Active Topics | Member List | Search | Help | Register | Login
TV
Byrne Robotics > TV
Topic: Lack Of Supervillains In 70s Hulk/Spider-Man TV Shows Post ReplyPost New Topic
Author
Message
Robbie Parry
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 17 June 2007
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 6888
Posted: 12 July 2017 at 10:42am | IP Logged | 1 post reply

I am a fan of the 70s Hulk series (I can't praise it enough). And I am quite the fan of the 70s Spider-Man series, too. I judge things by the standards of the era (and the budgets available). TV budgets and special effects limitations of the time meant we couldn't have a CGI Hulk throwing tanks around - or Spider-Man swinging from building to building with a glider-travelling Green Goblin on his tail.

But I respect them for what they are and what they did. Despite the Spider-Man series not getting a DVD release (come on, studios!), it is enjoyable. I accept the special effects limitations, i.e. web-swinging shots were rare as they took 2 days to set up and were quite dangerous. The show did have some good special effects, anyway, such as Spider-Man hanging from a helicopter - well done, stuntman Fred Waugh. And the Hulk had many memorable moments, some of which were difficult to set up: a Hulk/bear fight in the second pilot episode had to keep being filmed as the bear kept knocking Lou Ferrigno's wig off.

Anyway, I digress. Could the Hulk and Spider-Man TV shows have made more of an effort, within the budgets and limitations, to give us more comic-book plots and supervillains?

Both shows did go down that route. Clones are big in Spider-Man's comic universe, but the only live-action incarnation that has dealt with clones is Nicholas Hammond's series ("Night of the Clones"). "The Curse of Rava" featured a monk with telekinetic powers. As for the Hulk, he took on the US military in "Prometheus" and "Blind Rage" - and battled an evil doppelganger in the two-parter "The First". Those episodes are pretty close to the comic book exploits.

It might have been interesting to see what they could have done, though. I'd have liked a Hulk/Bigfoot encounter in the series. And the Leader might have been doable within the Hulk series. It would have been as acceptable to me as the doppelganger Hulk seen in "The First".

I did like what we got. Two-part Spider-Man episode "The Deadly Dust" is tremendous fun as Parker/Spider-Man travels from New York to L.A. to stop a white-collar crook and his 'associates' from detonating an atomic bomb. Seeing the Hulk battle animals and all sorts of criminals was a lot of fun. I'm just imagining scenarios.

I think something like Scorpion could have worked, a man with an armour and a scorpion-like tail would surely have been doable within budgetary and special effects limits (and with keeping to the reality of the show). Ditto various Hulk villains. The one thing I didn't like about "The First" was that the evil Hulk was a beanpole who looked a bit comical. An Abomination-style character, surely done via make-up and the use of a bodybuilder, could have worked.

Thoughts?

EDIT: Feel free to name which supervillains you think would have been doable within the special effects/budgetary limits. And feel free to name which supervillains you don't think special effects or budgets could have served.


Edited by Robbie Parry on 12 July 2017 at 10:47am
Back to Top profile | search
 
Brian O'Neill
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 13 November 2013
Location: United States
Posts: 1348
Posted: 12 July 2017 at 5:21pm | IP Logged | 2 post reply

Universal  Studios had already dabbled in 'lower level'-powered villains on the two bionic shows, so translating some of Marvel's villains to TV wouldn't have been too much of a stretch.
Electro, Kraven,and Mysterio might have worked for the Spider-Man series. Maybe the Hulk could have had a "TV adaptation" of Doc Samson; bodybuilder strength with little need for makeup beyond a green wig. 
Back to Top profile | search
 
Anthony J Lombardi
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 12 January 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 9298
Posted: 13 July 2017 at 1:09am | IP Logged | 3 post reply

The Kingpin easily could have been on Spider-Man.
Back to Top profile | search
 
Brian O'Neill
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 13 November 2013
Location: United States
Posts: 1348
Posted: 14 July 2017 at 12:01am | IP Logged | 4 post reply

So could Hammerhead, or even the Enforcer and the Circus of Crime,
Back to Top profile | search
 
Andrew Saxon
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 19 June 2016
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 123
Posted: 14 July 2017 at 2:32am | IP Logged | 5 post reply

Even at the time I was shocked by how poor the live-action Spider-Man was. Nicholas Hammond seemed untroubled by any sort of charisma and the scripts were terrible. Oh, and that costume - OUCH!* It's a long, long time since I saw the series, but I recall thinking things might be turning round with the clone episode - however, my hopes were quickly dashed (the final battle between Spidey and his doppleganger was such a let down). Would the introduction of super-villains have helped? Maybe, but a more likable actor playing Peter and some better script-writers would have helped a whole lot more.

* As a youngster I remember watching an episode with my family when my sister pointed out that the stunt man playing Spidey had clearly wet himself. My Dad chipped in by saying that if someone hung him over the side of a skyscraper like that he'd have done more than just wet himself!
Back to Top profile | search | email
 
Robbie Parry
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 17 June 2007
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 6888
Posted: 14 July 2017 at 8:19am | IP Logged | 6 post reply

I have many criticisms of the series. But I do think there are some good episodes.

"The Deadly Dust" is one. From New York to Los Angeles, Parker, reporter Gail Hoffman and Jameson try and locate a missing atomic bomb. There's a lot of action such as Spider-Man battling a martial arts henchman atop a skyscraper - and a battle with the bad guys on a Western movie set. It ends with a race against time to locate and defuse the bomb.

"The Dragon's Challenge" (the final two-parter) is another solid one with plenty of action: subway fights, a finale with martial artists atop a skyscraper and some character interaction as Parker struggles with his double life (he runs away to change during a hostage situation, but his girlfriend believes he ran away due to cowardice).

"The Captive Tower" is a siege episode which I think is well worth a look.

There's so much more the show SHOULD have done, i.e. exploring the double-identity dilemma, having more ambitious plots, etc. But there are good moments to be found, I feel. 
Back to Top profile | search
 
Brian O'Neill
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 13 November 2013
Location: United States
Posts: 1348
Posted: 14 July 2017 at 11:53am | IP Logged | 7 post reply

Two 'martial arts atop a skyscraper' fights???
Back to Top profile | search
 
David Miller
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 16 April 2004
Posts: 1597
Posted: 14 July 2017 at 5:24pm | IP Logged | 8 post reply

When I saw "The Deadly Dust" as a kid —at my grandparents' house in Scotch Plains, New Jersey — five year old me wasn't sophisticated enough to understand the freeze frame that cut to a photo on the Bugle's front page; and thought it meant the bomb had gone off, killing everyone. I don't think that was even the very end of the episode, making my confusion especially dull-witted.
Back to Top profile | search | www | email
 
Bill Collins
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 26 May 2005
Location: England
Posts: 8657
Posted: 15 July 2017 at 12:30am | IP Logged | 9 post reply

Those episodes Robbie mentioned were edited into
`movies` and shown in the cinemas over here quite a
while before we got them on tv,yes they were poor in
both script and effects,but to a kid in 1978 they were
brilliant!
Regarding the stuntman wetting himself,that reminds me
of Kiss Meets The Phantom where an obviously African
American was Ace Frehley`s stunt double!
Back to Top profile | search | email
 
Robbie Parry
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 17 June 2007
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 6888
Posted: 16 July 2017 at 4:47pm | IP Logged | 10 post reply

I tell you, there's no justice in this world, not when the two lame CAPTAIN AMERICA TV movies from the late 70s have a DVD release, but not THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN. ;-) 
Back to Top profile | search
 

If you wish to post a reply to this topic you must first login
If you are not already registered you must first register

  Post ReplyPost New Topic
Printable version Printable version

Forum Jump
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot create polls in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum

 Active Topics | Member List | Search | Help | Register | Login