Jonathan Chase is a British college professor at New York University who has the unusual ability to transform into any kind of animal he wants. He decides to use his power to assist the New York Police Department in solving unusual crimes, and in this series pilot, he teams up with cute cop Brooke and war buddy Ty to stop some terrorists from stealing a supply of toxic gas. Written by
Marty McKee <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Did You Know?
In 1983, Glen A. Larson's production unit moved from Universal MCA Studios to 20th Century Fox, a television development deal between Larson and 20th Century Fox Television. Harker Wade, Glen Larson's Universal MCA Studio production manager, joined Glen Larson's Fox producing unit. Harker Wade was made producer supervising Glen Larson's Fox productions. Harker, in turn, brought Chuck Arrigo, who had been Universal MCA Studio's Effects shop supervisor coordinator, as his construction coordinator. Hub Braden, the production designer on Glen Larson-Harker Wade NBC-TV/Universal MCA "Buck Rogers in the 25th Century" (1979-1981) series, was also hired. The CBS-TV fantasy-science fiction "Manimal" pilot was the first Fox Television project Glen Larson created, writing and producing. Preliminary conceptual meetings, for principle hero Prof. Jonathan Chase's "Manimal" set, between producer-creator Glen Larson and Hub Braden, the production designer, developed plans and models for a two story NYC Brownstone interior, with the NYC Brownstone set's first floor reception entrance foyer-library level featuring an elevator shaft, descending into a stage-pit, where the basement garage and animal cage enclosures would be presumably located. The elevator would ascend to the second floor level, where living quarters were situated. The elevator unit was planned to continue into the third floor to imply additional quarters. 20th Century Fox Television executives balked at the two level $250,000.00, new set, cost estimate to build such a lavish principle pilot set. Instead, an existing feature living room set, which had remained standing on a Fox lot sound stage, was proposed for the principle foundation for the main set. Braden re-figured the Fox's sound stage standing set, a Connecticut living room set. Incorporating Glen Larson's script-plot elements, Braden added to the standing set, alterations and configurations. The existing living room set-plan's foot-print was expanded with a library-office, dining room, kitchen, bedroom and master bath suite. Included was a spoof on a Roman-Greek bath play room, inspired as a circular wing, with antique leaded stained glass window panel walls, a contract rental with a Pasadena architectural antique dealer. A raised stepped two foot high marble dais, featuring an eight foot diameter, four foot deep spa-hot tub. At the conclusion of the pilot, Braden and Chuck Arrigo added up the (pilot) Prof. Jonathan Chase main set cost charges; Glen Larson, forced by Fox into using an existing standing Fox film set instead of building the two story proposal set, got his revenge; the final cost of the "Manimal" Jonathan Chase principal set totaled $450,000.00. In addition, an adjacent stage had the Brownstone basement lab enclosures where the black panther, birds, and other animals were caged ($125,000.00). Another Fox stage was used for swing sets required by the series developing scenarios. The exterior Brownstone was a facade on what remained of the "Hello Dolly" New York studio street. The exterior's ground floor level, of the studio's Brownstone, had an electric garage panel door installed beside the exterior Brownstone's staircase leading to the building's double door entrance ($75,000.00). Establishing shots of Johnathan Chase, driving his Rolls Royce convertible exiting and entering his Brownstone, were filmed on the "Hello Dolly" studio street for each show. Usually, when Jonathan Chase was required to transform into the black panther, the cat's scenes had to be staged at night on a location exterior. Set dressing had to provide crates, which the construction crew had built, placed for the animal wrangler to rehearse the black panther's choreographed movement. During the day, the wrangler would rehearse the cat, with the filming always occurring at night. See more
At the end, when the black panther (Jonathan Chase transformed) is untying Brooke, the 2nd close-up on the hands shows that the person is facing the panther but Brooke has her hands tied behind her back, against the post. See more
Written by Michael Jackson
Performed by Michael Jackson See more