Thursday Throwbacks: PHOTON

Remembering things that half the world forgot is one of my many mutant powers (being able to spot a female nipple in one frame of a movie is another one).  Friends contact me at all hours of the night when they get stuck trying to remember something from their child hood, and 90% of the time I have the answer.  It’s that fiendish 10% that gets under my skin.  Every now and then my brain only shows me a few images of things that I should know instantly.  That REEEALLY pisses me off.  But I’m a very patient man.  I know that if I wait long enough (and drink enough booze) the veil will be lifted and the knowledge will be mine.  Today’s “Throwback” took me over 20 damn years, mostly due to a word that will forever haunt me…..PHOTON.

For the past 20+ years, I’d been trying to figure out the name of a show whose premise seemed to elicit raging fits of laughter from those I tried getting answers from.  Only two of my closest friends knew what I was talking about and didn’t go Porky Pig on me.  Hell, they even had the name!  But because I could only remember one bizarre image from the show, I didn’t think we were talking about the same program.  The only memory I had was of a Borg-like dude with black hair and red paint on his “armor”:

Now, try to piece together a kids television show with only this picture peeking through a massive black cloud in your head.  Can’t be done.  It’s because of scenarios like this that I love the internet.  On a whim, I typed “80’s lazer tag kids show” in the Google search thing.  I literally jumped out of my chair.  All of the questions I’d had for the past 20+ years had been answered.  PHOTON had come back into my life, and now I bring it back into yours with all the crazy 80’s chroma-key your eyes can handle.

Time for a commercial break:

THE LIGHT SHINES!:

Part of the reason for the show’s cancellation was due to the closings of PHOTON game centers around the country.  I think the other was because they were trying to create Power Rangers.  But even though PHOTON only lasted a single season, a slew of lazer tag paraphernalia and action figures managed to make there way to local toy stores.  If you ask me, they should’ve tried giving this show a re-boot in the late 90’s when indoor lazer tag places began to pop up again.  They would’ve made a killing with these toys.

Bhodi Li

Mandarr

Princess Tivia of Nivia

Leon/Sarge

Uncle Pike

Warriarr

Pirarr

I’m a little bummed out that “atomicbunnygirl” only posted the first episode of the show.  The only other thing I can remember watching as a kid was an episode all about Mandarr.  In said episode, we learn that Mandarr was once a PHOTON warrior named Even who gets brainwashed by the Warlord of Arr.  That episode bothered me as a child mostly because I hated watching good-guys turn bad, but also because they showed his transformation.  It’s disturbing to see when you’re 6.  If anyone knows where to find video of that, I’ll buy you a pass to Luna Park or Brizbyland.

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3 Responses to Thursday Throwbacks: PHOTON

  1. Chris Bees says:

    Man, I used to have one of those semi automatic squirt guns! My dad bought uzi’s for all of us kids and himself. They even had a clip you filled with water. Totally rad.

  2. jason says:

    I remember the episode of Evan/Mandarr’s transformation. It WAS chilling and sad at the same time. I’d love to see it somewhere, but I haven’t been able to find it.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Man, this really brings back memories! Thanks for the write-up, too bad there aren’t more videos of the show online. The sad thing is that I had most episodes taped on video2000 (anybody remember that?), but after that VCR died, we discarded all the tapes as well… :( Otherwise I’d have been all too happy to digitize the videos myself.

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