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Nightman
(1997-1999 TV Series)

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Season 1
Season 2
Episode Guide
Strengths
Weaknesses




Nightman (1997-1999):  This was an entertaining superhero show that ended all too soon.  It was something you could look forward to on late night TV in syndication.  It was based on the Malibu Comics superhero, which later became a Marvel Comics property.  There was always something cool to see in the characters, the sets, the props...the producers didn't try to bite off more than they could chew with special effects or scripts.  It was just a really neat series.  "Nightman", like any show, has its strengths and weaknesses.


Nightman

Strengths of the Series:

1. The stories were pretty easy to follow.  You don't have to see this series from the beginning to understand what's going on in any given episode.  They weren't filled with a lot of technical jargin and every episode is pretty much a show within itself.  There were some recurring characters, but for the most part you can watch any episode in its two season run and it can be like a first episode.

2. The cast for both seasons was great.

3. The stunts were always pretty well-filmed.

4. Special effects, on the whole, were well done.  The glowing red eye that shoots lasers has to be the neatest ongoing special effect in the show.  The bullets flying off Nightman's armor is impressive, too.  There were also many big explosions peppered throughout the series.  The most intricate special effects came where alien lifeforms were concerned; spaceships, laser weapons, etc.  All are impressive, even by mainstream, big-budget movie standards.  The flying scenes are a little crude, but not overly bad.  It's always been very difficult for people to create realistic "flying man" special effects.

Weaknesses of the Series:

I'm a fan of this show, and I hope I don't upset anyone who worked on "Nightman" or any of the other "Nightman" fans out there, but here are a few things that I think worked against the series.

1. I'm repeating myself from the Seasons 1 & 2 pages, but I cannot emphasize enough how they used too much nighttime, otherwise dark, or inside filming.  Superhero shows, as an unspoken rule, are supposed to be filmed as big as all outdoors.  If they would've opened it up more, it could've been a more visually impressive show.  As it is, "Nightman" sometimes gives you the feeling that you're watching a daytime soap opera:  all indoors.

2. Season 1 was pretty good with how they worked musical numbers in the show.  It would only be for a short while, and just to give you the idea that Johnny Domino was a jazz saxophonist.  Season 2, however, tries to force jazz down our throats and in almost every episode of season two, there is an overly long musical number.  It takes away from the plot and doesn't really serve any importance.  TOO MUCH JAZZ! 

3. The character of Nightman himself is not as interesting as other superheroes.  Without his suit, he's just an ordinary guy with the ability to read other people's evil thoughts.  That's it.  Not too impressive of powers.  Of course, not all superheroes have super-powers, but at least they have interesting occupations.  Johnny Domino is a small-time jazz musician who generally plays in just one club.  Not too exciting.  If he were a cop, a reporter, a doctor, a lawyer, a businessman, a teacher...just about anything else...he could've had more appeal to audiences.  Small-time jazz musicians are pretty much like boring, everyday people.  They don't get into exciting adventures like people of more exciting occupations do.  In both seasons, Nightman pretty much follows the cops around and solves the cases they cannot.

4. Johnny Domino is a superhero alter-ego without any quirks!  He's very mellow and peace-loving.  Not a real take charge kind of guy.  Clark Kent (Superman), Bruce Wayne (Batman), Peter Parker (Spider-Man)...all are characters who are on a personal crusade out of costume.  Essentially, this is what makes a superhero work.  Johnny Domino just doesn't have any clear direction or ambitions.

5.  I mentioned this  in the season 2 page...I'll mention it again:  the Kieren Keyes episodes are really, really bad!  I can see what the producers were trying to do.  Every superhero has his archnemesis.  Superman has Lex Luthor; Batman...The Joker; Captain America...The Red Skull;  X-Men...Magneto.  Here it was, already the second season of "Nightman" and he didn't have a steady bad guy.  Some things are better left undone.  For one thing, it was more interesting to see different bad guys every week.  But even if they HAD to have a main bad guy, they could've done better than Kieren Keyes.  This character is truly, deeply annoying with no redeeming qualities whatsoever.  He's a computer genius who somehow is able to suck people into a strange dimension through computer monitors.  Sheahh!  Right!  One or two episodes of this character would've been forgivable, but they just kept pushing and pushing him on and off from the first to last episode of season 2.  I think it's because of the great many Kieren Keyes episodes that there was no Season 3.  such a shame.  Needless to say, I don't recommend these episodes to anyone interested in the "Nightman" TV show.