Silent Witness/BBC/1996-2019 (Wheelchair / Medical Disability)
Clarissa Mullery (Liz Carr), a disabled female in an electric wheelchair who works as a personal lab assistant for a team of forensic pathology experts as they investigate various crimes in the Cambridge and London areas of Great Britain.
Clarissa first appeared in Season 15 on episode “Change” (2013), when Dr Cunningham accepts a position in New York City and is replaced by forensics expert Jack Hodgson David Caves) who brings along his long-time assistant Clarissa Mullery to work with him at the Lyell Centre.
Note: Actress Liz Carr has used a wheelchair since the age of seven due to her disability known as arthrogryposis multiplex congenita. She is a comedian, broadcaster and international disability rights activist, who studied law at the University of Nottingham.
John Locke (Terry O’Quinn), a middle aged man confined to a wheelchair after falling out of a window while fighting his father who had conned his way back into John’s life and suckered him into giving him a kidney.
After spending four years in a wheelchair, John decides to travel to Australia for a Walkabout but is denied the right to do so by a Melbourne Travel Tour Agent. Defiant, John shouts, “Don’t tell me what I can’t do. Ever!”
Returning to America, John boards Oceanic Flight 815 from Sydney to Los Angeles which later crashes on a mysterious remote Pacific island where John is miraculously healed and can suddenly walk again. He soon becomes a leader among the surviving passengers of the doomed flight.
Todd (RonReaco Lee), black male in a wheelchair who works at a shoe repair shop in New York City and interacts with a group of eccentric singles, including Bowie, Nate and Marni who has a “dying clown” (Tom Poston) living in her closet (he came with the apartment).
In the pilot episode, Nate arrives at a restaurant where he is expecting to have his first date with Marni, but he finds Todd sitting at the table. Nate asks Marni if she can tell Todd to go because he doesn’t want to share his first date with another person. Marni obliges, and Todd informs the waiter, he has to go. The waiter appears with a wheelchair which Todd mounts and awkwardly rolls out of the place while Nate is left to feel terrible that he just kicked out a disabled man from the restaurant.
Later, on the episode “The Return of Todd,” Todd shows up at Nate’s used record store with Marni. However, the shop is located below street level with no handicapped access since the place was built in 1933. Nate offers to carry Todd down into the store, but Todd declines and then tells Marni to shout out the names of the albums and describe what the covers look like. When it starts to rain, Todd says, “It’s my own fault for wearing suede.” At the end of the episode, Nate installs a wheelchair access ramp at the store, but, the angle is too steep and Todd speeds down the ramp and into a wall.
Some Todd Quotes From The Show
Nate Solomon: Marni suggested we do something together.
Todd: Alright, how about Saturday?
Nate Solomon: Saturday’s no good. I’m doing something.
Todd: What’s that?
Nate Solomon: Basketball.
Todd: Oh, I see. You think I can’t play basketball because I’m in a wheelchair.
Nate Solomon: No, I think you’re a great basketball player.
Todd: Why? Cause I’m black?
[Nate visits Todd to get his sneakers fixed]
Nate Solomon: They jam into my arches when I jump. You know what I’m talking about?
Todd: Oh, sure, sure! I jumped once in a dream.
The Book Group/UK (Channel 4)/2002-2003 (Wheelchair)
Kenny McLeod (Rory McCann), an aspiring paraplegic writer in a wheelchair who joins a Book Group formed by Clare Pettengill (Anne Dudek), a newly arrived American to the city of Glascow, Scotland who sought for make new friends.
Because Clare lives in an apartment house with no elevators, Kenny brings his two brothers along to carry him upstairs so he can attend the Book Group.
Other members of this dysfunctional weekly book group included three unhappy European football wives, a pretentious drug-addict student (who later dies of an overdose), and a closet-homosexual football enthusiast. THE BOOK GROUP (Ep. #1).
Kenny McLeod: Harriet, maybe it’s not working out, this living together.
Harriet: What are you talking about?
Kenny McLeod: Well, there’s not a lot of space here and with me working at home and all…
Harriet: Are you dumping me?
Kenny McLeod: No, I’m just saying I don’t think we should live together.
Harriet: My God. This is extraordinary. We’re having our first row, and you’re dumping me. You bastard! How dare you abuse me like this, Kenny McLeod you misogynistic brute! Women born after 1985 don’t put up with this sort of shit! Ever!
Adam Janikowski (William Fichtner), a former stunt man injured while snowboarding off a cliff on the job who now uses a wheelchair to get around. Adam is the love interest of Bonnie Plunkett (Allison Janney), a cynical recovering addict who attends AA meetings.
Bonnie met Adam accidentally when he dialed the wrong number and Bonnie answered the phone. After several phone conversations, Adam and Bonnie agreed to meet for a date, but Adam backed out at the last minute because he was afraid of revealing his disability. He eventually moved in with Bonnie.
Adam is funny, intelligent, independent and enjoys drinking beer and having sex. He left Bonnie when he found employment as a stunt coordinator for a film shooting overseas.
Adam’s character was introduced as a recurring role during season 3 (2015-16) and became a regular character during season 4 (2016-2017).
Adam was criticized by some viewers because his character was not played by a disabled person.
Extreme Ghostbusters/SYN/1997 (Wheelchair)
Garrett Miller (voiced by Jason Marsden), paraplegic member a group of teenagers known as Ghostbusters who track down supernatural entities all over New York City. Garrett was born not being able to walk and uses a wheelchair to get around. He is headstrong, enthusiastic, claustrophobic, a fan of extreme sports and studies to be a Physical Therapist so he can help the disabled.
The Ghostbusters are lead by Dr. Egon Spengler (voiced by Maurice LaMarche), who teaches a Paranormal 101 class at New York City College. He still lives in the firehouse used as the headquarters by the original Ghostbusters team. Janine Melnitz (voiced by Pat Musick), the Ghostbusters’ former receptionist assists Egon.
The remaining members of the new team recruited to battle the supernatural included:
- Kylie Griffin (voiced by Tara Charendoff), a goth girl genius with black hair and lipstick. She is an expert on the occult and lives alone with her cat.
- Eduardo Rivera (voiced by Rino Romano) , a sarcastic Latino slacker. He likes to chase the ladies, but when trouble comes, he is ready for action.
- Roland Jackson (voiced by Alfonso Ribeiro) , an African-American whiz with machinery who helps Egon maintain the Ecto-1 vehicle and Proton Packs used to capture ghosts.
- Slimer (voiced by Billy West), a hungry green ghost who used to hang out with the original Ghostbusters.
Note: EXTREME GHOSTBUSTERS, as well as the animated series THE REAL GHOSTBUSTERS/ABC/1986-88 (later revamped as SLIMER! AND THE REAL GHOSTBUSTERS/ABC/1988-92) were spin-offs of the motion picture Ghostbusters (1984).
Cain/FRANCE 2/2012-2016 (Wheelchair)
Captain Fred Cain (Bruno Debrandt), cynical police homicide detective based in Marseilles, France. Fred was injured in a motorcycle accident in the line of duty.
Now a paraplegic, he uses a wheelchair to get around. He reluctantly partners with Lucie (Julie Delarme) a vivacious detective trainee to continue to work as a field detective.
Push Girls/SUNDANCE TV/2012-2013 (Wheelchair)
Angela Rockwood, one of four disabled females living in Los Angeles, California who face day-to-day challenges of women paralyzed by illness or accident.
The reality-documentary series chronicles the struggles of four sexy, dynamic Hollywood women as they “push” through stereotypes, disappointments and career obstacles faced by the disabled and triumph over tragedy by pursuing new dreams involving motherhood, relationships, athletics and stardom.
“The indomitable spirit of this series will give viewers permission to stare at a world that they may previously have been too polite — or too frightened” – Sundance Channel
Angela Rockwood became a quadriplegic after a car accident shattered her C4–C5 vertebrae and severed her spinal cord. She is an actress, model, producer. In 2001, she married actor Dustin Nguyen on Valentine’s Day, six months before her accident.
The other disabled females on the program are Auti Angel, Mia Schaikewitz, Tiphany Adams, and sometimes featured Chelsie Hill.
- Auti Angel was paralyzed in a car accident in 1992. She is a singer, dancer and actress. Auti founded the hip-hop wheelchair dance group Colours ‘n’ Motion in 2003.
- Mia Schaikewitz was paralyzed from the waist down at the age of 15 when a blood vessel (arteriovenous malformation) ruptured in her spinal cord. She is athletic and was a champion swimmer before her disability.
- Tiphany Adams was paralyzed in 2000 by a head-on car collision caused by a drunk driver that killed three of her friends while a senior in high school. She is an aspiring fitness model and clothing designer.
- Chelsie Hill was a passenger in a car driven by a drunk car driver who crashed the car and damaged Chelsie’s spinal cord. Before the accident, Chelsie hoped to pursue a career as a dancer. She dances with Auti and Mia in Colours ‘n’ Motion.
Note: “Push Girls'” producer, Gay Rosenthal, also worked on LITTLE PEOPLE, BIG WORLD, a show about a couple, each 4-feet tall, raising a family in Oregon, and RUBY, the story of a morbidly obese woman trying to lose hundreds of pounds.
See also: External Link – Push Girls
Stingray/SYN/1964-1965 (Floating Wheelchair / “Hover-chair”)
Commander Samuel “Sam” Shore (voiced by Ray Barrett), gruff disabled officer who operates the control center at Marineville, a division of the World Aquanaut Security Patrol located in California in the year 2065.
Shore was injured while working as a security agent for a deep-sea mining platform. When nefarious sorts attacked the platform, Sam rammed their submersible vehicle with his patrol craft. Subsequently, he lost the use of his legs. Shore now moves about on a hover-chair.
Commander Shore relays orders to Troy Tempest, the Captain of the Stingray, a super-submarine capable of 600 knots of speed and able to submerge to depths of over 36,000 feet.
Assisting Stone in the control room is Sub-Lieutenant John Horatio Fisher. Stone’s daughter, Lieutenant Atlanta Shore is romantically interested in Troy Tempest.
Troy’s copilot on the Stingray was Phones. They were often joined on missions by Marina, a princess of the undersea kingdom of Pacifica. Marina could breathe under water, but was unable to speak.
WASP’s nemesis is the tyrannical King Titan who rules a race of aquatic warriors known as the Aquaphibians who live in the undersea city of Titanica.
Note: Created by Gerry and Sylvia Anderson, this children’s Supermarionation sci-fi series of 39 half-hour episodes were originally aired on ITV in the United Kingdom and then syndicated in Canada and the United States. The origin of Commander Shore’s disability was revealed on the episode “The Ghost of the Sea.”
Friday Night Lights/NBC/Direct TV/2006-2011 (Wheelchair/Injured Spine)
Jason Street (Scott Porter), disabled seventeen-year-old high school senior at Dillon High School in Dillon, Texas. Jason was the starting quarterback for the Panthers football team until a devastating spinal injury ended his promising career.
He was hurt tackling a rival player from making a game-ending touchdown. Jason’s injured the C-7 and T-1 level of his spine. He was paralyzed from the chest down. He can move his arms and hands but has limited use of his fingers.
With the help of his family and friends, Jason struggled to cope with his new reality of life as a paraplegic. But, living in a town that worships athletes is difficult for Jason to overcome, but eventually he finds purpose in his life. Meanwhile:
- Jason’s girlfriend, Lyla Garrity (Minka Kelly), a former cheerleader becomes a Christian Youth leader.
- Jason befriends Herc, his rehab roommate and wheelchair rugby teammate.
- Lyla grows apart from Jason and dates Tim Riggins (Taylor Kitsch), the fullback for the Panthers and Jason’s friend.
- Jason works as an assistant coach for the Panthers but quits after the first game when he disagrees with the authoritarian style of Bill McGregor (Chris Mulkey), the new coach.
- A road trip to Mexico finds Tim Riggins and Jason looking for a non FDA approved treatment for his paralysis.
- Jason moves in with Herc and gets a job at Buddy Garrity’s (Brad Leland) car dealership as a salesman.
- Jason has a one-night stand on a blind date with a waitress named Erin (Tamara Jolaine Hassan) and gets her pregnant. He offers to do the right thing and take care of the woman and the baby.
- A real estate venture finds Jason and friends flipping Buddy Garrity’s house for a profit.
- Jason finds an entry-level job at a sports agency in New York City, and moves to be close to his girlfriend and newborn baby, Noah who have relocated to New Jersey to live with Erin’s parents. As Jason said, “far enough away that I’m not going to be stalker…but close enough that I can be here.”
- Jason, now a full-fledged sports agent, returns to Dillon and meets his former mentor Coach Eric Taylor (Kyle Chandler) to see if he is interested in taking a college coaching job. The coach politely declines his offer.
Note: FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS was inspired by H.G. “Buzz” Bissinger’s non-fiction book “Friday Night Lights: A Town, a Team, and a Dream” (1990) and the 2004 film based on it. The book explores the 1988 season of the Permian Panthers, a high school football team in Odessa, Texas.
The Jason Street character was inspired by the career of David Edwards, a high school player in San Antonio, Texas.
In the last episode of the series (“Always”) an ending montage show the words “J.Street” written below the “P” in the Dillon Panthers’ locker room.