Spider-Man TV (1967) - Season 2, Episode 4

 Posted: Jun 2010


When was the last time you ever heard of Peter Parker trying out for the football team? Never?! That's the domain of Flash Thompson you say? You're right! However someone thought that it would make a great TV episode if he did.

Story 'Criminal in the Clouds'

  Spider-Man TV (1967) - Season 2, Episode 4
Summary: First Aired Oct 5th 1968

Peter asks Susan - one of this classmates - to the Harvest Hop dance. [Wait for it] She rejects him because she's infatuated with Roy Robinson, star player on the football team. [Ain't that always the way?] To add insult to injury, Roy ridicules him in front of Susan.

Peter begins to despise Roy because he's a football hero, he has a convertible, and to complete the hat trick his dad's rich. Roy's father owns Robinson Chemical Laboratories, the recipient of many government contracts. He is not nearly as fortunate having to support his elderly aunt.

He decides to take advantage of his spider-powers and try out for the football team thinking that it'll improve his chances with Susan. [So he's using his powers selfishly? I thought we did that "great power/great responsibility" thing already.] Peter asks the coach to try out but the squad is full. He'll give him a place on the team as the water boy [Insert Adam Sandler joke here] Peter swallows his pride and accepts.

Elsewhere in his camouflaged blimp, the Skymaster plots to steal the government's experimental invisibility serum. Since Robinson Chemicals is developing this, he plans to kidnap Roy Robinson and force his father to tell him the secret formula. [Got all that? Good.] Skymaster then explains that this is payback for a lifetime of the oppression from the authorities who tried to prevent him from freeing people from the force of gravity. [Have to admit, I'm proud of my Speed Racer exposition there]. Late that night Skymaster and his minions kidnap Roy from his house and leave their ransom demands.

The next day at football practice, Roy's father appears and explains to the coach that Roy has been kidnapped. He explains that he has until sundown to turn over the formula to Skymaster or else. [Why would you tell a football coach about this? What can he do? Make Skymaster run laps?] In an odd transition, the coach tells everyone within ear shot that tonight is the biggest game of the season and they'll lose without Roy Robinson. [What a selfish turd. Granted this is a ridiculous scenario, but when someone tells you their child is in danger, the #1 thing you don't do is comment on how inconvenienced *you* are by this. This guy fails as a human being. ] Peter overhears this and leaves practice, changes to Spider-Man and begins to search for Skymaster.

While looking for Skymaster, Peter begins to whine how he could have stepped in and played in his place and been the hero. [Ok, this is an equally horrible attitude. Also you don't get promoted from WATER BOY to RECEIVER.]

Spider-Man eventually finds Skymaster's airship and rescues Roy Robinson. [Well it helps when you look IN THE SKY for someone name SKYMASTER] As in customary, the master control panel is destroyed by an easily dodged laser blast. This causes the blimp to crash.

They arrive at the school at some point during the fourth quarter. With 50 seconds remaining, the score is Home: 0, Visitors: 6. Robinson admits his arms are numb from being tied up so long. He won't be able to catch the football unless it's handed to him. Spider-Man agrees to help him out. [Is this going where I think it's going?]

21 seconds remain. The score is now home team 6, visitors 14. [How did both teams score a touchdown in 29 seconds? I call BS]. The last play of the game, the quarterback throws the ball to Robinson, Spider-Man guides the ball to him with his webbing, allowing him to easily catch the ball and score the winning touchdown. The home team wins 18 to 14. Which is impossible because you don't get extra points by running the length of the football field.

After the game Peter is fired from the water boy job because he didn't show up for the game.

General Comments

Both the football coach and Peter should run 50 laps for going above and beyond in the "selfish jerk" category. The coach isn't concerned that his star player has been kidnapped, just that he'll miss "the big game" and they may lose. He doesn't have a cold, he's being held against his will. On a side note, isn't that particular crutch always used? Every game is always "the big game". Can't we just have a football team with a losing season on occasion? But I digress.

Peter doesn't have too much moral authority here either. Not only does he try to use his spider-powers for personal gain, he complains because he was prepared to take advantage of the vacuum that Robinson's absence provided. To top that off, he helped Robinson cheat to win the game. Didn't anyone see him on the scoreboard?

Overall Rating

1.5 webs. Formulaic plot, pointless cycling through all the backgrounds and stock footage, and as the Ex-Lax in the brownie - we have two characters (one of which is the title character) displaying some serious moral failings.

 Posted: Jun 2010