The police dispatcher in whatever small town this is really enjoys her job. This time out, the teen vandals who had earlier caused a small fire in the school have climbed the fence at the power plant and started some special effect business with cartoon lightning bolts. The dispatcher radios the sheriff and, proving definitively that you can steal a scene without being in it, ends her transmission by emoting “two kids are trapped… and Sheriff, they are in trouble!”
The vandal who wants to do the right thing is played by Danny Bonaduce, in what appears to be his first job after The Partridge Family ended its four-year run. I wonder how this would have been promoted to the Tiger Beat audience of teen girls in 1975. The episode seems to have originally aired on October 11 that year, but I wonder whether all of Bonaduce’s fans – and they were legion at the time – would have got the word to tune in that morning specifically.
When my daughter was younger and enthralled by non-threatening teen boys like Drake Bell, she would know about every guest appearance such idols would make in any program, because the channels like Nick or Disney would promote these stars’ appearances relentlessly for a couple of weeks. I don’t remember any kind of ads like those on Saturday mornings in the seventies, and think that the Teen Dream mags of the day would just have a blurb about “a forthcoming episode of so-and-so, Saturday mornings on your local CBS station,” because they probably didn’t know what day it would air before they went to press. What’s the point of casting a celebrity if you can’t target his fan base? Things were different then.
Speculation about such matters is far more interesting than this very preachy, very talky episode. Captain Marvel even cautions the audience – I mean, the trapped kids – about messing around with electricity and not to copy what we just saw him do. Captain Marvel is indestructible. You are not. Remember this, and do not try to imitate him.