Jonathan is helping the police apprehend the man behind a smuggling ring. But they discover that the man is a diplomat with diplomatic immunity. Jonathan follow him and sees him talking to a magician...
A man is found dead on a ship with a venomous spider next to him. Jonathan is brought in and he doesn't think the spider is the cause of death. An autopsy is done and it's discovered that he had some...
A girl was found in India apparently raised by wolves and brought to the U.S. and is being kept at a university while she is being studied. Jonathan attends a lecture and it's during the lecture her ...
After lightning strikes saxophonist Johnny Domino, he finds he is telepathically tuned to the frequency of evil. This gives him an edge for finding the bad guys, and some special classified... See full summary »
Series starring a big high-tech 18-wheeler. The driver, the title's 'Highwayman' was one of a team of federal marshals empowered to right wrongs "where ordinary laws do not reach" - and to ... See full summary »
Jonathan Chase was a British college professor at New York University who had the unusual ability to transform into any kind of animal. He used his powers to battle crime alongside pretty policewoman Brooke and Vietnam-war pal Ty. Written by
Marty McKee <email@example.com>
I remember when this show came on and I thought it was the greatest thing. Yes, some of it seemed very hokey, but it was a lot of fun.
After growing up a bit and seeing it again on Sci-Fi, I can see in some ways why it didn't continue. I think the biggest flaw was that the story writers didn't take advantage of the Man into Animal aspect. They stuck the main character basically with routine Cops and Robbers plots. Most (if not all) of the story lines could be transplanted to any other Police / Crime show and be solved by an ordinary person with no animal powers. Sure, there were some instances where Dr. Chase would find himself in a predicament where only changing into an animal would save him (like falling out of a plane and changing into a hawk), but for the most part the cases were pretty mediocre.
Another problem was leaving Dr. Chase's past too enigmatic. I'm sure it was meant to add to the mystery, but most people just had no idea where this character came from or why he could do what he could do. There was the cryptic opening sequence where the young Jonathan Chase is standing by his dying father's bedside, but no other explanation is ever given about him. Knowing almost nothing about the character, you couldn't really develop too much sympathy for him. They also never delved into any complications that may come with being able to turn into any animal. Did he have their instincts as well? Did he have any limitations? Could he transform into Fish, Amphibians or Insects, or just air breathing animals? He did transform into a reptile once (python), but the rest were warm blooded air breathers like mammals and birds.
I watched on Sci-Fi Channel when they had interviews with Stan Winston, the creator of the Transformation sequences. I could see with the TV show budget, they could only do two or three sequences (Panther and Hawk were the main ones, but the Python was one exception and used only once), but those sequences were great. All done with prosthetic make-up and mechanical effects and all done in real time. Pretty impressive for the day. If the series had been produced today, it would have been much easier to do a multitude of sequences and most likely done with CGI Morphing. Once, the Dr. Chase / Manimal character made a guest appearance on "Night Man", but we were robbed because the transformation sequences were reduced to an instantaneous transformation with a flash of light. What's up with that??
Like I said, this series is greatly missed and I hope that someday the entire series comes out on DVD. I will certainly be first in line to buy it.
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