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The Tick: Pilot (aka The Tick vs The Red Scare)

The "grateful" people of a bus station The Tick has defended offer him a bus ticket to The City, where he meets Arthur, who has just quit his accounting job to pursue his life long dream of being a superhero. With a group of Russians in town planning to kill Jimmy Carter (who happens to be in The City that week) with a powerful robot, The Tick must destroy the robot as well as show Arthur that his dreams of being a superhero weren't misplaced after all.

Episode Info  

Episode number: 1x1
Production Number: 101
Airdate: Thursday November 08th, 2001

Director: Barry Sonnenfeld
Writer: Ben Edlund

Guest Stars
William NewmanWilliam Newman
As The Cape
Adam DrescherAdam Drescher
As Salesman
Ahmad StonerAhmad Stoner
As Teenage Employee
Billy BeckBilly Beck
As Octogenarian
Brad MaynardBrad Maynard
As Jimmy Carter
Brian TurkBrian Turk
As Comrade #3
Carrick OCarrick O'Quinn
As The Red Scare
Derek MearsDerek Mears
As Comrade #2
Doug MotelDoug Motel
As Comrade #1
E.J. CallahanE.J. Callahan
As Station Manager
Jeff DoucetteJeff Doucette
As Bus Driver
Lisa LuLisa Lu
As Bartender
Ray XifoRay Xifo
As Mr. Ferret

Christopher Lloyd (1)Christopher Lloyd (1)
As Mr. Fishladder
Main Cast
David Burke (1)David Burke (1)
As The Moth aka Arthur
Liz VasseyLiz Vassey
As Captain Liberty aka Janet
Nestor CarbonellNestor Carbonell
As Batmanuel


He stands in silence, stoic, godlike, the mysterious blue avenger who has become legend to the simple folk of this bus station. But glory will not distract him from his vigil. Who "he" is, is a man in a totally blue, muscular suit. As he towers over the bus station who's roof he is standing upon, a customer below has their money stolen by the coffee machine. As the apparent protector of this bus station, our blue hero jumps down from his perch and proceeds to wrestle the "evil" coffee machine into submission. As it produces a cup of coffee and our hero saves the day, stating it is his "sworn duty to protect this bus station," the manager of the bus station arrives behind our hero and drops something. Telling this blue being that it was he who dropped this item, our hero picks it up, realizing it is a bus ticket to leave this bus station and go to "The City." Curious as to why he has this ticket, the bus manager, obviously fed up with our hero, tells him it must be because he has freed the bus station from the tyranny of the coffee machine. Deciding he must move on to a place where there is stuff to do, our blue hero boards the bus while the manager curiously asks "Who was that???" to which our hero replies: "He was..... The Tick!"..

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Episode Notes
In the cartoon, there is no Captain Liberty or Batmanuel. They were based off the characters American Maid and Die Fledermaus. The live action version could not use them due to a conflict in rights with Disney.

This episode was originally going to air on November 1, 2001 but was postponed due to the World Series.

This episode did not have an intro with credits, but rather credited the stars in the beginning of the episode.

Guest star Christopher Lloyd does not recieve an on-screen credit for appearing in this episode.

Episode Quotes
The Tick: (After wrestling the coffee machine and getting it to produce a cup of coffee) Java devil, you are now my bitch.

The Tick: He stands in silence, stoic, godlike, the mysterious blue avenger who has become legend to the simple folk of this bus station. But glory will not distract him from his vigil.

Batmanuel: (About Captain Liberty) She fears the demons I have awoken in her... womanly places.

Arthur: This was a mistake! Apparently superheros are just a bunch of self-centered, egotistical, sexually frustrated kindergarteners! No offense intended.
The Tick: None comprehended.

The Tick: Arthur, listen to me carefully! I believe in you! I always have! That's why I'm here! Destiny dressed you this morning, my friend and now Fear is trying to pull off your pants. If you give up, if you give'll end up naked, with Fear just standing there laughing at your dangling unmentionables!

The Tick: (Lying in the elevator wreckage) Gravity is a harsh mistress.

Batmanuel: (To Arthur) I would not go out there, my little friend. Apocalypse Cow is 50 feet tall and shoots fire from her teats.

Episode Goofs
When The Tick knocks on Arthur's apartment door, he calls out "Arthur!" However, The Tick only knows Arthur as "Moth Man" at that point, as Arthur had yet to reveal his name to The Tick.

Cultural References

The character of Batmanuel is an obvious spoof of the famous super hero Batman of comic book, movie, and television fame.

The Tick vs The Tick

In this live incarnation of the cartoon, The Tick we are used to is slightly different than his cartoon counterpart. While The Tick of the cartoon was a little more coherent, The Tick of the live action series is noticeably simpler in his personality. As well, he seems to be much stupider than the cartoon version. However, many similarities exist too, such as the heroic personality and The Tick's strong desire for his version of justice to be present within The City.

Other Episode Crew

CreatorBen Edlund
Executive ProducerBen Edlund  |  Barry Sonnenfeld  |  Barry Josephson
Supervising ProducerMatt Gore
ProducerFlody Suarez  |  Graham Place
Associate ProducerJoe De Oliveira
Production DesignerBo Welch
EditorSteven Weisberg
CastingRonna Kress
Unit Production ManagerGabriela Vazquez
First Assistant DirectorAldric Portrer
Second Assistant DirectorDavid Hyman
MusicSteve Bartek
Music EditorFirouzeh Afsharnia
Music SupervisorTodd Holcolm  |  Billy Gottlieb
Costume DesignerColleen Atwood
HairstylistLinda Arnold
Key GripLes Percy
Set DecoratorCheryl Carasik
Location ManagerBobby Goldstein
Transportation CoordinatorDave Robling
Property MasterDoug Harlocker
Script SupervisorWendy Dallas
Production CoordinatorKathy McHugh
Supervising Sound EditorKerri Wilson
Re-Recording MixerDeb Adair  |  Bobby Mackston
GafferChris Morley
Director of PhotographyGreg Gardiner
Art DirectorTom Duffield
Sound MixerSteven Bowerman
Special EffectsJoe Ramsey
Key Makeup ArtistDebbie Zoller
Visual Effects SupervisorWilliam Powloski
Casting AssistantStacie Goodman
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