Thomas Lindmer (John Mills), a world-weary sorcerer, foresees the return to Earth of his ancient adversary Morgan LeFey (Jessica Walter), who has been granted dominance over men's souls by The Nameless One (David Hooks). In order to combat her evil magic, Lindmer must pass the Guardianship of the Light onto a young psychiatry-resident, Dr. Stephen Strange (Peter Hooten),who has no inkling of his destiny. Written by
Les Adams <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Thomas Lindmer is a replacement for Dr. Strange's comic book mentor, the Ancient One, a native Tibetan who was the former sorcerer supreme. See more »
If I were to tell you that ignorance has been a kind of protection for you and that there's a price you have to pay if you are to understand your destiny, would you still choose understanding over ignorance?
Dr. Stephen Strange:
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TV movie (intended as a pilot for a possible series) about the Marvel magical superhero, Dr. Strange. Morgan LeFay (Jessica Walter) is sent to Earth by a demon to prevent an aging sorcerer (John Mills) from passing his power onto someone else. To this end she possesses a young woman named Clea (Anne-Marie Martin) and tries to get her to kill the sorcerer. Clea is traumatized by this, which leads her to being taken to the hospital where she is treated by psychiatrist Dr. Stephen Strange (Peter Hooten), who just so happens to be the sorcerer's intended successor.
While it's easy to dismiss this because it's a TV movie and those are largely cliché-ridden and forgettable today, I should point out that this wasn't always the case. In the 1970s TV movies were actually really good on the average, with a lot more creativity and variety than we see today where it's the same recycled soaps, thrillers, and romantic comedies over and over. This does have a limited budget, so those expecting things like Strange creator Steve Ditko's surreal imagery will be disappointed. But if you leave unrealistic expectations at the door and judge it on its own merits, I think you'll find it's a quality movie. Peter Hooten is a little wooden for a leading man but doesn't embarrass himself. Anne-Marie Martin (billed as Eddie Benton) is pretty good and very easy on the eyes. John Mills classes things up significantly. Jessica Walter is delicious fun as Morgan Le Fay. Perhaps the movie's greatest strength is Paul Chihara's score. Again, TV movies today just don't have this level of quality. Next to the Incredible Hulk TV series, this was the best of Marvel's efforts in the '70s and '80s to bring one of their heroes to life on the small or big screen, excluding cartoons. Those who can't enjoy TV movies or those who are fans of the comic book who can't see past their inflated expectations will not like it and should probably skip it altogether. I think most others who watch it will see it's very good for what it is.
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