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20 out of 24 people found the following review useful:

The Geatest Superhero TV Series never made?

Author: Tom Bixby from Mystic Realms
10 July 2003

Dr.Strange carries forward the legacy initiated by Kenneth Johnson on The Incredible Hulk Television Series and Pilot Movies. It takes a serious approach to the superhero genre, and reconstructs it for television. So with Dr.Strange, Writer/Director Philip De Guerre dispenses with alot of the important elements that made Stan Lee's/Steve Ditko's original Strange Tales Dr.Strange comic book stories so unique and exciting for a whole generation of readers, and comes up with a fresh approach for the times {1970's} and the climate {Network Television}. What is so amazing is that it works on almost every level.

Gone from the TV version of Dr Stephen Strange, is the arrogant, haunted persona so familiar with readers of Marvel comics. In its place is a man with a destiny to encompass the mystic arts. Perhaps a forerunner to the Highlander Movies, TV series and cartoons? What we have is a sincere, likeable sweet lead character akin more to Bill Bixby's performance of Dr David Banner. Strange is superbly played and realised by Peter Hooten. Hootens performance is refreshing with what was the norm on TV at the time. Hooten is ably backed up by the sinister Jessica Walter as Morgan Le Fay, and the evergreen John Mills as Thomas Lindmer {replacing the character of the Great One from the Marvel series}. Lindmer is a character reminiscent to Sean Connery's Ramirez in the aforementioned Highlander movies. Hooten and Mills share some genuine screen chemistry together and this movie serves as a fascinating glimpse as to what could have been had a series been commisioned.

The transfer from comics to TV is quite well realised despite the obvious limits of a TV budget. The production design, especially of those of the nightmare realms and Lindmers Castle are very efficient as is the near perfect realisation of Dr. Stranges costume from the comics pages {i actually prefer the TV Movie version}. On the down side the plot is a little cumbersome and slow burning. There doesn't seem to be too much movement, and the plot isn't too involving. It would perhaps have been a better idea to have incorporated more elements from the comics into a pliot movie of Strange's exploits.I think a good example of how fantasy can work on TV is Bill Bixby's The Magician TV series and pilot movie. Also, the special effects at times do look cheesy.Despite this, Wes Craven's A Nightmare on Elm Street seems to have incorporated alot of this movies elements into its screenplay, IE, people being haunted, killed or possesed from within a dream state, and a saviour entering that realm.

Having watched the movie again recently, it was nice to see the innocence in the movie. I can see how the occult theme may have been offensive at the time. But with the spot on performances, tight direction and nicely toned humour,{watch out for a neat cameo by Magician Larry Anderson at the end of the film} watching the film again only serves to re-emphersise my opinion that Dr.Strange was the greatest superhero TV Series NEVER made.

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14 out of 18 people found the following review useful:

This movie rocks...

Author: shanakin from United States
7 March 2005

I had first seen this movie years ago on Sci Fi only part way thru and thought of it often but never took the time to try to hunt down a copy. When low and behold I ran into it at a video rental store where you can rent movies for less than $1.00 for three days.

I cant believe how much fun this movie is, I truly love movies from the 70's and this movie has some major 70's fashion going on. I was surprised at how well the cast got into there roles from Peter Hooten playing Dr. Strange and Jessica Walter playing Morgan they both made the movie a lot of fun and the scene's that there in together are great. This is 70's camp at it's very best, the story is not as strong as it could be and the dialogue is a bit goofy at times but the actors bring the movie to life. Oh and I have to mention the lovely Anne Marie Martin she looks great in this movie what a beautiful lady.

There is another review on this movie that states the Greatest Superhero TV series never made and I have to agree. I wonder if the producers were hoping to go to series, because of the way the movie ends. It certainly had some great potential. I hope that some company takes the time to release the 70's marvel movies other than The Incredible Hulk (I do like the hulk to it's just better know than the Dr. Strange and Captain America and Spderman series of the 70's). The kid inside me from the 70's still loves these movies and I hope that some day they can be released on DVD.


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15 out of 20 people found the following review useful:

On Balance, A Great Flick

Author: shaman-7 ( from Long Beach, California
23 October 2000

So, it's not "Gone With The Wind" or even "The Omen". However, I like it and it is well worth watching.

The basic idea here, that a small number of empowered men(certainly women, too) act to preserve the world that we know from falling into demonic chaos, is an old one. It makes a stylish premise for this movie, which was based on the best-selling "Dr. Strange" comics.

The "astral" sequences are handled with style and grace. The actors play their respective parts very well.

I'd recommend this neat little movie both as entertainment and as a springboard for discussions. Do people like "Lindmer", "Wong", "Morgan LeFay" and "Dr. Steven Strange" actually exist?

I find a disconcerting similarity between Morgan LeFay's self-help cult(mentioned at the very end) and the all-too-real "Jonestown" in Guiana. (The mass suicide there, with all its disturbing implications, came a few weeks after this flick was released.)

Maybe there is "war in heaven", with some spiritual powers trying to bring humanity into enlightenment, while others try to "bust" us back into the Dark Ages. Then again, maybe I was just stoned when I saw this movie for the first time.

But I really did have a good time watching it either way!

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12 out of 15 people found the following review useful:

Good entertainment

Author: Typing_away from USA
6 June 2001

This movie deviates somewhat from the Dr. Strange comic book, but I found it to be very entertaining and fun to watch. Peter Hooten does a good job as Dr. Strange. Veteran actor John Mills has a prominent part as Lindmer, the sorcerer. As has been mentioned earlier, "Dr. Strange" was supposed to be the pilot for a proposed TV series, but unfortunately it was not picked up by a network.

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11 out of 15 people found the following review useful:

Excellent movie about a sorcerers apprentice

Author: anonymous
20 April 1999

A tv pilot that should have been a series. The christian coalition boycotted this excellent portrayal of demonology. The sponsors decided it was too controversial to air as a serial, A real shame, the suspense and eerie soundtrack made for excellent viewing...

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6 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

TV pilot that suffers from its limitations

Author: tomgillespie2002 from United Kingdom
24 August 2012

The current wave of live-action cinematic superheroes is nothing new to our screens. Since 'Superman' first revolutionised the comic book industry in 1939, there have been film adaptations. In the 1940's there were many serials (Batman, Superman, and Captain Marvel for example). Then in the 1950's and 1960's The Adventures of Superman (1952 - 1958) and the campy Batman (1966 - 1968) the superheroes became household names on television. Then, in the 1970's, DC comics, through the ABC television network, produced the highly successful Wonder Woman (1975 - 1979) series, with the Amazonian beauty of Linda Carter. With the prospects of DC's most famous character's big screen incarnation, in Richard Donner's Superman: The Movie (1978), Marvel, with their groundbreaking silver-age characters, needed a platform for their characters. Whilst they had success with their animated Saturday morning shows, live-action and the TV series was the place to promote them.

From 1977 to 1982, Universal television broadcast The Amazing Spider-man (1977 - 1979), The Incredible Hulk (1978 - 1982), and two TV movies, Captain America (1979) and Captain America II: Death Too Soon (also 1979). The quality was of course varied, and the Hulk was its most credible triumph. Then in 1978, writer/producer, Philip DeGuere, produced a feature length television movie of one of Marvels most "psychedelic", cerebral characters, Doctor Strange. Created by comic legend Steve Ditko, it seems like quite a huge leap of faith to create a plausible adaptation within the restrictions of television production. This leads to some of the more fantastical elements of the comic books to be altered, or left out entirely - but this is of course an understandable exclusion.

Doctor Stephen Strange (Peter Hooten), a Psychiatrist working in a New York hospital who has been chosen by Thomas Lindmer (John Mills) to take his place as the new Sorcerer Supreme of Earth. However, an evil Sorceress, Morgan LeFay (Jessica Walter), has plans to kill the Earth- bound magicians. After throwing Thomas off a bridge, Clea Lake (Eddie Benton), has been telepathically controlled by the evil witch, Morgan, and it is down to Dr. Strange to save her from the astral plain, then conquer the cosmic universe to become the sorcerer.

It does have the limitations of 1970's television production, and falls flat very often with the dialogue - including excruciatingly annoying laughter from Strange and Clea, as they laugh at their unfunny exchanges. However, it is an admirable effort to bring a more obscure Marvel character to a live-action context. With Stan Lee as a consultant (as with all the other aforementioned shows), Lee states that this was his most enjoyable experience out of all of them. It was intended as a pilot for a series, but this was never produced - a television interview with Morgan LeFay towards the end, actually gives clues as to the way the show could have gone, and to be honest, it seems like an incredibly good concept. Morgan LeFay would have indoctrinated into her realm of magic the youth of America, through the zeitgeist idea of the self-help programme, something that was big business in the '70's. Alas, the idea was never seen through.

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7 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

Nice Marvel TV-movie with the flair of the 70's

Author: Logan San from Düsseldorf, Germany
12 January 2004

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

It's a nice piece of Marvel-mystery, though not really true to the characters, but which Marvel movie is or ever will be? (In all Movies in the new century - including Blade - they have changed major things!)

The costumes were nice, but especially in the cases of Dr. Strange and Clea I would have loved to see the original comic-costumes...

*** SPOILER ***

It seems to be, that they have made two characters out of Dr. Strange: An old and wise version called Thomas Lindmer (played perfectly by John Mills) who hires the younger Dr. Strange (played by Peter Hooten), who's a little Playboy like, I must admit.

One word about "The Nameless One". I only knew of the Nameless OneS in the Dark Dimension, though I don't think, they are meant. Yes, Dormammu comes up to mind, but there is something more ancient and elder evil in this being!!! :) Could it be one of the elder gods: Chthon (formerly known as the Other)?!? ...because Morgan LeFey once conjured him up, but he was waaaaay to powerful for her, so she send him back to the domain, where he had come from... It seems, in this movie, Morgan hadn't so much luck! *g*

And for me it appears that Chthon made another appearance in a Marvel Movie: Blade I !!!...La Magra, the Blood-God which is summoned through rites of the vampire bible is in my opinion another movie adaption of Chthon, who not only made the Darkhold (a book with arcane black magic rites [like the vampire bible in the movie], as his touchstone to the earth plane) but is therefore ultimately responsible for all vampires at earth, because the first vampire was created by not completing an exorcism rite to an atlantean sorcerer (see Varnae, another character-adaption to movie, I think! See Overlord Eli Damaskinos of the second Blade movie) inscribed in the Darkhold! Though many have made an attempt to summon Chthon through the Darkhold, few have succeeded in it (and jet fewer survived it *eg*).


So I give this movie a 7 out of 10, because for the time it was made quite well! It's on par with the Punisher movie I think and really better then the the never released Fantastic Four movie (it's available on eDonkey). But if you really like to see bad Marvel movies, go and watch Howard the Duck or even worse: Kull the Conqueror !!!

Logan San

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4 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

"Do you believe in evil, Doctor?"

Author: utgard14 from USA
17 January 2016

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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3 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

A Decent Attempt

Author: Uriah43 from Amarillo, Texas
3 February 2015

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

"Thomas Lindmer" (John Mills) is a sorcerer who realizes his life is approaching its end. Because of this he needs to transfer his powers to somebody capable enough for his assigned tasks. That person just happens to be a young psychiatrist by the name of "Dr. Stephen Strange" (Peter Hooten) who has no idea of his potential psychic powers or the destiny that awaits him. To add to the situation is the fact that an evil sorceress named "Morgan LeFay" (Jessica Walter) has been released by a demon from her captivity in another dimension with the orders to kill Thomas Lindmer before he has a chance to convey his power to Dr. Strange. Now rather than reveal any more of this movie and risk spoiling it for those who haven't seen it I will just say that this was a decent attempt to portray the essence of the popular comic book onto the big screen. Unfortunately, some of the graphics weren't as well-developed as some of the others and as a result it gave the movie an uneven feel. The acting seemed adequate for the most part and the presence of Eddie Benton (as "Clea Lake") certainly didn't hurt the scenery in any way. All things considered I rate the film as average.

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13 out of 23 people found the following review useful:

Maybe Whedon or Raimi will ultimately fix this mess...

Author: A_Different_Drummer from North America
3 November 2013

This review is penned in Anno Domini 2013 when, for the first time in decades, competent writers and producers are finally turning the Marvel vault into a steady stream of serious entertainment, albeit of uneven quality. Among fanboys, it is known that one of the greatest disappointments in the Marvel library is Dr. Strange, which has never been turned into a decent film, not even once. Part of the fault is the quality (or lack of same) in the production teams who, in the past, have taken on the project - AND THIS FILM, DONE TO A BELOW AVERAGE TV MOVIE STANDARD, IS A CASE IN POINT. It is AWFUL. And part of the problem -- the part no one wants to discuss -- is that the Dr. Strange character is not the brightest bulb in the Marvel catalogue. The original character was created to be deliberately dull and morose, and it did not help that the working mechanics of the mystical world in the series are, for example, several notches below Harry Potter. That's not promising. I mean, you really should know a little about what you writing about, and this is not evident in the Dr. Strange series. The promise is there, but no more than that. (Literary history buffs will note that, in the 1970s a fictional series came out to compete in this niche, entitled Dr. Orient, and it was much more creative, and showed the promise of the core idea.)

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