In today’s world of Netflix, Hulu, and other streaming services, Heat Vision and Jack would have found a home and an audience. However, in 1999, when the only options were the major networks (ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox) or syndication, it never stood a chance.
There was a lot of talent behind the show:
- The titular characters: Owen Wilson as Heat Vision and Jack Black as Jack Austin
- The series “big bad”: Ron Silver as himself
- The director: Ben Stiller (who also guest-starred in the one episode that was made)
- The writers: Rob Schrab and Dan Harmon (who now write Rick and Morty)
- The theme song: Yaz’s Situation, sung by Tom Jones
The show was about the highly improbable, sci-fi flavored adventures of Jack Austin and Heat Vision:
- Jack is a former astronaut who was exposed to “inappropriate levels” of solar radiation. As a result, he gained a superpower: exposure to sunlight makes him the world’s smartest man. He’s on the run from NASA, who want to extract his brain for their own nefarious purposes.
- Heat Vision is Jack’s unemployed roommate, whose mind was transferred into his motorcycle when the series villain, Ron Silver, fired a brain-stealing ray gun at him.
- Ron Silver is both an actor and a black ops agent for NASA, charged with the task of recovering Jack’s brain. He is ruthless and seemingly indestructible.
Heat Vision and Jack was ridiculous, great fun. Thankfully, it’s been uploaded to YouTube:
And just in case you can’t get enough of that theme song: