The Greatest American Hero Believe it or not, this '80s cult favorite is finally on DVD. Just a glimpse of William Katt's whiteman 'fro and red-and-black supersuit (with matching…
DVD Review

The Greatest American Hero

Believe it or not, this '80s cult favorite is finally on DVD. Just a glimpse of William Katt's whiteman 'fro and red-and-black supersuit (with matching booties!) makes us long for the days when creator Stephen J. Cannell was still working at the top of his game. Katt plays idealist teacher Ralph Hinkley, who's paired with ''by the book'' FBI agent Bill Maxwell (Robert Culp) to battle bad guys after aliens provide Hinkley with that snazzy ensemble plus superpowers. The catch? Ralph loses the suit's instruction manual in the first episode, forcing him to learn on the fly — literally — for the rest of the series. GAH tweaks the superhero genre with an ironic wink but stops just shy of kitsch; there are actually genuine moments of dramatic tension along with the slapstick humor of Katt inevitably crash-landing into a wall, shrub, or Culp.

EXTRAS The cast and crew reminisce in new interviews, though tidbits like Katt's hatred for his ridiculous getup and Culp's aptitude as a director are far from the greatest. But the pilot of doomed spin-off The Greatest American Heroine, starring Mary Ellen Stuart, with Culp reprising his role, will have die-hard fans walkin' on air.

Originally posted Feb 14, 2005 Published in issue #807 Feb 18, 2005 Order article reprints