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Swamp Thing

Entry updated 4 April 2017. Tagged: Film, TV.

1. Film (1982). See The Swamp Thing.

2. US tv series (1990-1993). BBK Productions/DIC Enterprises/MCA Television/Universal Television for the USA Network. Produced by Bob Malden, Benjamin Melniker and Michael Uslan. Based on characters created by Len Wein and Bernie Wrightson. Directors included Chuck Bowman, John McPherson and Walter von Huene. Writers included Tom Blomquist, Sandra Berg, Steven L Sears and Joseph Stefano. Special make-up by Michael Burnett and Tony Gardner. Cast includes Mark Lindsay Chapman, Dick Durock, Scott Garrison (occasional), Carrell Myers (occasional) and Neil Patrick Quinn (occasional). 72 30-minute episodes. Colour.

Dr Alex Holland (Quinn), a Scientist doing bio-medical research in the swamps of Louisiana, suffers a near-fatal "accident" arranged for him by his rival Dr Anton Arcane (Chapman). When he plunges ablaze into the swamp, his experimental chemicals react with those in the swamp water to transform Holland into the titular Swamp Thing, composed of mud and vegetable matter. As Swamp Thing (Durock) he possesses superhuman strength, and the mental ability or Psi Power to control plant life. Will Kipp (Garrison) and Tressa Kipp (Myers) are a couple living near the region of the swamp frequented by the Thing. Generally acting as a traditional if repulsive-seeming Superhero, the creature interacts with those who happen to enter the swamp – clashing with criminals and occasionally helping some troubled innocent. By present standards the series is fairly tame, though the creature make-up is good.

This Swamp Thing seems primarily based on the version of the creature which appeared in the 1970s from DC Comics. Durock, a stunt man, had already played the part of the seeming Monster in two films (see Swamp Thing); Chapman as Arcane made a good foil for the character; on the few occasions when Holland appeared in human form, he was again played by Quinn. But this incarnation has little or no connection with Alan Moore's well-remembered, indeed revolutionary 1980s reinterpretation of Swamp Thing, and has lapsed into relative obscurity. [GSt/DRL]


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