Milestone Monday: ‘Human Target’ 1992 and 2010

"Human Target" title card (Courtesy: FOX TV)

He is the guy: the name to go to when there is no else to help you.  His name is Christopher Chance, and he is The Human Target.  

Based on the DC Comics character, Human Target premiered on ABC on Monday, July 20, 1992 before moving to its regular Saturday night spot.  The series starred Rick Springfield as Chance, a Vietnam veteran who seeks redemption by protecting people in danger.  As the Human Target, Chance is a master-of-disguise: taking on the identities of his clients, trying to find out who wants them dead and why.  With the support and aid of his close-knit crew on the hi-tech Blackwing, Christopher Chance travels the world on a mission to save lives.  Described as The Equalizer meets Mission: ImpossibleQuantum Leap and The A-Team, ABC’s Human Target missed its mark with summer viewers, and was canceled after just seven episodes.

In January 2010, FOX was seeking a potential successor to 24 with Human Target as a mid-season replacement – this time, with Mark Valley as Chance, a private security expert who becomes a vest for his clients: working with a cover and blending in the background in order to make the client vulnerable for the sole purpose of rooting out the threat to his/her life.  As the Human Target, Chance embarks on the crusade to save people as penance for his sins: living by the belief that no one deserves to die.  This Human Target definitely had promise and potential as 24 meets The Equalizer and The A-Team. Sadly,this one only lasted two seasons on FOX.

Nevertheless, both of these shows paved the way for CBS’ Person of Interest (2011-16)with Jim Caviezel as John Reese, a former CIA operative recruited by a mysterious billionaire software genius (Michael Emerson) to prevent violent crimes, and protect the innocent and irrelevant.  Caviezel had a small guest role on the 1992 series.

In the fall of 2016, CW’s Arrow aim higher in season five with Wil Traval (Marvel’s Jessica Jones) as the “Human Target”: taking on the identity of then-Star City mayor Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell) in order to draw out Tobias Church (Chad Coleman).

More than a private detective/bodyguard, Christopher Chance is the jack-of-all-trades as the Human Target: the mercenary with a heart of gold, the knight in shining armor, the ultimate action hero.

Video courtesy: ABC Television

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