User Reviews (13)

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  • The problem wasn't with O'Herlihy (it never is), it was his character. Prior to his coming on, the show was an entertaining adventure about a quartet of junior crimefighting computer experts that was every bit as much fun as Philip DeGuere's other then-current show "Simon & Simon" (Jeffrey and company even joined forces with A.J. Simon in one episode) - it was closer in tone to "WarGames" than "Scooby-Doo," which was fine with me even then; it also had some good writing to boot, such as one episode ending with their teacher informing the class that even though the FBI had commended them for their work that week, she was still going to punish the boys (the token female had done the homework) for not doing an assignment!

    Unfortunately, when they were recruited to work for O'Herlihy's organisation (in secret of course), the thrill of their being freelancers was gone. It was the same mistake made when the Hardy Boys (Stevenson and Cassidy version) were taken on by the Justice Department - they went from playing outside the system to being part of it, and the show was never the same. But it was fun while it lasted...
  • Search for "Whiz Kids" on YouTube.com and you'll find 8 full episodes (broken into 5 parts each). Don't know if they've entered the public domain or if the powers that be haven't found them yet.

    Seeing this show brought back some great memories. This show also cemented my computer interest and headed me towards to a Computer Science degree for me as well.

    Yeah it's cheesy but very little of what was being described in the show was possible in the early to mid 80's. Today it's pretty common place and the security is nearly as bad.

    I'd love to see this come out on DVD. I'd like to have a decent quality copy.
  • shaunh3 October 2003
    I was 13 when this show aired, and remember really liking it. It was well written (at least to a mature 13 year old), and I looked forward to it every week. The problem was, the programming geniuses at CBS blew it. It was on one week, preempted the next 2, moved to a different night, preempted again. It never stayed in a location long enough to gain any audience following. Here I was TRYING to watch the thing and they made it quite difficult. I remember being quite frustrated and ticked off when it was cancelled.

    It would be interesting to see it again today, 20 years later, and see how it compared to other shows of its day.
  • I probably haven't seen this show since 1983, but I still remember it. I don't recall when I started watching. I think possibly some summer friends whose father owned a small electronics equipment chain recommended it. I seem to recall also that Matthew Laborteaux was on the cover of an early children's computer magazine called K-Power I initially learned about, I think, from scholastic book fairs at my elementary school. I recall the magazine had a BASIC program you could type into your computer to have it simulate the exchange between Richie and his talking computer during the opening of the show. K-Power later got absorbed into Family Computer just as a small section, and then Family Computing changed its name to something else and dropped the K-Power section at which I stopped subscribing.

    Incredibly, I can still replay the instrumental theme song to this show in my head. But apart from these bits of trivia, I don't remember the show itself too well!
  • I am really trying to remember 20 years ago to this show. It was very much a spin-off of the success of War Games. Richie had a computer that could do almost anything. It was built from a lot of spare parts that must have been around the studio. If it could flash, it went in the computer.

    At the time I loved the show because I was young and though computers were neat. I would like to see the show again just to see what I think now.

    The thing that I remember most about the show is that EVERYTHING seemed to be run by computers. In one episode they were locked in some room. In that room was some discarded terminal that they were able to connect to the building sprinkler system and set it off. Deus ex Machina situations like this happened way too often...and Richie was always like MacGuyver with a keyboard.

    Still...I remember liking the show back then.
  • The Whiz Kids TV Show was, primary the "kicker" of my computer interests. Just a few months before the first showing in October 1983, my dad and I went to Philippines, for my 1st visit. I met my cousin, Carl, whom built his first computer out of Zilog Z80 computer chips, and he gave me computer chips to bring back to USA, in August 1983, a week before the assassination of Benigno Aguino (August 21, 1983). The computer chips were from Zilog Corporation in Philippines. I place those chips onto a shelf because I was busy with the Commodore VIC-20 computer.

    Shortly after the initial showing of Whiz Kids in October 1983, I began to interface my Zilog computer chips with the VIC-20. I wanted to be just like Richie; in fact, my room was almost set up the same way Richie had his in the TV show. I was only 13 years old at that time.

    Though I watched Wargames in the Cinema, I could not miss an episode of Whiz Kids when it was on TV. My mother went to church on Wednesday night as I had to stay home to watch Whiz Kids.

    Throughout my Junior High and High School time, I was best known as a "computer geek." In 1983, I was a power user of the TRS-80 Model III computer system. By 1985, I was a power user of the Apple Macintosh. In 1986, I was a power user of Commodore Amiga 500 and Commodore 64 computers. I didn't go to my High School Prom because of my Geek Hobby.

    At my graduations, I remember having my friends over to watch my recorded shows of the Whiz Kids on Betamax. I remembered that I had every episode of Whiz Kids, recorded, but I don't know what happened to that tape, as of 1992.

    I'm still waiting for CBS to release the Whiz Kids onto VHS or DVD... Now that I'm in the Philippines, I'm not sure if I can be able to receive any videos from CBS. I had been asking at the video stores, but there has been nothing on Whiz Kids even been shown in the Philippines.
  • The theme music for the series was Gioachino Rossini's La Gazza Ladra (The Thieving Magpie)Overture.

    I remember scenes of a floppy disc drive spinning up, the head loading and then doing a seek - all very tech and enjoyable.

    I recall plot holes even though I was just post teenage at the time. Blowing up (zooming in) on a photograph to extract detail below pixel size gains was one.

    It deserved repeating a few times but I felt that it was ignored as the powers that control TV programming seldom (at that time) understood that tech series had a following, as we have seen with the Star trek and Stargate spinoffs.
  • rgaine13 September 2006
    While looking back at the show over 20 years later, it seems really cheezy, but in 1983 it is what helped get me involved with computers. Funny though seeing Albert Ingalls from Little House on the Prarie working with computers. I still have the shows on video tape.... well, if the tapes haven't erased themselves by now. It has been a while since I looked at them.

    Many movies of the time caught my interest, but being close in age to Richie and his friends this show was most interesting to me. War Games was also fun to watch, but not as realistic as Whiz Kids. I never could figure out how they got a coupler mount modem to auto dial though. That one is still a mystery.

    I'd like to see a Whiz Kids reunion show. I don't think that will happen though. I don't think the show was popular enough. Would be nice to see what the writers would do with all the characters though.
  • I loved this show when it came out. I also got all the computer mags back then. Wired, 99'er (I had the TI-99 4/A computer), Compute, Family Computing, etc... I had over 800 computer mags from back then that I lost recently in a flood. :( This show is available if you just look. Youtube has some eps, but you can find the entire series (only one season) on torrent sites if you look hard enough.

    I agree with the comment, that the show started to NOT be as good once they were 'employed.' Yes, just like the hardy boys shows...

    This series is worth seeing again. It is a fun show. REALLY brings back memories.. Directly because of this show, my best friend and I started our own computer company writing software for the TI and then the Amiga computers... We won the 3rd party game of the year in 84 for the TI. We were between junior and senior year of high school.. There is a REM line in the game that makes a reference to Whiz Kids...

    Go find the show, and enjoy!!!!
  • c210051222 September 2009
    Hello,

    I've been following the discussion with interest - Whiz Kids was my favourite show on British TV when I was growing up. This and Tron left a big impression!

    Just a quick note: the music isn't Rossini, it's adapted from Mozart's 'Elvira Madigan' (Piano Concerto No. 21 in C Major). It's an amalgam of highlights from Part I of the concerto.

    My favourite theme of all time :)

    I do love Whiz Kids. I wish they'd release the DVD already!

    • Dave
  • Warning: Spoilers
    There was a time when personal computers were something new and exciting, and films like Wargames would have us all believe that any kid with a computer and a modem was just a few keystrokes away from full access to your bank account or the US missile launch computer. Whiz Kids was another product of this age, and certainly caught the attention of many juveniles who were into video games and home computers (myself included) with its displays of blinking lights, voice synthesizers, easy hacking and seemingly computer-run corporate worlds where even doors could be opened and whole buildings reduced to chaos by just one nondescript nerd behind a keyboard. Those were potent fantasies and partially helped to camouflage the ordinariness of the actual series.

    Apart from the computers, it was a standard juvenile adventure series where a group of resourceful kids (demographically comprising a mastermind nerd, a semi-jock, a token female and a token African-American) solved crimes and outwitted overconfident criminals with the help of a sympathetic reporter (Gail's ever-grinning, elbow-patched Farley, a ponytailed throwback into those post-Watergate times when reporters still seemed like the champions of truth and watchdogs of the system) and a less sympathetic but ultimately understanding police detective (the future soap prince Martinez giving an admirably stone-faced performance). The stories ran the usual gamut from big business baddies and individual criminal masterminds to an obligatory supernatural romp ("Amen for Amon Ra", which reached a surprisingly memorable climax with its glowing statues and levitating mummies). Though the general level of action was kept suitably safe and harmless, there could still be a surprisingly grave bit of violence or subject (e.g. nerve gas) for such a juvenile show. But everything was tempered with a necessary educational angle and familial trimmings, as the computer whiz Richie Adler had an irredeemably irritating little sister and a single mother frowning over the escapades of her son and his friends. Extra sheen came from the playful, mainly synthetic score with some nice quasi-classicism and borrowings.

    Watched now, the overall shabbiness and graininess of early-1980s television production values aside, this still seems like fun and nostalgic series, though I obviously no longer belong to its target audience. Those who would belong there, would probably find it too simplistic and too hilarious to watch. For like any series relying so heavily on state-of-the-art computer technology to hook its audience, Whiz Kids has been rendered utterly antediluvian by two decades of febrile progress. Furthermore, now that computers are ubiquitous and mundane, and everyone knows that no kid or adult could ever use them for any criminal or disruptive activity that would anyway bother the carefree computer-assisted existence of institutions or private individuals, you really can't take a series like Whiz Kids seriously, can you? Can you?
  • mzanellati24 May 2020
    8/10
    Nice
    It was very nice. i saw it every evening. the PC have been always my passion and this has been the first serie where it were used.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    an all-American crew ( you know, the white+black+etc guys ) of computer nerds solves complicate police cases with a bit of thrill at times. I laugh sincerely thinking back to my Atari computer from back then, and those guys who with primitive computers & cave ages BASIC programming would work wonders. In the row of the various science based 80's telepictures ( Automan, Street Hawk, Supercar/knight rider etc ) with a streak of War Games & other kiddie star movies like the Goonies. it'd grow old quickly. Basically a salad bowl kind of telepicture. Frankly, i'm not missing it...it held little water even at the time. Supercar etc were waaay better to watch.