08 January 2010

Fit For A Kring

You probably know by now that I'm a fan of the 80's TV series, Misfits of Science. Well, there's a minor fallacy surrounding the show that's circulating about the 'net: It's claimed firstly that Tim Kring, the creator of Heroes, also created Misfits of Science; and secondly that he's rehashed dialogue from the earlier show and used it in Heroes.

Yes, I know it's not a huge, world-shattering misunderstanding. The world will go cycling on according to the fixed law of gravity whether or not this little non-fact persists. But I feel that it's just a little irresponsible to not have a refutation present somewhere, so here goes...

Is Tim Kring the creator of Misfits of Science?

Well, we know he isn't credited as such in the show itself. We also know that James D. Parriott and Brandon Tartikoff were behind the inception of the show [1] [2]. So, at best, Kring would have to have been a co-creator, and an uncredited one at that.

So where does this nugget of misinfo come from? Because Kring wrote an episode of Misfits of Science. Just one: "Twin Engines". But Kring barely remembers the show at all. Either he's distancing himself from the show, because he finds it embarrassing, or he wasn't deeply involved. All the signs point to him having been a writer and nothing more.

So he was involved with Misfits of Science to some degree. It's easy to see how this fact could have been garbled over time, falsely expanding his role in the series. Simply confusing the indefinite article with the definite when relating the bit of trivia - 'Tim Kring was a writer for MoS!' ... 'Tim was the writer for MoS!' - would do the trick.

Did Tim Kring mine dialogue from MoS for Heroes?

And now for the second part of the fallacy. This is mainly why I decided to bring up the issue in the first place - it nicely demonstrates how misinformation can start to snowball. Odd myths can accumulate quickly and rather messily around tiny, unassuming pseudo-truths.

The claim:

B-Side Blog

I have shocking, absolutely SHOCKING news. After a spate of late-night nostalgia led me to look up clips from the failed 1985 NBC series Misfits of Science (featuring, among others, a young Courney Cox), I discovered that Heroes may have ripped off a thing or two from this campy gem. Not only does Misfits of Science also focus on a group of young, attractive people with supernatural powers, but it features a wayward warning: "Save Adele, save the world."


For the uninformed, that line sounds suspiciously similar to the famous Heroes mantra, "Save the cheerleader, save the world." But the coincidences don't end there. Additionally, the creator of Heroes, Tim Kring, once was a writer on, you guessed it, MISFITS OF SCIENCE.

Now, I'm unfamiliar with the quote, or so-called "mantra", from Heroes, as I don't watch the show. But I do know that 'Save Adele, save the world' isn't even the line from Misfits of Science! As was pointed out by a commenter on the post I'm quoting, Dr Momquist was saying, 'Save it, El... save the world.'

There's not even anyone in Misfits of Science named Adele!

This rather silly and muddled observation was, of course, promptly repeated on other sites the next day.


The B-Side blog has uncovered something of note in NBC's short-lived, 1985 series Misfits of Science (starring a young Courteney Cox): The show is about "a group of young, attractive people with supernatural powers," and features the mantra, "Save Adele, save the world."

This time, the line of dialogue from Misfits is now being called a "mantra", as well, as though it were said many times as a hip catchphrase.


Allow us to (re?)introduce the 1985 NBC series Misfits of Science. Keep an eye out for familiar faces and slogans:


Did you catch it? What the old man said to the tiny black man at the beginning? The show centered around a group of young, attractive people with supernatural powers, one of which was Courtney Cox, and this particular episode uses the tag phrase of: “Save Adele, save the world.”

Now, it's a "slogan", and a "tag phrase"!

Now, as I mentioned, this is but a minor conflagration, and will ultimately bother... well, just me, probably; but I do find it interesting just how fast these things can spread. Furthermore, the original blog was uncritically quoted, almost verbatim, and it was up to discerning commenters to set the record straight, days later. It goes to show how strong pareidolia is - if you tell someone what they're supposed to hear before they hear it, they just might hear it - even if it's not what's really being said!

Well, that's enough beating of the proverbial deceased equine animal. Just let it be a lesson to you to always keep a critical eye open, even if it's just a bit of silly trivia you're hearing!

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