Picks and Pans Review: Deadly Games

updated 09/04/1995 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 09/04/1995 AT 01:00 AM EDT

UPN (Tuesdays, 8 p.m. ET)


An absentminded physicist whose specialty is antimatter (James Calvert) likes to take his mind off his recent divorce by designing realistic video games filled with people he doesn't like. But then, during a freak laboratory accident, his onscreen bad guys stroll into the real world, bent on destruction. Holy virtuosity! They are led by the nefarious Sebastian Jackal (Taxi's Christopher Lloyd, who seems to have inherited Ricardo Montalban's tropical-knit wardrobe from Fantasy Island for this role).

Now, Calvert must save the world with the grudging assistance of his ex-wife (Cynthia Gibb of Diagnosis Murder) and his research assistant (Stephen T. Kay). The result is a flimsy but cheerful fantasy. It may prove diverting for youngsters, but adults will find it long-winded and rinky-dink. The pilot, directed by TV's paragon of logic, Leonard Nimoy, features former San Francisco 49ers and Los Angeles Raiders fullback Tom Rathman as an evil flunky. He's still wearing shoulder pads, and his hair, incredibly, has gotten even shorter than in his buzz-cut playing days.

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