c (c_regalis) wrote in the_ckr_files,

Viper: Wheelman (TV post)

The series Viper is a revival of a 1993-1994 series, also called Viper, which, as far as I can tell, is itself a revival of the 1982 series Knight Rider. Main character is Thomas Cole, who works for a special top secret crime-fighting task force. Their main asset is the super secret high-tech crime-fighting vehicle named Viper. The series ran for 3 seasons (1996 - 1999) and 66 episodes.
In the episode Wheelman a Chinese treasure is stolen from an exhibition by William T. Lennox, an escaped convict with a jet-powered car and two female accomplices. Cole and Lennox used to be partners until Lennox started selling out confidential information to the highest bidder.
Callum's character is William T. Lennox.

The IMDB page: Viper: Wheelman
The creators of the series are Danny Bilson and Paul De Meo, who also collaborated for series like The Sentinel, The Flash and Viper (1994). According to this site the episode was dircted by Danny Bilson and written by Gary Glasberg (L.A. Firefighters, Crossing Jordan, Bones).

Cast / Characters:

Joe Nipote
Heather Medway
Jeff Kaake
Dawn Stern
Callum Keith Rennie
Alexandra Bokyun Chun
Rachel Hayward
Marcie Mellish
Gerry Rousseau

Frankie Waters
Det. Cameron Westlake
Agent Thomas Cole
Allie Farrow
William T. Lenox
Julianna 'Jolie' Morrow
Dana Marie Callow
Eli Reed

Year: 1997

Runtime: 45 / 60 minutes

Country: Canada / USA

IMDB rating: 4.2 / 10 (108 votes) for the series, not enough votes for the episode

Genre: Crime / SciFi

There are 3 user comments on the IMDB page, one negative, two positive (if not too impressive intellectually).

One example:
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.

You can find all the comments here.

Callum Quotient: ~ 30 %



  • It prowls the streets in the pursuit of justice.
    Its origins are secret,
    its technology twenty-first century,
    its existence officially disavowed.
    But its precense is undeniable.
    The perfect weapon in an imperfect future.

  • (Lennox' picture appears on the super secret high tech info screen, as well as the info that he's escaped prison)
    Frankie: Since when are we in the escaped con business?
    Cole: Since right now.

  • Reed: So you know Dennis from prison?
    Lennox: Uh, how I know him is not important. You know, what is important is, uhm, that I am to make you a very rich man.
    Reed: Sorry, not interested.

  • Reed: Ah, you're Lennox. You killed Dennis.
    Lennox: Has anyone ever mentioned this? I mean, it's uncanny. I mean, when you're scared? You look just like him.

  • (Lennox drives off with his jet-powered car)
    Cole: What was that?
    Westlake: I don't know. Sounded like a jet was about to land on us.
    (They're entering the alley)
    Cole: That was no jet.
    Westlake: No, that was one hell of a fast car.

  • Lennox: (comes up behind Cole with a gun) Surprise!
    Cole: Billy, you are a piece of work.
    Lennox: Good to see that I've still got the touch. Now you drop that suicase.
    Lennox: You just couldn't stand it, Cole, could you? Couldn't stand I was the better driver.
    Cole: You think I turned you in because I'm jealous?
    Lennox: You never had the chops, man. And you know it.

  • Guy who buys stolen goods from Lennox: The clarity in the stones. The details and the settings, through all those years and so much turmoil, how could anything stay so perfect.
    Lennox: Well, it's worth some serious money.
    Guy who buys stolen goods from Lennox: It's what it represents that's priceless.
    Lennox: Folks like you always want what they can't have.


  • Callum's character's name is spelled 'Lennox' in the episode's credits, but 'Lenox' at IMDB.

  • IMDB's suggested recommendations include The Sentinel, and for some reason also Spiderman and Home Alone 3.

  • Apparently the series is referenced in Chameleon 3: Dark Angel.

  • The show's villains were often driving Dodge vehicles.

  • According to the Wikipedia site, the Viper Defender "star car" was designed by Chrysler Corporation engineers (unlike most Hollywood Film/TV cars that are usually customized by film picture designers like George Barris).

Interesting scenes:

  • First scene: Lennox getting transferred, from one prison to another, hands shackled, taking the time to check out a woman who just walked by

  • Lennox threatening Cole at the phone booth

  • Lennox threatening Dana in the warehouse (yeah, there's kind of a theme here)

  • Lennox sitting in the office of the guy buying the stolen exhibit, looking bored, feet on the desk, reading in a random book

  • near the end of the episode, Lennox ends up shackled to the wheel of his own (well, stolen) car

Do I want to show this to my parents / friends / co-workers?
Poll #1147185 Viper: Wheelman

Overall rating

pretty good
kind of okay, not really good, not really bad
quite bad
really really bad, especially for something that it doesn't even have David Hasselhoff in it


Nothing at all
Some violence, but not much, really
Quite a bit, yes.
A lot.
All the time


Hee, yes, it's really funny.
It's quite funny, yeah.
Hmm. It's, like, normal. Sometimes funny, sometimes not.
Some? Not much though.
/o\...I guess it was meant to be funny?

Sexual content

Oh yes, all the time.
Quite a lot, for a TV show.
Well, the usual. With Callum you have always sexual content, no?
Not really, no.
Nothing at all.

Sexual violence

Nothing, no.
Not really. Maybe some implied.
Some, yes.
Uhm, yeah, definitely. Quite a lot actually.
All the time.

And William T. Lennox? Nice? Creepy? Crazy? Hot?
Poll #1147186 William T. Lennox


He's the hero of the episode!
He's definiteyl a good guy!
He's okay, not really a good guy, I guess. But okay.
He's... um. Quite bad. Yes.

Okay, so how many people does he kill?

No one! At all! Honest!
Just, uh, one? I think? He didn't have a choice, really!
I guess... five? Six, maybe?
Oh, I really didn't keep count here. ...Ten?

And how crazy is he? Honest?

Crazy? What a strange question. He's totally normal. Almost boringly so.
A bit weird maybe. Not too much. Kind of nice, really.
Well... He's... yeah, he's a bit crazy, okay?
Sociopath. Violent. So... quite crazy. You know. No, really. Don't look so surprised.

Yeah, okay, that's what I thought. But is he hot?

Oh yes. Is he ever. And that with Billy Idol hair and PVC jacket. With racing stripes.
Quite. I think he was hotter in [movie xyz], though. Maybe.
Pretty hot, yeah. The usual, you know?
Not... not really hot, you know? Definitely cute though.
No. he's really, really not. Sorry.

And queer? What do you think?

Totally. Strange you even need to ask.
Well, yes. pretty much. I've seen him more queer though. Once or twice.
I am pretty sure he had a thing for Cole. For whatever reason.
Hard to say. Maybe, maybe not.
No. You heard me. No.

Does he die?
You really want to know? Are you sure? Really sure? Well, then. (highlight to read)

::He doesn't!::


Sorry, I couldn't find anything.


There's a Wikipedia article about the series here.

Viper Central, an old fansite, hasn't been updated in a few years.

And I found a French Fansite here.

_unhurt_ wrote some fanfiction (only vaguely related to the episode): Hood Ornament:
summary: lenox is a very pretty package. some extra-special guest stars agree.
warnings: in jokes; non-con (but he likes it, baby).
length: 2472 words
rating: NC17

There should be also mentioned that we are talking crack!fic here. Fair warning.


Official sites don't seem to have it, but I found this website offering it on DVD+R / DVD-R. It's been recently updated, so I guess it's still available.

And that's it, that's all I have. As usual, please let me know if you have anything to add. I will edit the post to include new information. If you posted something interesting about the movie in your LJ or in some other community, essays, picspams, transcripts, theories... link me please?
Tags: .genre: tv post, callum quotient: 30%, tv: viper, year: 1997

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