Friday, August 6, 2010

MAN FROM ATLANTIS (1977) Opening Titles

Like The Six Million Dollar Man and Logan's Run, 70s sci-fi didn't have to be set in outer space for me to enjoy it. Spaceships were the best, of course, but submarines were cool, too, so I was also a big fan of Man from Atlantis.

Now, I haven't seen a single episode since 1977-78, when they originally aired, but I remember really digging the show in junior high. The show started off with a couple of TV movies in the summer (if I recall correctly), and they were pretty big events. When the TV Guide Fall Preview issue (my favorite issue of the year!) confirmed that Man From Atlantis was going to continue as a weekly series, I was thrilled.

I had at least the first two Marvel comic books, and still own my paperback novelizations of the first two TV movie pilots. (In fact, I re-read the first one a few months ago - not bad!) We had a pool when I was a kid, and I really got pretty good at mimicking Patrick Duffy's dolphin-like swimming style.

I had quite a crush on Belinda Montgomery (and still did, when she was Doogie Howser's mom in the 80s), thought the Cetacean submarine was incredibly cool, and the theme music (as heard in the video clip above) is one of my favorite sci-fi themes of all time.

I'm sure that most of the episodes were pretty hokey (there's a clip on YouTube with a guy in a giant seahorse costume that's goofy as hell), but I'd still love to have the whole show on my DVD shelves, next to all my other 70s childhood favorites.

I know that the pilot film is available from Warners Archive, but it's just a bit beyond my budget these days. I'd like to get it - I'm very curious as to whether it holds up at all. Of course, it would have to be pretty damned awful for me not to enjoy it - as we all know, my tastes are pretty much exactly what they were when I was thirteen.


  1. I dug this one a lot as well and one of the biggest reasons was the great Victor Bueno as the recurring arch villain.

  2. Last weekend my wife's uncle and I were going through his haphazardly arranged and stored comic collection. He had some really great stuff from the dawn of the Marvel era, but it was Man From Atlantis #1 that made me jealous.

  3. This is bizarre...I know I used to watch this show, but I have no memory whatsoever of that opening sequence!

  4. One of my local UHF stations in Houston ran the entire series late at night back in the mid 80's.
    It was a goofy but fun show.I remember Patrick Duffy commenting about it on The Tonight Show with less than fond memories.
    He said other than almost drowning a few times all he got out of it was some 8x10 glossies of him with webbed hands!

  5. While vacationing in the Virgin Islands a month ago, I amazed my friends by swimming like The Man From Atlantis. Of course, only one of them knew who I was talking about.

  6. I've got to agree with Bat Neal; Victor Buono made that show for me. His "Dr. Schubert" was a terrific villain. One of the last gasps of the great 1960's character actors who usually ended up playing the heavy (pun intended, in this case).

  7. I think i'm gonna pull the trigger on the Warner Archive episode #1, i can't wait forever for the series to get released and the bootlegs never look that great, I'd rather have one pretty pristine episode, the pilot movie seemingly always mentioned in reviews as the best of the series anyway. I loved this show when I was a kid, and like everyone else, did the dolphin/hands to your side swim in the pool at every opportunity. I got to meet Patrick at the Con this year, I'm a huge Dallas fan so it really was a highpoint for my girlfriend and I, he was really down to earth and fun to talk with.
    Here's the sweet pic-

    Dusty ABell

  8. It doesn't hold up, believe you me. The initial pilot TV movie has a nice feel to it in the first half, and Patrick Duffy has a deliberately mildly-unsettling affect, but in the second half when he starts talking it falls apart.

    The subsequent movies and the series make Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea look smart by comparison. They even managed to overuse Victor Buono! How is it possible to overuse Victor Buono? I have no idea, but they did it.

    I had to re-watch the whole series recently to review it for my site. I was really, really, really looking forward to it for the first episode and a half, but by the end of the project I was pretty punch-drunk and hating life. It beat me down, man, it beat me down.

    Also, I'm pretty sure Belinda Montgomery quit the show, she's conspicuously absent from the last couple episodes.