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Legacy of the Silver Shadow – The Feral Element (2002)

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clip A 1950s 'costumed crime fighter' education content clip 1, 3

Original classification rating: G. This clip chosen to be G

Clip description

When they meet The Silver Shadow (Tayler Kane) for the first time, Josh (Alex Hopkins), Alex (Hannah Greenwood), Campbell (Aljin Abella), and Gretel (Sage Butler) find his being a 1950s superhero funny and old-fashioned. He realises that he must be dead, and must have lost the final battle to his evil archenemy The Crab. Meanwhile an old man (Ronald Falk) is trying to talk to his bored granddaughter Fiona (Eloise Mignon). He has some surprises for her.

Curator’s notes

This is an entertaining set-up as the two sides, good and evil, begin to regroup after 50 years to fight their battles again. Editing creates parallel time and stories. The positioning of Fiona and her old cardigan-wearing, wheelchair-bound grandfather at this point links them with The Crab – initially perhaps an incongruous connection but as we see more of him, his malevolence emerges.

Teacher’s notes

provided by The Le@rning FederationEducation Services Australia

This clip shows scenes in which a 1950s superhero, the Silver Shadow, and his archenemy, The Crab, are revealed to the people who will carry on the struggle between good and evil. The clip opens with four young people reviving the recorded 'memory’ of the dead superhero, who is shocked by their youth and ignorance of his exploits. The action cuts to an old man in a wheelchair (The Crab many decades on) who uses his 'neural desequencer’ to focus his bored granddaughter’s attention on the evil legacy he is about to bestow.

Educational value points

  • The scenes in this clip represent the orientation stage in the storyline of an episode in the children’s television series 'Legacy of the Silver Shadow’. In an imaginative text such as this, the orientation introduces the story. It identifies the characters, locates the settings and establishes the timeframe. The orientation stage is usually followed by a complication and then a resolution.
  • Various techniques are used to introduce the characters. The four young people and the Silver Shadow are introduced through an exchange of questions and answers at their first meeting. The Crab’s introduction is both ironic and subtle. The appearance of a helpless old man in a wheelchair is preceded by the Silver Shadow’s dramatic announcement that his archenemy is 'now ruling the world unopposed’ and a spinning disk with the Silver Shadow motif on one side and The Crab motif on the other.
  • 'Legacy of the Silver Shadow’ forms part of the 'superhero’ genre that includes comics, animations, movies and television series. Although the scenes shown are from an early part of the episode, they nonetheless contain enough visual clues, such as The Crab’s unassuming disguise, and direct spoken references for the viewers to recognise the genre.
  • The 'super’ status of certain characters shown in the clip is partially established by visual clues, such as the technologies at their command, but is confirmed by the script. The Silver Shadow describes himself as a 'crusader against injustice, protector of the innocent’. In the superhero genre, a 'superhero’ is always motivated by a high moral purpose. The grandfather is impressed by his granddaughter’s 'gifts’ as a 'problem child’. An 'archenemy’ always admires bad behaviour.
  • In the clip the Silver Shadow draws a distinction between a 'superhero’ and a 'costumed crime fighter’. This is an in-joke that might not be evident to a young audience. In the superhero genre, a character who shares many characteristics of a superhero such as a distinctive costume but lacks superhuman powers is often called a costumed crime fighter. Superman, for example, is a superhero while Batman is considered a costumed crime fighter.
  • The clip sets the stage for the handing on of superhero and archenemy identities. In the superhero genre, it is not unknown for an identity to be passed on to another person. A character, often a family member, takes on the name or mission after the original character is unable to continue. So the granddaughter Fiona will become Crab Girl. It is rare in the genre for a team of children to take over a single individual’s identity, as is about to happen with the Silver Shadow.
  • The second half of the clip showcases the work of Ronald Falk in the role of The Crab. Falk, an actor with a career spanning more than 45 years, has appeared in nearly 30 productions including 'Blue Heelers’, 'All Saints’ and the play 'Weary – The Story of Sir Edward Dunlop’.
  • 'Legacy of the Silver Shadow’ was produced by the Australian Children’s Television Foundation. As described on their website, the Foundation is a national non-profit organisation dedicated to writing and producing high-quality television programs for Australian children, providing them with entertaining media made especially for them.

Thanks to the generosity of the rights holders, we are able to offer A 1950s 'costumed crime fighter' from the television program Legacy of the Silver Shadow – The Feral Element as a high quality video download.

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australianscreen is produced by the National Film and Sound Archive. By using the website you agree to comply with the terms and conditions described elsewhere on this site. The NFSA may amend the 'Conditions of Use’ from time to time without notice.

All materials on the site, including but not limited to text, video clips, audio clips, designs, logos, illustrations and still images, are protected by the Copyright Laws of Australia and international conventions.

When you access australianscreen you agree that:

  • You may retrieve materials for information only.
  • You may download materials for your personal use or for non-commercial educational purposes, but you must not publish them elsewhere or redistribute clips in any way.
  • You may embed the clip for non-commercial educational purposes including for use on a school intranet site or a school resource catalogue.
  • The National Film and Sound Archive’s permission must be sought to amend any information in the materials, unless otherwise stated in notices throughout the Site.

All other rights reserved.

ANY UNAUTHORISED USE OF MATERIAL ON THIS SITE MAY RESULT IN CIVIL AND CRIMINAL LIABILITY.

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