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The New Adventures of Beans Baxter, promotional photograph
The New Adventures of Beans Baxter was a half-hour-long television adventure/comedy (with an hour-long first episode); there were 17 episodes and they aired on the Fox television network between 1987 and 1988. It was created by Savage Steve Holland who also wrote and directed most of the episodes. The title character was played by Jonathan Ward, who won a "Best Young Actor Starring in a New Television Comedy Series" Young Artist Award for the role.

The show revolved around the spy activities of Benjamin "Beans" Baxter, Jr., a Kansas teenager who just moved with his parents and younger brother to Washington, D.C.marker, as part of his father's reassignment as (Beans assumed) an employee of the U.S. Postal Service.

Beans witnesses his father's (presumed) assassination via a bomb placed in his postal vehicle, then gets hired by the mysterious "Number Two" (played by Jerry Wasserman), an agent/second-in-command of The Network, a secret spy agency best known as the modern-day version of U.N.C.L.E. (the fictional United Network Command for Law Enforcement, but with a touch of Get Smart). Shades of the latter abound throughout the series (like agents getting their next assignments through "couriers" stationed inside those famous blue USPS mailboxes).

The main nemesis of The Network is the evil organization U.G.L.I. (the Underground Government Liberation Intergroup), headed by the equally evil Mr. Sue (played to the hilt by Kurtwood Smith, best known for playing in another Fox comedy almost ten years later (That '70s Show as "Red" Forman)), and comedian Taylor Negron as his second-in-command henchman.

Shortly after settling in his new hometown, Beans struck up a friendship with an all-around guy nicknamed "Woodshop" (Stuart Fratkin) and his love life began in earnest when he later met a beautiful student nicknamed "Cake Lace" (played by Karen Mistal). In one episode, former Playboy Playmate Shawn Weatherly played herself (the opening scene was Beans catching her in the shower naked and trying to escape from U.G.L.I.'s chief henchman, who wanted to kidnap her as part of an unknown experiment).

The cast included: Rick Lenz as Beans' dad (Benjamin, Sr.), former child star Elinor Donahue (Father Knows Best) as mom Susan, Canadian teen actor Scott Bremner as Scott (aka "Scooter", Beans' younger brother), and occasional guest appearances by Wendy O. Williams (lead singer of the N.Y.-based punk-metal group the Plasmatics) as Beans' part-time friend/enemy in the spy world.

Episode list

  1. Beans' First Adventure (Part 1)
  2. Beans' First Adventure (Part 2)
  3. Beauty and the Beans
  4. Beans For President
  5. Beans and the Satanic Backwards Masking Conspiracy
  6. Beans' Wicked and Awesome Adventures
  7. Beans in Ski Heck
  8. No Place Like Omsk
  9. Beans Finds His Dad But... (Part 1)
  10. Beans Finds His Dad But... (Part 2)
  11. Beans' Unpleasant Introduction to Modern Science
  12. Beans Goes to Camp
  13. A Nightmare on Beans' Street
  14. Beans' Home Life Gets UGLI
  15. Under the Weather
  16. Driver's License
  17. Beans in Jungleland


The series was filmed mostly in and around metropolitan Toronto, Ontario, Canada (proof:in the "Driver's License" episode, Beans is trying to obey the driving instructor's commands while being chased by a bunch of U.G.L.I. henchmen, and in one scene, the world-famous CN Towermarker is in the background). This isn't the only Fox series to be filmed in Canada: 21 Jump Street was filmed throughout the Vancouver (British Columbia) metro area. The show's theme and soundtrack was performed by jazz trumpeter Maynard Ferguson.

External links and references




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