Friday, December 26, 2014

Biehn Scene: Adventure, Inc. & The Wave of the Future

After working with Gale Ann Hurd on The Terminator and Aliens, Michael Biehn would reunite with the prolific genre writer and producer 16 years later on Nickelodeon's time bending family adventure, Clockstoppers.  The mild success led to another collaboration with Fireworks and Tribune Entertainment's 2002 syndicated action series Adventure, Inc.  Based on the real life exploits of Barry Clifford, a renowned under water explorer who has embarked on multiple sea excursions and discovered many a sunken ship.  Promotions at San Diego Comic-Con and The Cannes Film Festival in France followed before the 22 episodes hit the air.  Filming in Canada, England and France, the show has quite the exotic yet low budget feel, rumored to be around $40 million for the series.  But since the show was pre-sold, I'm guessing that's an inflated number.

Michael Biehn stars as professional explorer Judson Cross, a treasure seeker always down to his last couple of bucks waiting for a big job.  He's joined by the beautiful Mackenzie Previn (Karen Cliche), a badass chick with a mysterious past and tech wizard Gabriel Patterson (Jesse Nilsson, View In Peace) as they trot the globe looking for artifacts and running into those who would sell them instead of putting them in a museum and those who wish for their lost cultural items to stay unearthed.  Watching a few episodes this week on DVD, number 16 of the first and only season, Wave of the Future caught my attention simply because Michael Biehn got to kick so much ass and talk so much shit in it.  After finding a Roman Plate during an Italian dive, Cross is immediately attacked by some random black market pirates but escapes.

Later, while handing the plate over to the local university museum and the sultry curator Stefi (Daniela Olivieri), he's attacked by three hoods dressed as priests(!) who steal the plate but not before The Biehn puts a whuppin' on them, slamming a head into a concrete wall, kicking one over it, etc.  Nobody steals from Judson Cross so a pissed off Biehn finds the pirate punk who stole his plate then beats his ass at a cafe.  Cross makes a deal to buy the plate back but Stefi doesn't think the risk is worth it as the plate is insured.  But nobody tells The Biehn what to do so armed with a bag of fake cash, goes to the meeting where he puts a hurting on yet another three dudes, this time using a net and oar!  Turns out the sweet Stefi was actually playing Judson and was behind the theft in the first place but ol' Biehn was too smart for her and arranges a safe escort for her, to prison!

Directed by TV veteran Chris Bould (Who's Line Is It Anyway ?, Relic Hunter) with a script by Gene O'Neil (Lois & Clark, Hercules, Spy Game(!)) and stunts by Lloyd Adams, Wave of the Future stands out as a fun episode that utilizes The Biehn Screen persona we all know and love; funny, wise ass, a ladies man and a guy ready to kick some ass.  While Hurd has had massive success with the recent zombie series The Walking Dead, Adventure, Inc. was her first foray into episodic television over 12 years ago.  Feeling that film was more of an actors and directors medium, Hurd figured TV would allow her ideas to breathe and build into something audiences would appreciate.  While Adventure, Inc. allowed Biehn and company to have some light hearted fun around the world and the series did well in the ratings, it was not picked up by enough buyers to warrant a 2nd season.  Sadly, co-star Jesse Nilsson died of complications from pneumonia in 2003.  Biehn would go on to co-star in NBC's short lived 2004 cop series Hawaii while Cliche would jump over to Fireworks and Tribune's sci-fi syndicated series Mutant X before landing on Flash Gordon.

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