Chasing the Shadows of the 80s – Shadow Chasers

I know I’ve been largely quiet of late, which means I haven’t chugged through the patron-inspired posts as quickly as I’d hoped. For that, I am sorry. Life and brain chemistry got in the way. But I am back on the horse,* and today I bring you words about a doozy of a patron-requested topic.

You may remember Mike Huberty from my most recent Cool People Doing Cool Things post. In addition to rocking and podcasting, Mike loves TV. And he has a ridiculously good memory for shows that ran for a very short time during his childhood. He asked me to watch one of those for the blog. Speaking of his podcast, the themes of today’s show fit perfectly alongside the topics on See You on the Other Side. So with no further ado, let’s get into it!

Shadow_chasers

Shadow Chasers is a maybe-spooky-maybe-silly show created by Brian Grazer and Kenneth Johnson. It ran 14 episodes in 1985 and chronicles the adventures of Serious Scientist Jonathan MacKensie (played by Trevor Eve) and tabloid journalist/novelist Edgar “Benny” Benedek (played by Dennis Dugan). They travel around and investigate reports of strange occurrences. The pilot, however, is the getting-the-band-together story. At the start, Benny is in the offices of The National Register. This the craziest of tabloids, judging by the newsroom in the first scene—it’s got everything from Elvis as an alien to a dude meditating on a desk with flames coming out of his palms. It’s worth noting that the blocking, acting, and timing of this scene smacks of cable access. You can’t even hear most of the dialogue. Happily, the direction does get better from here. Anyway, Benny hears about a house in California that started on fire spontaneously, and decides it’s a story worth checking out.

Meanwhile, Jonathan is trying to edge out of his father’s shadow at the fictional Georgetown Institute. His department head semi-blackmails Jonathan into heading to California to study the very same case Benny is looking into. She wants him to see if there’s any truth behind the reports of supernatural occurrences. She knows he’ll investigate in a thorough and unbiased manner because he’s a skeptic, you see.

As you might have picked up, this is something of an X-Files before there was an X-Files. Continue reading