The Middleman is an American television series with SF elements. The series, which was developed for television by Javier Grillo-Marxuach for ABC Family, is based on the Viper Comics series, The Middleman, created by Grillo-Marxuach and Les McClaine. The series ran for one season in 2008.
Originally confirmed for an initial 13 episodes, the order was reduced to a 12-episode season due to low ratings. In February 2009, a comic book based on the unproduced 13th episode was announced, confirming the series' cancellation. Billed as a "series finale", The Middleman – The Doomsday Armageddon Apocalypse was released in July 2009. The season-one/complete series DVD set was released by Shout! Factory on July 28, 2009.
A struggling female artist is recruited by a secret agency to fight against evil forces. The pilot episode features a super-intelligent ape who escapes captivity, murders several members of the Italian Mafia, spouts a half dozen catch phrases from American movies on the subject including Scarface, Goodfellas and The Godfather, before being revealed as the pawn of the true villain.
The Middleman is a freelance fixer of "exotic problems," which include mad scientists bent on taking over the world, hostile aliens and various supernatural threats. Because of Wendy Watson's coolness under pressure and photographic memory, Ida, a robot in the form of a grumpy schoolmarm, and the Middleman recruit her to become the next Middleman. The series includes various pop-culture references, including many comic books, such as when Wendy calls herself "Robin the Boy Hostage", a quote from The Dark Knight Returns by Frank Miller, demonstrating how Robin was often kidnapped or held at gunpoint by Batman's enemies.
Wendy lives in an illegal sublet apartment with her young, photogenic, animal activist friend Lacey, across the hall from lyric-spouting Noser, and had a boyfriend in film school named Ben.
Daily Variety wrote that "this series could potentially work on any number of networks, and it's almost too smart for the room at ABC Family; nevertheless, this sprightly summer arrival should fit nicely into the evolving niche the channel established with Kyle XY." The Boston Herald gave it a B- and wrote that "all that's missing are some onscreen blurbs like 'BAM!' and 'POW!" UGO gave it an A- overall and an A for story, calling it "fun to watch." TV Guide had it as its "Mega Rave" for the week of June 15, 2008, and wrote that "It's loaded with clever banter — like Men in Black if Will Smith's character was a geeky girl."
Season 1 Episodes [Complete Series]
1.01 Pilot Episode Sanction
1.02 Accidental Occidental Conception
1.03 Sino-Mexican Revelation
1.04 Manicoid Teleportation Conundrum
1.05 Flying Fish Zombification
1.06 Boyband Superfan Interrogation
1.07 Cursed Tuba Contingency
1.08 Ectoplasmic Panhellenic Investigation
1.09 Obsolescent Cryogenic Meltdown
1.10 Vampiric Puppet Lamentation
1.11 Clotharian Contamination Protocol
1.12 Palindrome Reversal Palindrome