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Cult TV Essentials: The Wizard

Created by Michael Berk, Douglas Schwartz and Paul B. Radin, The Wizard starred David Rappaport as Simon McKay – a genius inventor with dwarfism. It debuted on 9th September 1986 and ran for one season (19 episodes). 

McKay is known as The Wizard because he lives his life as a philanthropist and innovative toymaker, also he has dedicated his life to preserving and protecting innocence. In the first episode of the series, El Dorado, it is the wish of a Starlight Starbright Children’s Foundation recipient to meet The Wizard. CIC agent Alex Jagger (Douglas Barr – Howie in The Fall Guy) is assigned to protect Simon from the evil forces who wish to use Simon’s genius for their own nefarious purposes. Alex and Simon, alongside Darcy Stafford (Cheryl Gates McFadden – Dr. Crusher in Star Trek: TNG) on an unexpected journey, racing against the clock to find the legendary treasure of El Dorado and a missing brother whose bone marrow could save a life.

Tillie Russell (played by Fran Ryan) soon joins Simon and Alex when they save her from Simon’s self-proclaimed arch-enemy, Troyan (Roy Dotrice) who is suffering from self inflicted radiation poisoning. Instead of blaming himself though, Troyan feels he must take it out on the rest of the world! The trio foil his plans and continue on their adventures.

As the series developed the likes of Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa, Peter Kent, Hayley Carr, Al Ruscio, ben Frank, Robert Hogan, Shuko Akune, Christopher McDonald, Robert Symonds, Billy Jayne, Sarah Douglas, John Fujioka, Leslie Jordan, Professor Toru Tanaka, R. Emmett Fitzsimmons, Billy Drago, Robbie Rist, and Roddy McDowall all make appearences.

About half way through recording the series word reached those behind the show that it was to be cancelled. Despite a massive campaign to save the show which included producers making personal phone calls and sending out letters and special flyers to fans asking them to write to the CBS Television executive office to tell what the show meant to them. Letters and petitions flooded in but the show was still cancelled. Similar campaigns have been held over the years to get the show repeated, streamed or released on DVD/Bluray but to date this has never happened.



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