Man from Atlantis, The

Tagged: TV

US tv series (1977-1978). Solow Productions for NBC TV. Created by Lee Katzin (who also directed the first episode). Special effects by Tom Fisher. Cast includes Victor Buono, Patrick Duffy and Belinda J Montgomery. The first four episodes, 90-minute telefilms, were followed by 13 50-minute episodes. Colour.

Following a violent storm at sea, a green-eyed stranger (Duffy) with gills and webbed hands is found nearly dead on a beach. He is revived by the attractive female Scientist Dr Elizabeth Merrill (Montgomery) who, realizing that he is not human, places him in a tank of water and nurses him back to health. Believed to come from Atlantis, he suffers from Amnesia but is possessed of superhuman strength (see Superpowers) as well as the expected swimming, deep-diving and underwater endurance abilities. Adopting the name Mark Harris, he is persuaded to work for the US government's Foundation for Oceanic Research, and is soon off on his first mission Under the Sea, to tackle the overweight Villain Mr Schubert (Buono) in his underwater headquarters. Though the settings and special effects were sometimes eye-catching, the general intellectual level of this and subsequent episodes, which featured Aliens, Monsters, time-warps, etc., was no higher than that of Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea (1964-1968). Mr Schubert made several villainous reappearances. The series was cancelled after one season.

The first four long episodes were titled "Man from Atlantis" (4 March 1977), "The Death Scouts" (7 May 1977), "Killer Spores" (17 May 1977) and "The Disappearances" (20 June 1977), respectively novelized by Richard Woodley as Man from Atlantis (1977; vt Man from Atlantis: Sea Kill 1977), Man from Atlantis: Death Scouts (1978), Man from Atlantis: Killer Spores (1978) and Man from Atlantis: Ark of Doom (1977). [JB/DRL]

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