Tremors (TV series)

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Tremors: The Series
Tremors TV.jpg
Title card for the series
Format Science Fiction
Created by Brent Maddock
Nancy Roberts
S.S. Wilson
Starring Victor Browne
Gladise Jimenez
Marcia Strassman
Lela Lee
Dean Norris
Michael Gross
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 1
No. of episodes 13
Production
Running time 43 minutes
Broadcast
Original channel Sci Fi Channel
Original run March 28 – August 8, 2003 (2003-08-08)
Chronology
Preceded by Tremors 3: Back to Perfection

Tremors: The Series is a 2003 television show based on the Tremors franchise. Originally airing out of order on the Sci-Fi Channel, it was later aired in its proper sequence on the G4 Network.

Plot[edit]

The story for the TV series picks up from where Tremors 3: Back to Perfection leaves off. It follows the residents of Perfection Valley attempting to co-exist with a graboid (El Blanco), while dealing with problems caused by failed government experiments, mad scientists, or ruthless real-estate developers. When aired by the SyFy Channel, the series was shown out of order, with Episode 1 ("Feeding Frenzy") and Episode 6 ("Ghost Dance") shown on the premiere night. The second episode produced, "Shriek and Destroy" was the final episode shown. This out-of-order airing required the re-editing of various episodes. Changes included a new opening sequence for Episode 5 ("Project 4-12"), which aired as the 8th episode. This episode also introduced the character Cletus Poffenburger (played by Christopher Lloyd). The re-edited episode explained Cletus' appearance in a flashback sequence, occurring prior to Episode 6/"Ghost Dance", which had actually aired as the second in the series.

Cast[edit]

Cast Actor Character
Main Michael Gross Burt Gummer
Victor Browne Tyler Reed
Gladise Jimenez Rosalita Sanchez
Marcia Strassman Nancy Sterngood
Lela Lee Jodi Chang
Dean Norris W. D. Twitchell
Recurring J. D. Walsh Larry Norvel
Christopher Lloyd Cletus Poffenberger
Robert Jayne Melvin Plugg
Sarah Rafferty Dr. Casey Matthews
Tinsley Grimes Mindy Sterngood
Branscombe Richmond Harlowe Winnemucca
Richard Biggs Roger Garrett
Nicholas Turturro Frank

Episodes[edit]

Episodes are listed in the order they were originally broadcast. However, the Sci-Fi Channel did not like the episode "Shriek and Destroy" and aired "Ghost Dance" in its place. Various other episodes are also aired out of order.[1]

Episode # Orig. order Title Director(s) Writer(s) Airdate
1 1 "Feeding Frenzy" Bradford May S.S. Wilson, Brent Maddock & Nancy Roberts March 28, 2003 (2003-03-28)
Tyler Reed, new owner of Desert Jack's Graboid Adventure, arrives in Perfection and must help Burt Gummer determine why El Blanco is eating far more than he should. Meanwhile, Melvin Plug is trying once again to buy out Perfection, this time to erect a strip-mall called "Melville." Twitchell nearly forces Burt to kill El Blanco, but Burt spots a weird glinting light and shoots that instead, destroying the device that is driving El Blanco insane with hunger. The goon Melvin hired to do this demands payment after barely evading Burt and summons El Blanco when Melvin refuses, but is eaten by El Blanco before he can do anything else. Melvin is discovered by Burt, who scolds him, despite Melvin maintaining his innocence. Back in town, everyone accepts Tyler as part of the Perfection family.[2]
2 6 "Ghost Dance" Whitney Ransick S.S. Wilson & Brent Maddock March 28, 2003 (2003-03-28)
Rosalita encounters a green cloud in an abandoned silver mine and thinks that it is a ghost, while her hired hand believes it to be the Coyote spirit. However, after miners are found to be severely dehydrated, Burt, with Twitchell and Tyler investigate the mine to discover the gas themselves. Barely managing to escape from the cloud by using a bottle of water as a decoy, everyone regroups and Cletus, a scientist who previously worked in a laboratory near where the cloud is, deduces that it is a hydrophilic bacteria that was a project of the lab. However, after it was boarded up, it must have fell into a container of Mixmaster, a compound that blends non-human DNA originally used to created living weapons for the government. Knowing that it will be drawn to the town for moisture, they decide to trap it in a special container using a makeshift vacuum cleaner built by Tyler and Cletus. The National Guard is sent to evacuate them for a napalm bombing, but Jodi and Rosalita stall them by summoning El Blanco and using him to block the road. Thanks to a distraction by Nancy and Cletus, the men are able to finish the makeshift device and Tyler sucks the creature in. They then have Twitchell send it away for proper government storage. However, Cletus brings bad news as that the cloud spread Mixmaster throughout the area it traversed and soon the wildlife and plant life will merge into new creatures.[3]
3 7 "Night of the Shriekers" P. J. Pesce John Schulian, Brent Maddock, & S.S. Wilson April 4, 2003 (2003-04-04)
A government team in Perfection is training shriekers for rescue missions. But a storm shorts out the devices controlling them, and the shriekers run rampant, killing most of the team. The three shriekers multiply and each original shrieker leads its own group. The Perfectionites prepare to hunt down the Shriekers before they can multiply or get out of the valley, but are resisted by the project's lead scientist, who wishes to recapture them instead. Knowing better, the locals lure the creatures into a trap at Burt's home and start killing them. The scientist, however destroys Burt's ammo, to stop them. This forces Nancy, Twitchell and Jodi to flee to the safe room, but end up stuck thanks to a bullet wedged in the hinge. The scientist flees to her truck, where she tries to coax one of the original into it, however its control collar is off, causing it to kill her and the driver. The last group tries to sneak up Burt's escape tunnel after trying to dig down into the bunker. After learning this due to a shrieker tearing into the safe room from the tunnel, Nancy throws a bomb into the tunnel killing the last of the Shriekers.[4]
4 3 "Blast from the Past" Michael Shapiro Babs Greyhosky April 11, 2003 (2003-04-11)
Things start going screwy when Tyler finds a foot near the side of the road and a hang-glider. Later, Burt and Tyler discover a delivery truck and the remains of the man who was supposed to be delivering Nancy's new kiln. With these attacks, Burt deduces that an Ass-Blaster is on the loose. However, before he and Tyler can go to work and kill the thing, two people from Vegas arrive. They reveal themselves to be hired hands for Sigmund and Ray, the magicians to whom Nancy sold the Ass-Blaster to in Tremors 3, to recover their Ass-Blaster, Messerschmitt, after poachers failed to kidnap it. However, they severely screw up their first attempt to capture the Ass-Blaster and one of the hired hands nearly dies. Realizing it is now too smart to be fooled by a ground trap, Burt decides to use a hang-glider to launch a snack for Messerschmitt. They end up successful and tie up Messerschmitt. Burt hands it over to Sigmund and Ray's hired hands to be returned to Vegas.[5]
5 9 "Flora or Fauna" Chuck Bowman S.S. Wilson & Brent Maddock April 18, 2003 (2003-04-18)
An over-eager tourist named Larry Norvel wants to see El Blanco (Even going as far as to rent out an entire trip for himself), but is met with disappointment. Meanwhile, the Perfectionites discover a strange, plant-animal hybrid created by Mixmaster, as well as a government team sent to study Mixmaster's effects on the valley. However, some of the team are killed by the highly powerful "stomach acid" of the hybrid, leaving their skeletons behind. At the end of the episode Larry asks Cletus about time travel experiments, a nod to Christopher Lloyd's previous role as Doc Brown of Back to the Future fame and they seem to get along well while talking about the concept. The Mixmaster plant is finally killed by Tyler using poison just before it can spread seeds, but one seed survives in Larry's car. However, when it falls to the ground, it is squashed underfoot by Burt, destroying the mutant plant for good.[6]
6 4 "Hit and Run" P.J. Pesce Christopher Silber April 25, 2003 (2003-04-25)
A Las Vegas mobster brings his disbelieving friend, Frank, to Perfection to see El Blanco in person. However, this backfires on him when he goes too far in trying to bring El Blanco out and ends up eaten alive. To make matters worse, he held the key to a bank vault his mob was planning to rob. Frank vows revenge on El Blanco and to retrieve the key after calling in backup from a sinister member of the mob. However, things backfire yet again for the third mobster when El Blanco accidentally launches a harpoon through him due to Burt interfering with them. Frank vows to get the key back and tries again to kill El Blanco, but he is driven away by Burt. However, Frank is stuck to a rope El Blanco swallowed and is being dragged along as his punishment. Burt and Tyler later find evidence that he escaped eventually though.[7]
7 8 "A Little Paranoia Among Friends" Michael Grossman Babs Greyhosky June 20, 2003 (2003-06-20)
Over the last six months, people in Toluca, New Mexico, led by radio personality Cecil Car, have believed that aliens are responsible for the disappearances. However, it is actually a Graboid eating people. Knowing better than the idiotic townsfolk, Twitchell sends Burt and Tyler to investigate. However, the townspeople think a government conspiracy is going on and Burt has been sent as a government plant to cover it up. This wounds Burt greatly as he hates the government just as much as they do. Burt takes his mind off of this by imagining his "maiden voyage" with his M82A2, but still has to put up with the UFO-crazed locals' misguided prejudice and downright stupid rules about aliens. The townsfolk go as far as disabling the seismographs Burt sets up to track the Graboid, believing them to be some kind of government devices to repel aliens. Ultimately Tyler makes up a story that the graboid is an evil alien and in a final showdown, Tyler kills it with Burt's M82A2, leaving Burt disappointed. The people of the town accept them as heroes and Burt goes along with their paranoia of him being a government agent while accepting their thanks (while threatening Tyler never to mention this to anyone again).[8]
8 5 "Project 4-12" Chuck Bowman John Schulian June 27, 2003 (2003-06-27)
The story of the Perfectionites' first meeting with Cletus Poffenberger. When Project 4-12 escapes and runs wild in the valley, Cletus, Burt and Tyler hunt down the beast. In the meantime, Cletus reveals that 4-12 was a creature he created using Mixmaster and that his violent outbursts were from a lack of a certain chemical he could no longer find due to the violent natures of the animals 4-12 was made of. After a long hunt, Burt is forced to kill 4-12 with a homemade flamethrower, much to Cletus' sadness. 4-12 is given a proper burial by the townsfolk, hoping to cheer Cletus up a bit, allowing him to join the town's population.[9]
9 10 "Graboid Rights" P.J. Pesce Christopher Silber July 1, 2003 (2003-07-01)
Animal rights activists (including Nancy's college dropout daughter Mindy) arrive in Perfection to force the townspeople to leave, thinking they are harming El Blanco by being there. Meanwhile, El Blanco starts going mad for some unknown reason, even going to territories it normally avoids. It is ultimately revealed that one of the activists was poisoning El Blanco to prove her story for the head of the activists, but El Blanco accidentally swallows a fatal dose when he eats the lackey she had leaving the poison and beaches himself in town to die. Burt and the doctor manage to create an antidote and El Blanco is saved by Mindy who tosses it into his mouth with her softball skills. With El Blanco saved, the activists leave town and Mindy is returned to college after dumping the activist leader whom Twitchell has arrested for all the acts of vandalism and sabotage he had committed.[10]
10 12 "The Sounds of Silence" Michael Shapiro Babs Greyhosky July 18, 2003 (2003-07-18)
Mixmaster has created a deadly swarm of mutated insects that infest the valley and kill a herd of horses and two construction workers. Making matters worse, El Blanco is even scared enough of these bugs to head toward the mountains to stay alive. Meanwhile, since Burt is out of town, Tyler must work with a woman who seems to have a lot in common with the survivalist, even though she claims they would dislike each other in person. Also, Larry is back, apparently to stay. Working together the three trap the bugs in road tar using termite mating calls and kill them by lighting them on fire with gasoline. As a said nuisance, the townsfolk have to put up with Larry, who has decided to move to Perfection as it suits his taste in weirdness. After Larry helps kill the bugs, Nancy allows him to stay in Mindy's old room for a while, but plans to kick him out when he can't find and/or build a place of his own.[11]
11 13 "The Key" P.J. Pesce John Schulian, Christopher Silber & Brent Maddock July 25, 2003 (2003-07-25)
Frank the mobster returns to Perfection to continue his quest to kill El Blanco and retrieve the key he swallowed along with Deloris, Max's old wife (and now his girlfriend) and an inventor Deloris is tricking into helping them with a sonic weapon to stun El Blanco. Meanwhile, Larry encounters a strange creature in a barn and calls it "Invisibat" as it is exists, but can't be seen. In the final battle, Deloris is driven to El Blanco by Larry and the Invisbat and is eaten alive, while Frank runs away. He gets picked up by a mobster and is brought to Chicago to be killed for his incompetence in failing a simple mission. Meanwhile, Larry finds the key in graboid dung and puts in a collection of metal detector findings, unaware of its true value.[12]
12 11 "Water Hazard" Chuck Bowman Nancy Roberts August 1, 2003 (2003-08-01)
Melvin has opened a golf course near Bixby called the Oasis. But its lagoons are filled with water stolen from Perfection Valley's water table and are contaminated with Mixmaster, which create a giant shrimp that kills three people. Tyler and Rosalita get involved when, in desperate need of money, Rosalita takes a job at the golf course and Tyler, in the same situation, does the same, investigating the creature. Tyler is blamed for the death of two officers and spends the night in jail due to ignorance to monsters existing. There he encounters the driver who stole the water who reveals to him where he got it. Eventually, Burt gets the sheriff, an old friend of his, to let Tyler go, but is furious that Tyler tried to take care of the situation without him. Tyler ends up having to deal with it himself while Burt's gone and lays a trap with Rosalita and Twitchell's help in the river and kills the monster shrimp with dry ice as they can't afford to let it into the rest of Bixby's water and contaminating it. Twitchell even helps by driving his car into the river to create a barrier against the shrimp. Afterwards, Rosalita yells at Tyler and Burt, reminding them that they're partners and haven't been acting as such. The two men make up and Burt, who has earned a lot of money from a lecture he just gave, refuses half the reward money, saying Tyler earned it. The two then remind Rosalita that only the three of them know the truth about where Melvin's Mixmaster came from and he would be desperate to cover that up. Rosalita uses this to blackmail Melvin for thousands of dollars in the end.[13]
13 2 "Shriek and Destroy" Jack Sholder S.S. Wilson & Brent Maddock August 8, 2003 (2003-08-08)
Burt and Tyler are contracted (and haggled) by Twitchell to go to Juniper, Arizona and eradicate a herd of shriekers that has appeared. But when the Fish and Wildlife Service send their top agent in, the operative dismisses Burt and Tyler from their job and heads to take out the remaining Shriekers. After successfully killing 5 of them, the operative takes the sole surviving Shrieker to a grain mill to be guarded until armed transport arrives to take it for studying. At the town's Pioneer Day festival, the operative informs Twitchell of his success, but Burt and Tyler become enraged when they learn what he did. After scolding the operative, Burt heads to the mill, where the agent is eaten by the now army of Shriekers before escaping into a large pipe. Burt figures out that it leads to the fair, but he and Tyler run out of bullets. This prompts them to head to the house in town that has a "famous" gun collection, but it turns out to be civil war muskets. When the local baseball team shows up, Burt organizes them into a firing squad that successfully kills all the shriekers. Burt returns to perfection where Nancy names the recording of their adventure "Shriek and Destroy" and Tyler is grilled by Jodi and Rosalita for being distracted by the Ms. Juniper while recording and then being punched by her boyfriend.[14]

The original intended order of the episodes is the following, this is also the order of the episodes on the DVD set.

  1. Feeding Frenzy
  2. Shriek and Destroy
  3. Blast from the Past
  4. Hit and Run
  5. Project 4-12
  6. Ghost Dance
  7. Night of the Shriekers
  8. A Little Paranoia Among Friends
  9. Flora or Fauna?
  10. Graboid Rights
  11. Water Hazard
  12. The Sounds of Silence
  13. The Key

Mixmaster episodes[edit]

(DVD Version)

  1. Project 4-12 (E# 5)
  2. Ghost Dance (E# 6)
  3. Flora or Fauna (E# 9)
  4. Water Hazard (E# 11)
  5. The Sounds of Silence (E# 12)
  6. The Key (E# 13)

Production[edit]

Tremors: The Series was produced at the same time as Tremors 4: The Legend Begins. The show was mistakenly believed to be a replacement for the canceled Farscape, despite the fact production had begun prior to the cancellation of that series. Though it received high ratings, at the time, it failed to hit Farscape's demographic numbers and was canceled after one half-season of 13 episodes. Production took place at Fox Studios Baja Peninsula facilities and on locations in nearby Rosarito, Mexico.

Home video[edit]

The series was taken off iTunes in August 2007; however, it returned to the online store in September 2008. It was later made available on Hulu and through Amazon.com's Unbox video download service.

On March 9, 2010, Universal Studios Home Entertainment released the complete series on a three disc DVD set. The set contains all thirteen episodes in their original production order and no bonus features. The set also contains the re-edited version of the episode "Project 4-12" with the alternate beginning and ending scenes.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Tremors: The Series FAQ: What was the intended play order of the episodes?
  2. ^ http://web.archive.org/web/20040607203104/http://www.scifi.com/tremors/episodes/season1/01_feedingfrenzy.html
  3. ^ http://web.archive.org/web/20040607205735/http://www.scifi.com/tremors/episodes/season1/06_ghostdance.html
  4. ^ http://web.archive.org/web/20040607205838/http://www.scifi.com/tremors/episodes/season1/07_nightofshriekers.html
  5. ^ http://web.archive.org/web/20040607204350/http://www.scifi.com/tremors/episodes/season1/03_blastfrompast.html
  6. ^ http://web.archive.org/web/20040607211007/http://www.scifi.com/tremors/episodes/season1/09_florafauna.html
  7. ^ http://web.archive.org/web/20040607204612/http://www.scifi.com/tremors/episodes/season1/04_hitandrun.html
  8. ^ http://web.archive.org/web/20040607210600/http://www.scifi.com/tremors/episodes/season1/08_alittleparanoia.html
  9. ^ http://web.archive.org/web/20040607204919/http://www.scifi.com/tremors/episodes/season1/05_project412.html
  10. ^ http://web.archive.org/web/20040502051854/http://www.scifi.com/tremors/episodes/season1/10_graboidrights.html
  11. ^ http://web.archive.org/web/20040607203306/http://www.scifi.com/tremors/episodes/season1/12_soundsofsilence.html
  12. ^ http://web.archive.org/web/20040607203750/http://www.scifi.com/tremors/episodes/season1/13_thekey.html
  13. ^ http://web.archive.org/web/20040607202829/http://www.scifi.com/tremors/episodes/season1/11_waterhazard.html
  14. ^ http://web.archive.org/web/20040607203518/http://www.scifi.com/tremors/episodes/season1/02_shriekdestroy.html

External links[edit]