1 9 9 7 – 2 0 0 0 (USA)
68 x 60 minute episodes
The 1989 film Honey, I Shrunk the Kids was a brilliant display of special effects blended with sharp comedy and plenty of adventure. It was also a box-office success. Less so the subsequent sequels Honey, I Blew Up the Kids (1992) and Honey, We Shrunk Ourselves (a 1997 direct-to-video effort), which were mediocre at best. So it’s puzzling that the producers of this syndicated television series thought there was still any mileage left in the franchise.
Wayne Szlinski (Peter Scolari in the Rick Moranis role) lived at 6808 Bonnie Meadow Court in the small Colorado town of Matheson and was married to Diane (Barbara Alyn Woods) and the father of 16-year-old Amy (Hillary Tuck) and Nick (Thomas Dekker). They also had a dog named Quark.
Wayne worked as a research scientist for Jen Tech West Labs, a company whose motto was “Exceptional Living Through Expensive Technology.”
But his real joy was tinkering in his attic at home with ingenious inventions – such as the Shrink Ray, the Time Hopper (for travelling through time) and the Igloo of Health (a plastic isolation bubble) – which backfired more often than not.
As a college student, Wayne had discovered a strange, glowing metal while exploring a cave. Alien in nature, the metal produced extraordinary power and enabled him to invent items no one else could. He called it “Szalinskism.
Diane was a successful lawyer with Coleman and Associates who often became the “victim” of one of Wayne’s inventions when it backfired (becoming a gorgeous but evil Egyptian queen; reverting back to a 16-year-old girl; ageing far beyond her years; speaking in rhymes).
Amy attended Matheson High School, where she was a member of the Spartans’ basketball team. Nick (short for Nicholas) attended Matheson Elementary School, where he was a member of the Science Club He was very smart and actually understood the logic behind his father’s inventions.
Other regular characters included police chief Jake McKenna (George Buza) and Wayne’s boss, H. Gordon Jennings (Bruce Jarchow).
The series was filmed in Calgary, Alberta (Canada), and each hour-long episode was a misadventure that went beyond the shrinking concept used in the films by means of a selection of special effects that enhanced time-travel sequences, alien encounters and cloning scenes.
Peter Scolari died in 2021, aged 66.
Barbara Alyn Woods
Chief Jake McKenna
H. Gordon Jennings