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Incredible Hulk

By Bryan Reesman

Writer, producer, and director Kenneth Johnson has completely reworked the story of Dr. Banner and his mean, green alter ego, but this new rendition works quite well in its TV format. After failing to save his wife from a burning car wreck, David Banner obsessively delves into research exploring rare adrenaline surges that give people superhuman strength in extraordinary situations.

Discovering that the secret lies in the surge of gamma rays from sunspots, Banner purposely absorbs a massive dose of gamma radiation in his lab to try to improve his strength. The unanticipated result? You know--when he gets mad, he transforms into the giant green dude known as the Hulk. Unlike the subsequent TV series, this original film focuses on Banner's anger and despair over losing his wife rather than his being an unlikely hero on the run. It provides for many compelling moments as he seeks to comprehend his confusing metamorphosis, and as the Hulk becomes a threat to the unspoken romance between him and his supportive colleague and confidant, Dr. Elaina Marks.

The late Bill Bixby delivers a warm, sympathetic performance as the tortured Dr. Banner, Susan Sullivan is believable as the brave, level-headed Dr. Marks, and Jack Colvin provides the sleaze factor as pesky tabloid reporter Jack McGee. Forgiving its '70s look and vibe, The Incredible Hulk is a smart comic-book adaptation that lets its protagonist do some soul-searching rather than provide a one-dimensional caricature. Kudos to Joseph Harnell's score, which strongly enhances the film's emotional content.


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Check out our Incredible Hulk forum! Do you have a favorite episode of the show? What do you remember about the series? Do you have any questions about it or its stars? Now you can post comments and questions directly to our TV forums! Click here to see what other Incredible Hulk viewers have said or to post your own comments about the show!

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The Incredible Hulk is one of two TV shows that mean the most to me (the other is Unsolved Mysteries). I began watching the show in the summer of 1979, when I was only seven years old. I don't know why I started watching it, except to say that it just happened on impulse. Regardless, I am happy to be a fan of the show. It had great production values, especially in terms of writing, creativity, and general quality of stories. I've personally been involved in situations where people had some general misconceptions about me. So in many mays, I can relate to the Hulk, who is depicted as misunderstood. My favorite episodes include (but are not limited to): "Married," "A Child In Need," "Mystery Man," "The Snare," "The Psychic," "Equinox," "Prometheus," "The First," "The Harder They Fall," and "Interview With The Hulk." The live-action Hulk series was so successful that, in 1988 (six years after its primetime run ended), it was revived in a trilogy of post-series made-for-TV movies. The last one, "The Death of the Incredible Hulk," aired in 1990. After that film ended, I almost cried because of the Hulk's (and David Banner's) death. Nonetheless, there were plans to revive him in a follow-up, but unfortunately, Bill Bixby's untimely death prevented it from being filmed.


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Aired: March 10, 1978 - June 2, 1982

Cast: Bill Bixby, Lou Ferrigno, Jack Colvin

Network: CBS

Genre: Drama

Theme song

Image courtesy of CBS

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Copyright 1994-2017, All Rights Reserved.
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