Melt Down

Man From AtlantisSurprisingly high tides, and a sudden rise in ocean levels measuring at least half a foot, signal a global disaster in the making: something is causing Earth’s north polar ice cap to melt. Worse yet, the White House has received a thinly veiled ransom note indicating that Mark Harris’ old nemesis, Mr. Schubert, is behind the rapid rise of the oceans, and claims that only he can help restore the sea levels. His asking price for this help? Schubert wants Mark to join him.

written by Tom Greene
directed by Virgil Vogel
music by Fred Karlin

Cast: Patrick Duffy (Mark Harris), Belinda J. Montgomery (Dr. Elizabeth Man From AtlantisMerrill), Alan Fudge (C.W. Crawford), Victor Buono (Mr. Schubert), Robert Lussier (Brent), James Brodhead (Trubshawe), Dee Wallace Stone (Hot Dog Stand Owner), Richard Laurance Williams (Jomo), J. Victor Lopez (Chuey), Jean Marie Hon (Jane), Anson Downes (Allen)

Notes: The premiere of Man From Atlantis as a weekly series introduces sweeping changes to the show’s basic concepts; the underfunded Foundation for Oceanic Research of the four TV movies is now apparently very well funded, Man From Atlantisas seen in the new sets for their sub, the Cetacean, as well as their home base. They also have uniforms, and the new bridge layout of the Cetacean is more than just a little bit Star Trek-inspired. New cast member Jean Marie Hon was previously a regular on the Filmation post-apocalyptic Saturday morning series for kids, Ark II.

LogBook entry by Earl Green

The Mudworm

Man From AtlantisMark and the Cetacean crew receive word of an unusual shipwreck on the ocean floor, and set out to investigate. What awaits them is an underwater robot created by Mr. Schubert, who is more than happen for the Cetacean to find it: it descended to a depth at which it no longer obeyed his remote commands, and only the Cetacean has the abiity to retrieve it…if Mark can disarm the robot, which fires an underwater laser at anything that moves. But what was the robot looking for on the ocean floor, and why is Schubert so certain that he’ll be able to get it back?

written by Alan Caillou
directed by Virgil Vogel
music by Fred Karlin

Man From AtlantisCast: Patrick Duffy (Mark Harris), Belinda J. Montgomery (Dr. Elizabeth Merrill), Alan Fudge (C.W. Crawford), Victor Buono (Mr. Schubert), Robert Lussier (Brent), Jack Somack (Encyclopedia Salesman), Duncan Gamble (Cetacean Crewmember), Richard Laurance Williams (Jomo), J. Victor Lopez (Chuey), Jean Marie Hon (Jane), Brandyn Artise (Cetacean Crewmember)

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Hawk Of Mu

Man From AtlantisWhen all electrical power fails in an 80 mile radius near the Foundation for Oceanic Research, Mark and the Cetacean crew investigate, hoping to discover whether or not the phenomenon has a natural cause. Mark stumbles across an ancient artifact known as the Hawk of Mu, supposedly a link to the lost Lemurian civilization of the vanished island of Mu. But the Hawk’s power is already being harnessed for less than peaceful purposes by Mr. Schubert, whose own daughter becomes Mark’s unlikely ally in the fight to stop him.

teleplay by Luther Murdoch
story by David Balkan
directed by Harry Harris
music by Fred Karlin

Man From AtlantisCast: Patrick Duffy (Mark Harris), Belinda J. Montgomery (Dr. Elizabeth Merrill), Alan Fudge (C.W. Crawford), Victor Buono (Mr. Schubert), Robert Lussier (Brent), Sydney Lassick (Constable), Vicky Huxtable (Juliette Schubert), Carole Mallory (Woman), Richard Laurance Williams (Jomo), J. Victor Lopez (Chuey), Jean Marie Hon (Jane), Anson Downes (Allen)

Notes: The makers of Man From Atlantis employed cutting edge computer graphics for the scenes in Schubert’s lab: the computer screen displayed actual graphics from the then-brand-new Apple II computer, which had just been released in June 1977.

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Giant

Man From AtlantisInvestigating an unusual underwater vortex with the Cetacean and its crew, Mark discovers a diver unconscious on the ocean floor. The injured man, treasure hunter (and swindler) Jack Muldoon, has been through the vortex, and says there’s dry land, with a wealth of gold, on the other side. Mark convinces Muldoon to guide him through the vortex, discovering an arid desert where water is present, but completely invisible. A giant named Thark uses the water to mine for gold, but the gold Muldoon has gathered has all been stolen from Thark. For both Mark and Muldoon, convincing Thark to close the flow of water is a high-stakes game: Muldoon has a fortune in gold to gain, and if Mark can’t get Thark to help, the world’s oceans may be drained into Thark’ strange realm.

written by Michael Wagner
directed by Richard Benedict
music by Fred Karlin

Man From AtlantisCast: Patrick Duffy (Mark Harris), Belinda J. Montgomery (Dr. Elizabeth Merrill), Alan Fudge (C.W. Crawford), Ted Neeley (Jack Muldoon), Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (Thark), Richard Laurance Williams (Jomo), J. Victor Lopez (Chuey), Jean Marie Hon (Jane), Anson Downes (Allen)

Notes: At the time of his appearance in Man From Atlantis, NBA all-star Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was dividing his time between playing center for the Los Angeles Lakers and, in the off-season, his budding acting career. This was Man From Atlantisonly his third on-screen appearance; his next would be in the 1980 cult classic comedy Airplane!, with later appearances in Diff’rent Strokes, Fletch, Tales From The Darkside, and 21 Jump Street. And it wouldn’t be an American SF series of the ’60s or ’70s without a visit to Vasquez Rocks, “invisible water” and all.

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Man O’ War

Man From AtlantisMark and the Foundation become involved in an international swim meet that is drawing not only athletes from around the world, but diplomats and even the U.S. State Department, when some kind of sea life attacks swimmers. A ransom note is received from “King Neptune” promising to unleash his fury if he isn’t paid a million dollars. Mark investigates and discovers a huge, genetically-modified jellyfish is threatening the swimmers…but this monstrous creature is controlled not by “King Neptune”, but by Mr. Schubert.

written by Larry Alexander
directed by Michael O’Herlihy
music by Fred Karlin

Man From AtlantisCast: Patrick Duffy (Mark Harris), Belinda J. Montgomery (Dr. Elizabeth Merrill), Alan Fudge (C.W. Crawford), Victor Buono (Mr. Schubert), Robert Lussier (Brent), Harvey Jason (Dashki), Gary Owens (Blaise Mullen), Monte Landis (Maitre’d), Hanns Manship (Policeman), Pat Paris (Woman on beach)

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Shoot-Out At Land’s End

Man From AtlantisAs the Cetacean participates in routine monitoring of an undersea volcano, Mark feels a sharp, stabbing pain in one shoulder, and is determined to find out why, leaving the sub to head for nearby land. He meets locals at a settlement who seem to think they know him (except they think his name is Billy), discovering an entire island still operating by the rules of the wild west. Mark soon meets “Billy” himself, his near-identical twin, who became a hired gun on this island after he was found alone on the beach. Mark is convinced that Billy is exactly like him, but his ability to feel whatever pain Billy feels could become a fatal liability when Billy is cornered by a lynch mob.

written by Luther Murdoch
directed by Barry Crane
music by Fred Karlin

Man From AtlantisCast: Patrick Duffy (Mark Harris / Billy), Belinda J. Montgomery (Dr. Elizabeth Merrill), Alan Fudge (C.W. Crawford), Pernell Roberts (Clint Hollister), Jamie Smith Jackson (Bettina Washburn), Noble Willingham (Artemis Washburn), Tasha Martell (Carla), Bill Zuckert (Virgil), Richard Laurance Williams (Jomo), J. Victor Lopez (Chuey), Jean Marie Hon (Jane), Anson Downes (Allen)

Man From AtlantisNotes: It was not uncommon for 1970s American science fiction series to hew closely to the conventions of TV westerns, especially as many of the TV writers working at the time had been all but weaned on that genre, but this episode of Man Of Atlantis bends over backward to take the western connection to somewhat awkward extremes. Guest star Tasha Martell is better known as actress Arlene Martel (1936-2014); she adopted the stage name Tasha Martell in the 1970s and used it through the early ’90s.

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Crystal Water, Sudden Death

Man From AtlantisUnusual activity at sea is a sure sign that Schubert is up to something, and C.W. (at the behest of the Navy) sends the Cetacean to investigate. Mark discovers a crystalline membrane on the sea floor, which can be penetrated to reveal dry land beneath. There, a race of peaceful beings preserve their shrinking, ancient society, and they’re powerless to stop Schubert from enslaving them to mine a valuable crystal indigenous to their island. But as a fellow form of ocean life, Mark may be powerless to stand up to Schubert’s weapons this time.

written by Larry Alexander
directed by David Moessinger
music by Fred Karlin

Man From AtlantisCast: Patrick Duffy (Mark Harris), Belinda J. Montgomery (Dr. Elizabeth Merrill), Alan Fudge (C.W. Crawford), Victor Buono (Mr. Schubert), Rene Auberjonois (Mr. Havergal), Tina Lenert (Click One), Flip Reade (Click Two), Whitney Rydbeck (Click Three), Richard Laurance Williams (Jomo), J. Victor Lopez (Chuey), Penelope Willis (Cetacean Crew), Brandyn Artise (Cetacean Crew), Rozelle Gayle (Conrad)

Man From AtlantisNotes: Director David Moessinger later became a showrunner on numerous popular 1980s TV series, including In The Heat Of The Night, Jake And The Fatman, and Murder, She Wrote; he is the husband of Star Trek: Voyager co-creator Jeri Taylor. Rene Auberjonois was, at this point, one of those “shows up in everything” frequent-flyer guest stars of ’70s series TV; in just three years, he’d land a series regular role on Benson, a decade after which he’d be a regular on a far more coherent SF series, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.

LogBook entry by Earl Green

The Naked Montague

Man From AtlantisAfter placing a seismic sensor on the ocean floor, Mark returns to the Cetacean, warning that the sea life is scattering: a sign that a huge earthquake is about to strike. Mark returns to the water to investigate the resulting new rift in the seafloor, only to be trapped by a rockslide. He awakens on dry land, and meets a man named Romeo, who is embroiled in a conflict with the family of the girl he intends to marry. Anyone else from the Cetacean would know how this struggle will play out, but Mark doesn’t…and perhaps Shakespeare got it all wrong.

written by Stephen Kandel
directed by Robert Douglas
music by Fred Karlin

Man From AtlantisCast: Patrick Duffy (Mark Harris), Belinda J. Montgomery (Dr. Elizabeth Merrill), Alan Fudge (C.W. Crawford), Lisa Eilbacher (Juliet), John Shea (Romeo), Ahna Capri (Cordelia), Norman Snow (Tybalt), Lewis Arquette (Friar Laurence), Scott Porter (Mercutio), William Glover (Guard), David Gautreaux (Guard), Richard Laurance Williams (Jomo), J. Victor Lopez (Chuey), Jean Marie Hon (Jane), Anson Downes (Allen)

Man From AtlantisNotes: Writer Stephen Kandel, a veteran of dozens of ’60s and ’70s TV scripts (including all of Harry Mudd’s appearances on the original Star Trek), might have given Shakespeare a co-writing credit here. John Shea would later gain some genre fame for appearing as Lex Luthor in Lois & Clark: The New Adventures Of Superman, while Norman Snow would menace the universe as The Last Starfighter‘s arch-nemesis, Xur, before guest starring on such series as Quantum Leap and Star Trek: The Next Generation. Ahna Capri (1944-2010) was already a veteran of TV guest appearances, including I Spy, The Man From UNCLE, and had perhaps made her greatest impression as Tania in Bruce Lee’s Enter The Dragon (1973). Actor David Gautreaux’s greatest claim to genre fame is a role that never made it to the screen: he was cast, earlier in 1977, as Lt. Commander Xon, a full-blooded Vulcan science officer intended to replace Spock in a TV revival of Star Trek, but that series was cancelled before an episode was ever shot, and its pilot script was rewritten to become Star Trek: The Motion Picture, a 1979 movie in which Gautreaux was given what amounted to a bit part as the commander of a doomed space station.

LogBook entry by Earl Green

C.W. Hyde

Man From AtlantisA substance recently retrieved from the ocean floor is stored at the Institute, with Mark and Dr. Merrill warning that it could have psychotropic effects, altering (at least temporarily) the personality of anyone who comes into contact with it, and that there may be physical manifestations of contact with the substance as well. C.W. accidentally comes into contact with it, and becomes more hirsute and less reserved, treating himself to a night on the town and bedding the consort of a mob boss. When C.W. awakens, the transformation has reversed…and he has suddenly drawn himself, his work, and the entire Institute to the attention of a crime lord.

written by Stephen Kandel
directed by Dann Cahn
music by Fred Karlin

Man From AtlantisCast: Patrick Duffy (Mark Harris), Belinda J. Montgomery (Dr. Elizabeth Merrill), Alan Fudge (C.W. Crawford), Michele Carey (Belle), Val Avery (Lew), Pamela Peters Solow (Sarah), Michael Alaimo (Henchman), Frank Bonner (Bartender), Ralph Mauro (Henchman), Garrett Craig (Henchman), Nancy Dalziel (Patron), Ed Penny (Patron), Richard Laurance Williams (Jomo), J. Victor Lopez (Chuey), Jean Marie Hon (Jane)

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Scavenger Hunt

Man From AtlantisOn a remote island, a maiden is sacrificed by a primitive tribe to an unearthly beast in a coastal cave. The Cetacean is sent to investigate the seafloor near this island, searching for something completely unrelated, but the trail leads Mark ashore and into contact with the natives. Their tribal leader is determined to cast Mark out as a demon, while Mark patiently tries to prove otherwise. When he, too, is taken to the cave as a sacrifice, he meets the creature that lives there, and discovers the real devil in the details: unscrupulous treasure-hunter Captain Jack Muldoon has set himself up as the local tin god, on the receiving end of maidens and valuable finds alike.

written by Peter Allen Fields
directed by David Moessinger
music by Fred Karlin

Man From AtlantisCast: Patrick Duffy (Mark Harris), Belinda J. Montgomery (Dr. Elizabeth Merrill), Alan Fudge (C.W. Crawford), Ted Neeley (Jack Muldoon), Ted Cassidy (Canja), Tony Urbano (Oscar), Eugenia Wright (Trivi), Yabo Obien (Toba), Richard Laurance Williams (Jomo), J. Victor Lopez (Chuey), Jean Marie Hon (Jane)

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Imp

Man From AtlantisA strange, playful imp boards the Navy’s Triton 1 undersea research station, and everyone with whom he comes into physical contact reverts to a childlike state of mind. By the time Mark reaches Triton 1, only one crewmember is left alive, and he is taken back to shore via the Cetacean. But Moby has followed the Cetacean back to its base, and proceeds to reduce the crew and staff there to mental children. Only Mark is immune, with Moby keeping him at arm’s length because Mark is a “down there person” instead of an “up there person”. Moby wants to see more of the surface and its inhabitants and to bring them joy. Moby especially wants to visit a remarkable place he has heard of, known as the Pentagon. Only Mark is left to stop him.

written by Shimon Wincelberg
directed by Paul Krasny
music by Fred Karlin

Man From AtlantisCast: Patrick Duffy (Mark Harris), Belinda J. Montgomery (Dr. Elizabeth Merrill), Alan Fudge (C.W. Crawford), Dick Gautier (Duke), Pat Morita (Moby), James Ingersoll (Triton Officer), Mel Scott (Davis), Lyman Ward (Clavius), Larry Breeding (O’Toole), William Benedict (Guard), Harvey J. Goldenberg (Man), Allen Joseph (Shop Owner), Richard Laurance Williams (Jomo), J. Victor Lopez (Chuey), Jean Marie Hon (Jane), Anson Downes (Allen)

Man From AtlantisNotes: This is the final appearance of series regular Belinda J. Montgomery; the character of Dr. Merrill is not seen in the two remaining episodes of the series, but is mentioned in dialogue in the next episode. An attempt was made to create a replacement character in the following episode, but the series’ time had run out, and star Patrick Duffy was already auditioning for a role in an upcoming prime time drama, Dallas. This also marks the final Man From Atlantis appearance of Cetacean crew background regulars Jean Marie Hon and Anson Downes.

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Siren

Man From AtlantisThe Cetacean is called in on behalf of the Navy when an engineer for a major defense contractor is kidnapped in the open sea; Mark is able to save the man’s daughter, but can’t find him. Mark assumes that the man is now a hostage of offshore pirates with their own submarine, but what he can’t explain is the entrancing singing heard even through the water. He believes it to be a siren, though his human colleagues dismiss this idea as a myth. But how else can the pirates’ ability to convince others to do their bidding be explained?

written by Michael Wagner
directed by Edward Abroms
music by Fred Karlin

Man From AtlantisCast: Patrick Duffy (Mark Harris), Alan Fudge (C.W. Crawford), Neville Brand (Stringer), Laurette Spang (Amanda Trevanian), Michael Strong (Hugh Trevanian), Lisa Richards (Jenny Reynolds), Timothy Scott (Caine), Carol Miyaoka (Mermaid), Richard Laurance Williams (Jomo), J. Victor Lopez (Chuey), Gary Tomlin (Cetacean Crew), Kim Lankford (Cetacean)

Man From AtlantisNotes: Belinda Montgomery is absent from this episode, though the character of Dr. Elizabeth Merrill is said to be attending a Senate hearing. In her place, and making her sole appearance in the series, is Lisa Richards as Jenny Reynolds. When Mark sings his own song to calm the “siren”, he’s actually singing the theme from Man From Atlantis. Writer Michael Wagner went on to write scripts for Hill Street Blues and Star Trek: The Next Generation, as well as creating the short-lived Parker Stevenson series PROBE with famed SF writer Isaac Asimov. Guest star Laurette Spang would go on to a regular part on Battlestar Galactica, in which she played Cassiopeia.

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Deadly Carnival

Man From AtlantisMark’s services and unique abilities are called upon to help solve a murder when the body of a distance swimmer, who also happens to be a government informant, floats into the collection tank of a hydroelectric power plant. The victim’s last message indicated that he had been hired by the operator of a local carnival to prepare for a bank robbbery involving disabling the bank’s defenses from within after swimming up through a storm drain. Mark manages to work his way into the carnival with his natural abilities, and is quickly taking into the confidence of Moxie, the carnival operator, who’s planning something bigger than a bank robbery. But with his limited understanding of the dark side of human nature, Mark may not be the best choice for an undercover operation.

written by Larry Alexander
directed by Dennis Donnelly
music by Fred Karlin

Man From AtlantisCast: Patrick Duffy (Mark Harris), Alan Fudge (C.W. Crawford), Sharon Farrell (Charlene Baker), Billy Barty (Moxie), Anthony James (Summersday), Sandy Barry (Carnival Attendee), Gino Baffa (Carnival Attendee), Donna Garrett (Student), Sean Morgan (Guard)

Notes: Moxie comments that Mark must have been underwater with no scuba gear for at least three minutes; in real life, that is how long actor Patrick Duffy – an experienced scuba diver in his own right – was able to hold his breath for Mark’s underwater scenes. This episode does not feature the Cetacean or any of its crew, and is not only Man From Atlantisthe final episode of the series’ 13-episode order with NBC, but the only Man From Atlantis story in which the words “Man From Atlantis” are spoken onscreen. Patrick Duffy went on immediately to win the role of Bobby Ewing in the smash hit prime time soap Dallas, a role he played through the early 1990s and returned to in a 21st century revival. Duffy has also written an original novel based on The Man From Atlantis. Alan Fudge went on to guest star in Hill Street Blues, Lou Grant, Knight Rider, The Greatest American Hero, the 1980s Twilight Zone revival, L.A. Law, and Dark Skies; his last acting gig was providing voices for the computer game Star Wars: The Old Republic prior to his death in 2011.

LogBook entry by Earl Green