Season 2, Episode 3, Storyline A – “Doctor Fright”
Original Airdate: October 1, 1977
Short Synopsis: “A warm summer night falls on Metropolis, but, unknown to the citizens below, a strange visitor is headed their way.” – Narrator
Doctor Fright is not what you’d imagine he’d look like. He looks to me a lot like Benedict Cumberbatch as Sherlock Holmes, with a little bit of Inspector Gadget thrown in.
The Super Friends are told of this dastardly deed, and Superman and Wonder Woman are dispatched to try and help.
You know, if you’re going to basically have a villain with the same M.O. as Batman’s Scarecrow, why not just have it be Scarecrow? While I know it wouldn’t have allowed me to mention the name Benedict Cumberbatch, which is one of my most favorite names, I don’t see how that would have had any bearing in the 1970s when this episode was being made. So weird.
For a man named after it, you don’t seem to understand the concept of fear.
Doctor Fright is making everyone afraid of everything because he thinks when people are afraid, they won’t commit crimes. “Total peace on earth,” he exclaims to himself.
I know I’ve lived a pretty sheltered life, but even the brutal beatings I’ve seen bees and spiders take at the hands of screaming people has shown me that terrible things can happen when people are afraid.
I always think they can’t top themselves, and then they do.
You know, sometimes, I sit here, watching this ridiculous show, and I think, maybe I could be doing more with my time. Maybe I could help people, or plant a tree, or volunteer more. But, then, while I ponder my life choices, Superman gets sprayed with fear gas, and becomes a quivering blob of wimp because he’s afraid of a house cat.
And my faith is restored.
Then, they go to the Metropolis Science Institute. Somehow, the scientist there knows exactly what the antidote is and gives it to Superman, who is just a mess after the ordeal of seeing a cat and climbing a ladder.
Then, he vaccinates them or something, so that they are no longer affected by the gas.
The Real Hero
Superman and Wonder Woman, freshly inoculated, show up at the blimp again. When Doctor Fright tries to spray them with the gas, again, this time it doesn’t work, and they turn the tables on him, even though that probably should have happened the first time too since they’re in a small enclosed space:
P.S. I’m posting Super Friends outtakes on the Cannibalistic Nerd Facebook page. So, if you need a mid-week Super Friends pick-me-up, that’s the place to get it.
If you would like to see these shenanigans for yourself, Season 2 is available on DVD.