User Reviews (16)

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  • In the day after tomorrow, the Metrocity became the playground of the criminals. Against that threat, Engineer Julian Wilks created the ultimate police pursuit machine, a Dodge Viper which could morph into a vehicle called 'Defender'. One thing was missing...The driver which could handle Defender's enormous skills. The best driver of the bad guys, Michael Payton, had an accident. He was recovered from death by MetroCity Police, his criminal identity was erased and he became Joseph 'Joe' Astor, a policeman, expert for pursuit. Good Show! Great Effects and good character development!
  • The original Viper (1994) adapted the Bilson–De Meo formula of mixing comic-book adventure with live action, something that the pair had successfully done with The Flash and Rocketeer. With the big-screen Batman and other films of the era re-creating the comic-book feel, Viper, with its part-science-fiction, part-crime storylines brought the style to the small screen. The villains in futuristic concept cars or Richard Burgi playing golf on a life-size simulator; the haunting lair of the Viper team and the excellent special effects – there was courage by a crew that tried to paint a picture of a time just after now. The same philosophy helped the success of series across the Atlantic such as The Avengers or UFO.

    When Viper was revived in 1996, the ingredients that had made the original so charming and distinctive had disappeared. Relocated to another city, Viper was set firmly in the present, rather than the near future. Replacing the science-fiction style was the tried-and-trusted American cop-show formula. Whereas the original team had been outside the law, the new one would be a legally sanctioned police team. Motor pool suit Franklin X. Waters (Joe Nipote) got a larger role but as the Viper mechanic and HQ-based geek, but his promotion meant the disappearance of his beloved Plymouth Barracuda.

    Now, the only difference between the police detectives here and those on any other American police show was the use of a morphing Dodge Viper, updated to the relevant model year.

    This allowed for more unimaginative storylines and plot holes, just as any everyday American police series had. One could easily transfer a story from any other cop show into the new Viper: this series now smells of metooism and cheapness. It had lost any of the originality that the first writers and current executive producers, Danny Bilson and Paul De Meo, injected. Less logical and less distinctive, it was relegated to late-night slots in New Zealand, while its 1994 predecessor had enjoyed prime time. The programmers made the right decision.

    Despite the return of James McCaffrey in the lead in 1998 and a guest appearance by original cast member Dorian Harewood, little improved. The new formula is just that: a formula. About the only distinction remaining is one's ability to observe Chrysler product placements. Like so many American shows, Viper became far weaker on its revival and was probably another victim of US network tinkering.
  • I think "Viper" is just great. Of course, some people out there might think "hey, just another high-tech car like the one of 'knight rider'". But trust me, this is different and this tv show features (in my opinion) a number of great actors. Well, especially J. Downing aka "FBI agent Sherman Catlett" does a good job.
  • The NBC show Viper, after the success of first Season returns to the scene as syndicated. Joe Astor left the project together with Julian Wilkes. A new team was created, this time with the support of MetroCity officials. Thomas Cole(Kaake), an expert driver from UN Security Drivers, Cameron Westlake(Medway), a police detective, Frankie X. Waters(Nipote), a mechanic, and Dr.Allie Farrow, an engineer. Viper is the ultimate barrier between the criminals and the city again!
  • In the future when the police are out gunned, out manned and out run, there's one last hope . . . VIPER. A high tech futuristic crime fighting vehicle with extraordinary weapons, the VIPER has an array of hidden weapons and also has some nifty tools to help solve that crime problem. The driver Joe Astor was a reformed criminal, originally named "Michael Payton," he was attached to a gang known as "the outfit". The creator of this illustrious crime fighting vehicle is a paralyzed man named Julian Wilkes. Having trouble finding a driver Wilkes found out that a man accepted the position as the VIPER's Co-Pilot. Astor got cocky one night and jumped a curb and kissed a wall. Later became the driver of the VIPER.
  • OK so the year was 1994, this series dropped on me out of the blue, I accidentally watched the pilot episode and got drawn in. The near future looked amazing, the mood was dark and desperate, special effects were amazing for TV back then(love the snake morph, love the stylized damages on the car when it gets hit by a rocket) the idea of a lone hero with a dark past kinda like Knightrider but much cooler looking and feeling here played by an actor that wasn't very conventional looking but had some good points to him. Viper may have been a product placement thing from Dodge/chrysler corporation but it was certainly worth its while, anyone notice the designs of the buildings ? kinda reminiscent of Tim Burton's first batman movies, amazing, loved those busts on the ceiling beams of the Viper hideout. For the technology I can only say bravo and I suspect the automobile industry had a lot of advice to give, who else had shown us those flatscreen monitors and TV's back in those years, who else had handsfree carphones the way we have now back then (bluetooth technology anyone ?)actually the only thing that looks a little dated by now is the red Viper. Even the Defender still looks hot. The first 13 episodes absolutely rocked and the final episode where Joe and Julian steal back the replacement heart for a kid who needs it was absolutely fantastic. If it had to stop somewhere, it was there. Season two and three sucked big time, somehow the morphing had changed, the timeframe was different and gone was the dark gloomyness. Jeff Kaake just didn't cut it as a replacement for James Mccaffrey and the proof was that the final series kinda made up for the two crappy ones in the middle when Joe came back. But even then, they should have left it in the near future's darker world, it was not a good idea to turn it into KnightriderII but I guess it made it all more accessible to a younger audience which is what the suits in the offices want these days, no more good storytelling, just sell sell sell and make money. I almost forgot to mention the music, the first season soundtrack absolutely fit the mood, amazing work for a TV show. OK so in short, good points : premisse, looks, music, wardrobe, casting, believable technology (not talking about the morphing here although... who knows), setting, production design, details, stories. Bad points : everything from season 2 on was crap in my opinion except for the new Viper in season 4 and the return of Mccaffrey.
  • The Year 2000 is almost upon us, the war against crime has become a losing battle. When criminals are better armed and financed then the police. An underworld kubal called 'The Outfit' pillages the city for profit, and takes control of the urban streets. But now... To fight the rising tide of crime, a new weapon has been developed. The ultimate vehicle for police pursuit and capture. Only one thing is missing... the driver who can tame it's awesome capabilities. Catch the action. Catch the excitement. Catch the ultimate ride. "Viper"
  • i like this show because they used state of the art Equipment and i watched as a kid and this show proved that a car could take on villain's of that time era and Thomas Cole he played the part's well up until season finally and i wonder if if they could complete with show's like Hawaii five o with grace park and the gang.

    also why can they not have a car like this in every city or town that could afford one

    i hope in the present car's like and trucks can use the viper show as a role model if this show come's back in rerun's or in a movie for theater's after more then 25 year's being pulled from TV.
  • I have every reason to belive that this series was created to spotlight cars be Chrysler, namely the Dodge Viper. Every car in the series ws either a Stealth, the Viper or some other Dodge. I believe this was tried in Knight Rider, but unlike KR, the average Joe couldn't just waltz down to the local Dodge dealership, plop down 50G and drive off with a viper.

    This series just didn't have the magic of KR. Viper couldn't go 200mph, do super jumps or have witty comments like KITT. Still, it beat Team Knight Rider in the ground.
  • I loved the addition of Westlake and Frankie was better than ever. The car was still awesome and all new tricks for its gadgets were added.

    The show had some great adventures. I think it did suffer losing Astor and the futuristic element (and its worth noting that we are now IN that future..complete with drones, flat screen tvs and the equivalent of vid phones) and was thrilled he at least returned last season (I assume that is NOT a spoiler since you can see his name right in the credits and if a synops is ever added to those last season shows it'll probably have his name attached.) That isn't to say I didn't like Cole: its simply that Astor had the whole backstory tied into the Viper and I really missed that rogue element.

    The only terrible thing about it: it ended too soon, right when it was picking up speed again in my opinion. Personally I suspect 'rating sabotage' (which is what I call it when the show keeps bouncing around day/time slots in an era where the only way to find it is a TV Guide that had to be printed - and a change after that meant finding your show was like hitting a moving target.) And of course, it just took to long to find its stride after being revamped after the first season.

    I would've loved to see more seasons: the season/series finale was a great wrap up but it also had potential to take it into some new unexplored character arcs plus tie up some loose ends from first season.
  • starhorsepax30 December 2017
    The only bad thing about this is that it changed so drastically the next season. In spite of this being listed separate from the later seasons, it has the same car and characters (although Joe and Julian didn't return until season 4.) But this first one was the best and most unique. While I loved Westlake being added in later seasons, I'm sorry the show in later seasons lost the 'rogue' edge it had and that so many characters vanished. I liked the way it was developing and always felt Joe was (as Frankie put it) part of the Defender. Just as the car went from ordinary Viper to Defender, Joe was a guy from the wild side that no one would've suspected had a 'defender' mode. I liked how the team had their independence but were gradually gradually able to work with the law but not UNDER anyone's authority. I am really thrilled its finally on DVD. It had a nice mix of sci fi, mystery, action and...that rogue element that just made it unique. Shame on NBC for letting it go!
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Season 1 of the Syndicate Series (or Season 2 if you count the Original Series) is quite a surprise. It has an actor relatively unknown to the audience and a story sounding like Team Knight Rider which was not a very successful series (ended after one Season). So what you can expect? Jeff Kaake does a great acting Job here. His only major role before he started being the main actor in Viper was in Space Rangers. But i think he is perfect for the role as the new Viper driver. Jeff shows Coolness and Superiority in one place, but can be a good partner as well.

    The more disappointing part is the plot. All stories are refreshing and not standard Hollywood plots. But the writers didn't make much of their good ideas. We see too often episodes with 40 minutes of talking and 5 minutes of action. That would be okay but the talking doesn't seem to drive the story forward. Car chases get boring in some episodes because of the lack of traffic.

    But there are also Exceptions. We see street racing with classic muscle cars ("Breakdown on Thunder Road"), a man with super powers going mad ("Manhunt") and a chase between two Vipers in "Wheelman". These stories may not sound refreshing but thats what maybe makes them better than the other episodes.

    From all episodes of this season "Shutdown" might be the best. In Germany this was broadcast in a 2-hour pilot together with "Winner Take All" and it literally blows the audience away. We see an explosion of 16 Chrysler Corporation cars, the Defender is blown up and the story is also mind-blowing. What else does it need?

    So my overall review is that there are ups and downs but the better episodes are so overwhelming that you easily forget about the bad episodes. I would watch them again.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Like one reviewer has said. The formula which worked on NBC. Just seemed to have disappeared. As it went indeed from the Sci-Fi to the police cop formula and the in the future that goes into a more rainy thing set in Metro but actually was filmed in Vancouver.

    Replacing Joe Astor is Jeff Kaake's Thomas Cole an CIA ex-operative with evasive driving skills. As he recruits Heather Medway's detective and liaison. And Joe Napote returns as Frankie with a goatee and a bigger role. And Dawn Stern as Dr. Allie, the computer whiz.

    Just the chemistry was not there. Kaake is OK but no Joe Astor. Napote gave the show much needed zip. But when Dawn was replaced by J Downing as FBI Agent Sherman Catlett. He and Napote were the comic reliefs in the show.

    But just did not have the heart of the NBC series and really got ruined over it. Even though James McCaffrey would return as Joe Astor, still it was too little too late to save the show. If McCaffrey would had stayed on, it would had at least enjoyed a five year run. Not a three year one.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    The show should have had lots of potential and that show was originally broadcast on NBC. As the show had a much darker wit and a much darker view on crime. As it shows in the future. For it also had a much better cast and better writing than the syndication version that was to come in two years.

    James McCaffrey is the only original driver as a former criminal turned cop. Dorian Harewood is the wheelchair bound inventor. Who originally created it. Joe Napote is the comic relief liaison who will help both characters out as vigilantes.

    As the team steal the Viper after law enforcement turn them down. In their own private war on crime. NBC just never gives shows like those a chance. But then again never does any other network!
  • This Was A Great TV Show I Liked It A lot Why Did They Take It Off the Air ? Bring It Back !! This Time With The 2006 Dodge Viper And Maybe Have It Do A Little More Then It Did Last Time

    I Would Like To Know Where I can Get Some Of The Old TV Shows Of Viper I Lookd Everywhere I Cant Find Any

    Alright Later

    Thank You For Reading This I Hope This Helps Everyone In There Own Viper Way

    It Says I Have To Write 10 Lines

    Hmm So What-else Could I Say ?

    I Know When You Remake The Show Start Him From The Start And Have Him Remember The Past When He Once Back In 1994 Made A Viper Do All This Cool Stuff And Save The City Or Something Like That
  • Okay, so the morphing effect was kinda cool. But what was the point, plotwise? Was the Viper supposed to be a kind of "superhero car" complete with a secret identity?? It's been a while, but I remember at least one pursuit scene where the Viper was in "plain clothes" and then Joe had to morph it just to use the Acme Stop-That-Car Device (tm). Which btw was pretty cool too...