|YMMV • Radar • Quotes • (Funny • Heartwarming • Awesome) • Fridge • Characters • Fanfic Recs • Nightmare Fuel • Shout Out • Plot • Tear Jerker • Headscratchers • Trivia • WMG • Recap • Ho Yay • Image Links • Memes • Haiku • Laconic|
Supertrain was an hour comedy-drama series, aired as a midseason replacement in 1979 by NBC. An attempt at emulating ABC's success with The Love Boat, Supertrain was essentially the same show, with the Pacific Princess swapped out for the titular "Supertrain", a super-broad gauge, nuclear-powered bullet train that could cross the United States from coast to coast in 3 days.
The show was an abject disaster for NBC, who had produced the series by itself and spared no expense in building both the elaborate sets and the complex, fragile model trains (one of which crashed during production and had to be replaced at great cost). Worse yet, once the series premiered, viewers simply weren't interested; attempts to Retool the series by adding more suspense elements failed, and the series left the air in July 1979 after running only 5 months.
It's often been named the biggest flop in US television history, not just because of the derivative content, but because it also came so close to taking NBC down with it. It's never been released to syndication or home video, and this is unlikely to change anytime soon.
Supertrain provides examples of the following tropes:
- Bigger on the Inside: Apparently.
- Camp Gay: The train's hairstylist, right down to the hairdryer belt holsters.
- Cool Train: The main reason for the show's huge budget.
- Follow the Leader: A pretty shameless ripoff of The Love Boat.
- Just Train Wrong: See above.
- Precap: As appropriate for its era. Had the benefit of showcasing the numerous celebrity guest stars for each episode.
- Strangers on a Train Plot Murder: One episode featured a literal "Strangers on a Train" plot with Dick Van Dyke as the psycho who suggests a murder swap with another passenger.
- The Seventies: The WHAT-ies? I can't hear you over the Disco Funk!
- Traintop Battle: Shockingly enough.