Dr. Simon McKay, aka the Wizard

Do you remember a TV show called The Wizard? It premiered thirty years ago, on September 9, 1986. Unfortunately, it only lasted 19 episodes.  It was about a toymaker named Simon McKay and his live-in bodyguard, Alex Jagger.

Why did a toymaker need a live-in bodyguard?  Well, he was in more danger from Moscow than Mattel.  Simon McKay — who patented his first invention at the age of seven — was described as the greatest inventive mind of our time.  Before he went into toymaking, he was a weapons designer and analyst for the Pentagon.  There are people who would happily abduct Dr. McKay to sell his brains to the highest bidder.  Hence, the bodyguard, especially after those six years.

What six years?  Well, after an incident at the Pentagon where a colleague tried to sabotage a project and kill him, Simon decided he needed to rethink his priorities.  So he resigned his position, and disappeared for six years.  CIA, FBI, MI6, KGB — no one could find him, and everyone looked.  He reappeared in Los Angeles, moved into a house on Elm Street (hence the nickname the Wizard of Elm Street), and set up as a toymaker.  The American government was afraid he’d disappear again, either of his own accord or be abducted.  After all, if the KGB or GRU had found Simon, they wouldn’t have let him go.

Image result for david rappaport

Simon McKay (David Rappaport)

Hair: red (halfway between chestnut and auburn)

Eyes:  blue

Height:  3’11”

Weight:  I’m too polite to ask him.  None of my business.

Background:  Born in England.  When his parents realized he would never grow big, they decided it was important he grew up.  About the same age as he patented his first invention, he was apprenticed to a freighter out of Liverpool as a cabin boy.

“When my parents realized I was never going to grow big, they decided I’d need to grow up, and fast. So they apprenticed me onto a tramp freighter when I was seven. When the other kids were going down slides and kicking a ball, I was sailing from Liverpool to Singapore, fetching and carrying every mile of the way.”

How and why a British inventor came to work for the Pentagon was never explained, nor why his enemy Troyan was working on the same project, as he was equally British.  Perhaps Simon was a naturalized American citizen, perhaps it was an international project.  At any rate, Simon worked at the Pentagon, and the last project he worked on was a communications satellite which his colleague Troyan (first name never revealed on the show) had been paid by a foreign power to sabotage.  Simon found out about the sabotage and tried to stop Troyan.  Troyan tried to kill Simon, but was caught in his own trap and subjected to radiation poisoning which has left him in constant pain ever since.  After the incident, Simon decided he needed to rethink his priorities.

“The Pentagon has five sides and I suddenly found myself opposite most of them.”

He spent over a year in Tibet.  Where he spent the rest of the time, he hasn’t said yet.  That’s a question for fanfic to answer.

Occupation:  inventor, toymaker, ex-weapons designer/analyst

Simon McKay was  short in stature, gigantic in brain power, and titanic in imagination.  He celebrated dreaming and imagination. His mantra was that anything was possible, but he wasn’t an idealist.

“An idealist is someone who thinks ’cause a rose smells better than a cabbage it will make better soup. I am not an idealist.”

Alex Jagger was a CIC agent who was assigned as Simon’s live-in bodyguard.  (After 30 years, I don’t remember what CIC stood for, and my Google Fu is too weak to find the information on-line.)  At first, he wasn’t crazy about the assignment, but he and Simon soon became friends.  Alex was the brawn to Simon’s brain.

Alex Jagger:  Douglas Barr

Hair: dark brown

Eyes:  hazel

Height:  6’1″

Weight:  I’m too polite to ask him.  None of my business.

Image result for fran ryan

Tillie Russell:  Fran Ryan

Hair:  red (carroty-orange)

Tillie Russell has been a friend and surrogate mother to Simon since he was a child.  She was the ship’s cook on the freighter where he was a cabin boy.  After Simon rescued her from Troyan in Hong Kong, she became his housekeeper, taking care of him and Alex.


There is a Facebook group dedicated to attempting to get The Wizard released on DVD.  Feel free to check out their FB page. I also blogged about The Wizard at HubPages in more detail.

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