August 2, 2010

The Way-Back Machine: Super Train

President Obama's High-Speed Rail Initiative has been in the news lately as it tries to do two things at once: create jobs and build a world-class train system in the US.  Construction has started on the first major project, a 200 MPH train from Tampa to Orlando.  However, that's nothing compared to the nuclear powered Supertrain which used to speed across the country from NY to LA in less than 36 hours.  What? You say you don't remember the Supertrain? It only ran for a brief period of two months starting in Feburary of 1979.  And the train was also fictional.  

"Supertrain" was a short-lived TV show that aired a mere 9 episodes in the winter of '79.  It was supposed to be the "Love Boat" on speedy silver wheels. Unfortunately, despite a million dollar budget and the imprimatur of ABC programming genius Fred Silverman, the show turned out to be one of the biggest flops in television history.  One hint about how terrible the show comes from the fact that you won't recognize on single name in the opening credits below.  No star was gonna touch this one...

Despite its lameness, I still remember this show fondly, or more so the anticipation I had about seeing it before it aired.  (The promos were everywhere on 3rd place NBC.)  The only thing that kept me watching were the shots of that nifty model train.  Yeah, I know--geek alert!  Well, back in 1979, I didn't have much of a social life....this and "Battlestar Galactica" kept me occupied. :)