US made-for-tv film (1977). Universal Television. Produced by Lionel E Siegel. Written by Howard Rodman (credited as Henri Simon) and Siegel from an original story by Martin Caidin. Cast includes David Ackroyd, José Ferrer (Kermit Haas), A Martinez, Kevin McCarthy, Harry Morgan and Anne Schedeen (Emily Frost). 120 minutes. Colour.
Professor Nicholas Conrad (Ackroyd) is shot by mobsters during a hold-up which he witnesses, and is left paralysed from the waist down. Having previously been working on a type of body armour, he completes this exoskeletal suit with the help of colleagues, and uses it to battle the mob as Exo-Man. This Powered Armour resembles that worn by the Comics character Iron Man, but is much more primitive. While allowing Conrad to walk, and providing him with greatly enhanced strength, it requires a semi-portable power-source hauled behind a small truck. This film was an unsuccessful pilot for a never-launched tv series planned by Caidin, who had enjoyed much greater success with The Six Million Dollar Man (1973-1978). Reportedly, studio interference damaged the quality of the script considerably. [GSt]
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