Supertrain: The Show That Almost Derailed A Network

By | August 13, 2021

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Source: (MeTV).

In 1977, ABC found success with The Love Boat, a show which followed a particular pattern: each episode had three storylines, with one storyline focused solely on the crew, and the other two working in stories of the passengers. NBC tried to capture some of that success, using a different vehicle though.

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The interior of the train. Source: (Pinterest).

A Train With A Discotheque

Supertrain, which aired on February 7, 1979, takes place on, you guessed it, a train. This train is no ordinary train though; it is a nuclear-powered bullet train with some rather unusual amenities. It has a swimming pool, shopping center, gym, library, and medical center. And of course, a discotheque. I am not sure why you would need all of that on a train which can travel from New York City to Los Angeles in 36 hours, since it has a top speed of 250 mph. However, the train cruises along at a mere 190 mph, which makes it slower than some trains around the world. Logistically, this didn’t work either, since it should have taken fewer than 36 hours to make the trip. It does, however, make stops in Chicago, Denver, and a fictitious town in Texas. Just like The Love Boat, the show has multiple intertwining storylines; as one review in Vanity in 1979 stated, “it’s a ‘Love Boat’ on wheels which has yet to get on track.” However, The Love Boat focused on love, while Supertrain attempted to create suspense stories. That was not so easy.