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Spider-Man

Amazing Spider-Man (1970s series)College student Peter Parker, working his way through college as a photographer for New York City’s Daily Bugle newspaper, is bitten by a spider that has come into contact with radioactive material in his school’s nuclear lab. Gradually, this event imbues Peter with amazing abilities, such as shooting remarkably strong webs from his wrists, climbing completely vertical surfaces, and a sixth sense that alerts him to danger. As Peter begins exploring these new talents, the city is gripped with fear as banks are robbed by people who were previously lawyers, judges, doctors…in other words, the people who would least need to rob banks. Mind control is suspected, and then a ransom note is sent to the mayor of New York City: if a ransom isn’t paid by a deadline mere days away, the next round of mind control victims will be ordered to kill themselves. Peter discovers that his abilities – and his newly-fashioned “Spider-Man” costume – are best put to use to help others, and combined with his natural journalistic curiosity, he begins investigating the series of strange robberies, discovering a self-help guru named Byron is conditioning his new recruits to obey his every command. In the guise of Spider-Man, Peter finds it difficult to find out more, especially when he discovers that Byron has ninjas on his payroll, something rather unusual for a self-help expert. Peter realizes that his investigation depends on signing up for Byron’s next seminar as himself, not as a superhero – but doing so puts the powers of Spider-Man at the disposal of a madman.

written by Alvin Boretz
directed by E.W. Swackhamer
music by Johnnie Spence

Amazing Spider-ManCast: Nicholas Hammond (Peter Parker / Spider-Man), David White (J. Jonah Jameson), Michael Pataki (Captain Barbera), Hilly Hicks (Robbie Robertson), Lisa Eilbacher (Judy Tyler), Dick Balduzzi (Delivery Man), Jeff Donnell (Aunt May), Robert Hastings (Monahan), Barry Cutler (Purse Snatcher), Thayer David (Mr. Byron), Ivor Francis (Professor Tyler), Norman Rice (Henchman), Len Lesser (Henchman), Carmelita Pope (Group Member), George Cooper (Group Member), Larry Anderson (Dave), Ivan Bonar (News Anchor), Kathryn Reynolds (Group Member), Harry Caesar (Cab Driver), Robert Snively (Judge), James E. Brodhead (Policeman), Roy West (Group Member), Mary Ann Kasica (Group Member), Jim Storm (Group Member), Ron Gilbert (Policeman)

Amazing Spider-ManNotes: Stan Lee is credited as a script consultant, with no onscreen credit acknowledging his participation the creation of the character of Spider-Man. Rather than the comics’ (and later movies’) depiction of Peter Parker as an awkward teenager living a secret life, Peter is here seen as a reasonably un-awkward college student, played by Nicholas Hammond (who appeared as a child actor as Friedrich von Trapp in The Sound Of Music). Actress Jean Marie Donnell, who worked under the stage name “Jeff” due to her childhood fixation on Mutt & Jeff comics, appears to be perhaps 10-15 years’ Peter’s senior as Aunt May; Uncle Ben is nowhere in evidence. Also nowhere to be found is a certain almost obligatory quote about great power and great responsibility. This would turn out to be David White’s sole appearance as “J.J. Jameson”. Some recasting and a nervous network green-light later (with CBS balking at the potential expense of a full season of Spider-Man), a surprisingly short season (for the late 1970s on a major network) was given a go-ahead, to debut the following spring.

LogBook entry by Earl Green

The Deadly Dust Part 1

Amazing Spider-Man (1970s series)Peter’s nuclear physics instructor stirs up controversy by acquiring weapons-grade plutonium oxide to use in a small experimental reactor on campus. This attracts the attention of numerous parties, from some would-be anti-nuclear activitist classmates of Peter’s, to domestic terrorists who want to hold the entire population of the Big Apple to a ransom. The plutonium is quickly stolen, and worse yet, the police blame Spider-Man for stealing the plutonium. Complicating things further is a national magazine reporter who wants to follow Peter around since he’s the only person who seems to be close to Spider-Man. Just when the world needs Spider-Man the most, there are too many eyes on Peter Parker for him to become his alter-ego.

written by Robert Janes
directed by Ron Satlof
music by Stu Phillips

Amazing Spider-ManCast: Nicholas Hammond (Peter Parker / Spider-Man), Robert F. Simon (J. Jonah Jameson), Chip Fields (Rita Conway), Michael Pataki (Captain Barbera), Joanna Cameron (Gail Hoffman), Robert Alda (Mr. White), Randy Powell (Craig), Sid Clute (Inspector DeCarlo), Steven Anderson (Ted), Anne Bloom (Carla), Herb Braha (LeBeau), Leigh Kavanaugh (Linda), Ron Hajek (Salesman), David Somerville (Singer), Gail Jensen (Singer), Walt Davis (Helicopter Repairman), Barbara Sanders (Waitress), Jerry Martin (Doorman)

Amazing Spider-ManNotes: Apparently the demands of being Spider-Man have led Peter to move out of Aunt May’s house; he has his own apartment in New York City. Guest star Joanna Cameron was previously best known for the role of Isis in Filmation’s live-action series The Secrets of Isis (a character she also played in several crossover appearances on Filmation’s other live-action superhero series, Shazam!). Robert F. Simon takes over the role of Daily Bugle editor J. Jonah Jameson as of this episode, while Chip Fields makes her first appearance as Jameson’s secretary, Rita.

LogBook entry by Earl Green

The Deadly Dust Part 2

Amazing Spider-Man (1970s series)Mr. White has stolen the home-made bomb created by Peter’s anti-nuclear protestor classmates with plutonium stolen from the college. White retreats back to his home turf in Los Angeles, leaving Peter to use fellow reporter Gail Hoffman as an excuse to travel cross-country (on the Daily Bugle’s dime). He has a plan to track White, and find and defuse the crude atomic bomb before it can take out a major population center, but along the way, observant reporter Gail asks Peter a critical question: is he Spider-Man?

written by Robert Janes
directed by Ron Satlof
music by Stu Phillips

Amazing Spider-ManCast: Nicholas Hammond (Peter Parker / Spider-Man), Robert F. Simon (J. Jonah Jameson), Chip Fields (Rita Conway), Michael Pataki (Captain Barbera), Joanna Cameron (Gail Hoffman), Robert Alda (Mr. White), Randy Powell (Craig), Sid Clute (Inspector DeCarlo), Steven Anderson (Ted), Anne Bloom (Carla), Herb Braha (LeBeau), Leigh Kavanaugh (Linda), Ron Hajek (Salesman), David Somerville (Singer), Gail Jensen (Singer), Walt Davis (Helicopter Repairman), Barbara Sanders (Waitress), Jerry Martin (Doorman)

LogBook entry by Earl Green

The Curse Of Rava

Amazing Spider-Man (1970s series)A museum endowed by J. Jonah Jameson’s late wife becomes the center of controversy when it prepares to open an exhibit devoted to a rare statue of Rava, a god worshipped by a cult-like following in the Middle Eastern country of Kalistan. The statue is being watched closely by Mandak from Kalistan, who insists that all who view the visage of Rava be respectful, lest they invite the wrath and the legendary curse of Rava. He intimidates the museum’s director with a display of that wrath, which is fearsome enough to convince the director that he’s witnessed a supernatural event; he immediately petitions Jameson to cancel the exhibit. Peter Parker goes to photograph the exhibit, but soon has to duck out of sight and make an appearance as Spider-Man to try to break up an increasingly violent protest in front of the museum. An argument between Jameson and the museum director happens curiously close to a vicious attack that leaves the director in a coma, and Captain Barbera considers Jameson the prime suspect. Spider-Man must put an end to the incidents of violence…and Peter has to clear his boss’ name.

teleplay by Robert Janes
story by Robert Janes and Dick Nelson
directed by Michael Caffey
music by Stu Phillips

Amazing Spider-ManCast: Nicholas Hammond (Peter Parker / Spider-Man), Robert F. Simon (J. Jonah Jameson), Chip Fields (Rita Conway), Michael Pataki (Captain Barbera), Theodore Bikel (Mandak), Byron Webster (Professor John Rustin), Adrienne Larussa (Trina Pandit), David Ralphe (Dr. Keller), John Calvin (Security Guard)

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Night Of The Clones

Amazing Spider-Man (1970s series)Peter is assigned to take pictures at a press conference involving a revolutionary new cloning technique. A frog is cloned at this public demonstration, but Peter can’t get Dr. Moon, the scientist behind this cloning procedure, to answer whether or not the process could clone a human being. Secretly, Dr. Moon is already working on that, though his first test subject – himself – has proven to be problematic… and now Moon has decided that he wants to clone Spider-Man.

written by John W. Bloch
directed by Fernando Lamas
music by Stu Phillips

Amazing Spider-ManCast: Nicholas Hammond (Peter Parker / Spider-Man), Robert F. Simon (J. Jonah Jameson), Chip Fields (Rita Conway), Michael Pataki (Captain Barbera), Lloyd Bochner (Dr. Moon), Morgan Fairchild (Lisa Benson), Rick Traeger (Dr. Reichman), Irene Tedrow (Aunt May), John Finnegan (Male Reporter), Karl Swenson (Dr. Carl Benson), Vince Howard (Elevator Inspector), Alex Rodine (Dr. Keyta), Debi Fries (Girl Reporter), Larry Levine (Desk Clerk)

Amazing Spider-ManNotes: This marks Aunt May’s first appearance in the weekly series, but her memory may be going – she says Peter has an “Uncle Max”, not an Uncle Ben. (Maybe Max was his other uncle…whose old Halloween costume happened to wind up in Aunt May’s attic?) This episode also marks the first time that the villain of the week pieces together Spider-Man’s true identity (not that it helps him – the secret dies with him). Guest star Morgan Fairchild had already made numerous daytime TV appearances, but this episode of The Amazing Spider-Man is a very early entry in her resume of prime-time drama guest roles.

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Escort To Danger

Amazing Spider-Man (1970s series)Peter is assigned to cover an international beauty pageant in which Lisa Calderon, the daughter of a Central American president who is steering his country toward democracy, will be competing. But someone is competing with Peter to reach her: the daughter of the Calderon family’s political rival, who intends to kidnap Lisa and hold her hostage to force her father to step down. Spider-Man must save the day, but first, Peter must survive an attempt on his life by the kidnappers.

written by Duke Standefur
directed by Dennis Donnelly
music by Stu Phillips

Amazing Spider-ManCast: Nicholas Hammond (Peter Parker / Spider-Man), Robert F. Simon (J. Jonah Jameson), Chip Fields (Rita Conway), Michael Pataki (Captain Barbera), Barbara Luna (Lisa Alvarez), Harold Sakata (Matsu), Alejandro Rey (President Calderon), Madeleine Stowe (Maria Calderon), Michael Marsellos (Calderon’s Aide), Bob Minor (Klein), Lachelle Price (Miss Teenage USA), Terrence McNally (Reporter #2), Erik Stern (Reporter #1), Marc Baxley (Ted Arthur), Bruce Hayes (Emcee), Michael Santiago (Bodyguard), Selma Archerd (Pageant Director)

Notes: Though The Amazing Spider-Man attracted viewers, the expense of producing the show left CBS nervous about green-lighting a full season for the fall 1978 schedule. A short season of seven episodes – the last of which was movie-length – was ordered instead.

LogBook entry by Earl Green

The Captive Tower

Amazing Spider-Man (1970s series)Peter Parker is present to take pictures at the grand opening ceremony of an advanced (and expensive) new skyscraper with computerized climate control and other ultra-modern luxuries…and J. Jonah Jameson happens to be an invited “honored guest”, so as unimportant as the assignment may be, Peter has no choice to attend. But this means that when terrorists try to take over the building and hold all of the attending guests hostage with the threat of releasing deadly nerve gas into the building’s air conditioning system, Spider-Man is already on the scene.

teleplay by Gregory S. Dinallo
story by Bruce Kalish and Philip John Taylor
directed by Cliff Bole
music by Dana Kaproff

Amazing Spider-ManCast: Nicholas Hammond (Peter Parker / Spider-Man), Robert F. Simon (J. Jonah Jameson), Chip Fields (Rita Conway), Ellen Bry (Julie Masters), David Sheiner (E.W. Foster), Todd Susman (Farnum), Warren Vanders (Hama), Fred Lerner (Duke), William Mims (Deputy Mayor Newgent), Michael Bond (Spokesman), Edward Sancho-Bonet (Lt. Ramirez), Norman Rice (Sgt. Bulker), Barry Cutler (Window Washer), Bill Dearth (Shechter), Harry Pugh (Detective)

Amazing Spider-ManNotes: This was an early TV role for Ellen Bry, who would later join the cast of St. Elsewhere and, in a 1992 episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation, would create a race of sentient machines whose rights she tried to deny. It’s also an early career entry for director Cliff Bole (1937-2014), who had already helmed numerous episodes of The Six Million Dollar Man, and would go on to direct Supertrain, V, and would become one of Star Trek: The Next Generation’s most prolific directors. “The Amazing” portion of “The Amazing Spider-Man” is missing from the second season’s opening titles.

LogBook entry by Earl Green

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