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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
Lai
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 %



Pictures:









Quotes:

  • 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.
    Viper!

  • (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.




Trivia:

  • 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

excellent
0(0.0%)
pretty good
0(0.0%)
kind of okay, not really good, not really bad
0(0.0%)
quite bad
7(50.0%)
really really bad, especially for something that it doesn't even have David Hasselhoff in it
3(21.4%)

Violence

Nothing at all
0(0.0%)
Some violence, but not much, really
8(57.1%)
Quite a bit, yes.
5(35.7%)
A lot.
1(7.1%)
All the time
0(0.0%)

Humor

Hee, yes, it's really funny.
0(0.0%)
It's quite funny, yeah.
2(15.4%)
Hmm. It's, like, normal. Sometimes funny, sometimes not.
1(7.7%)
Some? Not much though.
1(7.7%)
/o\...I guess it was meant to be funny?
8(61.5%)

Sexual content

Oh yes, all the time.
0(0.0%)
Quite a lot, for a TV show.
0(0.0%)
Well, the usual. With Callum you have always sexual content, no?
7(53.8%)
Not really, no.
3(23.1%)
Nothing at all.
1(7.7%)

Sexual violence

Nothing, no.
9(75.0%)
Not really. Maybe some implied.
3(25.0%)
Some, yes.
0(0.0%)
Uhm, yeah, definitely. Quite a lot actually.
0(0.0%)
All the time.
0(0.0%)




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

Character

He's the hero of the episode!
0(0.0%)
He's definiteyl a good guy!
0(0.0%)
He's okay, not really a good guy, I guess. But okay.
0(0.0%)
He's... um. Quite bad. Yes.
13(92.9%)
/o\
0(0.0%)

Okay, so how many people does he kill?

No one! At all! Honest!
0(0.0%)
Just, uh, one? I think? He didn't have a choice, really!
3(21.4%)
I guess... five? Six, maybe?
10(71.4%)
Oh, I really didn't keep count here. ...Ten?
1(7.1%)
/o\
0(0.0%)

And how crazy is he? Honest?

Crazy? What a strange question. He's totally normal. Almost boringly so.
0(0.0%)
A bit weird maybe. Not too much. Kind of nice, really.
0(0.0%)
Well... He's... yeah, he's a bit crazy, okay?
2(14.3%)
Sociopath. Violent. So... quite crazy. You know. No, really. Don't look so surprised.
11(78.6%)
/o\
0(0.0%)

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.
9(64.3%)
Quite. I think he was hotter in [movie xyz], though. Maybe.
1(7.1%)
Pretty hot, yeah. The usual, you know?
3(21.4%)
Not... not really hot, you know? Definitely cute though.
0(0.0%)
No. he's really, really not. Sorry.
0(0.0%)

And queer? What do you think?

Totally. Strange you even need to ask.
3(21.4%)
Well, yes. pretty much. I've seen him more queer though. Once or twice.
0(0.0%)
I am pretty sure he had a thing for Cole. For whatever reason.
9(64.3%)
Hard to say. Maybe, maybe not.
0(0.0%)
No. You heard me. No.
1(7.1%)




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

::He doesn't!::




Articles/interviews

Sorry, I couldn't find anything.




Links

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.




Availability

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?

Comments

( 38 comments — Leave a comment )
slidellra
Mar. 1st, 2008 07:43 pm (UTC)
Wonderful overview! But somehow it fails to mention how very interesting this ep is, handcuff-wise. Very interesting, indeed. *glazes over, just a little bit*
c_regalis
Mar. 1st, 2008 07:47 pm (UTC)
That's true! I wasn't really sure how to bring this into the post, you know? And I wasn't sure if unhurt wanted me to link to her story. And I couldn't link to Di's picspam because it's flocked. And I am bad at this kind of stuff. But, uh, if you would be willing to write a few lines about the very interesting handcuff issue? I would totally include it. *beams*
(no subject) - slidellra - Mar. 1st, 2008 08:17 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - c_regalis - Mar. 1st, 2008 11:29 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - _unhurt_ - Mar. 2nd, 2008 10:42 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - c_regalis - Mar. 2nd, 2008 10:54 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - _unhurt_ - Mar. 2nd, 2008 11:03 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - c_regalis - Mar. 2nd, 2008 11:38 pm (UTC) - Expand
cysefin
Mar. 1st, 2008 09:02 pm (UTC)
Checks HD... Another things that I have but have not yet watched... Will have to do the poll later.

TY for the post!
c_regalis
Mar. 1st, 2008 11:31 pm (UTC)
You definitely have to watch it. It's really, really, really bad. But kind of funny in its badness. And Callum's in it quite a lot and he's HOT. So there.
(no subject) - cysefin - Mar. 3rd, 2008 08:33 am (UTC) - Expand
china_shop
Mar. 1st, 2008 09:15 pm (UTC)
I love these posts! <3
c_regalis
Mar. 1st, 2008 11:34 pm (UTC)
\c/ I am quite amused by the fact that you apparently feel obligated to comment on every post I do because it's all your fault in the end. Mind you, I am not complaining. *g*
(no subject) - china_shop - Mar. 2nd, 2008 03:40 am (UTC) - Expand
thornnuminous
Mar. 1st, 2008 09:54 pm (UTC)
Is the episode CKR is in available somewhere?
c_regalis
Mar. 1st, 2008 11:41 pm (UTC)
Well, there is that link I posted. Also, I may be able to provide at the usual place, but not before Monday. (I forgot, sorry.)
(no subject) - thornnuminous - Mar. 2nd, 2008 10:49 am (UTC) - Expand
angelachristian
Mar. 1st, 2008 10:08 pm (UTC)
may I write something about HCL or U&A?
c_regalis
Mar. 2nd, 2008 12:35 am (UTC)
Hi, angelachristian! The post to volunteer for doing things here is here. I am sorry, but I didn't get around to post the links in the comm info yet.

From what I read in your LJ, I feel that other people would be more equipped to do a movie post about HCL or U&A, which are both movies that have been watched a lot by CKR fans. But you are welcome to volunteer for posts later though. But not in the next few weeks. Apart from the first thing, you might have seen that there are some people lined up already to do movie posts for the comm. I am in email contact with other people as well. So, thank you for your offer, I will quite probably come back to it later.
(no subject) - angelachristian - Mar. 3rd, 2008 02:59 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - c_regalis - Mar. 3rd, 2008 07:42 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - angelachristian - Mar. 3rd, 2008 10:06 pm (UTC) - Expand
woolly_socks
Mar. 1st, 2008 10:58 pm (UTC)
Awesome post. You win.

Could there be a ticky-box in the humour section for 'funny by accident because it's so bad'?
c_regalis
Mar. 2nd, 2008 12:45 am (UTC)
\c/ *wins*

Could there be a ticky-box in the humour section for 'funny by accident because it's so bad'?

Oh, totally. The last one (/o\...I guess it was meant to be funny?) is kind of that way. But, yeah, no quite. I will try in the next one!
(no subject) - woolly_socks - Mar. 2nd, 2008 01:03 am (UTC) - Expand
neu111
Mar. 2nd, 2008 01:18 am (UTC)
Your Masterminds icon totally fits with Viper Lennox. The bleached hair, yes, but also a kind of comics character dimension for both.

really really bad, especially for something that it doesn't even have David Hasselhoff in it
So true, so bad!
c_regalis
Mar. 2nd, 2008 04:26 pm (UTC)
Oh yes, Ollie works just nice as a Billy Lennox ersatz. :) Only that Billy doesn't smoke, in Viper not even the bad guys are allowed to smoke.

So true, so bad!

*nods sadly* (I, uh, kind of got used to it, after watching a few times for the post. /c?)
belmanoir
Mar. 2nd, 2008 01:18 am (UTC)
and...now i need to watch this.
c_regalis
Mar. 2nd, 2008 04:31 pm (UTC)
Well, go ahead. Don't say I didn't warn you! (But he's really very, very hot. And there are handcuffs.)
green_grrl
Mar. 2nd, 2008 02:55 am (UTC)
How could he look so hot in a show so dire? *weeps* (Yes, story of his career, I know. *sigh* Thank goodness for HCL, DS, WW, etc.) Thank you for the post! I love to ticky!
c_regalis
Mar. 2nd, 2008 04:32 pm (UTC)
Yes, story of his career, I know. *sigh*

*nods sadly* *sighs with you*

And you are very welcome, as always. It was fun, actually. No, really, it was. :)
bluebelle789
Mar. 2nd, 2008 04:02 am (UTC)
I've only watched this once, and found it to be... painful not very good. Heh. I'll have to dig it out and watch it again though, so I can be more accurate with my poll answers. *is helpful* I seem to have a mental block on most of it, for some reason... *g*
c_regalis
Mar. 2nd, 2008 04:34 pm (UTC)
Heh. I'll have to dig it out and watch it again though, so I can be more accurate with my poll answers. *is helpful*

You are TOTALLY helpful! And selfless. And stuff. *g*

*licks your icon while you are distracted*
_unhurt_
Mar. 2nd, 2008 10:44 pm (UTC)
i am not sure that viper is supposed to be a follow-on to knight rider. i think they just hoped they would get the same audience?

and it even manages to be worse!

(YES, i watched a lot of knight rider when i was young. it - i - blame my brothers?)
c_regalis
Mar. 2nd, 2008 10:59 pm (UTC)
Me too! I watched Knight Rider all the time. At least it seems like it now. And yeah, it's not really the same thing, even apart from managing to be much worse. But, yeah, they were hoping to get the same audience, that counts as a follow-up to me.

When you do your movie post you can draw your own conclusions.
(no subject) - _unhurt_ - Mar. 2nd, 2008 11:00 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - c_regalis - Mar. 2nd, 2008 11:27 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - _unhurt_ - Mar. 2nd, 2008 11:38 pm (UTC) - Expand
( 38 comments — Leave a comment )

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