Manimal: Season 1, Episode 1

Manimal (30 Sep. 1983)

TV Episode  |   |  Drama, Fantasy, Sci-Fi
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Ratings: 6.4/10 from 257 users  
Reviews: 7 user | 3 critic

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... See full summary »



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Title: Manimal (30 Sep 1983)

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Lloyd Bochner ...
Wynn Irwin ...
George Loros ...
Col. Hunt
Robert Carricart ...
Old man


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 <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | Fantasy | Sci-Fi





Release Date:

30 September 1983 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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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 »


Whenever Jonathan turned into a bird his hands became talons. His feet should have turned into talons and his hands and arms to wings. See more »


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Performed by Joe Pizzulo and Leza Miller
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User Reviews

Best TV series
10 September 2004 | by (Liverpool-England) – See all my reviews

I remember watching this as a young kid and thinking it was one of the best shows on the earth but so many years on when i ask people about it they cant remember it at all. Just the idea of a man fighting crime by changing into different animals is amazing. The special effects if i remember correctly were really good for around that time and although people were going on about Knight Rider, Street Hawk, Airwolf and the likes this by far outclassed them on all fronts. I'm am glad that i have eventually found it so i can prove to all those people that doubted me it really was a program. Only if it was on general release to buy, if it is out there somewhere to buy could someone point me to a link?

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Recent Posts
Trivia for hardcore fans of the show (I know there are) shin-serj-tankian
I met Simon MacCorkindale and asked him to do Manimal Hands... AndrewWorkman
Manimal Binnyman
In the opening credits of the show.... fabulousfred72
Manimal as a comedie flick...With Will Ferrel is anounced snlconnery236
Is it just me or are G. Larson's shows similar to classic horror tales? jennifer-rose1
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