vacant the premises. Ralph tells the principle that he's got it under control, and he turns making a bee-line for the boys restroom. Inside he finds Bill LITERALLY throwing up his problems (probably very deep ones sitting at the bottom of his gut,)while leaning over the toilet -- and just letting her rip haha).

Ralph enters into the scene with a little sarcasm..



"Well, Well, Well, Lords of Palmsdale the old desert chicken."

"How you doing Bill?"

"I got an ulcer that kicks up when I'm under stress."

"Ah whiskey, why don't you try some battery acid?"

"Not the best therapy you know?"

"I haven't been drunk in ten years, I couldn't handle last night. I DON'T BELIEVE IN THAT STUFF!"

"Whatever it was, poor John is walking around dead.."

"We did see it.. It was real!"

"It's something you gotta know about me, I'm by the book, always have been, always will be!"

"BY THE BOOK!"

"It bends my frame, when things get over.. Into the margins."

"Into the margins? I'd say we're clear off the page here!"

"And I don't think you're my kinda guy, nothing personal just a fact of life."

"All this is kinda of an apology for running out on you last night is NOT my style either."

"DEFINITELY NOT.. So.."

(hacking cough )

"So I apologize."

"It's high on my all time list of favors listen, you gotta go, I got a class."

"Wow wait a minute!"

"JUST WAIT A SECOND!"

"We got a little problem here you and me."

"We got this.. Um.. Suit? Whatever! Um.. That we're suppose to um. Use is that the way you read it?"

"I'm suppose to use it, it's a small point, but I think it's a pertinent one."

"Well what I got here that you don't got Mr. Hinkley, is a dead partner. Which you recall someone shot full of holes, which is a DEFINITE NO, NO, in my book, that's the same one I go by. LOOK, I think I got a way for us to go.. First of all I run the show, any problems with that?"

"YEAH! A little one, maybe a BIG ONE!"

(Bill chuckling with slight laughter)

"You take your instructions from me, we figure out a best guessed scenario on what's going on and work from that. AT LEAST, until I find whoever it was that nailed John okay? Did you read the manual yet?"

"No, I gotta go."

"And the suit?"

"Well nothing really I haven't figured out how it's suppose to work yet."

"What? Well you should have read the instructions first."

"Oh I doubt that! I think if they're as powerful as we already seen, they would make it fairly easy to use."

"What's your address, I'll start going over it there."

"It's not there."

"Then where is it?"

"Lost.."

"Come again?"

"The suit is in the car I.. Lost the instruction book."

(Long pause by Bill, who can't believe that he already lost the book.)



"Come on kid don't play around."

"It's gone.."

"It disappeared right after you did, I mean.. It's a long walk, it's almost a mile."

"Yeahhh.. I really got me a live one here. Oh boy!"

"Listen, I gotta go."

"Listen, you can call me in a couple of days if I figure out on how to make it work we can meet then."

(Bill gets riled up)

"WE'LL FIGURE IT OUT NOW! BUTTERFINGERS!"

"And the next time I tell you something the only thing I want to hear is.. Yes Sir, or how soon, that's all, that's it, that's the basic drill."

(Ralph shutting the door with aggression)


"Hey I'm the guy with the suit Mr. Maxwell, you give me any problems I'm gonna turn you into 170 pounds of dog chow. Now you call me in a couple of days -- THAT'S THE DRILL!"

(This is a pivotal moment for Bill due to the act that he meets his partner at the end of the day as a "dead man walking".. LITERALLY! The weird thing about his partner John, was that he was assigned to spy on a prominent figure who's believed to be an infiltrator tied to Washington, and he was to find out who was planning to go after the U.S. President.


John's position was obviously compromised, and after being chased by a group of Neo-Nazi terrorists --> IF THAT'S WHO THEY WERE <-- who pursue him on a wild go-cart vehicle chase, and then finally on foot when he runs for the his life only to be later be found deceased by the strange but unique extra-terrestrial craft. I'm sure Bill is VERY anxious to take up the investigation that his partner was assigned to, and he's figuring with Ralph's help using the suit would be cake walk to make it all happen, problem however is Ralph's willingness to take direct orders from Bill which doesn't seem to be playing into the Agent's favor.)

In a rather interesting scene, Ralph does battle with one of his students Tony Villicana, in an unprompted match-up. I didn't see the overall point of this scene how it's indirectly relating to Rhonda who offered the chance for companionship with Ralph when they were seemingly stranded out in the middle of the desert.

My guess was that Tony had pissed off Rhonda, who felt it would be a good lesson to teach him by dating a mature older man who knows how to treat a girl right. But as you see, Hinkley has an young lady in mind closer to his age range.

Rhonda doesn't know it yet, but soon will discover that Ralph is actually a faithful man, and is NOT the type to prey on an innocent girl who doesn't truly recognize the importance of a loving relationship.



This why Ralph in the gif scene above is REALLY turning up the heat -- a theory in mind BTW, he was basically using the boxing bout as a means to "indirectly" bring both Tony and Rhonda closer together without them realizing it.

After showering up, and getting dressed for the court custody proceedings, he makes his way to the court house, but he's faced with a traffic jam as he drives his station wagon up to the construction area.



He turns off route, and blows pass the site, and shortly finds himself sectioned off from the route he was taking. He spots a pay phone and tries to make use of it, EXCEPT he discovers it is out of order, thanks to the blue paper he sees at the bottom of the phone booth.

Things were looking SUPER-DUPER GRIM for Ralph, he turns to his vehicle, staring hard at that back seat where the suit lays inside that the black box. He re-thinks that notion as a 'BIG MISTAKE', same time it maybe his only option to make it on time to court.

He chooses to see what the suit can actually do now that he needs it in this crucial moment of desperation.

He hurries to a nearby restroom putting the finish touch of the outfit on -- the cape.



Unfortunately, a Father and his son enters into the restroom. They see Ralph in his ridiculous attire 'get-up', the Father immediately yields telling him that they'll leave so he can have the restroom all to himself. Ralph tries to convince them that he's late for an court appearance (honestly, why bother I say, the boy's Pop has already painted a picture of you as a "wack job", ready for that multi-strapped stray jacket to be placed squarely over those red pajamas.)

After being told [by the kid's Father] that the local authorities are being called to come deal with him, Ralph believes that NOW is the time to see what the hype is about this silly red suit, and could it really do anything amazing.



He indeed finds out one thing, and that's NEVER FLYING with a pack of clothes tucked underneath your arm! LOL.





He crashes into a billboard posted on the back wall section of a building, and falls to the ground holding his head to simulate signs of an on-coming headache.





Matters get worse when the police finally arrive to take him away to the "funny farm", and you can just imagine how things will go from there.

Want to see more of the crazy comical antics Ralph and his friend get into, then check out the pilot episode first, and in the ""SEO Section" is a playlist of various episodes as well to sift through. ENJOY!






"The Greatest American Hero" -- on the Tony Brown YouTube channel!



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