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16 October 2009 @ 22:47
it came from the 1970s!  
Continuing my quest to get more folks to potentially nominate it for yuletide here everything you need to know about Man From Atlantis

A mostly-naked man (Patrick Duffy) washes up on shore in California. He's taken to a local hospital but they don't know what to make of him. He has webbed fingers and toes and is dying--until Navy doctor Elizabeth Merrill (Belinda Montgomery) figures out he can breathe underwater. She saves his life, and takes him back to her lab for testing. He appears to have amnesia, and so she calls him "Mark Harris".

The Navy conscripts him to help find a missing sub, the SeaQuest, and he discovers it was stolen by Mr Schubert--an insane genius who wants to start World War III to rid the world of people so he can start civilisation anew. Mark foils Schubert's plans, and rescues the scientists and crew Schubert had held prisoner in his underwater lair, and then is free to return to the sea. However, Mark returns to Elizabeth because he's in love with her eager to learn more.

Fast-forward one year and Elizabeth has taken Mark (with the Navy's blessing) to the Foundation For Oceanic Research, and together, fight crime.

(Also, SHE DIGS HIM. Just a little.)

The series spawned four tie-in novelisations (the first of which is actually quite good--better than the MOW, and the others aren't too shabby either), and a Marvel comic book series as well (but, erm... yeah, the less said about that, the better).

ETA: and someone, God love them, made a techno remix of the theme. OH INTERNETS, HOW YOU REWARD MY QUESTIONABLE TASTE IN VINTAGE GENRE TELLY!!!

On-set interview, part 1
On-set interview, part 2
On-set interview, part 3
On-set interview, part 4

Buy it on DVD!
WB Shop

Episode Guide

Movies of the Week

"Man from Atlantis"
After a violent storm at sea, the inert body of a man is found on the beach near the Naval Undersea Center. But this is no ordinary man. Equipped with webbed hands and gills instead of lungs, he can breathe underwater, swim faster than a dolphin and dive to incredible depths. He is nursed back to health by Doctor Elizabeth Merrill and given the name Mark Harris. In return Mark agrees to work for the Foundation of Ocean Research and his first assignment is to seek out a missing submarine carrying top military officials. Swimming to incredible depths, Mark discovers an enormous undersea habitat constructed by Mr. Schubert, a maniacal scientist who plans to destroy all the nations of the world with their own nuclear weapons through an ingenious method of mind control.

"The Death Scouts"
Mark investigates the disappearance of three scuba divers and becomes involved with a pair of aliens who are the advance force of an alien invasion.

"Killer Spores"
When a space capsule crashes in the ocean near the Cetacean, Mark and Elizabeth agree to investigate. When they arrive Mark is rendered unconscious by a screeching sound. They discover hundreds of strange, blue, intelligent spores that take over Mark's body attempting to find a way back into space. However they don't know Mark will die if he does not return to water within a few hours.

"The Disappearances"
A demented scientist, Dr. Mary Smith, abducts and drugs top scientists from around the world -- including Elizabeth Merrill -- to work on a secret project.

The Series

"Melt Down"
Schubert threatens to cause world wide flooding by using powerful microwaves to melt the earth's polar ice caps unless the government turns Mark Harris over to him.

"The Mudworm"
When a multi-million dollar underwater probe malfunctions and begins attacking any ship that travels near it, Mark must reason with its highly advanced brain and convince it to stop.

"Hawk of Mu"
Mark, investigating a power outage, discovers a centuries old hawk statue from the legendary civilization of Mu. The statue, when used properly, can remove the power from a large area. Schubert discovers the power of the hawk statue and Mark must prevent him from taking it.

The oceans are leaking through a fissure in the ocean floor. A conman named Muldoon agrees to guide Mark through the fissure to investigate. However, Mark is unaware that giants inhabit the other side of the fissure and Muldoon has already stolen gold from one of them.

"Man O'War"
Using his genetic scientists, Schubert produces a giant jellyfish which he intends to release unless his extortion demands are met.

"Shoot Out at Land's End"
Mark is somehow linked with a man named Billy, existing in a wild west town, who appears to be his twin. Investigating, Mark arrives in the town and discovers Billy had the same webbing as Mark but has had it removed.

"Crystal Water, Sudden Death"
Schubert attempts to make a satellite weapon to knock out the Earth's communications. However, to power the weapon he needs the energy crystals protected by a forcefield under the ocean. The crystals actually power the forcefield that protects an underwater city.

"The Naked Montague"
An underwater landslide transports Mark to Verona, Italy ... in the days of Romeo and Juliet.

"C.W. Hyde"
C.W. develops a Jekyll and Hyde personality after swallowing a mysterious liquid.

"Scavenger Hunt"
Mark encounters Muldoon, who is using a sea monster to make island natives sacrifice young girls to him.

An impish little man enters an underwater station and causes the crew to become irrational simply by touching them. After three crewmen die the F.F.O.R. hears Duke, the last crewman talking, over the radio in a childish manner and investigates. Mark swims over and brings Duke over to the Cetacean, not knowing the imp has stowed aboard.

"The Siren"
While investigating the mysterious loss of three ships in one part of the ocean, Mark and the crew of the Cetacean encounter a submarine operated by a modern day pirate. The pirate has captured a mermaid that can produce a hypnotic siren song, which mesmerizes anyone who hears it, even Mark.

"Deadly Carnival"
Mark goes undercover to investigate members of a carnival planning to break into a museum. The only way to break into the museum is through an underwater tunnel of which only Mark can swim. When he is approached, he refuses. The owner of the carnival is then kidnapped and threatened unless Mark helps.
carta on 17th October 2009 04:22 (UTC)
I find your fascination with blink-and-you'll-miss-it tv endlessly amusing and adorable.
ljc: man from atlantis (mark/liz)taraljc on 17th October 2009 04:23 (UTC)
Most people would run in fear... this is why I LOVE YOU SO.
StClair: zoomcmdr_zoom on 17th October 2009 05:51 (UTC)
I remember this, but not that well. Mostly I remember seeing it again at a con in '85 - the segment just following your first linked clip ("Put him under pressure"), where they have him in a tank with a series of barrels that (are rigged by the FX crew to) implode and crumple at a certain simulated depth. They take him all the way down to crush depth on the last barrel and he just floats there with a "bored now" look.
AQ aka Syredronningsyredronning on 17th October 2009 09:36 (UTC)
Oooh fun *download*

Memories... /looks a little dreamy
Dorothea: merlin - squeefrogspace on 17th October 2009 11:34 (UTC)
I loved this show so much! ♥ ♥ ♥ I desperately wanted Mark find out more about his background and I remember that even back then I thought I would have enjoyed it even more if the evil scientist had been younger and better looking, although I had no idea why I would think such a thing. Ahahah! He was so obsessed with Mark!! Elizabeth was great and I liked the dynamic between her an Mark a lot, but for me it was always about Mark. In retrospect I suspect that it had something to do with Mark being wet and half naked in every episode. /o\

Edited at 2009-10-17 11:35 (UTC)
boosette on 17th October 2009 12:29 (UTC)
Using his genetic scientists, Schubert produces a giant jellyfish which he intends to release unless his extortion demands are met.

... Wat.

A work in progress: Genius Edna Mode Incrediblesancarett on 17th October 2009 12:36 (UTC)
I remember avidly following this show when it first aired, though I'm afraid I've forgotten all of the plot. Just the pretty remains!
rubynye on 17th October 2009 13:30 (UTC)
The last picture caused me to absolutely shriek with laughter.
Zenvagabondage on 17th October 2009 13:36 (UTC)
OMG I had the biggest crush on Patrick Duffy, and I loved this show like only a kid in seventies could!

Thanks, you just brought back some very happy memories of sitting in front of our ancient Zenith television. Those are downloads? Really? I might have to grab those later today. :)
ljc: man from atlantis (mark/liz)taraljc on 18th October 2009 00:18 (UTC)
Dood, ME TOO. Channel 60, every Sunday, after Bionic Woman. I'd only ever seen the show in black & white, cos that old set in my dad's office was the only one that pulled in a strong enough UHF signal.
Moonage Daydream: Happydevin_chain on 17th October 2009 14:43 (UTC)
I was crazy about this show, disappointed at its cancellation and then disgusted with Patrick Duffy for doing Dallas after starting with such a great series. Can we talk about my kid-sized sense of injustice?

Betrayal! *shakes fist at the heavens*
Susan M Garrettsusanmgarrett on 17th October 2009 23:27 (UTC)
My show
Mine. Mine. Mine. Mine.

I remember writing a letter to the network the night the first TV movie aired. I received back an envelope of blank and white press stills that I still have.

I wrote fic on this show. Yes.

I remember being in KMart in the late 80's and hearing the Cetacean theme played over the music system (it really is lovely). I tracked down the store manager who explained that it was music they bought to play in the store and she didn't know from whence it came and how to find it.

Come to think of it, I should check at work now . . . .

I also ran into Patrick Duffy at a charity event and had with me a black and white still from the series and the UK MFA Annual. He signed both and aksed if he could borrow the picture. he took it over to the pople he was with and explained to them "See, I told you I was incredibly buff back then." And he served me fish at breakfast on Sunday morning during the guest waiter breakfast . . . which I did find rather disturbing. But he put a stuffed lobster on his head and that was OK then. Somewhat.

Remember watching "Shootout at Land's End" with no small amount of jumping up and down. "The Naked Montague" was incredibly fun. And hated "Deadly Carnival" because of the sexual innuendo in Mark's last line in the tag - it was meant to throw CW a loop, but it really pissed me off because it so contradicted the character.

ljc: man from atlantis (mark/liz)taraljc on 18th October 2009 00:11 (UTC)
Re: My show
Dood--I had no memory of Mark getting his flirt on in that ep. I just rewatched it, and the idea of CW explaining the birds and the bees to Mark kinda BROKE ME.
(Deleted comment)
ljc: man from atlantis (mark/liz)taraljc on 2nd December 2010 22:31 (UTC)
Very welcome!
(Deleted comment)
ljc: steve (the happy alien) sez woottaraljc on 6th December 2010 18:54 (UTC)
I did! I haven't thought of it in ages and ages. But I remember it because maryam D'abo had my name :)
(Deleted comment)
ljc: all sonic'd uptaraljc on 6th December 2010 19:20 (UTC)
Well, Jack always called her "Tara" so that's what I remembered. I also liked the miniseries actually better than the series. But it was still miels ahead of "Hard Time On Planet Earth".
debwalsh on 31st July 2011 17:33 (UTC)
Man from Atlantis is coming out on DVD August 2011!
Warner Archive has gone back to the original elements and remastered the series. It officially released on 26 July, and my set shipped on Friday, 29 July. You can get a discount if you buy both the movies (in one set) and the series (in another). I cannot wait for my set to arrive - apparently the pilot film has been remastered since its original release.


The release couldn't come at a better time - I'm in the midst of writing a Man from Atlantis story for my new zine (Moonbeam #7). Can always use inspiration!

I'll need to update my Man from Atlantis web page (http://www.debwalsh.com/manfromatlantis) with the news of the release. I am ridiculous pleased about this ... :)