God bless the ’90s.
Though it was initially cancelled by NBC after the low ratings of the first season, “Baywatch” was of course revived and went on to become a smash hit in the 1990s. Eleven seasons of the original series aired between 1989 and 2001, and the show spawned both a spin-off series and three direct-to-video films. A brand new feature film starring The Rock is headed our way in 2017.
The most interesting of the spin-offs was “Baywatch Nights,“ a series that premiered in 1995. Starring David Hasselhoff, the show gave beloved character Mitch Buchannon a new gig: the basic idea was that he was a lifeguard by day, in the core series, and a private investigator at night, in the spinoff. In the debut season of “Baywatch Nights,” Buchannon went up against thieves, drug dealers, business moguls, and kidnappers, and the ratings for the spinoff series weren’t so hot. And so, for the second of only two seasons, the creators decided to go crazy with the idea.
Season two of “Baywatch Nights” was very obviously inspired by the success of “The X-Files,” and this time around, Buchannon wasn’t squaring off with burglars and murderers but rather werewolves, aliens, and homicidal spirits. The horror/sci-fi-themed season kicked off with the episode “Terror of the Deep,” which pit Buchannon up against a goddamn sea monster.
I’m not even kidding. Check out this plot crunch:
In the second season opener, Mitch and Griff investigate a sunken freighter where they fight for their lives against an unknown force and realize that the freighter might have been sunk by a New Guinea sea monster according to a woman they found floating in the ocean near sunken wreckage of her sailboat.
Here are some other episode plots, to show just how wacky the series got…
During a normal day at Baywatch, Mitch rescues a young man, named Jake, from drowning, and he soon gets involved in a complex X-Files-type plot line where Jake has a connection with the Roswell UFO incident in the 1940’s.
Investigating strange events at a nearby campsite, Mitch and Ryan enter a cabin and find themselves transported back in time to a 1890’s brothel in New York with an ax/knife wielding killer planning to murder everyone involved.
Mitch and Ryan witness a murder committed by a stark, staring, mad woman, called Francesca. Ryan does some investigating and becomes more and more convinced that Francesca is a very real vampire who has chosen Mitch as her next victim.
“Frozen Out of Time”:
Mitch, Ryan and Griff investigate strange incidents in which two frozen 900-year-old Vikings arrive in Los Angeles from Iceland for thawing, and they immediately come to life and restart their feud.
A mummy comes to life and stalks the employees of a museum warehouse, where Ryan takes the events seriously, but Mitch doesn’t for he surprisingly does not believe in mummies or curses.
Yeaahhh. Shit was crazy.
It’s interesting to note that brothers Chad and Carey Hayes served as executive story editors for the second season of “Baywatch Nights,” and they also wrote many of the episodes. The Hayes brothers went on to write a handful of horror films including House of Wax (2005), The Reaping, Whiteout, and most recently, The Conjuring and this year’s The Conjuring 2.
Check out the Season 2 premiere below and then watch Mitch battle more monsters!