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The Incredible Hulk (pilot)

The Incredible HulkScientist David Bruce Banner is recovering from the traumatic loss of his wife in a car accident, while continuing his work into untapping the barely-used potential strength of the human body. As he interviews and runs tests on numerous ordinary individuals who have achieved amazing adrenaline-fueled feats in moments of crisis, Banner is disturbed by the fact that he was unable to save his own wife. When his research leads to what seems like a dead end, a desperate Banner intentionally irradiates himself with gamma radiation. The first noticeable effect is that it leaves Banner impatient and easily angered. But when his frustration peaks and he becomes furious, Banner mutates into an enormous, bemuscled green beast with superhuman strength. Despite this, his instincts to preserve life lead him to try to save a drowning girl, but when her father fires a rifle at Banner, he is powerless to do anything but attack the man. When Banner’s rage subsides, he reverts to normal, with only vague memories of what he did in his altered state.

Banner confides his experiences – as much as he can remember – to his lab associate, and they begin trying to replicate his transformation under controlled laboratory conditions. Reporter Jack McGee, who has been hounding Banner and his staff for a story on their research, is snooping around when Banner transforms into the Hulk yet again during a catastrophic lab accident. Banner, even in his transformed state, is unable to save the life of his lab associate, and goes into hiding; while McGee sees Banner’s mutated form, he believes Banner has also died in the inferno. McGee decides that he will pursue the enormous green creature, which he has dubbed “the incredible hulk” in the resulting front-page story, to chronicle its capture and execution for murder. Banner is forced to let the world think he is dead and goes on the run.

Download this episode via Amazonwritten by Kenneth Johnson
directed by Kenneth Johnson
music by Joe Harnell

The Incredible HulkCast: Bill Bixby (David Bruce Banner), Susan Sullivan (Elaina Marks), Jack Colvin (Jack McGee), Lou Ferrigno (The Hulk), Susan Batson (Mrs. Maier), Mario Ballo (Mr. Bram), Eric Server (Policeman), Charles Siebert (Ben), Terrance Lock (Young Man), June Whitley Taylor (Woman), George Brenlin (Man at Lake), Jake Mitchell (Jerry), William Larsen (Minister), Olivia Barash (Girl at Lake), Eric Deon (B.J.)

The Incredible HulkNotes: Using only the characters of Bruce Banner and the Hulk from Marvel’s Incredible Hulk comics, the TV incarnation of the character is the creation of Kenneth Johnson, who had created the Six Million Dollar Man spinoff The Bionic Woman, and would go on to create such genre classics as V and Alien Nation. Johnson was not a fan of the original comics, and as such didn’t fight CBS over such requested changes as altering Bruce Banner’s name to David Bruce Banner (on the grounds that network executives felt the name “Bruce” was “too gay-ish”). Johnson wanted a few other changes – such as Banner turning into a red Hulk rather than a green one – that were vetoed by Marvel. Unlike his unsatisfactory experiences with the TV adaptation of Spider-Man, however, Stan Lee was happy with the TV Hulk, feeling that the changes made were necessary to make the character work in a teleivision context. Arnold Schwarzenegger auditioned for the role of the Hulk, but was deemed too short for the role.

LogBook entry by Earl Green

The Return of The Incredible Hulk

The Incredible HulkHitchhiking his way across California, Banner sees a young woman on crutches collapse, and he carries her to her home. Her family informs Banner that she is ill, and offers him a job working on the grounds. But something is troubling: the family doctor is administering medication that, far from curing her illness, could actually be making her sick. Of course, without revealing his own identity or his background as a doctor, Banner can’t raise much of an alarm. It turns out the girl is the heiress of the family fortune, and it seems that nearly everyone, including her own mother, is patiently waiting for her to die. Banner tries to help her, but in a delusional haze, the girl attacks him, unwittingly unleashing the Hulk.

Download this episode via Amazonwritten by Kenneth Johnson
directed by Alan J. Levi
music by Joe Harnell

The Incredible HulkCast: Bill Bixby (David Bruce Banner), Jack Colvin (Jack McGee), Lou Ferrigno (The Hulk), Laurie Prange (Julie Griffith), Dorothy Tristan (Margaret Griffith), John McLiam (Michael), Mills Watson (Sheriff), William Daniels (Dr. Bonifant), Gerald McRaney (Denny Kayle), Victor Mohica (Rafe), Robert Phillips (Phil), Ann Weldon (1st Nurse), Linda Wiser (2nd Nurse), Roger Aaron Brown (Lab Technician), Janet Adams (3rd Nurse), Socorro Swan (Receptionist), Rita Gomez (Maid), Rick Garcia (The Cuban)

The Incredible HulkNotes: In syndicated reruns (in which it is divided into a two-parter) and on DVD, this movie is known by the title Death In The Family. The title as originally broadcast was The Return of The Incredible Hulk.

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Final Round

The Incredible HulkAs he continues his trek on foot, Banner runs afoul of inner city street thugs, but before the power of the Hulk is unleashed, he’s saved by “Rocky”, an aspiring boxer who trains at a nearby gym in exchange for running “errands” for the gym owner. Rocky talks the gym owner into taking Banner on as a physical therapist, but the more time Banner spends at the gym, the more he’s convinced that something illegal is happening there. By tagging along with Rocky, he discovers that the errands Rocky runs are transporting heroin to dealers on the street. When a rival dealer intercepts Rocky and his latest delivery, the owner of the gym arranges for Rocky to take a very public, and very lethal, fall. Only Banner’s rage at the impending fate of his new friend can save him.

Download this episode via Amazonwritten by Kenneth Johnson
directed by Kenneth Gilbert
music by Joe Harnell

The Incredible HulkCast: Bill Bixby (David Bruce Banner), Jack Colvin (Jack McGee), Lou Ferrigno (The Hulk), Martin Kove (Henry “Rocky” Welsh), Fran Myers (Mary), Al Ruscio (Mr. Sariego), Paul Henry Itkin (Wilt), Ron Trice (Black Mugger), T. Miratti (White Mugger), John Witherspoon (Tom), Tony Brukbaker (Bill Cole), Paul Micale (Man in audience)

LogBook entry by Earl Green

The Beast Within

The Incredible HulkDavid finds work in a zoo where Dr. Claudia Baxter is conducting research into quelling primal rage in animals. Though he’s employed as little more than a glorified janitor, David asks Dr. Baxter in-depth questions about her work, and is surprised to hear her admit that she’s trying to continue the work of the late Dr. David Banner. But her already-controversial research has hit a snag – a string of unusual deaths among animals at the zoo – and David is suspicious of Baxter’s boss, Dr. Malone, and his aide, Carl. He knows he’s getting close to the truth of what’s happening when Carl locks him into a cage with a gorilla, who Carl then injects with a chemical designed to bring its rage to the boiling point…and that’s when the Hulk appears.

Download this episode via Amazonwritten by Karen Harris & Jill Sherman
directed by Kenneth Gilbert
music by Joe Harnell

The Incredible HulkCast: Bill Bixby (David Bruce Banner), Jack Colvin (Jack McGee), Lou Ferrigno (The Hulk), Caroline McWilliams (Dr. Claudia Baxter), Richard Kelton (Carl), Dabbs Greer (Dr. Malone), Charles Lampkin (Joe), Jean Durand (Jagger), Norman Rice (1st Zoo Security Guard, Joe DeNicola (2nd Zoo Security Guard), Billie Beach (Rita)

The Incredible HulkNotes: Richard Kelton (1943-1978) was one of the cast members of the short-lived NBC sci-fi spoof Quark, which was airing at the same time as The Incredible Hulk – in fact, this episode aired opposite an episode of Quark on the same night. He died later in 1978.

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Of Guilt, Models And Murder

The Incredible HulkDavid awakens, dazed, from a recent transformation into the Hulk, and unable to remember what happened. The news media is there to fill him in: the Hulk is accused of the murder of a model, and a manhunt has begun for the huge creature. David manages to get a job as a valet to James Joslin, who was present at the scene of the Hulk’s attack, and discovers another eyewitness to the event, model Sheila Cantrell. He tries to piece together his missing memories to find out what really happened, and what the Hulk really did…only to discover that the Hulk was the only one present who wasn’t directly involve in the murder.

Download this episode via Amazonwritten by James D. Parriott
directed by Larry Stewart
music by Joe Harnell

The Incredible HulkCast: Bill Bixby (David Bruce Banner), Jack Colvin (Jack McGee), Lou Ferrigno (The Hulk), Jeremy Brett (James Joslin), Loni Anderson (Sheila Cantrell), Jane Alice Brandon (Girl), Ben Gerard (Sanderson), Deanna Lund (Terri Ann), Doug Hale (TV Reporter), Rick Goldman (Elkin), Nancy Steen (Ellen), Bill Baldwin (Jackson), Vince Howard (Security Guard), Art Kimbro (1st Policeman), Ross Durfee (Collins)

The Incredible HulkNotes: The Incredible Hulk’s casting department managed to land Loni Anderson mere months before the premiere of WKRP In Cincinnati made her a household name. Jeremy Brett (1933–1995) had already made numerous TV and movie appearances by this point, though his signature role, that of Sherlock Holmes, was a few years ahead of him still. Deanna Lund had been one of the stars of Irwin Allen’s Land Of The Giants.

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Terror In Times Square

The Incredible HulkDavid makes his way to New York City to compare notes with a renowned genetic researcher, but in the meantime he’s picked up work at a pinball arcade. Unknown to him, McGee is not far behind him, following up on a lead about a recent sighting of the Hulk in the Big Apple. David’s a bit surprised to see Mayor Jason Laird pay his employer a visit, and listens in from the next room under the pretense of gathering his tools. What he overhears is horrifying: Laird is running a protection racket, grafting money from David’s new boss and other merchants in Times Square…and worse, Laird has become aware of one man who wants to blow Laird’s scheme wide open, and wants David’s boss to kill that man. Laird’s cronies spot David trying to warn the intended victim, and invite him to tell Laird what he knows…not knowing that their interrogation methods will unleash the Hulk on New York City.

Download this episode via Amazonwritten by William Schwartz
directed by Alan J. Levi
music by Joe Harnell

The Incredible HulkCast: Bill Bixby (David Bruce Banner), Jack Colvin (Jack McGee), Lou Ferrigno (The Hulk), Robert Alda (Jason Laird), Jack Kruschen (Norman Abrams), Arny Freeman (Leo Kahn), Pamela Shoop (Carol Abrams), Karl Held (Jonathan), Michael Mancini (Hank), Simmy Bowe (Mr. Burns), Al Fann (Robert Benson)

LogBook entry by Earl Green

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