Starring – Patrick Duffy (Dallas, Vamping), Dean Santoro (The Incredible Hulk, Newhart), and Belinda Montgomery (Tron: Legacy, Stone Cold Dead)
Release Date – 1977
Rating – 3/5
Blu Release – 2/5
I was born in the 80s but I was raised on a healthy dose of 70s television. A majority of my family was huge fans of The Dukes of Hazzard and my youth was spent on watching The Incredible Hulk, The Beverly Hillbillies, The Six Million Dollar Man, Wonder Woman, and so on. I was no stranger to this decade but I did not see everything the 70s had to offer.
One show I was not familiar with was Man from Atlantis. The pilot aired in 1977 and the show ran for several series. That same pilot, which was originally aired as a made for television movie, was recently released on blu by Warner Brothers as part of their Archive Collection series. I reached out to them and they were kind enough to send a copy my way.
**Spoiler Alert**The film follows a man who is found on the beach not breathing. He is rushed to the hospital and it is soon discovered that he has webbed fingers and toes. When they are unable to get him breathing they rush him to the water and discover that he is able to live in the water and only land for a short time. The doctor takes a keen interest in him and soon the military is begging for his help to find a piece of expensive equipment lost in the sea. He reluctantly agrees and goes looking for it only to find an underwater lair that is recruiting scientists as part of an evil eco-terrorists plans to destroy the world.**Spoiler Alert**
When I tossed this one in I wasn’t expecting a game changing film but I was expecting some cheesy fun…which is exactly what I got. The acting in this one is solid for television shows of the time but no one really delivers a thrilling performance. Patrick Duffy, though billed as the show’s star, is rarely the center of attention. For most of this pilot he is just there in the scene. The entire cast has to act around him forcing them to carry the scene. They do a decent enough job but there is several times where the cheese is just a little too unbearable.
The story for this one is simple and fun. It focuses more to establish the character of Mark Harris who is played by Duffy and his relationship with some of the main characters. It works and the little bit of action tossed in towards the end of film is fun as well. I really enjoyed the characters but I do find it extremely difficult not to compare it to shows like The Incredible Hulk.
Finally, we get some nice film sets and some decent props but those of you looking for blood and gore will not find it here. The film is purely character based with no carnage. Overall, Man from Atlantis is a fun beginning to what I am sure is an entertaining show. The blu looks surprisingly good and would make a fine addition to any 70s television fan or sci-fi looking for something they had never seen before. Check it out.