Saturday, September 24, 2016

Saturday Morning Cult-TV Blogging: Shazam: "The Doom Buggy" (November 2, 1974)

This episode of the Filmation live-action Saturday morning series Shazam (1974 – 1977) is titled “The Doom Buggy,” and frankly, that’s a bit of a melodramatic title for such a pedestrian adventure.

In “The Doom Buggy,” a boy named Don decides to drop out of school, over the protests of his friend, Cathy (Lisa Eilbacher).  Don thinks he doesn’t need an education, and already has the skills to be a great mechanic.  He’s made up his mind and can’t be swayed.

Then, while driving in his dune buggy in the desert, Don has an accident and damages Mentor’s RV.  The parts that Don needs to repair the RV are an hour away, but the young man proposes a short-cut and takes Billy Batson (Michael Gray) through a span of rough desert terrain called “Perdition Flats.”

The Elders have already told Billy that “Each of us, in his own way, is a teacher,” and so when Don’s dune buggy experiences difficulties in the harsh desert, Billy showcases his knowledge.  

When the buggy becomes lost, for instance, Billy shows Don how to create a makeshift compass in the sand, using a stick and sunlight.  The Elders had already prepared him for this eventuality too, informing him that a “dark shadow will show you the light.”

And then when a fire erupts in a nearby mineshaft, Billy -- as Captain Marvel -- uses an underground spring to put out the conflagration.

At the end of this harrowing adventure, Don decides not to drop out from school…and to continue his education instead.  

The episode ends with Mentor, Don, Cathy and Billy still lost in the desert, at least until they notice that Captain Marvel has written an arrow in the sky, next to the word “Exit.”


  1. So remember kids: stay in school so you too can learn to be a superhero!

    I'm glad you covered this series. I had vague memories of a TV series involving a superhero hanging around with an old guy who drove a motorhome but couldn't figure out what it was - or indeed if it really existed or was just a confused jumble of unrelated memories - until you started reviewing it.

  2. This series brings back fond memories of Saturday mornings in my '70s boyhood. Not one of my favorite shows, but I did watch it sometimes.