Wednesday, February 21, 2007

TV Super-Heroes in the Seventies

In the 1960's, TV knew how to do super-heroes every which way but seriously. Thus we have animated heroes (BIRDMAN, SPACE GHOST), sitcom heroes (MISTER TERRIFIC, CAPTAIN NICE) and high camp heroes (BATMAN) dominating the airwaves with varying degrees of success. The 1970's, however, were not as kind to super-heroes on television. In spite of the improbable success of the HULK TV series (basically a green-hued retread of THE FUGITIVE, RUN FOR YOUR LIFE, THE IMMORTAL, etc.), both SPIDER-MAN and WONDER WOMAN (at least in its initial incarnation) pretty much flopped. With the latter, all we got was a TV movie of the week/pilot featuring blonde, mini-skirted Cathy Lee Crosby miscast as the Amazon princess by a mile! Spidey at least made it to a short run series with handsome Nicholas Hammond (THE SOUND OF MUSIC) as Peter Parker. The webslinger himself was mostly played by stuntmen and even they looked like they were having a rough time climbing up those buildings! The mask didn't work, the webs looked horrible and the plots dragged. The Japanese version made around the same time (in spite of the transformer-like spider-machine!) was much better! Luckily, Lynda Carter and Tobey Maguire were still to come!

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