REVIEW: STAR TREK: DEEP SPACE NINE – SEASON 1-7

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MAIN CAST

Avery Brooks (Roots: The Gift)
Nana Visitor (Dark Angel)
Rene Auberjonois (Boston Legal)
Alexander Siddig (Game of Thrones)
Terry Farrell (Hellraiser 3)
Colm Meaney (Intermission)
Cirroc Lofton (Soul Food)
Armin Shimerman (Buffy: The Vampire Slayer)
Michael Dorn (Ted 2)
Nicole de Boer (Rated X)

RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

Patrick Stewart (American Dad)
Felecia M. Bell (Nightman)
Marc Alaimo (Total Recall)
Aron Eisenberg (Puppet Master 3)
Max Grodenchick (Apollo 13)
J.G. Hrtzler (Roswell)
April Grace (Lost)
Majel Barrett (Babylon 5)
Andrew Robinson (Hellraiser)
Gwynyth Walsh (Taken)
Vaughn Armstrong (Power Rangers Lightspeed Rescue)
Rosalind Chao (I Am Sam)
Edward Albert (Power Rangers Time Force)
Scott MacDonald (Jack Frost)
Jennifer Hetrick (L.A. Law)
John De Lancie (The Hand That Rocks The Cradle)
Tom McCleister (Angel)
Gregory Itzin (Firefly)
Fionnula Flanagan (The Others)
Julie Caitlin Brown (Babylon 5)
Chris Latta (Transformers)
Barry Gordon (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles)
Wallace Shawn (The Princess Bride)
Cliff De Young (Glory)
Jonathan Banks (The Lizzie Borden Chronicles)
Keone Young (Men In Black 3)
Jack Shearer (Star Trek: First Contact)
Harris Yullin (Rush Hour 2)
Louise Fletcher (Heroes)
Frank Langella (Masters of The Universe)
Stephen Macht (Galaxina)
Steven Weber (Izombie)
John Glover (Smallville)
Tim Russ (Samantha Who?)
Daphne Ashbrook (The Love Letter)
Don Stark (That 70s Show)
Brian Thompson (The Terminator)
Salli Richardson-Whitfield (I Am Legend)
William Schallert (Innerspace)
K Callan (Lois & CLark)
Chris Sarandon (Child’s Play)
John Colicos (Battlestar Galactica)
Michael Ansara (Batman: TAS)
William Campbell (Dementia 13)
Tony Plana (Ugly Betty)
Michael Bell (Rugrats)
Alan Oppenheimer (Transformers)
Salome Jens (Superbot)
Martha Hackett (Leprechaun 2)
Ken Marshall (Krull)
Mary Kay Adams (Babylon 5)
Bumper Robinson (Sabrina: TTW)
Brett Cullen (Lost)
Jeffrey Combs (The Frighteners)
Tricia O’ Neil (Gia)
Dick Miller (Gremlins)
Deborah Van Valkenburgh (Free Enterprise)
Clint Howard (Apollo 13)
Richard Lee Jackson (Saved By The Bell: The NEw Class)
Andrew Prine (V)
Tracy Scoggins (Lois & Clark)
Erick Avari (Stargate)
Carlos Lacamara (Heroes Reborn)
Leland Orser (Seven)
Chase Masterson (Terminal Invasion)
Penny Johnson Jerald (Castle)
Andrea Martin (Wag The Dog)
Diane Salinger (Batman Returns)
Sherman Howard (Superboy)
Robert O’ Reilly (The Mask)
Obi Ndefo (Stargate SG.1)
Patricia Tallman (Babylon 5)
Galyn Gorg (Robocop 2)
Jeremy Roberts (Veronica Mars)
James Cromwell (Species II)
Charles Napier (The Silence of The Lambs)
Conor O’Farrell (Lie To Me)
Robert Foxworth (Syriana)
Brock Peters (Soylent Green)
Casey Biggs (Broken Arrow)
Tony Todd (The Flash)
Robert DoQui (Robocop)
D. Elliot Woods (Agents of SHIELD)
Jason Marsden (Full House)
Ron Canada (Just Like Heaven)
James Black (Anger Management
Meg Foster (Masters of The Universe)
Tracy Middendorf (Scream: The Series)
John Prosky (The Devil Inside)
Hilary Shepard (Power Rangers Turbo)
Phil Morris (Smallville)
Charlie Brill (Silk Stalkings)
Kurtwood Smith (That 70s Show)
Eric Pierpoint (Alien Nation)
Robert Picardo (Stargate: Atlantis)
Marjean Holden (Hostage)
Brian Markinson (Arrow)
Christopher Shea (Bounty Killer)
Marc Worden (Ultimate Avengers)
Gabrielle Union (Ugly Betty)
Shannon Cochran (The Ring)
Iggy Pop (The Crow 2)
Brad Greenquist (Alias)
Leslie Hope (24)
Stephen McHattie (300)
Michael Weatherly (NCIS)
Henry Gibson (Sabrina: TTW)
James Darren (T.J. Hooker)
Bill Mumy (Babylon 5)
Kevin Rahm (Bates Motel)
Adrienne Barbeau (Swamp Thing)
William Sadler (Roswell)

DS9 is one of my all-time favourite television shows. It edges out Star Trek’s original series just barely as my favourite in the franchise. I am not going to state that it’s the best Star Trek series, because it definitely will not appeal to everybody, but it is my favourite.

DS9 deviates from the Trek franchise formula in an important way – it is based on one location – a Cardassian-built space station near the planet Bejor. So even the architecture of the main set is alien – not another sterile militaristic star ship inhabited by a primarily white European crew – but a true Babel. Bejor has just been liberated from 60 years of occupation by an expansionist militaristic race – the Cardassians. Both Bejorans and Cardassians will play important roles throughout DS9. Since the station does not move much during the show’s seven year run, DS9 has a much stronger sense of place than the other ST series, and is able to develop story arc and character continuity much more powerfully than the others.

All of the major characters and most of the frequent returning characters have their own interwoven story arcs – most of which span the entire series. Ben Sisko (Avery Brooks), the station’s commander, is a somewhat disgruntled Star Fleet officer who has several personal vendettas which have almost driven him from Star Fleet. He is also a single parent and a genius. In the very first episode, Sisko’s arc begins and it is clear that his story will be the frame within which the entire series is organized – though the reasons for this will no become entirely clear until near the end. Also memorable are the gruff, shape-shifting Chief Constable Odo(Rene Auberjunois) who does not know what he is and where he came from; Kira (Nana Visitor) Sisko’s aggressive and intense Bajoran second officer; Garak (Andy Robinson) a Cardassian Tailor and – possibly – spy, who is easily the most well-developed, well-acted and interesting recurring guest star Star Trek has ever had; Jadzia Dax (Terry Farrell) – the beautiful Trill science officer whose consciousness is enhanced by the memories and personality of a 600 year old symbiotic slug who lives in her stomach and has inhabited dozens of previous hosts; Julian Bashir (Alexander Siddig) the station’s young, brilliant, adventurous and naive doctor; and Quark (Armin Shimmerman), the greedy, conniving, but entirely lovable Ferengi casino owner.

The characters, cast, and serialized stories make DS9 stand apart from the franchise as the most powerfully plotted, intensely dramatic and politically charged Star Trek ever. The show is, however, not for those with limited attention spans and a disdain for complexity. While it isn’t exactly hard to follow, the dialog is often dense and DS9 – more than any other Trek show – uses non-verbal communication very well. Brooks, Visitor and Robinson – all of whom are masters at this – are particularly non-verbal and make a big impression from the first few episodes.

Throughout the series, there are constant underlying political intrigues and surprisingly little filler. Almost every story connects with the main story arc (Sisko’s and Bejor’s) in one way or another, and no time is wasted with aimless experimentation by the writing team (a problem Voyager and Enterprise both suffered from).

The production is consistently theatrical in scope. The special effects are still – even today – above average for television, and even the new BSG doesn’t approach the scope and coherence of the plot.Highly recommended for bright people looking for something more than typical TV drama normally delivers.

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REVIEW: HELLRAISER

CAST

Doug Bradley (Wrong Turn 5)
Andrew Robinson (Star Trek: DS9)
Claire Higgins (The Golden Compass)
Ashley Laurence (Warlock III)
Sean Champman (A Mighty Heart)
Robert Hines (Wetherby)

In Morocco, Frank Cotton buys a puzzle box from a dealer. In a bare attic, when Frank solves the puzzle, hooked chains emerge and tear him apart. Later, the room is filled with swinging chains and covered with the remnants of his body. A black-robed figure picks up the box and returns it to its original state, restoring the room to normal.

Some time afterward, Frank’s brother Larry moves into the house to rebuild his strained relationship with his second wife, Julia, who had an affair with Frank shortly after their marriage. Larry’s teenage daughter, Kirsty, has chosen not to live with them and moves into her own place. Larry cuts his hand carrying a sofa up the stairs, and lets his blood drip on the attic floor. The blood resurrects Frank as a skinless corpse, who is soon found by Julia. Still obsessed with Frank, she agrees to harvest blood for him so that he can be fully restored, and they can run away together. Julia begins picking up men in bars and bringing them back to the house, where she murders them. Frank consumes their blood, regenerating his body. Frank explains to Julia that he had exhausted all sensory experiences and sought out the puzzle box, with the promise that it would open a portal to a realm of new carnal pleasures. When solved, the “Cenobites” came to subject him to the extremes of sadomasochism.

Kirsty spies Julia bringing men to the house; believing her to be having an affair, she follows her to the attic, where she interrupts Frank’s latest feeding. Frank attacks her, but Kirsty throws the puzzle box out the window, creating a distraction and allowing her to escape. Kirsty retrieves the box and flees, but collapses shortly thereafter. Awakening in a hospital, Kirsty solves the box, summoning the Cenobites and a two-headed monster, which Kirsty narrowly escapes from. The Cenobites’ leader, Pinhead, explains that although the Cenobites have been perceived as both angels and demons, they are simply “explorers” from another dimension seeking carnal experiences, and they can no longer differentiate between pain and pleasure. Although they attempt to force Kirsty to return to their realm with them, she informs Pinhead that Frank has escaped. The Cenobites agree to take Frank back in exchange for Kirsty’s freedom.

Kirsty returns home, where Frank has killed Larry and taken his identity by stealing his skin. Julia shows her what is purported to be Frank’s flayed corpse in the attic, locking the door behind her. The Cenobites appear and demand the man who “did this”. Kirsty tries to escape, but is held by Julia and Frank. Frank reveals his true identity to Kirsty, and, when his sexual advances are rejected, he decides to kill her to complete his rejuvenation. He accidentally stabs Julia instead and drinks her blood without remorse. Frank chases Kirsty to the attic, and when he is about to kill her, the Cenobites appear. Now sure he is the one they are looking for, they ensnare him with chains and tear him to pieces. They then attempt to abduct Kirsty. Ripping the puzzle box from Julia’s dead hands, Kirsty defeats the Cenobites by reversing the motions needed to open the puzzle box, sending them back to Hell. Kirsty’s boyfriend shows up and helps her escape the collapsing house.

Afterwards, Kirsty throws the puzzle box onto a burning pyre. A creepy vagrant who has been stalking Kirsty walks into the fire, and retrieves the box before transforming into a winged creature and flying away. The box ends up in the hands of the merchant who sold it to Frank, offering it to another prospective customer.This film received an X rating when it was first released, The gore effects are only a tad dated, but they’re still quite shocking. I think the X rating might have been due more to the films unrelenting sadism than anything else. It’s sick and remorseless, but that’s not to say it’s bad. It’s innovative. Nothing like it had been seen up to that time, and it still remains an original. It never imitates; it’s all fresh and frighteningly new and should be appreciated for that if nothing else. Followed by one pretty good sequel and a handful of really bad ones, this first installment remains the best. Should be seen at least once.

 

REVIEW: CHILD’S PLAY 1,2 & 3

CAST
Brad Dourif (Dune)
Alex Vincent (House Guest)
Catherine Hicks (Star Trek 4)
Chris Sarandon (The Princess Bride)
Dinah Manoff (Grease)
Jack Colvin (The Incredible Hulk 70s)
Serial killer Charles Lee Ray, also nicknamed the “Lakeshore Strangler”, is a wanted fugitive on the run from the police in the streets of Chicago on the night of November 8, 1988. After being fatally shot by Detective Mike Norris, Charles transfers his soul into a “Good-Guy” doll via a voodoo ritual which destroys the store in an attempt to cheat death. Mike, who survives the explosion, finds Charles’s body, thinking he killed him.
The next morning, widow Karen Barclay buys the same Good Guy doll at work from a peddler as a birthday gift for Andy, her 6-year-old son. That night, Karen’s friend Maggie Peterson comes to babysit Andy. The doll, now named “Chucky”, kills Maggie by striking her in the back of the head with a hammer, sending her falling to her death out an open window after she stopped him from getting live updates on TV of his former accomplice, Eddie Caputo, who abandoned Chucky the night he got shot. The police soon arrive and Mike thinks Andy had something to do with Maggie’s death, much to the fury of Karen, who orders the police to leave.
The next morning, Andy, on Chucky’s apparent orders, ditches school and takes Chucky to a rough part of Chicago where Eddie lives. Chucky sneaks into Eddie’s home while Andy is urinating and turns off the pilot light and turns up the gas which explodes after Eddie shoots at it destroying the building and killing him. When Andy is again questioned by the police, Andy blames it on Chucky. Andy is then sent to a mental hospital, much to Karen’s dismay.
That night, Karen discovers Andy was telling the truth when she realizes Chucky’s batteries were never placed inside, meaning Chucky has been functioning without batteries. When inspecting Chucky, Chucky comes alive, curses at her in Charles Lee Ray’s voice, bites her and escapes; Detective Norris finally agrees to help after Chucky almost kills him in his car. Chucky goes to John, Charles Lee Ray’s former voodoo teacher. When asked why he bled after being injured, John reveals to Chucky that the longer his soul remains trapped within the doll, the more human he becomes. In order to escape the doll’s body, Chucky must possess the first person to whom he told about his possession, which is Andy. When Dr. John rejects Chucky’s plea for help, Chucky fatally wounds John using his own voodoo doll and stabs him. Chucky escapes just before Karen and Detective Norris arrive on the scene. Before dying, John tells them that although Chucky is a doll, his heart is fully human and vulnerable to fatal injury.
At the mental hospital, Chucky steals the key to Andy’s cell, but discovers Andy has escaped. Dr. Ardmore finds Andy and unsuccessfully tries to sedate him. Chucky violently electrocutes Dr. Ardmore, then follows Andy home and knocks him unconscious with a wooden baseball bat. As Chucky begins possessing Andy, Karen and Detective Norris arrive and stop him. Chucky slashes Mike, then goes after Karen and Andy. The pair trap Chucky in the fireplace and burn him. Thinking Chucky is dead, Karen and Andy leave the room to help Mike, but Chucky follows them and attempts to kill them. Chucky is again thought to be killed when Karen shoots Chucky, severing an arm, a leg, and his head. Jack Santos, Mike’s partner, arrives at the apartment, and disbelieves the trio’s story. Chucky’s body then bursts through a ventilation duct and tries to strangle Jack. Karen tells Mike to aim and shoot for Chucky’s heart. After Mike kills Chucky, they go to the hospital. Karen turns off the bedroom’s lights and Andy looks back at Chucky before closing the door as the screen fades out.
 This is a great film that musn’t be missed. If you do enjoy wacthing this film, then watch the others. You won’t be disappointed.
CAST
Brad Dourif (Dune)
Alex Vincent (House Guest)
Jenny Agutter (Logan’s Run)
Gerrit Graham (Parker Lewis Can’t Lose)
Christine Elise (Body Snatchers)
Grace Zabriskie (The Grudge)
Beth Grant (Wonderfalls)
Two years after the previous film, the killer “Good Guys” doll Chucky (voiced by Brad Dourif) is rebuilt from scratch by the Play Pals doll company to prove there is no fault with the dolls. As a result of Andy Barclay (Alex Vincent) blaming Chucky for the murders committed, the company has suffered. One of the men working on Chucky is killed via electrocution, resulting the CEO of the company Mr. Sullivan (Peter Haskell) orders his assistant Mattson (Greg Germann) to cover the accident and get rid of Chucky.
Meanwhile, Andy is now in foster care, due to his mother Karen being in a mental hospital for supporting his story about Chucky until she is able to care for him again. Andy is adopted by Phil (Gerrit Graham) and Joanne Simpson (Jenny Agutter). In his new home, Andy meets his new foster sister Kyle (Christine Elise).
After work Mattson stops at a corner store and while he is out of his car, Chucky phones Grace Poole (Grace Zabriskie), the manager of Andy’s foster center. He claims to be a relative of Andy’s in order to get his new address. He then carjacks the car and orders Mattson to drive outside the Simpson household at gun point. Chucky then kills him by suffocating him with a plastic bag. In the house, Chucky accidentally activates “Tommy”, another “Good-Guy” doll (who Andy mistook for Chucky), and destroys him with Joanne’s ornament. Chucky then buries the toy in the garden and takes his place as “Tommy”. Phil punishes the children thinking one of them broke the ornament. After Andy spends the rest of the day with Kyle, Chucky waits for nightfall and ties up Andy and almost possesses him. However, Kyle, who snuck out, arrives. After Andy claimed Chucky tied him up, Phil throws Chucky in the basement.
The next day, Chucky hitches a ride on the bus to Andy’s new school. Andy’s teacher Miss Kettlewell (Beth Grant) discovers obscenity written on his worksheet, forces Andy to stay in the classroom as punishment, and locks Chucky in the closet. Andy escapes, and the doll beats Miss Kettlewell to death with a yard stick. After Andy insisted Chucky got him in trouble, Phil considers taking him back to the foster center.
That night, Andy tries to kill Chucky with an electric knife in the basement, but Chucky attacks him. Phil is killed by Chucky by being tripped and thrown to the floor, snapping his neck. Joanne, convinced that Andy killed him, sends him back to the foster center. Later, Kyle discovers “Tommy” in the garden and realizes Andy was telling the truth, and begins to search for Chucky inside the house. After finding Joanne’s body, Chucky attacks her and orders her to take him to the center. There, during a false fire alarm, he kills Grace by stabbing her in the heart, and orders Andy, who is being held at knifepoint by the doll, to take him to the PlayPals “Good-Guy” factory for the transfer.
Kyle follows the duo to the factory. After knocking Andy unconscious once again, Chucky fails to possess the boy, since he spent too much time within the doll’s body. Enraged, Chucky decides to kill Andy and Kyle instead. Chucky murders a security guard. He then loses one of his hands, which he replaces with his knife, and his legs, but still goes after the two. Kyle and Andy then pour molten wax over him before putting an air hose in his mouth, which causes his head to explode and finally defeating him. The pair leaves the factory for “home”, with Andy asking where “home” is and Kyle responding that, in truth, she doesn’t know.
Child’s Play 2 has never looked this good. Plus the film is Uncut. Still a classic to this day.
CAST
Brad Dourif (Dune)
Justin Whalin (Lois & Clark)
Perrey Reeves (Old School)
Jeremy Sylvers (My Wife and Kids)
Travis Fine (Girl, Interrupted)
Dakin Matthews (True Grit)
Andrew Robinson (Star Trek: DS9)
Mark Christopher Lawrence (Chuck)
Eight years after the events of the previous film, The Play Pals (Good Guys) has recovered from bad publicity arising from Chucky’s (voiced by Brad Dourif) murder spree. The company releases a new line of Good Guy dolls and recycles Chucky’s remains. However, the soul of serial killer Charles Lee Ray still inhabits the remains, and Chucky is soon revived. Chucky is unwittingly given to Play Pals’ CEO Mr. Sullivan, whom Chucky kills. He then uses computer records to relocate Andy Barclay (Justin Whalin). Still troubled by his past encounters with Chucky, sixteen-year-old Andy Barclay has been sent to Kent Military Academy after having failed to cope in several foster homes. Colonel Cochran (Dakin Matthews), the school’s commandant, begrudgingly enrolls Andy, but advises him to forget his “fantasies” about the doll. Andy befriends cadets Harold Aubrey Whitehurst (Dean Jacobson), Ronald Tyler (Jeremy Sylvers), and Kristin DeSilva (Perrey Reeves), for whom he develops romantic feelings. He also meets Brett C. Shelton (Travis Fine), a lieutenant colonel who routinely bullies the cadets.
Shortly after Andy arrives, Tyler is asked to deliver a package to his room. Tyler realizes that the package contains Chucky and, excited, takes the new toy to the cellar. Once freed, Chucky realizes that he can possess the first person who learns his true nature. He tells Tyler his secret, but just as Chucky is about to possess him, they are interrupted by Cochran, who takes the doll away. Cochran throws Chucky into a garbage truck, but Chucky escapes by luring the driver into the truck’s compactor and crushing him. That night, Chucky attacks Andy and tells him his plans for taking over Tyler’s soul. But before Andy can attack Chucky, Shelton comes in and takes the doll from him. Andy tries to get the doll back by sneaking into Shelton’s room, but Shelton catches him in the act. Upon realizing the doll has vanished, Shelton suspects it stolen and forces all the cadets to do exercises in the courtyard as punishment.
Andy unsuccessfully tries to warn Tyler about Chucky. At one point, Chucky lures Tyler into playing hide-and-seek in Cochran’s office, where he attempts to possess the boy again. However, they are interrupted by De Silva and, moments later, Cochran himself. When the cadets leave, Cochran is confronted by a knife-wielding Chucky. The resulting shock causes Cochran to suffer a fatal heart attack.
The next morning after breakfast, Chucky kills the barber with a straight blade and scaring Whitehurst in the process. Despite Cochran’s death, Shelton declares that the school’s annual war games will proceed as planned, with Andy and Shelton on the same team. However, Chucky secretly replaces the paint bullets of one team with live ammunition. When the simulation begins, Chucky accosts Ronald, then threatens the boy when he refuses to take part. Ronald stabs Chucky with a pocket knife and flees, trying to find Andy. Chucky then attacks Kristen and holds her hostage, attempting to lure the teams into fighting each other to save her. Chucky forces Andy to exchange Kristen for Tyler.
Suddenly, the red team descends upon the area and obliviously opens fire with their live rounds. Shelton is killed in the crossfire. Amidst the chaos, Tyler makes a quick getaway, but before giving chase, Chucky tosses a live grenade at the quarreling cadets. Recognizing the danger, Whitehurst bravely leaps on top of the grenade and sacrifices himself to save the others. With no time to mourn his friend, Andy heads off in pursuit of Chucky, with Kristen close behind. Eventually the chase leads the group into a haunted house at a nearby carnival. Ronald tries to get a security guard to help him, but Chucky kills the guard offscreen and kidnaps Ronald. In the ensuing melee, Chucky shoots Kristen in the leg, leaving Andy to fight Chucky alone. When Tyler is inadvertently knocked out, Chucky seizes the opportunity to possess him, but Andy intervenes, shooting him several times. and his face being cut off, Enraged, Chucky attempts to strangle Andy, but Andy uses Tyler’s knife to cut off Chucky’s hand, dropping him into a giant fan which slices him to pieces. Afterwards, Andy is taken away by the police for questioning, while Kristen is rushed to the nearby hospital.
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This 3rd Child’s Play film was taken off the shelves and banned after the awful James Bulger murder case back in 1993. Claiming that certain scenes made the little boys killers do the awful crime after watching it a few days before. What were two 10 year olds doing watching an 18 rated film anyway? The film isn’t to bad to be honest. Yes slightly more graphic than the first 2 films but didn’t warrant it being an 18.  Not as good as the first 2, but ok.

REVIEW: THE INCREDIBLE HULK (1977-1982)

Image result for the incredible hulk tv logo

MAIN CAST

Bill Bixby (Goodnight, Beantown)
Lou Ferrigno (The Scorpion King 4)
Jack Colvin (Child’s Play)


RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

Susan Sullivan (Castle)
Ted Cassidy (Mackenna’s Gold)
Lara Parker (Dark Shadows)
William Daniels (Girl Meets World)
Gerald McRaney (Mike & Molly)
Martin Kove (The Karate Kid)
Loni Anderson (Nurses)
Pamela Susan Shoop (Halloween II)
Julie Gregg (The Godfather)
Jennifer Darling (Aladdin)
Andrew Robinson (Hellraiser)
Julie Adams (Murder, She Wrote)
Sheila Larken (The X-Files)
Rosalind Chao (Star Trek: DS9)
Lance LeGault (Stripes)
Mickey Jones (V)
James Daughton (Blind Date)
Ned Romero (Children of The Corn II)
Sally Kirkland (JFK)
Mako (Conan The Barbarian)
Marc Alaimo (Total Recall)
Brion James (Blade Runner)
Kerrigan Mahan (Power Rangers)
Christine Belford (Ruffian)
Billy Green Bush (Critters)
Ernie Hudson (Ghostbusters)
Austin Stoker (Assault on Precint 13)
Carol Baxter (A Chorus Line)
Fred Ward (Tremors)
Sherman Hemsley (The Jeffersons)
Kim Cattrall (Big Trouble In Little China)
Morgan Woodward (Dallas)
Gary Graham (Alien Nation)
Charles Napier (The Silence of The Lambs)
Ray Walston (Star Trek: Voyager)
Bob Hastings (Batman: TAS)
Diana Muldaur (Star Trek: TNG)
Reed Diamond (Dollhouse)
Mark Lenard (Planet of The Apes)
Anne Lockhart (Buried)
Stanley Kamel (Domino)
Melendy Britt (She-Ra)
Henry Polic II (Webster)
Dennis Haysbert (24)
Dick Durock (Swamp Thing)
Brett Cullen (Ghost Rider)
Faye Grant (V)

The first season of The Incredible Hulk premiered with its pilot in 1977 and went on to run for eleven additional episodes. This is the one that started it all and in the opening moments of the series we are given a glimpse at Dr. David’s origins and how he came to possess the abilities of the Hulk. With the introduction out of the way the first season more or less hits the ground running as it established itself with some strong episodes and character development. Granted there are a few clunkers in between the good parts, but all around it was a solid start for Hulk.

“Death in the Family” is the first episode after the pilot and it’s a nice way to get the series going as it establishes the formula early on. This episode sees Banner making his way through California only to stop and help a handicapped girl after she faints in an orchard. It leads to David getting into the middle of a plot to kill the girl, so naturally only he and the Hulk can save her. When he’s done with California, David hitches his way to a new city where he befriends a wannabe boxer involved with some shady dealings. After that he moves on to working in a zoo in an episode that actually features the Hulk fighting a gorilla. Both of these episodes were kind of weak after the pilot and “Death in the Family”, but the season gets much better from here on out.

One of the strongest notes comes from the fifth episode, “Of Guilt, Models, and Murder”. I found this episode entertaining due to the way it played with David’s amnesia after he becomes the Hulk. The episode starts out with the doctor waking up in a room with some dead fashion models, and naturally his mind heads down dark, guilty paths as he blames the Hulk for killing them. The rest of the episode sees him investigating the murders and trying to get the bottom to find out whether or not he was actually involved.

From then on the first season has some ups and downs as it makes its way through the remaining seven episodes. Of the better episodes, “Terror in Times Square” stands out as it features David helping out an arcade owner who is being pressured by some people for “protection”. What better protection could you ask for than having the Hulk on your side for some good ‘ol fashion smashing? “The Hulk Breaks Las Vegas” was a great episode as well. I mean, just think about it, the Hulk running through the streets and casinos of Vegas! After these episodes the only other one that stands out in this season is “Earthquakes Happen” which has David /the Hulk attempting to stop a meltdown after a massive earthquake.

The second season of the Hulk starts out with David heading to Hawaii and getting married to a woman named Carolyn. Of course, being cursed as he is, things naturally don’t end well for the doctor. In the end though, this “Married” episode was interesting because it was more or less two parts and presented itself as a much larger story than we had become accustomed to. The thing with The Incredible Hulk is that most every episode followed a strict formula and you could basically expect the same structure over and over again. Due to that fact it is always a nice thing when the mold is broken, which did happen from time to time with the series.

That “mold” is broken again later in this season with a two-part episode entitled “Mystery Man”. This storyline features the very definition of a close call when David is involved in a car accident that renders him with amnesia. It is bad enough he doesn’t remember what happens when he’s the Hulk, but now he just plain doesn’t know what’s going on. Because of the accident his face is bandaged and he winds up spending a lot of time with McGee when they are involved in a plane crash together. You’re left wondering throughout the episode whether or not the reporter will actually put two and two together.

Aside from these two breaks from the standard set by the first season, the rest of this year’s batch of Hulk episodes are formulaic. It works for many episodes, but there are others which just aren’t quite as sharp. “The Antowuk Horror”, “Alice in Disco Land”, “Killer Instinct”, and “Stop the Presses” all stand out as prime examples of the show at its best, while “Wild Fire”, “Vendetta Road”, and “The Disciple” are a few of the lower points.

All in all, the second season of The Incredible Hulk was much better than the first, but then again in the opening year the show was just finding its footing. We still see a little bit of that here though it’s safe to say that the show handles this material better than most science fiction programs of the era. Many of these episodes and plots are cliché beyond reason, but the series handles them seriously and with a hefty flare for the dramatic. This was definitely one of the feathers in the Hulk’s cap and because of that the series retains much of its entertainment value some thirty years later.

For the third season no multi-part episodes were included, so there really wasn’t much continuity here by comparison to the previous year. That serious tone that helped the series out in the second season was back for this one, but there were still some bits that just didn’t feel right. Having the Hulk freak out on an acid trip, party at a disco, and David fight his moustache wearing evil twin proved to be moments that were really hard to take. Little bits and pieces like this invaded just about every episode and some of the plots get downright ridiculous. Even so there were still some good episodes all around this season, but they were slightly harder to find.

Of the good stuff “Homecoming” definitely stands out as one of the best here. In this episode David goes home to his family for Thanksgiving. While there he spends a little time trying to help out with a problem on the farm, but that’s not what makes this episode so entertaining. For the entire time we’ve known David, we haven’t really learned much about his history prior to being big and green. This episode provides plenty of opportunity for the writers to explore his character and some of his background.

Another solid episode from this season include “The Snare” which has David being invited to an island where he’s hunted by a madman. “The Psychic” is an interesting episode that puts David’s morality on the line when he learns that Jack McGee is going to die. David’s life sure would be a heck of a lot easier if the nosey reported wasn’t around, but could he live with that? This episode really got into David’s head and we got a nice glimpse at how he ticks. Aside from these episodes, most of the other ones here are simply passable. In all honesty it seemed as though by this point the show had already begun to slip though it still retained most of the quality.

Up through the third season the thing that really kept The Incredible Hulk going was solid character development. Though each tale was more or less episodic, traveling with David every week provided a much needed amount of humanity to counterbalance the hulking insanity. The third year started a slide in quality with more gonzo episodes leading the way. Unfortunately that trend continues with the eighteen episodes included in this season.

Despite the overall lacking nature of the fourth season, there are still plenty of enjoyable adventures for David and his big angry friend. The most notable episode here is the season opener which is a two-part story that has David getting stuck mid-transformation. The military gets involved as they think David is actually an alien so they take him back to the lab for further examination. Another two-part episode in this season sees David tracking down another “monsters”. This one has plenty to appreciate for fans of the show and it even offers the Hulk something other than a thug, brick wall, or car to beat up on! Other than the extended episodes here this season more or less splits right down the middle in terms of quality.

After watching the fourth season it’s not too difficult to see why the series was cancelled early on in the fifth. With only seven episodes to its name, the final year is a sore spot compared to the earlier ones, which featured many highlights. The episodes here simply weren’t very entertaining, most were poorly written, and even the actors didn’t seem as invested in it. It’s a shame that the series couldn’t have found a suitable ending and that it ended with such a whimper, but while it lasted it was a comic lovers dream come true.

Even if you weren’t into the comic, The Incredible Hulk was quite a show for the time it was released. The dark nature of the program coupled with Bixby’s acting skills and some “decent” writing presented a unique television experience that became an icon. While the later seasons of the show definitely weren’t the best, the first three seasons were rock-solid entertainment. Tuning in each week to see David turn into the Hulk was a hoot and reliving the show again thirty years later proves to be a nice nostalgic trip into the history of everyone’s favorite green giant.