The Lone Gunmen finally got their own show -- even if it was sadly short-lived. They were introduced as UFO-chasing supergeeks early in "The X-Files," and soon garnered a cult following -- and eventually a spinoff, complete with tango-dancing kingpins, genius chimps and parallel universes.
The increasingly broke Lone Gunmen are in the middle of stealing a computer chip when a mysterious bearded man -- who turns out to be a beautiful woman, Yves Adele Harlow (Zuleikha Robinson)-- intervenes and gets them caught. After they foil an attempt to ram a plane into a skyscraper, they investigate a geeky golfer's kidnapping, and make a new friend: Jimmy Bond (Stephen Sneddon), a naive young man who gives them financial backing.
With Jimmy as a sort of apprentice Lone Gunman, the boys set out to deal with the conspiracies and strange occurrances: a superintelligent chimp that wants a life of his own, a man who claims to have been abducted by aliens, investigate a Nazi war criminal (who happens to be a little old lady), and search for a car that runs on water instead of gas.
It was a TV tragedy that this funny conspiracy series only lasted half a season. Then again, that's what cult TV is made of. While it lacked the audience and longevity of its parent series "The X-Files," "The Lone Gummen" made up for that in humor and creativity.
Not every episode was so good -- "Three Men and a Smoking Diaper" is just embarrassing, with a none-too-thinly-veiled Senator William Jefferson (Clinton?), a genial Southern womanizer who is just below the angels. Come on, at least TRY to be subtle. However, "Lone Gunmen" hit the mark more often than it missed, with ingeniously offbeat stories that allowed the characters to be goofy as well as serious. ("Prepare to get mooned!")
Certainly the stories tend to be imaginative -- superbrained chimps, trips into prison to save innocent men, and tangoing in competitions. And the humor that cropped up is what makes these stories priceless -- in one episode, poor Langly ends up with his arm up a cow's backside. In others, Jimmy does a spot-on Elvis impersonation, all four guys try to dance (with absurd results), and Frohike toughs it up as a martial arts master (with the help of some wire).
Tom Braidwood, Dean Haglund, and Bruce Harwood all appeared to be having plenty of fun in this series as the geek, the uptight bureaucrat, and the "man of action." (We even get to see all three as kids, talking about what they want to do when they grow up) Sneddon is a great addition as the eager-puppy Jimmy Bond, who seems a lot dumber than he is. And Robinson rounds off the cast as a mystery woman with a ruthless streak and a few vulnerable spots.
Take the funniest episodes of "X-Files," and center them on the Lone Gunmen. "The Lone Gunmen" didn't last long, but it was fun while it lasted -- humorous, goofy, and has Frohike in a bottle-bra.