Written by: Kenneth Johnson, Richard Christian Matheson, & Thomas E. Szollosi, based on the character created by Jack Kirby and Stan Lee
Starring: Bill Bixby and Lou Ferrigno
- Eighteen episodes from the series
Released by: Universal
Rating: NR (some mild violence)
Anamorphic: N/A; appears in its original 1.33:1 format
My Advice: Wait for full seasons
[ad#longpost]Dr. David Banner (Bixby) has been working on a way to harness the raw power of the human being. You know, the raw power that can turn ordinary schmoes into superheroes when their adrenaline kicks in during emergency situations. He has become obsessed with this idea since the death of his wife. It seems that she died in a car accident and he didn’t have the strength to save her–even with his adrenaline levels heightened. His obsession turns to madness when he turns his experiments on himself. Banner exposes himself to an overdose of gamma radiation and in the process turns himself into the most dangerous split personality on the planet.
I really think that the reason this show worked was that they didn’t focus on the destructive power of The Hulk, rather the stories told of his alter-ego, David Banner, who would wonder from town to town looking for someone to help him find a way to reverse his experiment. In the process, he would help out his fellow members of the human race with his powers. (This was an excuse to have lots of guest stars every week, of course.) Bixby was good as Banner, and he seemed to understand that his job was to make sure that the journey of turning into the Hulk was a clear and believable as possible from week to week. Ferrigno…well, I mean, anybody who can be a better Hulk than a mess of CGI has something going on for him, don’t you think?
This set is just a disappointment. This is a collection of the favorite episodes of the series from fans at large, so there’s no other rhyme or reason for this thing. It’s a shame that Bixby passed away before we had a chance to get his comments down on a DVD, but Ferrigno is still around (and looks exactly the same–crikey!) and I’m sure we could dig up someone else who was involved in the show to do some interviews or additional commentary track for this set. There aren’t any original interviews with the cast or crew attached to this set. It really does look like someone simply tried to cash in on the hype from the recent travesty that was the film adaptation of the comic book. It’s a shame that they threw this one together just to ride the wave. Or lack of wave.
The shows picked are all decent samples from the series, but you really need a complete season and some features to make it all worthwhile. So wait for the complete seasons before you plonk down coin, fan or not.