Deadly Games

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Deadly Games
GenreScience fiction
Created byPaul Bernbaum
S.S. Schweitzer
Anthony Spinner
Directed byJim Charleston
Christopher Hibler
Christian I. Nyby II
Leonard Nimoy
StarringJames Calvert
Christopher Lloyd
Cynthia Gibb
Stephen T. Kay
Composer(s)Dennis McCarthy
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
No. of seasons1
No. of episodes13
Producer(s)William S. Kerr
Production location(s)California
CinematographyBilly Dickson
Editor(s)Bill Butler
Terry Kelley
Running time60 min.
Production company(s)Shaken, Not Stirred Productions
Rumbleseat Productions
Viacom Productions
DistributorParamount Domestic Television
CBS Television Distribution (current)
Original networkUPN
Original releaseSeptember 5, 1995 (1995-09-05) –
July 17, 1997 (1997-07-17)

Deadly Games is an American action science fiction television series that appeared on UPN as part of its 1995 season. The basic plot of the show is about video game characters that come to life, re-enacting their deadly plans for wanton destruction and world domination in the real world. The series was produced by Viacom Productions. Much was made that Leonard Nimoy was executive producer, creative consultant and directed the pilot.


The first episode introduces the protagonist, Dr. Gus Lloyd, an Antimatter physicist, engineer and video game designer who has created a live-action game in his spare time to exert his indignant feelings about people in his life who have all made his life hell on Earth (his father, his ex-wife's mother, his ex-wife's divorce lawyer, his ex-girlfriend, his former employer, a high school football-Quarterback bully, his old camp counselor, etc.); the villains of the game are modeled after all these people. The master villain is Jackal, who is a combination of the devil and Gus' father. The Jackal wears a vanilla-white ice cream suit and drives a Chrysler convertible to match.

The hero is "The Cold-Steel Kid," a warrior trying to save the dying world, dons commando wear, and is naturally modeled after Gus himself, and the sometime helplessly captive, sometime active heroine ingenue The Kid is always trying to rescue — "The Girl" — is based on Lauren Ashborne, Gus' ex-wife (wearing the kind of dress of a "Damsel in distress").

In an accident involving an experimental laboratory project, Jackal and the villains step out of the game and into the real world to cause the apocalyptic carnage and domination they were programmed to for the game.

Each week, one of the villains tries to carry out an evil plot according to the rules of the video game, and Gus, Lauren, and Gus' friend Peter Rucker try to defeat and destroy said villain. Almost indestructible and superhumanly strong, each villain is programmed with specific weapons and weaknesses based on that villain's "theme"; e.g., "Killshot's" Achilles' Heel was being sprayed with water, The Boss would "fire" people with exploding pink slips and his weak link was red ink, The Evil Shirley's was dirt and she would be wiped out by having a house fall on her, The Camp Counselor would get burned by being hit with charcoal and would be killed off by an arrow shot right through his own bulls-eye, The Practical Joker could only be defeated by his master prank being foiled, The Divorce Attorney was a being that sucked up electricity and distributed it in the form of lightning bolts, The Motivational Speaker literally ate bologna and killed people with a gun that ejected audiocassettes and would reduce them to nothing but his audiotape, and he could only be destroyed by eating his own words. He could be slowed down with shots from a paintball gun.

Another weekly bad guy was a corrupted car mechanic that tasered people with a calculator and would be destroyed by seeing his own reflection. And of course, The Garbage Man was damaged by cleaning products and The Orthodontist (as well as his assistant) had an aversion to sugar. All the henchmen were instantly obliterated—going up in smoke and blue light when the Jackal's evil weekly master scheme was foiled. The Jackal's own vice was being hit with a baseball—the very one autographed by Bobby Mercer that Gus got from the only baseball game he ever went to with his own father. Jackal is present in every episode, commanding the other villains and vexing the heroes, usually with a glass of champagne in hand.



The following characters appear in every episode:

Guests: One-time villains[edit]

Each of the following characters appears in only one episode:


No.TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air date
1"Killshot"Leonard NimoyPaul Bernbaum,
Anthony Spinner
September 5, 1995 (1995-09-05)
Mild-mannered scientist Gus Lloyd has a hobby that allows him to blow off steam: He designs video games, and bases his bad guys on people who bug him. But a freak accident occurs, unleashing the sublimely sinister Sebastian Jackal and his minions on the real world. First up is a Quarterback who plans to help The Jackal to kill Gus and Lauren and blow up everyone at the Super Bowl.
2"One Mean Mother"Jim CharlestonPaul BernbaumSeptember 12, 1995 (1995-09-12)
Jackal enlists the aid of "Evil Shirley," who's patterned after Lauren's mother, to help plant a bomb on a cruise ship that Lauren's real mom and her fiancé are on.
3"The Boss"Christopher HiblerLee Goldberg,
William Rabkin
September 19, 1995 (1995-09-19)
Jackal and the evil video version of Gus's first boss plan to blow up a gasoline truck — with Lauren's ex-fiancé behind the wheel.
4"The End of the Jackal"Burt BrinckerhoffPaul BernbaumSeptember 26, 1995 (1995-09-26)
Jackal's real-life model is revealed as the super villain sets his sights on the destruction of "the family," with a park and a maternity ward primary targets. Meanwhile, Peter believes he's found a way to put the supervillain back into the game for good, but his actions may have cost Gus and Lauren their lives in the real world as well.
5"The Camp Counselor: Part 1"Jim CharlestonJack BernsteinOctober 3, 1995 (1995-10-03)
Just when Gus though it was safe, Jackal exercises his power from within the computer, sending the "Perfect Woman" (Kathy Ireland) into the real world, followed by Gus's sadistic childhood camp counselor, who plans to blow up a Marine base with a rocket.
6"The Camp Counselor: Part 2"Jim CharlestonJack BernsteinOctober 10, 1995 (1995-10-10)
Gus rescues Lauren from her imprisonment in the computer, but in the process releases Jackal and the other bad guys — including the evil camp counselor Chuck, who embarks on a mission to blow up a Marine base commander.
7"The Practical Joker"Adam NimoyPaul BernbaumOctober 17, 1995 (1995-10-17)
Practical joker Danny Schlecht enters a new character into the game who (a) plants a bomb in Gus's VCR, (b) drugs Lauren and Peter and puts them in a compromising position, and (c) meets Jackal — who's not sure how to treat this new villain.
8"The Car Mechanic"Christopher HiblerLee Goldberg,
William Rabkin
November 7, 1995 (1995-11-07)
In the midst of a wicked heat wave, Jackal throws a monkey wrench into Gus's life in the form of car mechanic Ross Logan, who aims to derail a train; meanwhile, Detective Dorn (Sam McMurray) gets closer to the truth about the game.
9"The Divorce Lawyer"Christian I. Nyby IIKate BoutilierNovember 14, 1995 (1995-11-14)
Gus is shocked to learn the latest villain is Lauren's divorce lawyer, currently charged with 10,000 volts and aiming to electrify the Supreme Court Justices' chairs, unless Gus and Lauren can ground the amped-up attorney first.
10"The Motivational Speaker"Christian I. Nyby IIJed SeidelNovember 21, 1995 (1995-11-21)
A slick, motor-mouthed motivational speaker spells trouble when he drives a wedge between Gus and Peter, then embarks on a nefarious plan to poison the New Year's Eve ball at Times Square.
11"The Trash Man"Neema BarnetteCraig TepperJanuary 2, 1996 (1996-01-02)
When Gus is awakened by the sound of garbage can lids banging together, he realizes that another level of the game has begun. Meet The Trash Man, a filthy adversary armed with radioactive sludge who is out to destroy the sites of all of Gus and Lauren's most magical moments. Armed in turn with the cleaning products they know will slow the villain down, Gus, Lauren and Peter go on a chase that takes them through a museum to a Las Vegas motel and, ultimately, the Hollywood Bowl.
12"Dr. Kramer"Bruce BilsonPaul BernbaumJanuary 9, 1996 (1996-01-09)
Dr. Kramer, The Orthodontist, plans to pump laughing gas into the comedy club. At the same time, Lauren's comedian friend is attempting to make a comeback. Dr Kramer is defeated early on and Sharon, The oral Hygienist, continues to carry on the task.
13"The Ex-Girlfriend"Max TashPaul BernbaumJuly 17, 1997 (1997-07-17)
Belinda, the leather-clad Ex-Girlfriend, wants to revenge herself on all men. She can only be defeated by a golden ball.

DVD release[edit]

On June 11, 2018, Visual Entertainment released the complete series on DVD in Region 1 for the very first time.[1]


External links[edit]