Media Macabre: Dr. Strange (1978)
Nothing screams Hallowe’en more than curling up with a scary book or a favorite spooky film. I thought this year I’d start things off with one of my favorites from childhood, a failed supernatural series starring the Sorcerer Supreme!
In 1978, CBS (in the wake of their successful Hulk and Spider-Man television series) brought us the pilot for a new hero from the pages of Marvel Comics — Doctor Strange. Regrettably this pilot aired to abysmal ratings. The fact that it was up against the likes of Roots didn’t seem to dawn on anyone at the studio, so Dr. Strange slipped away into obscurity.
I was one of the few that was to be found sitting awestruck in front of the old boob tube that most fateful night of its debut… and I loved every cheesy seventies TV moment of it.
Sure, this origin episode, as pilots often are, strayed far and wide of the good doctor’s comic book origin, but enough of the essence was left intact to pleasure this pre-teen viewer.
It sported more than competent acting from Peter Hooten (Strange), Anne- Marie Martin (Clea), and, the delicious Jessica Walter (Morgan La Fey). Playing the role of the Master to perfection was veteran actor John Mills, who brought an Obi-Wan like air to the character of Thomas Lindmer.
The occult babble is impressive for a made-for-tv movie… more than impressive actually. Someone did their homework.
Look, it’s fun… it’s entertaining… Shakespeare? No. But quality programing with a touch of nostalgia? Most definitely.
This is must-see-tv for me, folks… and I think you might get a kick out of it too.
And best of all? By The Hoary Hosts of Hoggoth, you can watch the whole thing on YouTube.