As DVD collections of old TV shows multiply like rabbits, curiously absent from the pack is a collection of the SHAZAM! series that aired on CBS in the mid-70's. Starring Michael Gray as a shaggy-haired Billy Batson and Jackson Bostwick as Captain Marvel (later by the doughy John Davey), the series was a huge disappointment to us kids, despite the lower expectations for superhero fare in that day and age. Instead of battling comic book villains like Dr. Sivana or Black Adam, TV Cap faced "threats" like bullies and juvenile delinquency....most likely due to their $1.95 special effects budget.
However, despite the cheesy special effects and low-wattage adventures, the series had its heart in the right place as it tried to teach young viewers Valuable Lessons, ham-handed as they were. Because of that, I'm hoping SHAZAM! finds its way to DVD one of these days. I've heard TV Captain Marvel will sort of make it to video this summer, as his guest-star episodes will be included in the DVD collection of ISIS, a SHAZAM spin-off series scheduled for a 2007 release. Strange that a spin-off series makes it to video, but SHAZAM is stuck in limbo. I don't get it.
So, until Cap (both of them), long-hair Billy, Mentor and the traveling Winnebago finally make it to DVD, we'll just have to get by with this YouTube video of the show's introduction (ironically the coolest part of each episode):