Eerie, Indiana is an American television show that aired on NBC from 1991 to 1992 and then on FOX from 1997 to 1998. Despite its short run time, the show received a cult-like fan following. The show was created by Jose Rivera and Karl Schaefer, with Joe Dante serving as creative consultant (and directing a plurality of the episodes).
The show revolves around Marshall Teller, a young boy whose family moves to the desolate town of Eerie, Indiana, population of 16,661. While moving into his new home, he meets Simon Holmes, one of the few normal people in Eerie. Together, they are faced with bizarre scenarios, which include discovering a sinister group of intelligent dogs that are planning on taking over the world, and meeting a tornado hunter who is reminiscent of Captain Ahab
. They also confront numerous urban legends
such as Bigfoot
and an undead Elvis Presley
. Although the show was host to a plethora of jokes, it also featured a serious X-Files
-like tone. After thirteen episodes, the last of which did not air during the network run, the series was retooled with Jason Marsden
's "Dash-X" added to the cast, and Archie Hahn
's Mr. Radford revealed to be an imposter, with John Astin
revealed to be the "actual" Mr. Radford. The final episode depicted an intent to write Marshall out of the show and make Dash-X the leading character. The retooled version of the show lasted only six episodes.
In 1998, a spin off of the series was produced, entitled Eerie, Indiana: The Other Dimension. The series was filmed in Canada, and focused on another, younger boy while still following the concept of the original show. The spin off was short-lived, and only lasted for one season. In 2004, Alpha Video released a DVD containing all nineteen episodes of the series, including an episode that never aired on NBC. The first episode of the spin off series Switiching Channels features a crossover between the original and spin-off series via a TV set.
- Marshall Teller, played by Omri Katz, is the protagonist of the series. With the help of his sidekick and best friend, Simon Holmes, he manages to unravel the many mysteries that plague Eerie, Indiana. Though occasionally arrogant, Marshall is also intelligent, resourceful and quick-thinking, qualities that come in handy during his investigations. He is sometimes torn between hanging out with Simon and following his burgeoning instincts about girls. Marshall constantly compares Eerie to where he grew up in New Jersey, which is the epitome of 'normal' in his mind.
- Simon Holmes, played by Justin Shenkarow, is Marshall’s best friend. Due to the constant arguing between Simon’s parents, he chooses to spend most of his free time hanging out with Marshall. Prior to Marshall's arrival, Simon was a lonely child, as most of his peers in Eerie shun him. Similar to Marshall, Simon believes that something is afoul in Eerie. In Scariest Home Videos, it is revealed that Simon has a younger brother, who was never mentioned before and never appears again!
- Edgar Teller, played by Francis Guinan, is Marshall's father. Edgar works at "Things Incorporated", a product testing company, for a living. According to Marshall, it was Edgar's idea to leave New Jersey, and move to Eerie. During the course of the series, it is revealed that Edgar interned at the Smithsonian Institution before entering the University of Syracuse to do his undergraduate work in archeology. He later received a scholarship from NASA to attend MIT, where he worked on his thesis, "Matter: What is it Exactly?". As Edgar is a scientist, many fans believe that his name was a subtle nod towards Edward Teller, an American nuclear physicist who helped develop the Hydrogen Bomb.
- Marilyn Teller, played by Mary-Margaret Humes, is Marshall's mother. Marilyn operates her own party planning business at the Eerie Mall. Ironically, as shown in Foreverware, Marilyn is not an organised person. In Who's Who, she is briefly adopted as a mother by Sarah Bob, who is trying to create a perfect family.
- Syndi Teller, played by Julie Condra, is Marshall's sister. At the time in which Marshall introduces Syndi to the audience, she is practicing for her Drivers Ed. Test. Marshall often ridicules his sister for the awkward spelling of her name. Syndi aims to be a reporter and spends time with the Eerie police and fire department to gain experience.
- Dash X, played by Jason Marsden, is a character shrouded in mystery. Dash claims that he woke up in "Weirdsville" without any knowledge to how he got there. Dash has no memory of parents, hometown, past or his real name. Since Dash has no home, he is forced to live on the streets and eat out of dumpsters. Dash is commonly referred to as "The Kid with the Grey Hair". People would later go on to call him the "Sneaky Kid with the Hair" and "the Kid with No Name". On some occasions, Dash would help Marshall and Simon solve some of Eerie's mysteries, most notably by helping them infiltrate the Loyal Order of Corn cult. Dash X gave himself his name in the episode The Loyal Order of the Corn, as a reference to the mysterious '-' and '+' markings on his hands which were shared by the extraterrestrial leader of the cult. Dash X may believe that the cult leader, played by Ray Walston may be his father, but he returns to his homeworld without revealing whether or not he is.
Nineteen episodes of Eerie, Indiana were produced before the show's cancellation. The episode, The Broken Record, the last produced before the show's retooling, was omitted during the series' initial run, but was later added to the syndicated run. The show's producers planned to make an episode entitled Jolly Rogers, which featured a group of pirates in search for buried treasure in Marshall's house.
||September 15, 1991 |
||September 22, 1991 |
||ATM with a Heart of Gold
||September 29, 1991 |
||October 6, 1991 |
||Scariest Home Videos
||October 20, 1991 |
||Just Say No Fun
||October 27, 1991 |
||Heart on a Chain
||November 3, 1991 |
||The Dead Letter
||November 10, 1991 |
||November 17, 1991 |
||The Lost Hour
||December 1, 1991 |
||Marshall's Theory of Believability
||February 2, 1992 |
||March 1, 1992 |
||The Broken Record
||December 9, 1993 |
||The Hole in the Head Gang
||March 1, 1992 |
||March 8, 1992 |
||No Brain, No Pain
||March 15, 1992 |
||The Loyal Order of Corn
||March 22, 1992 |
||Zombies in P.J.s
||April 12, 1992 |
||Reality Takes a Holiday
||April 12, 1992 |
Each episode was strewn with in-jokes and references to old films, particularly horror films.
- In the episode Heart On A Chain, a scene begins with a shot of spider web before panning right to action taking place. Whilst looking at the spider web, one can faintly hear a high-pitched voice crying "Help me! Help me!", a sly reference to the 1958 version of The Fly. Also in this episode, Marshall's creepy English teacher is called Miss Annabel Lee, a reference to the morbid Edgar Allan Poe poem of the same name. Right at the end of the episode, the Grim Reaper is seen in the background.
- In the episode Mr. Chaney, Marshall meets a werewolf that, while in human form, goes by the name of "Mr. Chaney", a nod to Lon Chaney Jr. who played the title role in the 1941 version of The Wolf Man. In this same episode, there is a reference to the 1981 film The Howling, a film about werewolves directed by Joe Dante, himself an occasional director of the show. There is also a mention of David Lynch's TV show Twin Peaks with Marshall exclaiming at one point 'It's you!' and the Grey Haired Kid, holding a log with which he just hit Mr. Chaney, replying 'Well, it ain't the Log Lady.'
- In the episode Just Say No Fun the name of the school is B.F. Skinner Middle School in reference to the eponymous psychologist.
- In the episode Scariest Home Videos, an actor from a classic mummy movie is transported into the Teller home. The actor's name is Boris Von Orloff, a reference to Boris Karloff, who played the title role in the 1932 film, The Mummy.
- In the episode The Retainer the orthodontist's name is Dr. Eukanuba, a reference to dog food, and the episode's plot about evil dogs.
- In the episode No Brain, No Pain, a leather clad woman with sunglasses utters, "I'll be back", before hastily leaving Marshall and his friends. Her appearance and quote reminisces Arnold Schwarzenegger role in Terminator. Additionally, an instrumental variation of the song My Sharona is played during portions of the episode, while the song is referenced several times.
Following the show's "re-birth" on FOX during the latter half of the 1990s, authors Mike Ford, Sherry Shahan, Jeremy Roberts, John Peel, and Robert James wrote a plethora of in-universe paperback books relating to Eerie, Indiana. The books featured new stories, which helped expand the Eerie universe. Similar to the television series, the books focused on Marshall and Simon, as they continue to solve various perplexing phenomena in Eerie.
Titles in book series
- Return to Foreverware (Mike Ford) (October 1997) ISBN 0-380-79774-7
- Bureau of Lost (John Peel) (October 1997) ISBN 0-380-79775-5
- The Eerie Triangle (Mike Ford) (October 1997) ISBN 0-380-79776-3
- Simon and Marshall's Excellent Adventure (John Peel) (November 1997) ISBN 0-380-79777-1
- Have Yourself an Eerie Little Christmas (Mike Ford) (December 1997) ISBN 0-380-79781-X
- Fountain of Weird (Sherry Shahan) (January 1998) ISBN 0-380-79782-8
- Attack of the Two-Ton Tomatoes (Mike Ford) (February 1998) ISBN 0-380-79783-6
- Who Framed Alice Prophet? (Mike Ford) (March 1998) ISBN 0-380-79784-4
- Bring Me a Dream (Robert James) (March 1998) ISBN 0-380-79785-2
- Finger-Lickin' Strange (Jeremy Roberts) (May 1998) ISBN 0-380-79786-0
- The Dollhouse That Time Forgot (Mike Ford) (June 1998) ISBN 0-380-79787-9
- They Say (Mike Ford) (July 1998) ISBN 0-380-79788-7
- Switching Channels (Mike Ford) (August 1998) ISBN 0-380-80103-5
- The Incredible Shrinking Stanley (Robert James) (September 1998) ISBN 0-380-80104-3
- Halloweird (Mike Ford) (October 1998) ISBN 0-380-80105-1
- Eerie in the Mirror (by Robert James) (November 1998) ISBN 0-380-80106-X
- We Wish You an Eerie Christmas (Robert James) (December 1998) ISBN 0-380-80107-8