Friday, August 26, 2005
SPIDER-MAN VS. TERRORISTS!
Did I mention that the Library here also has an extensive collection of TV GUIDE clippings and Fall Preview Issues? The clipping at right seems positively prehistoric in the wake of Sam Raimi's Spidey but to a generation, Nicholas Hammond WAS Spider-Man...or maybe just the boy from THE SOUND OF MUSIC. Even though this is an illustration rather than a photo, the Spidey figure is awkwardly posed, the belt with the weird face buckle looks stupid as does the rope-like webbing, the Swiss army watch webshooter and his rather prominent...you know.
The reason that show flopped, of course, was that unlike the contemporary HULK show with Bill Bixby, this featured regular characters in regular settings. For all intents and purposes, the HULK was actually an anthology show, allowing writers to have different characters and settings every week while maintaining a central lead that could himself play different roles each episode. Similar hit shows with this concept included RUN FOR YOUR LIFE, THE FUGITIVE and QUANTUM LEAP along with dozens of travelling cowboy westerns in the fifties and sixties. The timing was off for Spider-Man, the people behind the series didn't actually "get" the concepts! Around the same time, oddly enough, a Japanese TV version of Spider-Man got much of the idea right but stuck our hero with a transforming car and a formula plot that featured him fighting a giant monster at the climax of each episode. One episode actually featured the Thing (the FF's, not Howard Hawks' version) as the giant monster!!