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My Hero title card

My Hero was a BBC sitcom created by Paul Mendelson. The programme ran for six series on BBC One, initially airing in February 2000, and concluding in September 2006. The series follows the antics of dim-witted superhero "Thermoman", portrayed by Ardal O'Hanlon (who was replaced by James Dreyfus in the final series). The series was regularly directed by John Stroud.

CastEdit

Main castEdit

Secondary castEdit

Plot OutlineEdit

Thermoman is a multiply-powered superhero who originates from the planet Ultron. Ultronian superheroes are tasked with safeguarding inferior species across the universe such as Humans.

When Thermoman rescues Nurse Janet Dawkins from falling into the Grand Canyon, he falls in love with her. He decides to go to her workplace in the Northolt Health Centre. In an attempt to do his best to fit in with life on Earth, he creates the human alias of George Sunday; however, due to his unfamiliarity with human life, his antics usually lead to many misunderstandings. Despite his differences and flaws, when George sets up his own Health Shop for Janet, he moves into her her flat and their relationship slowly progresses despite facing numerous dilemmas such as George getting marmite on his Thermosuit and putting it in the washing machine as a space station threatens Grimsby with certain doom, (Mission Impossible) George's father Seamus coming to stay, (Old Man Riverdance) then George organising Janet's birthday party. (The Party's Over)

Next door lives Tyler, a deluded man who believes many fictional elements are true. He is also the only person who can tell George is Thermoman. Hindering George and Janet's relationship are her parents Ella and Stanley who think George is a foolish idiot and that Janet should marry the smug and vain Dr. Piers Crispin, her boss at the Health Centre; unfortunately Janet cannot tell them how George is the most perfect person she could be with. Janet's colleagues at the Health Centre are Piers, who loves himself and fame even more than he loves Janet (if he does), and the cruel and vindictive Mrs. Raven who is mean to all except Janet. Helping George with his problems mostly concerning his Ultronian heritage is his cousin Arnie Kawolski, a foolish crook who had his superhero powers relinquished by the Ultron Council for charging for rescues. First he runs a snack bar in Brooklyn, New York (My Hero) then in Series 2 he moves to a casino in Las Vegas. (Christmas)

Near the end of an eventful series 2, with George's secret being revealed to Ella and Stanley (but not for long), (Parents) an old flame of George's coming from Ultron to marry him, (Girlfriend) Arnie temporally coming back as Polarman (Car) and a schoolmate of George's possessing Piers' body for revenge (Nemesis), Janet becomes pregnant with a half-Ultronian baby. After an extremely weird week, with Janet becoming a temporary superhero (Pregnant) and the baby being revealed to be a talking superpowered baby. (Wedding) George and Janet finally get married and name their son Ollie.

They continue to face various problems in Series 3 this time with Ollie playing a role, whether it be starting them or solving them. (Baby Talk) During the first months of his life the Sundays face George joining the Neighbourhood Watch, (Zero Tolerance) saving a Dog from Ella and Stanley, (Pet Rescue) George becoming an old man, George facing the tabloids (Shock, Horror!) and becoming green (literally), (Little Green Man) an evil clone of George wreaking havoc, (Mine's a Double) intelligence enchancing pork scratchings (A Little Learning) and a meteor headed for Earth! (A Day to Remember)

In the fourth series, change is the word, even though Ollie may be nine months old but has hardly matured. The shenanigans are now wackier than ever as George becomes a cricketer (A Sporting Chance) then dead (The Living Dead) then broke then minted (Taking the Credit), Earth becomes doomed, (It's All in the Mind) Ella, Stanley and Mrs. Raven become superheroes, (Space Virus) George becomes mayor, (The Mayor of Northolt) Ollie becomes a girl, (Big) Arnie becomes Thermoman's consultant, (The Consultant) George becomes a monkey's surrogate father (The Family Way) and with some temporal screw-ups, Janet becomes bald! (Time and Time Again)

When you think it can't get even more random, in the fifth series George and Janet get their very own forseer in the form of their new baby daughter Cassie, fourteen month old Ollie is not pleased and declares the Sunday Cold War against his little sister. This series shows George facing deportation, (Illegal Alien) the women of Northolt becoming the slaves of their husbands, (The First Husband's Club) the in-laws take away the kids, (Cassie Come Home) George has some explaining to do when the Police find the Mona Lisa in his flat. (Nothing to Hide) Janet gets a scouse accent, Piers is in a dress and Tyler is in a suit when their personalities are accidently switched by George and Arnie. (Brain Drain) George then faces Friday the 13th (Fear and Clothing) and enviromental criticism by Piers to his Thermoman persona. (How Green Was My Ollie) With cameras in his eyes, George turns life in the flat into Ultronian Big Brother (Big Bother) and the series ends as we face the most unimaginable evil ever known, Mrs. Raven's mother! (Night Fever)

The start of the final series sees George losing his body in a game of Ultronian poker, he then gets a new body in the form of James Dreyfus. Love him or hate him, the new George brings the level of weirdness to an all time high as Janet struggles to cope with what she views as an entirely new man to the one she loved. (Believe) In the sixth series, George Sunday, or Monday as he calls himself now, meets his long lost love child, (Here's One I Made Earlier) his love for Janet rivalled by the in-laws cat, (My Kingdom for a Cat) a new sidekick, (Sidekick) Ultronian religion in Northolt, (Not for Prophet) resitting his superhero theory test (Dermoman) and falling down the superhero league table. (Top of the Table)


EpisodesEdit

Series 1 - 2000Edit

see Main article

Series 2 - 2001Edit

see Main article

Series 3 - 2002Edit

see Main article

Series 4 - 2003Edit

see Main article

Series 5 - 2005Edit

see Main article

Series 6 - 2006Edit

see Main article

Six series of the programme were broadcast, with the first beginning on February 4th, 2000, and the last concluding in September 10th, 2006. Over six series, 51 30-minute episodes were broadcast along with a Comic Relief special. The show was created by a team of writers, a trait that is typical of most American sitcoms - British sitcoms are traditionally created by one person, with the assistance of other writers. The main team of writers used for the series include head writer Paul Mendelson, alongside Paul Mayhew-Archer, Paul Alexander, Simon Braithwaite, Gary Lawson, John Phelps, Ian Brown and James Hendrie. All 51 episodes were filmed at Teddington Studios in Middlesex, in front of a live studio audience. However, as several segments of the show were created with CGI effects, not all of the footage required for each episode was filmed this way. Footage shot on-location was regularly recorded in Pinner, Middlesex. Some of the episode titles take a pun on other titles - for example, How Green Was My Ollie is a pun on the novel How Green Was My Valley, and The First Husbands Club is a pun on the movie The First Wives Club.

CancellationEdit

Throughout the first five series, when Ardal O'Hanlon played the main role, ratings were consistent enough for further series to be commissioned by the BBC, with some episodes reaching 10m viewers. However, when O'Hanlon announced he was to leave the part, he was replaced James Dreyfus, in a storyline in which George loses his human identity in a game of poker. The change of main actor proved unpopular with viewers, with ratings becoming so bad that the show was moved from a prime-time Friday evening slot to a back-bench Sunday lunchtime slot on the final episode. The show was later cancelled in September 2006[1]. A Facebook campaign was launched in an attempt to get O'Hanlon to return to the show - it was unsuccessful.

Spin-offEdit

Ever since My Hero's cancellation, rumours of revival of the show have appeared. Before Series 5, a (unreleased) pilot for a German remake of My Hero was produced, but a series was never produced. [2]

MerchandisingEdit

  • At present, three seasons of the programme have been released on DVD, series 1 and 2 have been released in America whike series 3 has been released.
  • In an interview with Paul Mendelson dated March 2002, several months before Series 3, the possibility of a novel or magazine based on My Hero was brought up. Paul also mentioned thinking of merchandise like lunch boxes. Despite this, no merchandise like that has been produced. [3]

BroadcastersEdit

  • My Hero's home channel was BBC One.
  • In the UK, digital channel G.O.L.D., formerly UKTV Gold, regularly re-run the series, however, the last series has yet to air on the channel.
  • In the United States, PBS are currently airing back-to-back episodes of the series. The series was also shown on BBC America for a short period, however, it has since been dropped from the schedule.
  • In Australia, UKTV offer re-runs of the first three series.
  • BBC Entertainment provides repeats for Scandinavia.

DVD ReleasesEdit

Season Episodes Original Release Date Re-Release Date
Season 1 6 January 16, 2007 Spring 2011
Season 2 7 August 7, 2007 Summer 2011
Season 3 10 October 7, 2002 Winter 2011
Season 4 10 N/A Spring 2012
Season 5 10 N/A Summer 2012
Season 6 7 N/A Winter 2012

ReferencesEdit

External linksEdit

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