Superheroes: A Never-Ending Battle

2013, TV Show

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The Tuesday Playlist: Super Agents and Superheroes, An Idol turned Loser

The periods are a giveaway. The more I watch ABC's lighter-than-helium super-spy romp Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., which was just picked up to no one's surprise for a full season, the more I feel thrust back to a different time, a simpler and brighter time when organizations like U.N.C.L.E. (as in, The Man From ...) held sway on TV, fighting its evil counterpart T.H.R.U.S.H. — or given the hokey jokiness of S.H.I.E.L.D., maybe a better parallel is Get Smart and KAOS (which I'm not sure used periods, though maybe should have). I'm not what you'd call a comics maven, so I can't help it that I giggled every time the word "Gravitonium" was uttered in last week's episode. Things get a tad more serious this week (Tuesday, 8/7c) when the team comes across a former S.H.I.E.L.D. agent who's apparently gone rogue — but as the episode's title ("Eye Spy") suggests, you can't always believe your (or someone else's) eyes.

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Videos

Subscription | Amazon Prime Aired: 10/15/2013

Season 1, Episode 3
From PBS - Track the enthusiasm for superheroes as they're embraced in all media and by all demographics.

Full Episode
Free | PBS Posted: 5/2/2014

Join host Liev Schreiber to trace the development of comic book heroes and their powerful legacy.

Free | PBS Posted: 5/2/2014

A web-only bonus clip from Superheroes: A Never-Ending Battle, airing in October on PBS. Check local listings for more information.

Free | PBS Posted: 5/2/2014

A web-only bonus clip from Superheroes: A Never-Ending Battle, airing in October on PBS. Check local listings for more information.

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News

The Tuesday Playlist: Super Agents and Superheroes, An Idol turned Loser

The periods are a giveaway. The more I watch ABC's lighter-than-helium super-spy romp Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., which was just picked up to no one's surprise for a full season, the more I feel thrust back to a different time, a simpler and brighter time when organizations like U.N.C.L.E. (as in, The Man From ...) held sway on TV, fighting its evil counterpart T.H.R.U.S.H. — or given the hokey jokiness of S.H.I.E.L.D., maybe a better parallel is Get Smart and KAOS (which I'm not sure used periods, though maybe should have). I'm not what you'd call a comics maven, so I can't help it that I giggled every time the word "Gravitonium" was uttered in last week's episode. Things get a tad more serious this week (Tuesday, 8/7c) when the team comes across a former S.H.I.E.L.D. agent who's apparently gone rogue — but as the episode's title ("Eye Spy") suggests, you can't always believe your (or someone else's) eyes.

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Superheroes to the Rescue on PBS

They're all the rage these days — on film, on TV, even on Broadway — but there was a time when America had no superheroes. So, just like with jazz and blue jeans, we had to invent them. The three-hour PBS documentary Superheroes: A Never-Ending Battle (Tuesday, Oct. 15) will track their evolution from the birth of Superman in the Great Depression to the powerhouse dominance of Spider-Man and... read more

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Premiered: October 15, 2013, on PBS
Rating: TV-PG
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Premise: The story of comic-book superheroes begins during the Depression and WWII years, when star-spangled heroes were in demand. The 1950s saw the genre fall under government scrutiny, however, due to its popularity with kids. Also: the flawed superheroes and socially relevant stories that emerged in the 1960s; and the popularity of superhero films, which began in earnest in 1978 with "Superman."

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