Man from Atlantis
The Man from Atlantis was a short-lived science fiction
television series that ran for 17 episodes on NBC
during the 1977-1978 season, following on from a successful
made-for-television movie that had aired on 1 March 1977.
The series starred Patrick Duffy as Mark Harris, a survivor from the
lost continent of Atlantis. Possessed of superhuman abilities, including
the ability to breathe underwater and withstand extreme depth pressures,
Harris is subsequently recruited by a secret organization that explores
the depths of the ocean in a futuristic submarine, the Cetacean,
fighting evil as it goes.
Victor Buono played Mr. Schubert, a recurring villain of the pilot and
the series. Belinda Montgomery was Dr. Elizabeth Merrill, the main
supporting character, apparently loosely inspired by the 1940s
Timely-Atlas comicbook character Betty Dean, who often managed to calm
down Prince Namor the Sub-Mariner when he felt angered with the behavior
of surface people. Elizabeth fills a very similar role in the movie and
series, and in both works of fiction there are strong hints of romantic
interest underneath the surface. There are persistent rumors that The
Man from Atlantis was originally meant to be a Namor series. Namor
himself is a "Man from Atlantis" (actually a king) in the Marvel
comics, and artist Frank Robbins had been involved with both characters in
the late 1970s.
Man from Atlantis is notable as being the first American TV
series to be shown in the People's Republic of China. In Brazil it was
named O Homem do Fundo do Mar, which translates to The Man from
the Deep Sea.
The show's quick cancellation allowed Duffy to start work on Dallas,
a popular series in which he'd co-star for the next decade.