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Misfits of Science

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Created by
Original language(s)

First episode date
4 October 1985


Country of origin
United States

No. of seasons

Final episode date
21 February 1986

Misfits of Science Science of Misfits 4 Misfits

Serial dramaScience-fiction

Dean Paul MartinKevin Peter HallMark Thomas MillerCourteney CoxJennifer HolmesMax WrightMickey Jones


Misfits of science episode 1 1 10

Misfits of Science is an American superhero fantasy television series that aired on NBC from October 1985 to February 1986.


Misfits of Science Science of Misfits


Misfits of Science httpsuploadwikimediaorgwikipediaenthumb3

The show concerned super-powered humans and their madcap adventures. The team is formed by Dr. Billy Hayes, a research scientist at the Humanidyne Institute who specializes in "human anomalies". He works with shrinking Dr. Elvin "El" Lincoln, and together they recruit electrically powered Johnny Bukowski, a rock-and-roll musician, and Gloria Dinallo, a telekinetic teen.


A double-length pilot and 15 additional episodes were created; however, one episode did not air before the show was cancelled due to low ratings (due to competition from CBS's Top 10 hit Dallas).

Misfits of Science Misfits of Science

The name "Misfits of Science" and other conceptual ideas were the brainchild of then-president of NBC Entertainment, Brandon Tartikoff. He said of the show "We'll rely on the National Enquirer for story ideas. It's loosely inspired by the dynamics we saw in Ghostbusters... sort of a kick-back, Friday type of show."

Misfits of Science Watch Misfits of Science Episodes Online SideReel

In France, the series was known as Superminds, in Germany, as Die Spezialisten unterwegs (The Specialists on the way), in Brazil, as "Curto-Circuito" ("Short Circuit"), in Mexico, Colombia, Peru and rest of Latín-América as Los Cientificos Rebeldes (The Rebel Scientists).


Episode 9 was the first paid writing job for Tim Kring, who later originated and produced the thematically similar Heroes in 2006.

Title sequence

The main title sequence and its theme song were unusual for TV shows of the era. Donald Todd, head writer and story editor, described them as follows:

The main titles are fun. It's still kind of... it's really forward-looking. Jim [Parriott] was forward-looking in many ways, and we fought a lot about that, but it starts off with Bobby Short doing the theme, and then there's the kicking over of the TV and into the more contemporary version of the theme. He was trying to say, "We're not doing that show, we're doing this show, and it's more hip." And I remember the people at Universal going, "Why don't you do it without the TV? We don't like the TV!" And I don't think they gave him the budget for it. I think we had to find it ourselves. It's a really cheap thing, it's just a guy playing piano and then a foot kicking over a TV, but it was really controversial, because back then nobody did anything interesting with the main titles. You just showed the characters sliding into frame. But I remember that was pretty cool. And Jim wrote it.

Cast and characters

  • Dean Paul Martin as Dr. Billy Hayes, the non-powered leader of the team. He is a young research scientist at the Humanidyne Institute who specializes in "human anomalies" and a fast-talking but good-hearted schemer full of boyish enthusiasm who often gets the team into as much trouble as he gets them out of. Although easily distracted whenever an attractive woman walks by, he is honestly interested in getting involved in a serious relationship with Jane Miller even after she showed up pregnant by another man.
  • Kevin Peter Hall as Dr. Elvin "El" Lincoln, Billy's colleague and close friend. He is a towering man who gives himself the ability to shrink for minutes at a time from his height of seven-foot-four to eleven inches via hormonal treatments which he activates by pressing a nerve on the back of his neck. A recurring joke after such transformations is that he always has to put on the tiny change of clothes he carries with him for his small size. The character is shy and struggles socially, and despite being so tall he is a poor basketball player.
  • Mark Thomas Miller as Johnny "Johnny B" Bukowski, a rock-and-roll musician who was electrocuted on stage, thus giving him formidable electrical powers. He continually drains any electrically charged items in his surroundings, forcing him to live in isolation. He wears sunglasses because his eyes glow when he is fully charged. He can hurl lightning bolts and run at superhuman speed, easily outracing in one episode a parody of the Six Million Dollar Man, but he is vulnerable to water which short circuits him and burns his flesh. He is a big Chuck Berry fan, in the pilot singing "Johnny B. Goode" when he goes into battle.
  • Courteney Cox as Gloria Dinallo, a troubled telekinetic teen with a history of juvenile delinquency and a mother in a mental institution who claims Gloria's father is from outer space. She has a crush on Johnny. Gloria can only use her telekinesis on things that she can see: using a blindfold on her renders her powerless.
  • Diane Civita as Miss Nance, the scientists' secretary. Although she usually seems more interested in doing her nails, going on her coffee break, and watching her soap operas, she is actually the one who keeps their department running and is always there at the end of the show to turn off the lights and say good-night to the bunnies in their cages.
  • Jennifer Holmes as Jane Miller, Gloria's probation officer. Although attracted to Billy, she is often put off by his eccentric behavior. Her character appears only in the earlier episodes.
  • Max Wright as Dick Stetmeyer, the uptight director of the Humanidyne Institute. Unlike the other cast members, he is not actually considered to be one of the Misfits.
  • Mickey Jones as Arnold "Beef"/"Ice Man" Beifneiter, who got his power to freeze anything he touches from placing himself in an experimental cryogenic suspended animation unit back in 1937 due to grief caused by the loss of his beloved Amelia Earhart. The team drives around in an ice-cream truck because the lumbering and now rather simple-minded Ice Man dies if he gets too warm, so they keep him in the freezer. Beef only appears in the pilot episode due to legal objections from Marvel Comics who published a similar character in X-Men, but the characters continue to use the ice-cream truck.
  • DVD releases

    On January 25, 2008, the series was released in Germany as a five-disc DVD box set (Region 2) with all episodes (including the final episode, which was originally unaired on NBC but broadcast in Germany) with both English and German soundtracks and German subtitles.

    On September 19, 2012, the series was released on DVD in France as Superminds, the title it's known as in France.


    Misfits of Science Wikipedia

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