The New Adventures of Beans Baxter
|The New Adventures of Beans Baxter|
|Created by||Savage Steve Holland|
|Country of origin||USA|
|No. of seasons||1|
|No. of episodes||17|
|Running time||25 minutes|
|Original run||July 18, 1987 – November 28, 1987|
The New Adventures of Beans Baxter is an adventure/comedy television series that aired between 1987 and 1988 on the Fox television network. It was created by Savage Steve Holland who also wrote and directed most of the 17 episodes. The title character is played by Jonathan Ward, who won a "Best Young Actor Starring in a New Television Comedy Series" Young Artist Award for the role.
The show revolves around the spy activities of Benjamin "Beans" Baxter Jr., a Kansas teenager who just moved with his parents and younger brother to Washington, D.C., as part of his father's reassignment as (Beans assumed) an employee of the U.S. Postal Service.
Beans witnesses his father's (presumed) assassination via a bomb placed in his postal vehicle, then gets hired by the mysterious "Number Two" (played by Jerry Wasserman), an agent/second-in-command of The Network, a CIA-styled spy agency with its own delivery system similar to the U.S. Postal Service (the system of delivering assignments to Network agents via those famed green USPS mailboxes is a parody of the similar system seen on the 1960s spy comedy Get Smart).
The main nemesis of The Network is the evil organization UGLI (the Underground Government Liberation Intergroup), headed by the equally evil Mr. Sue (played by Kurtwood Smith, best known for playing "Red" Forman on That 70's Show many years later) and comedian Taylor Negron as his second-in-command henchman.
Shortly after settling in his new hometown, Beans struck up a friendship with an all-around guy nicknamed "Woodshop" (Stuart Fratkin) and his love life began in earnest when he later met a beautiful student nicknamed "Cake Lace" (played by Karen Mistal). In one episode, former Miss Universe Shawn Weatherly played herself (the opening scene was Beans catching her in the shower naked and trying to escape from UGLI's chief henchman, who wanted to kidnap her as part of an unknown experiment).
The cast included: Rick Lenz as Beans' dad (Benjamin Sr.), former child star Elinor Donahue (Father Knows Best) as mom Susan, Canadian teen actor Scott Bremner as Scott (aka "Scooter", Beans' younger brother), and occasional guest appearances by Wendy O. Williams (lead singer of the NY-based punk-metal group the Plasmatics) as Beans' part-time friend/enemy in the spy world.
|Nº||Title||Directed by:||Written by:||Original air date|
|1||"Beans' First Adventure: Part 1"||Savage Steve Holland||Savage Steve Holland||18 July 1987|
|Beans Baxter is a teenager who, after his family moves to Washington D.C., becomes a secret agent. In the premiere episode, Beans witnesses his father's abduction. To be continued...|
|2||"Beans' First Adventure: Part 2"||Savage Steve Holland||Savage Steve Holland||18 July 1987|
|3||"Beauty and the Beans"||Savage Steve Holland||Savage Steve Holland||25 July 1987|
|Darla surprises Beans with a visit at the same time he's asked to house a gorgeous Soviet agent.|
|4||"Beans for President"||Savage Steve Holland||Savage Steve Holland||1 August 1987|
|An assignment to save the President's daughter interferes with Beans' candidacy for class president of his high school.|
|5||"Beans and the Satanic Backwards Masking Conspiracy"||Savage Steve Holland||Savage Steve Holland||8 August 1987|
|Beans investigates whether messages on records played backwards have a part in Number One's son's behavioral changes.|
|6||"Beans' Wicked and Awesome Adventures at College"||Savage Steve Holland||Savage Steve Holland||15 August 1987|
|A case of mistaken identity hampers Beans' ability to discover if a student radical is involved with UGLI.|
|7||"Beans in Ski Heck"||Mary Beth Fielder||Martin Olson,
Mary Jo Pritchard
|22 August 1987|
|On a ski vacation, Beans accidentally uncovers a scheme to kidnap diplomats.|
|8||"There's No Place Like Omsk"||Savage Steve Holland||Savage Steve Holland,
Mary Jo Pritchard
|12 September 1987|
|Beans meets with Svetlana, a defected Russian double agent who is severely homesick.|
|9||"Beans Finds His Dad But...: Part 1"||Savage Steve Holland||Savage Steve Holland||26 September 1987|
|Beans locates his kidnapped father, but Mr. Sue hampers the rescue effort.|
|10||"Beans Finds His Dad But...: Part 2"||Michael E. Steele||Savage Steve Holland||3 October 1987|
|11||"Beans' Unpleasant Introduction to Modern Science"||Savage Steve Holland||Savage Steve Holland||10 October 1987|
|HAP, a robot Beans is testing for the government, runs amok, attacking children and animals, and ruining a meeting with Darla.|
|12||"Beans Goes to Camp"||Savage Steve Holland||Savage Steve Holland||17 October 1987|
|After UGLI steals a nuclear warhead, Beans goes undercover at a parasailing camp to find it.|
|13||"A Nightmare on Beans' Street"||Savage Steve Holland||Savage Steve Holland||31 October 1987|
|Beans and his friends are set upon by a deadly pumpkin sent by UGLI's leader, Mr. Sue, and the Pumpkin Princess.|
|14||"Beans' Home Life Gets UGLI"||Savage Steve Holland||Savage Steve Holland,
|7 November 1987|
|Hoping to coerce Beans' father to talk, an UGLI agent tries to get a photograph that will make it appear Mrs. Baxter is having an affair with him.|
|15||"Beans' Under the Weather"||Tom Rowe||Savage Steve Holland,
|14 November 1987|
|After Scooter invents a weather-making machine for a science fair, UGLI schemes to use it for their own ends.|
|16||"Beans Gets His Driver's License (and It Isn't Pretty)"||Tom Rowe||Savage Steve Holland,
|21 November 1987|
|UGLI agents Jack and Henry attempt to stop Beans from getting his driver's license.|
|17||"Beans in Jungleland"||Savage Steve Holland||Savage Steve Holland||28 November 1987|
|Beans infiltrates the Bad Seed gang when his brother, Scooter, is falsely accused of making drug sales.|
The series was filmed entirely in and around Toronto, Ontario, Canada(in the episode "Beans Gets His Driver's License(And It Isn't Pretty)", the world-famous CN Tower is featured in the background). The show's theme and soundtrack was performed by jazz trumpeter Maynard Ferguson.