Heat Vision and Jack [Unaired Pilot] by UnknownArchiveTV
I’ve got a special treat for you today. I realize that most of my Speculative Fiction Friday posts are about films you can watch on Netflix, but today, we are going to talk about something that you can watch above.
This particular film is a television pilot. If you don’t know what a pilot is, it is essentially the first episode of a TV show made just to show to television execs that there is actually a worthwhile show. There are many shows that have pilots, but were never able to get approved an entire season. Heat Vision and Jack was one of these shows.
Heat vision and Jack is the story of Jack Austin, an astronaunt who was over-exposed to the sun’s rays while in space, and it somehow increased his intelligence. Now Jack explores the open road with his talking motorcycle, Heat Vision, and encounter many paranormal adventures along the way. The actor Ron Silver (playing himself) pursues him at every turn. At least, this is what the series intended.
The show starred the now mega-star funnyman Jack Black, the voice of the motorcycle was Owen Wilson, and the pilot was directed by the one and only Ben Stiller. Ben even introduces the pilot personally, saying that it is better than George Lucas’ Star Wars Episode I. That probably isn’t much of a boast, but this show is downright hysterical.
The funniest thing is how similar it is to science-fiction action shows of the 70s and 80s like The Greatest American Hero, Knight Rider and others with erroneous premises. In other words, Heat vision and Jack would have passed as a drama back in the seventies and eighties, which makes its satire even more poignant.
I don’t know why the network passed on Heat Vision and Jack, and I wonder if they regret this decision. Fox cancelled The Ben Stiller Show after 13 episodes, but the show won an Emmy. It was also one of the funniest sketch shows ever. It certainly showed that Jack Black as pretty gifted comedian, and Owen Wilson as equally unique as a comic actor.
I suppose that everyone has to start somewhere, and this was as a good a start as any. Go ahead and watch it and have a good laugh.