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THE MIDDLEMAN

middleman_cb_tv_inescapability middleman_cb_doomsday middleman_cb_tp_imperative middleman_cb_panuniversal middleman_tv_m3 middleman_tv_m1 middleman_tv_m2 middleman_cb_sv_inevitability
 
Full Name: Clarence Colton and Wendy Watson
Nationality: American
Organization: Unnamed Agency
Occupation Agent

Creator: Javier Grilla-Marxuach
Time Span: 2005 - 2014

ABOUT THE SERIES

The Middleman is an agent for O2STK.

That strange acronym breaks out to the "Organization Too Secret To Know". It's important to note that this name is not - repeat, not - the official name. If there is an official one, we do not know it and neither does the Middleman. The acronym was created by the Middleman and his colleague, Ida, because, well, they had to call it something and since whoever is in charge did not bother to give their or its name, a substitute was thought up.

Regarding the organization itself, well, no one knows anything about it including those we meet who are in it. Its purpose, at any rate, seems pretty benign as the motto of the Middleman, and one would assume the organization, is "fighting evil so you don't have to". What evil, you wisely ask? As the Middleman tells his potential recruit, "You know how it is in comic books, how there's always lots of mad scientists, androids and robots, all trying to either destroy the world or take it over? Well, it really does happen like that." That kind of evil.

To do this evil-fighting, O2STK learns about the trouble (how? no idea!) and then passes it on to Ida (more on her later) and Ida tells the current Middleman who handles it. Problem on one side, victims on the other, with the Middleman being the, well, man in the middle. Or woman.

The current Middleman is named Clarence Colton although it is a long time after meeting him that we learn that piece of information. We learn right away that he is a former SEAL who was released due to insubordination (that's all we know) and obviously chosen soon thereafter to become the new Middleman. He is tall, strong, rugged, handsome, dashing (not sure what that really means) and dedicated to his work. He is hardly ever flustered. He almost never swears and admonishes his training for her 'potty mouth'. He drinks several glasses of milk a day as he was taught.

Each Middleman picks his or her own replacement and sees to that person's training. We meet the current Middleman's prospective one in the first adventure. In fact, we meet the lovely and seldom flustered herself Wendy Watson before anyone else and we watch her as she sits as a temp receptionist at a lab whose catchphrase is "re-scrambling your DNA". An oops there produces a very icky looking butt-monsters who snatches up Watson in a tentacle to eat her. She grabs a pair of scissors and defends herself just before Middleman shows up to put the creature down. He was so impressed by how she did not go nuts that he offers her a job with him. 

That is when he introduces her to Ida. Ida is described as a cranky librarian. She/It acts the part perfectly. Note the pronoun use there. She is a she because It choses to do so. Ida is a "soulless android from outer space" picked by O2STK to interface with the Middleman. She can connect to any electronic device. She can come up with oodles of cool and bizarre weapons. Apparently she used to be able to change her appearance and personality to match any situation but then something went goofy and now she is stuck as we see her.

With Ida's help and direction, the Middleman and Watson are always on the move fighting really nasty things to save us all.

Good Lines:
- When introduced to a computer-enhanced gorilla in a lab, Wendy Watson comments, "Genius primates - because that's a problem that needed solving".

TELEVISION


Number of Episodes:13
First Appearance:2008
Last Appearance:2008
Network:ABC Family

REGULAR CAST
Matt KeeslarClarence Colton/The Middleman [ 1 ]
Natalie MoralesWendy Watson [ 1 ]
Mary Pat GleasonIda [ 1 ]
Brit MorganLacey Thornfield [ 1 ]

1 The Pilot Episode Sanction
Episode S1-1, first aired 06/16/2008
Director: Jeremiah Chechik
Writer: Javier Grillo-Marxuach

Wendy gets recruited by a secretive agency after they see her threatened by a body parts monster and still remains cool. Her first assignment with the Middleman is getting to the bottom of Genetically Enhanced Gorillas who first are going to take out the mob and then take over the world.

2 The Accidental Occidental Conception
Episode S1-2, first aired 06/23/2008
Director: Michael Zinberg
Writer: Sarah Watson

A Terra Cotta Warrior is brought back to life, sending The Middleman and Wendy on a mission into the underworld to stop him before he can kidnap the last living heir of the Qin dynasty. Should they fail, fire will rain down on the Earth for a thousand years.

3 The Sino-Mexican Revelation
Episode S1-3, first aired 06/30/2008
Director: Jeremiah Chechik
Writer: Javier Grillo-Marxuach

Wendy is tasked with picking up martial arts master, Sensei Ping from the airport but inadvertently causes both he and The Middleman to be captured, the fate of the world put in danger. The episode is based on the second volume of the ""Middleman"" comic.

4 The Manicoid Teleportation Conundrum
Episode S1-4, first aired 07/07/2008
Director: Jeremiah Chechik
Writer: Tracey Stern

The Middleman & Wendy are faced with the disappearances of rich people with too much plastic surgery. In fact, they are aliens whose appearance only allows them to live in places like Beverly Hills, where everybody looks like them.

5 The Flying Fish Zombification
Episode S1-5, first aired 07/14/2008
Director: Allan Kroeker
Writer: Andy Reaser

Once again, a mad man is trying to take over the world, this time, using Peruvian flying fish that create a zombie army that craves trout. The first wave of the zombie attack is by trout craving model types with great bodies.

6 The Boyband Superfan Interrogation
Episode S1-6, first aired 07/21/2008
Director: Norman Buckley
Writer: Jordan Rosenberg

Everyone suspects that there's something subversive about boy bands. In this case, this boy band is not only capable of creating warp holes, but are willing to sacrifice the Earth to pull off their nefarious intergalactic crime.

7 The Cursed Tuba Contingency
Episode S1-7, first aired 07/28/2008
Director: Jeremiah Chechik
Writer: Hans Beimler

A cursed tuba that survived the sinking of the Titanic now becomes a dangerous tool capable of causing a whole shipload full of innocent people to ""Drown in the icy waters of the North Atlantic"" unless the Middleman & Wendy figure out a way to stop an immortal man.

8 The Ectoplasmic Panhellenic Investigation
Episode S1-8, first aired 08/04/2008
Director: Jeremiah Chechik
Writer: Sarah Watson

The Middleman and Wendy have to deal with disembodied Sorority Girl ghosts who have only a drag-wearing fraternity boy as their interpreter to find out who is waging war on the Greek system with world domination next on the agenda!

9 The Obsolescent Cryogenic Meltdown
Episode S1-9, first aired 08/11/2008
Director: Michael Grossman
Writer: Tracey Stern

Due to the apparent resurfacing of ""The Candle"", an arch villain from 1969, Ida unfreezes the '69 version of the middleman (Kevin Sorbo), supposedly to thwart the threat.

10 The Vampiric Puppet Lamentation
Episode S1-10, first aired 08/18/2008
Director: Sandy Smolan
Writer: Andy Reaser

The Middleman and Lacey have inadvertently brought vampire puppets Vlad and his bride, Lizzie, to life and with the Middleman under Vlad's control, it's now up to Wendy alone to prevent the vampires from unleashing ""the eternal night of blood"".

11 The Clotharian Contamination Protocol
Episode S1-11, first aired 08/25/2008
Director: John Kretchmer
Writer: Margaret Dunlap

When Ida turns evil after being infested with nanobots, Wendy and The Middleman must take drastic measures to stop her.

12 The Palindrome Reversal Palindrome
Episode S1-12, first aired 09/01/2008
Director: Guy Norman Bee
Writer: Jordan Rosenberg

Wendy is sucked through a black hole and transplanted into an alternative universe and must find her way back.

13 The Doomsday Armageddon Apocalypse
Episode S1-13, Unaired
Director: Unknown
Writer: Javier Grillo-Marxuach

While the episode was never filmed, the show's cast have performed a live reading of the episode script during the 2009 San Diego ComicCon. When Wendy and the Middleman discover they are being bugged via Wendy's tennis bracelet, the suspicion immediately falls on Tyler, however, a far more nefarious plot unravels involving Manservent Neville, mind-controlling networks of uMasters and the purification of mankind. This graphic novel, The Middleman: The Doomsday Armageddon Apocalypse, is intended to act as the TV series finale.

COMIC BOOKS, GRAPHIC NOVELS, AND MANGA

Number of Stories:6
First Appearance:2005
Last Appearance:2014

1 The Trade Paperback Imperative The Trade Paperback Imperative
Published by Viper Comics
Contributors: Javier Grillo-Marxuach (writer), Les McClaine (artist)
Copyright: 2005

Trade paperback 4-part miniseries.
Wendy Watson is a temp at A.N.D. Labs when a giant tentacled ass monster breaks free and starts attacking. The Middleman shows up to handle it and is impressed at how cool she remained throughout. Watson is invited to join the organization. Her first mission is to stop a mad scientist who created a group of genetically engineered apes to take over the world.
The titles for the original parts are:
The Temporary Employment Sanction
The Secret Recruitment Ultimatum
The Experimental Simian Identity
The Primate Domination Factor

2 The Second Volume Inevitability The Second Volume Inevitability
Published by Viper Comics
Contributors: Javier Grillo-Marxuach (writer), Les McClaine (artist)
Copyright: 2006

Trade paperback 4-part miniseries.The great martial arts expert Sensei Ping is coming to town to train Wendy Watson and she is sent to pick him up at the airport. Then a Mexican gang attacks and kidnaps him and later the Middleman to make Ping stand trial for the death of their former leader, wrestling champ El Sapo Dorado.
The titles for the original parts are:
The Entering Dragon Conundrum
The Winnebago Interrogation Contingency
The Sino-Mexican Revelation
The Gilded Amphibian Supremacy

3 The Third Volume Inescapability The Third Volume Inescapability
Published by Viper Comics
Contributors: Javier Grillo-Marxuach (writer), Les McClaine (artist)
Copyright: 2007

[plot unknown]

4 The Doomsday Armageddon Apocalypse The Doomsday Armageddon Apocalypse
Published by Viper Comics
Contributors: Javier Grillo-Marxuach (writer), Les McClaine (artist)
Copyright: 2009

[plot unknown]

5 The Pan-Universal Parental Reconciliation The Pan-Universal Parental Reconciliation
Published by Viper Comics
Contributors: Javier Grillo-Marxuach (writer), Les McClaine (artist)
Copyright: 2014

[plot unknown]

MY COMMENTS

What an amazing, highly enjoyable romp of a spoof of spy-fi and sci-fi and, well lots of different -fi's, really. I remember sitting down for the first episode and wondering, 'what the dickens?' That was followed as the episode ended with, 'Oh, I hope there's more!'

There was a bit more but as is almost always the case when I like a show, especially when it is a bit quirky, it did not last.

But at least it had a bit of a resurgence in the pages of the terrific comicbooks that came afterwards.

As a spy series, it was - unusual. As a fun series, it nailed it.


GRADE

My Grade: B

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