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SPIDER-MAN (1969)

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  • Henry R. Kujawa
    And that brings us to... the end of the line. Ep.51 TRIP TO TOMORROW is that most hated of episode types (and lazy of production methods)-- the
    Message 1 of 16 , Nov 9, 2007
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      And that brings us to... the end of the line.


      Ep.51
      "TRIP TO TOMORROW" is that most hated of episode types (and lazy of
      production methods)-- the "all-flashback" episode! Spidey is swinging
      around when lightning shoots upward, zapping his webline, sending him
      crashing thru the roof of a railroad box car. When he wakes up, he
      finds a kid running away from home, hoping to head to Podunk to become
      "The Caped Protector Of Podunk". He asks is Spidey can teach him how
      to become a superhero, and what follows are excerpts of 3 earlier
      episodes.

      First up is "THUNDER RUMBLE", where we see Boltan & Boomer steal gold
      from the Depository, then watch Spidey fight Boltan, who gets whisked
      to space via his own badly-aimed and out-of-control lightning bolt.
      Much longer is "RETURN OF THE FLYING DUTCHMAN", where Spidey fights
      Mysterio for the 2nd time. In both cases, they pretty much just took
      the films as-is with no changes.

      The 3rd flashback comes from "THE EVIL SORCERER". What makes this
      stand out is, it starts with Spidey in the other dimension, hopping a
      ride on the fire-breathing whatsit, getting to Kotep's lair and being
      snagged by the giant spider. THEN, it switches to the fight in the
      museum, followed by Kotep's summoning the demon army, who demand he
      destroy his "rival" or they will kill him. At which point they cut to
      the climax of Spidey vs the giant spider, the sceptre getting broken
      and Kotep being sent back to "the depths of time", On top of
      re-structuring it so there's a flashback within a flashback, ALL the
      music from the original cartoon has been replaced with much darker,
      weirder stuff!!

      The kid winds up running home, saying "My mom won't even let me cross
      the street!" Spidey laughs, and we never do find out where that
      lightning bolt came from. Even as a kid, I HATED these type of
      episodes-- to me, they were a rip-off, and a waste of time. I noticed
      not long ago that this is apparently listed LAST on the recent DVD
      set-- but when Channel 57 re-ran the show in the early 80's, it was
      NEXT-to-last.


      Ep.52
      "THE WINGED THING" is another quickie "remake", this one combining
      elements of "THE SKY IS FALLING" and "THE VULTURE'S PREY". Following a
      penthouse robbery, The Vulture (not "Vulture-Man" as earlier) warns
      people to stay off the streets. When some fail to comply, he destroys
      a skyscraper under construction. Then, he steals a mini-missile, and
      uses it to attack a helicopter carrying a device that can control
      animals. He ditches the missile, then attacks the city with a swarm of
      vultures obeying his commands!! At least, until they inexplicably turn
      on HIM. If you've seen the 2 earlier episodes, you can see how this
      was pieced together. Virtually all the dialogue is new, and the sky
      backgrounds have all been replaced with those dark, demented,
      "psychedelic" skylines. Same goes for the music. Very little Ray
      Ellis, almost entirely "KPM" stuff-- and the darker, demented stuff at
      that.

      Among the gaffs this time are Vulture having his feet webbed to the
      missile before Spidey ever reaches him, and Spidey having a handful of
      dollars in his hand (as he did at the climax of "THE SKY IS FALLING")
      despite it having nothing whatsoever to do with the plot! The
      "animal-control" device would seem to make this a PREQUEL to "THE SKY
      IS FALLING", even though everything else screams "sequel". No point
      trying to figure it out...


      "CONNOR'S REPTILES" is basically a remake-sequel to "WHERE CRAWLS THE
      LIZARD". All the dialogue is new, but ALL the animation is the same,
      most of it in the same sequence as the original! The backgrounds &
      music, as with the other half of this "twofer", have all been replaced
      with the dark, demented variety. The sequence of The Lizard
      overturning the boat with the 2 fishermen has been moved to the middle
      of the story from the beginning. Also, instead of Connors turning into
      a Lizard, this time, he was experimenting with "reptile intelligence",
      and reportedly, one of his "creations" kidnapped him and is planning
      to create an intelligent reptile army to take over the world. As
      Connors was supposedly being held in "the old Spanish fort", it would
      have been a PERFECT opportunity to reuse footage of Connors being held
      prisoner in "FOUNTAIN OF TERROR"-- but we never see Connors until
      after his rescue! The "thing" (as Spidey calls it) is also called
      "Reptilla" at one point, and is (big surprise) wearing the same
      clothes "The Lizard" did in the original. Inexplicably, while Billy
      Connors recognizes Spider-Man, he makes no mention of having met him
      before!

      At one point, Pete wonders why he puts up with Jameson, but muses "I
      guess life would be pretty dull without him." If that's all the
      justification he has for sticking with that job, he should consider
      some serious psychiatric help.

      And so, the series creeks to a rather ignominious end... All the
      excuse one needs to go back to Ep.1 and start watching all over again!
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