Wednesday, November 29, 2017

SciFiNow's Top 10 Episodes: The Incredible Hulk

"We had no morphing technology at the time, so we had to do the old Wolfman thing [with dissolves], which I was never really happy about. The white eyes for the trigger effect was entirely my concept---it was never part of the comic book. I wanted to indicate to the audience a point of no return."

-Kenneth Johnson, The Complete Guide To The Incredible Hulk TV Series, SciFiNow #136-

These are Top 10 Episodes of The Incredible Hulk according to SciFiNow #136.

1. Pilot.
2. 747 (S1 E7).
3. Married (S2 E1).
4. Mystery Man (S2 E17).
5. The Snare (S3 E9).
6. The Psychic (S3 E18).
7. Prometheus (S4 E1).
8. King Of The Beach (S4 E10).
9. The First (S4 E12).
10. Interview With The Hulk (S4 E15).

This writer of all things science fiction loves me a good top ten. Additionally, there is always great enjoyment in promoting a classic series like The Incredible Hulk in, ironically, my own small way. Kudos to SciFiNow for continually shining that magazine's spotlight on the classic series by Kenneth Johnson as well as a host of other classic science fiction films and programs.

This is one writer who is simply not a fan of the endless wave of Marvel and DC comic book films that continue to slam theatres with their raucous visual effects and mediocre ideas for storytelling often unfaithful to the comic books we loved.

Though the same certainly could be said for the classic series The Incredible Hulk despite my love for the show. Much of that pass has to do with the lead character, David Banner, played by Bill Bixby.

So, I'm one to fall back on the classic Bixby-led series, despite its own writing deficiencies warts and all (it was the 1970s). What I found most appealing about the series was those simple, shining character moments so thoughtfully executed and played by the forever sincere, but late Bill Bixby. Kenneth Johnson nailed it by casting Bixby and expecting to make his show as real and earthbound as humanly possible. And of course effects limitations demanded such an approach, but it also let the series breathe as a human interest story centered around wayward Banner.

So it's hard to find the classics in a series of this vintage, but there are a number worth your time and the list above is completely reasonable in offering a starting point. It should satisfy those looking for a taster as we weave our way slowly through a long look at the classic superhero series, a series more interested in writing for a lonely, common man. This is likely the key to why this will be the only superhero series ever be covered here at Musings Of A Sci-Fi Fanatic. So get used to it pilgrims!


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