|Page 1 of 2:|| |
|Index||15 reviews in total|
I grew up in P.R. China, "Man from the Atlantic" was the only show that was interesting enough to watch for everyone in my city when I grew up,I remember people would stop everything they do, some of us don't own a TV, we would go to other people's house and watch the show together, it was great! I still remember how intriguing the TV show was, mind blowing for a girl grew up in Communist China who had nothing to watch except propaganda. I loved Patrick Duffy, in fact I did many web search to find this show's English name, because I only know the Chinese translation of the name of the show. Now I am going to buy the show again and relive my fond memory! I am excited. Patrick Duffy, I love you. : ) (now I know why I love Irish men so much)
"The Man From Atlantis" (1977 - 17 episodes of 60 minutes), is a cult TV series created by Herbert F. Solow and Mayo Simon for NBC. The pilot episode begins when a man (the actor Patrick Duffy) is found unconscious on a beach after a storm. Taken to a hospital, the doctors discover that this man is not a simple victim of drowning. The Doctor and sea biologist Elizabeth Merril (the actress Belinda Montgomery) is called to investigate the case and find evidences that the mysterious man has characteristics of amphibians. Impressed by her discovery and with the desire of helping her new friend, she decides to take him to the scientific foundation of aquatic research for which she works and she decides to call him Mark Harris. The sea abilities of Mark attract the attention of everybody, including the Navy, and Doctor Merril thinks that he is probably one of the last survivors of the legendary Atlantis. From there, the man of Atlantis lives many adventures with Doctor Merril in a submarine, that travels into the great depths, always investigating the mysteries and the dangers related to the oceans. Mark had membranes in his hand fingers and his eyes was extremely sensitive to the light. The series made success in Brazil and Patrick Duffy became famous, years later, in "Dallas". As the series had more success in the foreign countries than in the U.S.A., "The Man From Atlantis" was canceled after only one year of exhibition.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Here is yet another short-lived Fantasy series that until today remains
an under-appreciated gem in bad need of a DVD release.
Patrick Duffy was superb in the role of Mark Harris, the Man from Atlantis. In the pilot he doesn't speak until the end but his performance is nevertheless quite compelling. This in spite of the eerie bright green contacts he had to wear for the part. Initially, Harris is introduced as a man with an inherent innocence and vulnerability that is in sheer contrast to his physical strength and superhuman powers.
Equipped with gills and webbed hands and feet, Harris is more cetacean than human, and relates better to marine life than the average mortal, but his pure heart and morals are way superior to ours and rival only those of Superman.
Harris swims dolphin-style, something never before seen in 1977. Plus Patrick Duffy looks quite amazing in his yellow swimming trunks. Belinda J. Montgomery was soporifically dull opposite Duffy, but that's okay. Patrick Duffy has enough talent to spare and will keep you captivated till the end of the episode.
All in all, this is a delightful little family show, with cheap special effects (such as an "invisible" river, a double-headed sea-horse, which resembles what it is: a man in a bad Halloween costume); however this is 1977, and after all computer graphics and other FX technology weren't yet invented. And again, Duffy's talent and good-looks more than compensate for any lack in the FX department.
So if your co-workers ate your lunch today and conveniently forgot yet again to fill up the coffee pot, sounds like you deserve a little escape. How about time-traveling to an alternate reality in the late 70's? Kick back and relax with Mark Harris, the Man from Atlantis with a childlike innocence, a heart of gold, and the strength of Samson or Hercules. And did I mention the looks of Adonis?
I watched this show in P.R.China many years ago during a time when
there was nothing else entertaining on Chinese TV. It was the first
American TV show aired in China and everyone who had access to a TV set
watched it. I have fond memories of the show, it was interesting and
had enough action to be entertaining. Considering the alternatives at
the time, which were communist propaganda films, it was quite a treat.
But even then, a portal at the bottom of the ocean that leads to a city where Romeo and Juliet lived still seemed to be quite a stretch. So I understand why it only lasted one season.
But this show will always have a special place in my heart for being the first American entertainment program that I have seen.
I have fond memories of The Man From Atlantis. I remember wishing how I
could swim like him when I saw this show and hearing some children wanting
to emulate him as well.
Patrick Duffy was the last survivor of an underwater civilization. He was named Mark Harris by the human world and went to work for the Foundation for Oceanic Research. Soon after, he battled the usual array of villains and monsters, his archenemy being the almost likeable Mr Schubert.
There was a Marvel Comics character who had been around since 1939 called Namor the Sub-Mariner. He was from an underwater civilization and was similar to Mark Harris. I don't know how true this is but I believe Marvel were going to make a Namor the Sub-Mariner film but this series kind of made that idea redundant.
The show was certainly enjoyable-not taxing on the brain and entertaining enough whilst it lasted, which wasn't for many episodes.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
A storm churns up the ocean depths, and close to death, a man is washed up onto the shore. A hospital medical team is unable to stabilize him. Intrigued by 'a man who has forgotten how to breathe', naval medic, Dr Elizabeth Merrill accompanies a medical consultant into the emergency room. Noting the patients' appearance, Elizabeth asks to examine him. She comes to a quick conclusion, and hurriedly takes the man, in an ambulance, back to the ocean. Pushing his inert form, around in the water, face down, Elizabeth pleads with him to 'breathe', for she had discovered, that his lungs, instead of the usual 'air sacks', contained gill-like membrane. Slowly the man revives, his cat-like green eyes staring up, at her, through the waves. Elizabeth names him, Mark Harris. With government funding she puts Mark through a series of tests to find out his speed, agility and strength in the water. They prove to be superhuman. At home in the water, he's only able to stay on land for short periods of time, before he needs to return to it; or perish. At first, Mark does not communicate verbally, until he responds to a request to help locate a lost submersible. During his mission Mark encounters Mr. Schubert (who appears in several more episodes); the villain wanting to 'take over the world'. After saving the day, and although having no recollection of his origins , Mark decides to return to the ocean, but he has a change of heart, and stays, telling Dr Merrill, 'I have not learned enough'. Handsome Patrick Duffy is brilliant as Mark Harris, with his trade mark yellow trunks and unique swimming style. I don't think that there were many who saw the show, who didn't try, just once, to imitate it. I've, recently, had the chance to see the series again, which was absolutely fantastic. It still has to be one of my all-time favourite TV shows. I was sad that the series just suddenly stopped, with no real conclusion. Maybe some of the episodes; like the one featuring the two-headed sea horse, Oscar, do look a little silly now, but special effects have come a long way since the late 70s. The Man from Atlantis never pretended to be anything more than what it was, just pure entertainment; sci-fi fantasy.
When I saw these TV series again on PinkTV a couple of weeks ago it only took me a fraction of a second to identify it and it revived very old memories in me. I was barely six when I first saw it in the very early eighties but I never forgot Mark, with his yellow swim suit, and distinctive swim, which I always tried to imitate in the pool and sea. Although I couldn't understand a word of what was said at that time, I nevertheless still remember many of the episodes, characters, and just complete scenes. I still didn't understand what was said in the run in PinkTV as it was dubbed in French, but I enjoyed it no less, and it was nice to find out that my friends have the same fund childhood memories. I'm glad I know the series name at last :-)
The first movie was wonderful, the three following movies were pretty
good. (The fourth movie, which was only a 90-minute instead of the
usual 2-hour, was the highest-rated movie of the year.) The four movies
were published as books. The series, unfortunately, was utterly
destroyed by Herb Solow, who made it into a "kiddie show, like a comic
book" -- and Solow didn't even know comic books. A giant two-headed sea
horse? A giant squid made from a plastic purple shower curtain? It was
embarrassing. The blessedly short-lived comics series itself was even
worse -- the stories were passable, but the art was about the worst
that comics have ever dared to try to sell.
There were also four paperback books made out of the movies. They were pretty much exactly the same as the scripts.
Duffy did most of his own stunts, being better at holding his breath than the stunt man. (Boy, did he have a six-pack! Yummm....) But he really wasn't that good a swimmer -- he actually lost to the guy from Grizzly Adams in the swimming competition on "Battle of the Network Stars." Ouch.
Victor Bueno, the recurring head bad guy ("Mr. Schubert") said it was his favorite role of all time, since he could camp it up to his heart's content -- and this from a man who had done everything from Shakespeare on stage to villains on Wild Wild West and Batman. The other recurring bad guy, Ted Neeley, is probably better known for his role on a fairly famous musical -- as Jesus Christ, Superstar.
Man from Atlantis also served as the inspiration for main characters in Vonda McIntyre's "Superluminal" and her four-part Starfarers series. McIntyre is considered one of the top ten living science fiction authors.
Mark Harris is a classic "Stranger in a Strange Land" type character. Unlike Aquaman and Submariner, he is apparently the last, or only, one of his kind, a distinction he shares with another not-quite-human guy named Kal-El.
I won't go critic on this, because the last time I have watched it was
the very first time I've had, and that belongs to another time, older
time, so.. let's reminisce.
It was the first half of the 1980s. We had only 2 TV channels in Egypt. I was a child, maybe 7 or 8 year old. And I remember well that I was amazed and amused.
The submarine was a hero apart. I was waiting it with passion, seeing it as sophisticated vehicle to discover the unknown (Though, the vehicle that owned my imagination at the time, forcing me to build a copy of it, randomly of course, was the plane of Tales of the Gold Monkey!).
Mark was interesting character for me back then. I even used to call the show "Mark's show", or "Mark : man came from Atlantis". His hands in specific had my head spinning. Now, know this : I went to fill our bathtub with water, nearly daily, then put my hands in it for a long long time, just for the sake of having hands like mark's. Somehow I believed that being in water for some time gives you those correlated, frog's kind of, fingers !
Else matters fascinated me about Mark, like the way how he wasn't producing any bubbles underwater (I mean from his nose and mouth !). Plus, his eyes. They never blinked underwater. Apparently, a lot of efforts were spent to perfect tricks like these.
Mark's girl was sweet. But something like "they wouldn't get married" used to come across my mind. I don't remember why, but maybe because he's a guy who loves to be in the water longer than anybody?, or maybe because he dresses funny??
Everything was tame, I don't remember something spooky or violent. It managed to be unpredictable and dreamy in every episode. And it made me love scientists as guys who live pretty cool life, have adventures for all the time, and meet different worlds everyday.
One episode I won't forget, it was about that magical man who causes everybody he shakes hands with a hysteria of laughing; it was original, funny, and surprising too; because I wouldn't imagine that such a nice guy might be evil as it turned out to be; I doubt that that character was played by Pat Morita, best known later as Mr. Miyagi, well, I won't look this up, let that area of my dreams as a kid untouched.
It was, as I love to call it, the childhood of the American TV. Those ideas were pure and simple. Now, I don't find that a lot, or at all. The TV, along with the world maybe, becomes darker as time goes by I think !
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
The Man From Atlantis was one of the less-successful TV sci-fi efforts
which appeared after the original Star Wars was such a blockbuster. As
others have noted here, TMFA was played by Patrick Duff before he
became famous on Dallas, an excellent choice for the role, he had such
a natural grace - and I couldn't help noticing he has a great many
female fans, not surprisingly, perhaps.
The character was sent to work for the Foundation for Oceanic research, and encountered various hostile villains, and/or events. Unfortunately, most of his foes were low-quality ones save for Victor Bueno's Dr. Schubert. I'm not entirely sure why the series wasn't better than it proved to be, fond as my memories of it remain - the television-movies were all excellent. Lower-quality scripting perhaps played a role in the show's short run.
I have to add my voice to those who have noted the similarities between Marvel's the Sub-Mariner(essentially a villain although they have played him as anti-hero, etc., over the years), although Mark Harris was indeed a much better-hearted, kind version. It's a surprise Marvel didn't sue the producers, really, as they could've made a strong case for copyright infringement.
In any case, despite the often weak scripts, and admittedly-cheesy 1970s-era effects, I rate the series six for Patrick Duffy's performance, and for the sake of nostalgia. For those interested, the paperback novelizations are by Richard Woodley, a writer seems to have done a good many of these film/TV tie-ins.
|Page 1 of 2:|| |
|Plot summary||Ratings||External reviews|
|Plot keywords||Main details||Your user reviews|
|Your vote history|