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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 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

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

Dr. Strange

Dr. StrangeAncient, immortal forces prepare to resume battle, using modern day Earth as their battleground. The witch Morgan le Fay is challenged by the Nameless One to defeat a wizard who has defended Earth from magical forces for hundreds of years; nearing the end of his life, the wizard will be picking and training a successor soon, and if Morgan strikes at the right time, she can eliminate them both. She takes over the body of a mortal woman and tries to kill Lindmer, the old wizard, but he survives the attempt on his life. The woman briefly controlled by le Fay ends up in the hospital under psychiatric care.

It is there that she encounters Stephen Strange, a doctor with a reputation for being popular with the ladies, but somewhat lacking as a physician. Lindmer tracks the woman to the hospital, and notices that Dr. Strange wears a ring with the same design as a unique window in Lindmer’s study. He reveals that he knew Strange’s deceased parents, and that Strange has the latent magical ability to take over as the defender of Earth. But first, he must learn to harness those powers, and to resist the temptation of Morgan le Fay.

teleplay by Philip DeGuere
directed by Philip DeGuere
music by Paul Chihara

Dr. StrangeCast: Peter Hooten (Dr. Strange), Clyde Kusatsu (Mr. Wong), Jessica Walter (Morgan le Fay), Eddie Benton (Clea Lake), Philip Sterling (Dr. Taylor), John Mills (Lindmer), June Barrett (Sarah), Sarah Rush (Nurse), Diana Webster (Head Nurse), Bob Delegall (Intern), Larry Anderson (Magician), Blake Marion (Dept. Chief), Lady Rowlands (Mrs. Sullivan), Inez Pedroza (Announcer), Michael Clark (Taxi Driver), Frank Catalano (Orderly)

Dr. StrangeNotes: “Eddie Benton” is a stage name used through 1980 by actress Anne Marie Martin. Ted Cassidy is the uncredited voice of the demon summoned by Morgan to do battle with Dr. Strange. Ironically, though Stan Lee consulted on this movie – obviously intended to be a pilot – more closely than he did any of the other Marvel-derived TV projects of the late 1970s, Dr. Strange went no further than this pilot movie. The character didn’t get a filmed revival until 2016. Paul Chihara’s music for the early portions of this movie make heavy use of the Blaster Beam, an electronic instrument commonly associated with the soundtrack from Star Trek: The Motion Picture. Another television show beat Dr. Strange to the Beam, however: the instrument had featured heavily in the music for an episode of The Bionic Woman aired in January 1978.

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Captain America

Captain AmericaRecently retired Marine Steve Rogers is celebrating civilian life on the road, until he receives a phone call summoning him to the lab of Dr. Simon Mills, who has taken up Steve’s father work on a super-strength hormone called FLAG (Full Latent Ability Gain). Steve’s father is the only person who has ever received FLAG without dying from the strength and abilities it imparts to any other test subject, and Dr. Mills hopes that Steve will submit to tests to see if he, too, can survive FLAG. He refuses, but when someone murders one of Steve’s late father’s colleagues, he realizes that others with less honorable intentions are also trying to discover what he knows about FLAG, and goes on the run. A crippling motorcycle “accident” arranged by his pursuers leaves Steve Rogers with no choice but to become a test subject for FLAG.

As he weighs the decision of whether or not to assume the crime-fighting mantle of his father, who was jokingly known as “Captain America”, Steve finds that his pursuers will never give up until they kill him or he brings them to justice. But the man employing them has bigger ideas: detonating a neutron bomb in one of the most heavily populated parts of the United States. Armed with a bulletproof shield, a jet-powered motorcycle, and a special suit of armor, the new Captain America now has no choice but to swing into action.

Download this episode via Amazonteleplay by Don Ingalls
story by Don Ingalls and Chester Krumholz
directed by Rod Holcomb
music by Mike Post & Jeff Carpenter

Captain AmericaCast: Reb Brown (Steve Rogers / Captain America), Len Birman (Dr. Simon Mills), Heather Menzies (Dr. Wendy Day), Robin Mattson (Tina Haden), Joseph Ruskin (Rudy Sandrini), Lance LeGault (Harley), Frank Marth (Charles Barber), Steve Forrest (Lou Brackett), Chip Johnson (Jerry), James Ingersoll (Lester Wiant), Jim B. Smith (FBI Assistant), Jason Wingreen (Surgeon), June Dayton (Secretary), Diana Webster (Nurse), Dan Barton (Jeff Haden), Ken Chandler (1st Doctor), Buster Jones (Anesthetist)

Captain AmericaNotes: This was an attempt to pilot a Captain America series, the latest Marvel superhero to go to live-action TV after the short-lived Amazing Spider-Man series (1977-78) and the Incredible Hulk series launched the previous year; as with Amazing Spider-Man, Stan Lee is credited as a consultant. Having gone to the Marvel well once with underwhelming results with Amazing Spider-Man, CBS green-lit not a series, but a second (and final) TV movie based on the ratings achieved by this movie; no series resulted. Heather Menzies had previously starred in the TV adaptation of Logan’s Run in 1977, also on CBS.

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Captain America II: Death Too Soon

Captain AmericaSteve Rogers lives the life of a wayward artist, finding that his alter ego, Captain America, is still needed wherever he goes. The disappearance of a scientist known for his research into countering aging draws Steve to an out-of-the-way town, where he finds the locals tight-lipped or openly hostile. After she sees him single-handedly fight off a group of thugs, local ranch owner Helen Moore offers Steve shelter. When an international terrorist known only as Miguel claims to have the mission scientist, and threatens to use his research to age the population of a major city to death unless the U.S. government pays a massive ransom, it seems odd for Captain America to continue focusing all of his efforts on a small town, but he’s certain that the secrets behind Miguel’s grab for power and wealth are there.

written by Wilton Schiller and Patricia Payne
directed by Ivan Nagy
music by Mike Post & Pete Carpenter

Captain AmericaCast: Reb Brown (Steve Rogers / Captain America), Connie Sellecca (Dr. Wendy Day), Len Birman (Dr. Simon Mills), Christopher Lee (Miguel), Katherine Justice (Helen Moore), Christopher Cary (Professor Ilson), William Lucking (Stader), Stanley Kamel (Kramer), Ken Swofford (Everett Bliss), Lana Wood (Yolanda), Arthur Rosenberg (Doctor), Bill Mims (Dr. J. Brenner), Alex Hyde-White (Young Man), Lachelle Chamberlain (Young Girl), Susan French (Mrs. Shaw), John Waldron (Peter Moore)

LogBook entry by Earl Green

eXposed

The GiftedPolice squad cars pursue a young woman in Atlanta, only to lose track of her when she opens a glowing portal out of nowhere with her bare hands, leaping through it. She emerges through another portal in an abandoned building, and finds herself surrounded by others – others like herself. Police converge on the building, and after a fierce fight between police revolvers and powers almost beyond human comprehension, two of the suspects are taken into custody, while two of the cops are killed.

Teenager Lauren Strucker’s socially awkward younger brother Andy sneaks out of the house to accompany her to a school dance. When he’s picked on and tortured by the school bullies, Andy goes into a rage, unleashing an enormous amount of energy that almost brings the walls of the school down. Lauren, aware of his powers, drags Andy out of the school and races home. The incident has already made the news, attracting federal attention as America debates taking tougher measures to detect and contain mutants among the population. As Lauren explains to her mother that she and Andy have latent mutant powers, there’s a knock at the door. But it’s not the police, or indeed anyone with even the slightest respect for civil rights. Sentinel Services wages a secret war against the mutant populace. Andy again unleashes his powers to help his family escape. The Struckers are on the run.

This poses a serious dilemma for Reed Strucker, an attorney who has prosecuted cases involving mutants in the past…but he’s also in a very good position to know about the underground network that the mutants have built to protect themselves. Now he has to depend on the people he once helped to hunt down to save his children and his wife…and even if he can convince the mutants to help, it may not be enough to save Reed Strucker himself.

Download this episode via Amazonwritten by Matt Nix
based on the X-Men comics by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby

directed by Bryan Singer
music by John Ottman

The GiftedCast: Stephen Moyer (Reed Strucker), Amy Acker (Caitlin Strucker), Sean Teale (Marcos Diaz / Eclipse), Natalie Alyn Lind (Lauren Strucker), Percy Hynes White (Andy Strucker), Coby Bell (Jace Turner), Jamie Ching (Clarice Fong / Blink), Blair Redford (John Proudstar / Thunderbird), Emma Dumont (Lorna Dane / Polaris), Toks Olagundove (Carla Jackson), Dale Godboldo (Ted Baird), Steffan Argus (Jack), Pierce Foster Bailey (Trevor), Giovanni DeVito (Dax), Billy Blair (Truck Driver), Dinarte de Freitas (Pedro), Dalton Gray (Jake), Josh Henry (Ben), Roscoe Johnson (Guard), Cynthia Jackson (Waitress), Jason Jamal Ligon (Side-Eye), Hayley Lovitt (Sage), Joe Nemmers (Agent Weeks), Jeff Daniel Phillips (Fade), Scott Parks (Passenger Cop), Jermaine Rivers (Shatter), Matthew Tompkins (Cal Jameson), Stan Lee (Stan Lee)

The GiftedObligatory Stan Lee cameo: Lee walks out of the bar, pausing in the doorway as he passes Marcos, who is en route to meet with Reed Strucker. Hi, Stan!

Notes: Though the X-Men are mentioned briefly, The Gifted presents a more small-scale look at the plight of mutants in America. The series is not based upon a particular comic, but was created by Matt Nix (creator and showrunner of the hit spy series Burn Notice) as a story taking place in the X-Men’s “universe”. Since the show is produced by 20th Century Fox (as opposed to Disney/ABC), The Gifted may share universes with that studio’s X-Men films, but is not part of the continuity of the bulk of Marvel’s Disney-produced film and TV output.

LogBook entry by Earl Green

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The GiftedStranded when Clarice is unable to keep the escape portal open, Reed Strucker is now in the hands of Sentinel Services. He demands to see an attorney, but it is clear that, simply by associating with mutants, he has been labeled a threat and relieved of any and all civil rights. If Sentinel Services can’t find Strucker’s children, they’re not above reeling in other family members who have no idea what’s going on.

Left physically exhausted by holding the portal open for so long, Clarice is unable to control random outbursts of her ability. Portals open at random to the street outside, where police are preparing to mount an assault on the mutants’ headquarters; Lauren Strucker has to use her ability to close off Clarice’s unintentional portals. When Lauren is exhausted, Andy directs his rage-fueled ability at the police outside, but this makes things worse: as with his school before, the building in which the mutants are taking shelter is no longer safe or stable. Clarice is injured and her unconscious random portal opening becomes a dangerous rapid-fire exercise in not accidentally falling through to an unknown location. Caitlin Strucker, a nurse before going on the run with her children, enlists Marco’s help to retrieve a drug that can stabilize Clarice, but their plan only draws more attention to what is seen as a growing mutant threat.

Download this episode via Amazonwritten by Matt Nix
based on the X-Men comics by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby

directed by Len Wiseman
music by John Ottman & David Buckley

The GiftedCast: Stephen Moyer (Reed Strucker), Amy Acker (Caitlin Strucker), Sean Teale (Marcos Diaz / Eclipse), Natalie Alyn Lind (Lauren Strucker), Percy Hynes White (Andy Strucker), Coby Bell (Jace Turner), Jamie Ching (Clarice Fong / Blink), Blair Redford (John Proudstar / Thunderbird), Emma Dumont (Lorna Dane / Polaris), Garret Dillahunt (Dr. Roderick Campbell), Elena Satine (Dreamer), Folake Olowofoyeku (Scar), Chris Butler (Dr. Watkins), Sharon Gless (Ellen Strucker), Christian Adam (Obnoxious Guy #1), Aerli Austen (Amber), DAve Blamy (Father), Jacinte Blankenship (Mutant Mom), Christabelle Rose Chapman (Obnoxious Girl), Ava Culpepper (Daughter), Tony Demil (Guard #2), Jordan Eli (Young Boy), Katelyn Farrugia (Nurse), Dinarte de Freitas (Pedro), Monique Grant (Guard #1), Barbara Hawkins-Scott (Desk Nurse), Josh Henry (Ben), Jason Jamal Ligon (Side-Eye), Hayley Lovitt (Sage)

The GiftedNotes: It’s a Burn Notice reunion! The Gifted showrunner Matt Nix was also creator of the hit spy series Burn Notice, which starred former Cagney & Lacey star Sharon Gless as Michael Westen’s mother; here she plays Reed Strucker’s mother. Coby Bell, who joined Burn Notice in its third season as Jesse Porter, is a regular on The Gifted.

LogBook entry by Earl Green

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