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Edward Borman, a lowly government office drone, finds himself trapped when the deadly Mercury Men seize his office building as a staging ground for their nefarious plot. Aided by a daring aerospace engineer from a mysterious organization known as The League, Edward must stop the invaders and their doomsday device, the Gravity Engine.

''The Mercury Men'' is an indie sci-fi web serial, syndicated on Creator/{{Syfy}}'s website in 2011. Filmed in black and white, it combines elements of {{Dieselpunk}}, RaygunGothic and atomic punk, with a feel reminiscent of ''Series/TheOuterLimits1963''.

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!!''The Mercury Men'' provides examples of:

* AdventurerOutfit: Jack Yaeger wears the standard RaygunGothic version.
* AliensNeverInventedTheWheel: Apparently, the Mercury Men have sophisticated technology; they can transport between worlds and manipulate gravity. But going from planet to planet via chemical-propelled rockets is something new and threatening to them.
* AllThereInTheManual: The [[http://www.mercuryseries.com/about/ official website]] provides tons of supplementary material, including blueprints, digital props, and faux-1960’s trading cards.
* AlwaysSaveTheGirl: At a critical moment, Edward takes time from helping Jack to make sure Grace gets to safety.
* AppliedPhlebotinum: The Gravity Engine.
* BehindAStick: Edward tries this, hiding behind a narrow metal pole. [[spoiler: It's actually a ruse, to get them to fire their electrical blasts at the pole to jump-start the gravity engine.]]
* BigBad: The Chief Designer. From notes on the website, he may be Soviet top scientist Sergei Korolev, who officially died in 1966 but may have faked his death.
* BigDamnHeroes: The other League members [[spoiler: show up just when all hope seems lost]].
* BlindWithoutThem: Edward can't see a thing without his glasses.
* BrainInAJar: The "Batteries", thirteen scientists who sold their allegiance to The Chief Designer in exchange for "life indefinite".
* BrickJoke: Grace’s [[spoiler: form still needs stamping]] eight episodes later. The final fate of the brain-in-a-jar probably counts too.
* ComicStrip/BuckRogers: Edward calls Jack this in one episode. In Episode 10 there is a callback, as Edward receives a package from "Buck Rogers" containing ''Lumiére'' bullets.
* TheCavalry: The other League members.
* ChekhovsGun: It looks like the ''Lumiére'' might actually be this in the 10th episode {{cliffhanger}}.
* ColonyDrop: The Mercury Men plan to destroy the Earth by pulling the Moon into it.
* ComeWithMeIfYouWantToLive: Done silently but forcefully by Jack to Edward.
* CowardlySidekick: Edward is almost literally afraid of his own shadow.
* DeliberatelyMonochrome: Filmed in color, but with {{chiaroscuro}} lighting and then converted to black and white. The director and cameramen actually had black and white monitors to make sure they got the look just right.
* DepletedPhlebotinumShells: The ''Lumiére'''s bullets.
* {{Dieselpunk}}: Mixing Sixties Sci-fi themes with Thirties-style RaygunGothic.
* DoNotAdjustYourSet: Dr. Tomorrow takes control of a television set to give Edward a message.
* DoomsdayDevice: The Gravity Engine
* DoubleTake: Edward nearly gets shot by a near miss from Jack's gun. He glances behind him briefly to see that the bullet has hit an image of Abraham Lincoln square in the head, then does a doubletake.
* DressingAsTheEnemy: Edward's idea for getting Jack near the Gravity Engine.
* DutchAngle: Most of the film, to show how disorienting this all is to Edward.
* EnergyBeings: The Mercury Men.
* ExtraEyes: The Mercury engineers' suits have three eyeholes. Apparently the Mercury Men have an extra eye.
* ExtremeDoormat: Edward gets pushed and pulled around by Jack throughout the series.
* GondorCallsForAid: Jack calls the League for help, but is told they won't get there in time.
* GoodWithNumbers: When Jack breaks his pencil, he does the complex gravity equations in his head.
* GravityMaster: The Chief Designer.
* GunTwirling: Jack holsters his weapon with a flourish.
* Music/GustavHolst: His ''The Planets'' suite is featured throughout the series' soundtrack (possibly another shout-out to ''Film/TheRightStuff'').
* HammerSpace: Most of the things Jack pulls from his utility belt wouldn't actually fit in it.
* HardLight: The ''Lumiére'''s bullets. And the Mercury Men themselves.
* HeHadAName: Before killing the sniper that killed Glenn, Jack tells him, "You shot the wrong man. ''His'' name was Patrick Glenn. Apologize when you see him."
* {{Hologram}}: Jack uses a hologram of a Mercury man to distract a sniper.
* HumanoidAliens: The Mercury Men, also called "the first men" in the series, are humanoid in appearance, but are taller, thinner and stoop (supposedly because of Earth's greater gravity). They are also composed of HardLight and apparently have a ThirdEye.
* HumansAreSpecial: At least according to Dr. Tomorrow.
* ICantDoThisByMyself: Said by Edward, often.
* InfiniteAmmo: Averted/subverted. Although The League’s zap-gun-of-choice - the ''Lumiére'' - resembles a modified six-shot revolver, so at first glance this trope appears to be played straight, the blueprints on The Mercury Men website reveal that each of the six glowing ''mercury pin'' bullets is good for 24 shots, for a total of ''144 energy blasts per full reload!'' Finite yeah, but still -- Gene Autry, eat your heart out! It does, however, seem to run out at the most inconvenient times.
* ItMayHelpYouOnYourQuest: Jack gives Edward his gun at the end of Episode 9, [[ChekhovsGun implying he'll need it later]].
* JumpScare: [[spoiler:When the Mercury engineer appeared out of the darkness at the end of Episode 10.]]
* LeftHanging: Episode 10 ends with a CliffHanger, but [[CutShort a second season is never filmed]].
* MeaningfulName: The hero, Jack Yaeger.[[note]]WordOfGod says that Jack Yaeger was named after Chuck Yeager, even though the last name is spelled differently.[[/note]]
** Another League member is named [[TheRightStuff Glenn]].
** And the nebbish accountant who's bored with his job... Edward ''Bor''man.
*** Who was actually named after Apollo 8 commander Frank Borman.
** The leader of the futuristic League is named Dr. Tomorrow.
* MyGirlBackHome: Jack confides in Edward that he has a girl back home in Fairborn, Ohio. The Battery threatens her life later on.
* NoEndorHolocaust: Apparently this universe never heard of [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roche%27s_limit the Roche Limit.]] Possibly justified, as we don't really know how [[AWizardDidit the Gravity Engine]] works.
* NoOntologicalInertia: Averted. It's specifically stated that turning off the engine won't fix the problem. It has to be reversed.
* ObliviousJanitorCut: At least until the Mercury Men zap him.
* OurZombiesAreDifferent: A construction worker electrocuted by the Mercury Men is reanimated to carry around one of the Batteries.
* PhlebotinumHandlingEquipment: Inverted - The Mercury Engineers wear special suits not because the Gravity Engine is dangerous to handle, but because they are made of light and can't handle ''it'' without wearing the suit.
* PlayingPossum: Edward and Grace pretend to be dead as a Mercury Man walks by.
* RayGun: Jack's pistol, the ''Lumiére'', fires "mercury pin" bullets, made of HardLight. Apparently it is the only thing that can kill the Mercury Men.
* RaygunGothic: Much of the serial evokes this genre. The hero himself, Jack Yaeger, is dressed as a typical Raygun Gothic pilot: Bomber jacket, flight cap and goggles, jodhpurs and jackboots, and carrying a raygun.
* RefusalOfTheCall: After nearly being choked to death in an elevator by an alien, Edward loses his cool and stands up to Jack, refusing to go on.
* ReversePolarity: Jack has to do this to the Gravity Engine - with Edward's help - to put the moon back in its proper orbit.
* SchizoTech: The story is set in the mid-[[TheSeventies Seventies]]. But the lighting - and the monsters - looks like ''Series/TheOuterLimits1963'' (the titular Mercury Men, and the static sound they make, are very reminiscent of the "Galaxy Being" in the eponymous first Outer Limits episode), Edward's and Grace's outfits look [[TheFifties Fifties]]-ish, and Jack's outfit evokes TheThirties. And it mixes {{Dieselpunk}}, RaygunGothic, Atomic Punk, horror and other genres seamlessly.
* ShockAndAwe: The Mercury Men's main weapon.
* ShoutOut:
** A visual one in Episode six, where Dr. Tomorrow [[Series/TheOuterLimits1963 controls the transmission]].
** In Episode 10, Edward gets a package from "ComicStrip/BuckRogers" (Yaeger) full of ''Lumiére'' bullets.
** The two named league agents are [[TheRightStuff Yaeger and Glenn]]. Also, Borman. Shoutouts to the American space program.
* SpaceBase: The abandoned Mercury Men's base on Mercury.
* SupernaturalAid: Dr. Tomorrow, to Edward.
* TheWarHasJustBegun: Jack, to Edward, when he gives him his gun. "This is only the beginning. Godspeed."
* TookALevelInBadass: Well, more like half a level. While Edward does not achieve true bad-assitude, his [[spoiler: ray-gun marksmanship skills]] improve somewhat during his twelve-hour ordeal [[spoiler: (once he learns to keep his eyes open, anyway)]], as do both his willingness to put himself into harms way and his ability to think on his feet.
* TwoFistedTales: Deliberately meant to be an homage to old-time serials. "Drawing from the same retro serials that inspired such films as ''Star Wars'' and ''Indiana Jones''..., The Mercury Men reintroduces audiences to the great mystery, danger, and suspense the stories were originally known for."
* WeirdMoon: The Mercury Men try to [[spoiler: pull the Moon down to crash into the Earth]], and almost succeed. Strangely, there are none of the resultant tidal quakes, flooding and other disasters that should have happened in such an event.
** Also, the moon is always shown as full, even when it should be eclipsed by the Earth.
* WilhelmScream: A faint one, thrown in as a gag, when a green army man falls off a shelf when the gravity engine is turned on.
* WhiteCollarWorker: Edward.
* YouHaveGOTToBeKiddingMe: Words to this effect are said by Edward, several times.
* {{Zeerust}}: Jack uses a slide rule and notebook to do complex gravity calculations.

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