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Published:February 10th, 2006 14:12 EST
Blast to the past--remember these TV shows?

Blast to the past--remember these TV shows?

By Garrett Godwin

Going to the movies, going out on a date, or hanging out with friends aren`t the only thing to do on weekends.  If you were looking for some excitement, then you probably stayed home and watch television.  Every weekend, there was action/adventure, drama, humor, scifi, fantasy, and romance.

Throughout the 1990s and beyond, Baywatch (1989-90, 1991-2001) was a guilty pleasure for everyone-- including myself.  But the world`s number-one show wasn`t the only thing to watch.  Here are some shows that gave another reason to stay home, taking you to another place-- and new worlds.

Highlander: The Series (1992-98): Based on the cult movie series starring Christopher Lambert as Connor Macleod, this small screen version stars Adrian Paul as Connor`s kinsman, Duncan.  A 400-year-old Immortal, Duncan learns about life, love, and his immortality while battling others like him that are evil.  You know the saying: there can be only one.

Hercules: The Legendary Journeys (1995-99): This tongue-in-cheek but well-loved show features Kevin Sorbo as the title character who is the son of Zeus-- half-god, half-man.  With his best friend Iolaus (Michael Hurst), Hercules fights for those that can`t defend for themselves.

Xena: Warrior Princess (1995-2001): This Hercules spinoff follows the adventures of a warrior woman once evil now determined to atone for her sins.  With her best friend, confidant, and protege Gabrielle (Renee O`Connor), Xena (Lucy Lawless) seeks redemption for her past crimes by waging war against the forces of evil while battling the evil that is still within her.

Viper (1994, 1996-99): Two years after being cancelled by NBC, the series returned as a new series with a new concept-- and a new team.  Viper follows a federal team that fights crime with the aid of a red Viper RT/10.  With the flick of a button, it becomes an silver assualt vehicle known as the Defender.  Though the new series had some good episodes, I prefered the 1994 series because it had better special effects, better storylines, and better characters.  Tagline: The perfect weapon for an imperfect future.

Earth: Final Conflict (1997-2002): Conceived and created by the late, great Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry, this show is more sophiscated than the classic 80s miniseries VEFC follows the struggle between the Taelons and the Human Resistance who are plotting to uncover the sinister motives of these "benevolent" aliens and expose them as a threat if they-- and Earth -- stood a chance to survive.

V.I.P (1998-2002): Baywatch alum Pamela Anderson scored again with this action comedy that is also tongue-in-cheek.  She played Vallery Irons, a woman with a bubbly personality who was working at a hot dog stand when, after saving a celebrity`s life at a premiere, she becomes the head and figurehead of a bodyguard agency in Los Angeles.  No matter what, she was ALWAYS in danger.

BeastMaster (1999-2002): In the 80s and 90s, there was V alum Marc Singer.  Now, it is Daniel Goddard in the title character as Dar in this small-screen version of the movie franchise.  Gifted with the ability to communicate with animals, Dar and his scholar friend (Jackson Raine) protects them and the rest of humanity from sorcery and dark forces.

Andromeda (2000-2005): Kevin Sorbo, like Pam, goes two-for-two in another series from Gene Roddenberry as Captain Dylan Hunt of the Andromeda.  With his crew of renegades, Hunt sets out to restore peace and order in the galaxy.  When they`re fighting with each other, they`re fighting evil in outer space.

Mutant X (2001-2004): Some say it is a rip-off of X-Men.  But when you watch this series, you might think again.  Whereas in X-Men, the whole world is aware of mutants, which leads to fear, prejudice, and misunderstanding.  However, in the world of Mutant X, few don`t even know that mutants exist.  Mutant X and X-Men have one thing in common: they are reluctant superheroes struggling to fit in and find their place in the world.  Mutant X follows a scientist and his team of young mutants who are results of a genetic experiment gone wrong.  Known as Mutant X, they helped one another and others like them.  While learning and dealing with their powers and mutation, they are "fighting to protect a world that doesn`t even they exist".

These syndicated shows are all about the ongoing struggles between good and evil.  If you weren`t going to find to any good movies to see in theaters or had nothing to do, then those shows were for you and me.  If you couldn`t find anything to do on the weekend still, then those shows are still for you-- and you can get most of them on DVD.  So, your weekend will be set-- and so will mine.