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Yeah, it's kinda like that.Tiny text
Bibleman, as he's known to his friends, is a live-action show originally starring Willie Aames of Charles In Charge
and Dungeons and Dragons
as a superhero who teaches our kids about the Good Book
without sacrificing the excitement of pulse-bounding lightsaber battles
. In its original incarnation, the series lasted from 1996 to 2004.
Aames played Miles Peterson, "who had everything: money, power, fame, until he lost it!" Throwing himself to the ground during a thunderstorm, he found a Holy Bible lying in the mud and was inspired to become Bibleman, an approachable superhero garbed in a suit of armor based on the one from the book of Ephesians. (Although the look of the suit seems to have been inspired by Batman Forever
.) Over several years he pitted his faith against
costumed losers who had nothing better to do than pick on grade school kids
the legions of Hell and surrounded himself with a group of politically correct sidekicks.
In 2004 Willie left the show to spend more time with his family (though there are a few who think someone higher on the food chain decided he had too much control over the show
) and was replaced by Robert Schlipp playing Josh Carpenter, a Younger and Hipper
Bibleman for a new generation in the reinvented Power Source
series. While less unabashedly silly than Willie's time on the show, its attempts to make Bibleman appear "cool
" to the kids at home have become more transparent, like the episodes where he learns to drive a race car or fly a jet.
Bibleman provides examples of:
- Actor Allusion: There were a lot of jokes aimed at Willie's acting career when he was around.
Bibleman: Set up a meeting for 8'clock.
Cypher: Will eight be enough?
Bibleman: Don't get cheeky.
- Affably Evil: Rapscallion P. Sinister from the Fight For Faith live show. The "P" stands for polite.
- Armor Is Useless: Despite his armor being based on principles for Christian life (particularly Ephesians 6:13-17), when his enemies actually hit Bibleman with their attacks or sin-inducing weaponry it's about as protective as wet tissue paper.
- When Josh takes race car training he's wearing his Bibleman suit but with an actual crash helmet instead of that...thing he usually has on.
- As the Good Book Says: Bibleman's real power is to call up any line from the Bible from memory at will, as well as the chapter and verse reference where it can be found. This goes hand-in-hand with the show's push to get the kids at home to memorize the Good Book to get through life.
- Breaking the Fourth Wall: The evidence indicates Willie thought this was hi-larious.
- Broken Aesop: Possibly an unintentional one. Miles Peterson, the first Bibleman, lost everything before he took on the role, rebuilding his life and finding new purpose. The lesson, that faith can carry you through difficult times, is lost when Willie Aimes leaves and Miles is replaced by Josh Carpenter, a Christian from childhood.
- Clueless Aesop: In a couple episodes Bibleman says something along the lines of people shouldn't pay attention to him, they should pay attention to God. That's all well and good, but as the show is and has always been about getting attention with a lightsaber-swinging crimefighter in the first place, it's kind of self-defeating.
- In Crushing the Conspiracy of the Cheater Biblegirl gets a message that Bibleman needs to meet with her right away. She takes the quickest route out of the building and falls into the villain's trap. You see kiddies, she took a shortcut, which is cheating. Because you have to do everything the hard way, even if you have a job where time is frequently of the essence.
- In the episode where Biblegirl's added to the cast, when the idea of adding a new member's mentioned Bibleman says that God will let them know who the right person is if He decides they need a bigger team. It's kind of hard to reconcile this with the And Knowing Is Half the Battle segments at the end of every single movie, that say anyone who accepts Jesus as their savior becomes a Bibleman or Biblegirl.
- Yeah well everybody can be a Planeteer too but not everybody gets to ride around in a solar-powered superjet.
- Diminishing Villain Threat: After a two-part episode with a villain who came dangerously close to actually beating Bibleman, our heroes spent the next three episodes (and two live shows) having to contend with the Wacky Protestor, a blue-skinned uber dork fond of Jerry Lewis impersonations and who's more a threat to himself with that lightsaber than any costumed do-gooder he might meet.
- To underline the Diminishing Villain Threat, the Protestor IS the same villain, Primordious Drool, who came so close to defeating the heroes (says Biblegirl in the Wacky Protestor's first appearance: "But I thought we got rid of him when he was Primordious!") Satan apparently downgraded him to a lesser form after his defeat in the two-parter.
- Disproportionate Retribution: Unintentional. The villains usually sneak around getting kids to mildly misbehave or putting them in temporarily foul moods. For these terrible offenses against society, Bibleman obliterates said villains with his high-tech weaponry.
- Don't Explain the Joke: Let's just say Willie could be a little too fond of slipping sly references to his acting career into scripts.
El Furioso to his bungling sidekick: I'm about two seconds away from replacing you with Scott Baio!
- Early Installment Weirdness: The earliest videos (under the Bibleman Show moniker) featured a format closer to Barney & Friends, complete with varied songs by a group of kids.
- Lampshaded later by Dr. Fear: "Oh brother, I'd rather watch Barney!"
- Edited for Syndication: When this series had aired on TBN, it received various cuts. While every episode got cuts for time, some episodes had been modernized with new soundtracks and the then current bibleman logo. In addition, the two part episode "Jesus Our Savior" was made into a three parter, and the one-part episode "Shattering the Prince of Pride" was made into a two parter.
- Evil Is Petty: The villains have no higher purpose than picking on grade schoolers and are proud of it.
- Family-Friendly Firearms: Bibleman and his sidekicks wield variants of lightsabers while his enemies generally have ray guns. Probably for the "ray guns don't really exist" reason.
- Final Battle: Every episode ends with a duel between Bibleman and a villain of the week, but on several occasions they seem to cut to a last lightsaber fight for no reason other than because it's a dramatic way to cap off the episode. Shattering the Prince of Pride is a particularly bad example where they plan to set a trap for the villain, then seem to realize there wasn't enough time left in the show to do that and just had Bibleman stomp into the villain's hideout and have a sword fight. Without, of course, removing the footage of Bibleman talking about setting a trap for the villain.
- The Gods Must Be Lazy: The villains in this show are apparently demons or at least backed directly by the Devil himself, explaining how they can repeatedly come back from being blown the hell to smithereens and call Satan on their cell phones. On the other hand there's like one time in all the years they've been doing this that Bibleman and his buddies have gotten direct aid from their divine patron.
- Hollywood Atheist: Averted far more often than you'd think. Denying God's existence almost never comes up. Rather, villains like Shadow of Doubt just convince people to doubt His omnipotence or compassion.
- Hoist by His Own Petard: In Willie's era the show went to pains to show how it was the villain's own fault he was being blown to smithereens, usually in the form of Bibleman merely using his lightsaber to bounce back the villain's own shot or some such. The new series has actually shown Bibleman going on the offensive and taking them out with a thrust from the Sword of the Spirit a couple times.
- If You Kill Him, You Will Be Just Like Him: Played with in Conquering the Wrath of Rage where the current incarnation of Luxor Spawndroth seems to be trying to maneuver Bibleman into striking him down in hatred. Lucky for him that's the one episode mentioned above where God decides to send Bibleman some direct help.
- Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain: Most villains, but the Wacky Protestor in particular.
- Invincible Hero: Averted when Willie was still in charge of everything. The show went out of its way to make sure Bibleman suffered from the same thing as the current kid in trouble to illustrate his humanity. Nowadays if any of the heroes catch the villain's bad ju-ju it's usually the sidekicks, and even then it's gotten pretty rare.
- Large Ham: All the villains, but Luxor Spawndroth in particular. Being evil looks so much fun when he's onscreen.
- Laserblade: Cuz it's kewl.
- The Moral Substitute.
- Nebulous Evil Organization: In the new series the villains from different episodes communicate with each other sometimes. In The Presence of Enemies has them form a full-blown Legion of Doom.
- No Name Given: Until partway into the new series Biblegirl and Cypher were referred to by their superhero names even if they weren't in costume. Strangely the Affirmative Action Girl meant to stand in for Biblegirl for a few episodes, Melody, doesn't get a superhero name at all. Even though they kept her on after Biblegirl returned.
- Power Levels: They don't go into detail because Bibleman and his friends get their powers from their faithfulness to the almighty, but when they ran into an enemy more powerful than they were used to they would often spit out some technobabble about how high his energy levels were.
- Put on a Bus: Coats, who "left on a top secret mission" for whoever it is they work for and hasn't been heard from since.
- They actually made it seem like he'd come back at one point only for it to turn about to be a decoy, letting Bibleman kick himself for not realizing the real Coats has one green eye and one blue eye "as an unfortunate side effect of his ancestral lineage''.
- Robo Cam: The Bibleteam wear masks that sometimes have this. 'Cuz it's kewl.
- Science Is Bad: Surprisingly averted. Both good and evil rely on super-scientific gadgets and self-aware computers.
- Initially played straight. The first episode is explicitly anti-science. However, it's no longer available, so they may have disowned it.
- Check the DVD-R Hell episode review from Brad Jones. One kid is singing about science like it's a disease that, when exposed to it, needs to be quickly disinfected with some Bible reading.
- Serious Business: It's a silly, campy (and self-aware) superhero show that teaches kids Christian values and life lessons. Yet quite a lot of people got a lot of serious issues with it. Though to be fair, sometimes it's brought on itself (See Unfortunate Implications.) Justified somewhat in the stuff they've been making since they replaced Willie, which is a lot closer to your standard superhero fare. The villains are a lot like they've always been, over the top and non-threatening, but a lot of the other silly stuff (the constant fourth wall breaking, the song and dance numbers, the overall off-the-wall goofiness) has been done away with. Bibleman's even taken out a few bad guys with a swing of his sword, whereas the Sword of the Spirit was purely a defensive/coolness-increasing implement in Willie's era.
- Strawman Political: Several of the villains, such as Wacky Protestor, who apparently thinks the best way to make people atheists is to go around burning their Bibles.
- Third Act Stupidity: In the two-part episode "Jesus Our Savior" the villain easily defeats Bibleman using a lightning bolt attack. In the final fight of the episode the villain instead opts to use his weaker, easily deflected energy ball attack instead.
- Uncle Tom Foolery: When he was around, Coats' (the original minority sidekick) main jobs seemed to be a) providing moral support for the white guy, and b) giving the white guy and the sentient computer someone to make fun of. After he left he was replaced by Cypher, whose job was to be a goofy, cocky supporter to our hero who handled his Magical Computer. This lessened over time, but still when someone on the Bibleteam needs to be the butt of a joke, odds are it'll be Cypher.
- Viewers Are Morons: In the new show the end credits seriously display Melody's name as "Melody/Mel." As if even children couldn't grasp that the one character whose name starts with "Mel" would be the one they're talking about when using the abbreviation. Particularly when the only name she has is her real one.
- Villain Song: There was usually one an episode in the pre-Power Source days.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: Luxor Spawndroth literally had a pet mouse (or rat) in Breaking The Bonds Of Disobedience that never showed up the next time he appeared.
- What Kind of Lame Power Is Heart, Anyway?: Bibleman's power is that he can instantly remember any line from scripture...and that's it. The fact that he seems to have this same ability even when out of costume implies that it isn't even a power: he just memorized the Bible.