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Dr. Shrinker(pop culture)
Asupervillain with his own Saturday-morning television program? Who could have thought of such a thing? Sid and Marty Krofft, that's who, the prolific producing pair behind some of the splashiest TV offerings of the 1970s, from H. R. Pufnstuf to Donny and Marie. Their ambitious kid's series Dr. Shrinker, one of several live-action shorts sharing space on NBC's offbeat omnibus The Krofft Supershow (1976–1978), starred scowl-pussed Jay Robinson—who parlayed his scene-stealing turn as Caligula in The Robe (1953) into a successful career as a character actor—as an insane genius flaunting the most popular of sinister superweapons, the shrinking ray, from his creepy laboratory nestled on the most popular of supervillain headquarters, the uncharted island. When a plane containing three teenagers named Brad, Geordie, and B. J. crashes on the eerie isle, Dr. Shrinker now has guinea pigs—his “shrinkies”—making the teens doll-sized and chasing them through sixteen repetitive but endearing episodes. Brad and the gang crawled through colossal-sized props reminiscent of Land of the Giants, evading the “madman with an evil mind” (according to the theme song) and working together to thwart his plans to aim his miniaturization device at the rest of the world. To ensure that Dr. Shrinker's machinations weren't too gruesome for the kiddies, Billy Barty was on hand for comic relief as the doctor's dwarfish aide Hugo. A blip of Dr. Shrinker merchandising was produced in 1976 and 1977, including a Halloween costume, a View-Master packet, and a magnifying glass.