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Marvel Comics'  green-skinned Goliath the Hulk first came onscreen in 1966 with the primitive yet oddly dynamic Marvel Super-Heroes syndicated cartoon series — fondly remembered for barely animated figures literally cut out from comic books, and for a theme song whose lyrics included "Doc Bruce Banner / Belted by gamma rays / Turns into the Hulk / Ain't he unglamorous?"

A decade later, producer Kenneth Johnson — who'd written and produced for The Six Million Dollar Man and developed its spin-off, The Bionic Woman — brought a live-action Hulk series to television, introducing the Hulk's self-healing factor to the mythos and, with star and creative contributor Bill Bixby, adding a poignant depth and soul to the scientist here called Dr. David Banner. Following two telefilm pilots that aired on CBS in November 1977, the series The Incredible Hulk ran on the network from 1978-82.

Afterward came three sequel telefilms: The Incredible Hulk Returns (1988), The Trial of the Incredible Hulk (1989) and The Death of the Incredible Hulk (1990). Later there were two animated series, each titled The Incredible Hulk, that played first-run on NBC (1982-83) and UPN (1996-97), respectively. The latter series featured the voices of Neal McDonough (TV's Boomtown) as Banner and the live-action series' Lou Ferrigno reprising his role as the Hulk.

Today, with director Ang Lee's record-setting, 2003 big-screen feature Hulk, as well as such specials as SCI FI's Hulk: The Lowdown and an ongoing array of Hulk comics and collectibles, "ol' Greenskin" continues to stomp his way into pop-culture immortality. Hulk smash? He's positively smashing.



THE ORIGINAL 1970s MCA/UNIVERSAL TELEVISION PRESS RELEASE
Reprinted verbatim

THE INCREDIBLE HULK

CONCEPT


There is a savage spirit that dwells within even the most civilized human being — and it is personified in "THE INCREDIBLE HULK." Based on the popular comic book series, this is the story of a sensitive scientist who dedicates himself to finding the way to unleash man's secret source of strength.

Dr. David Banner, portrayed by well-known actor Bill Bixby, is a fugitive. He is a man on the run from himself, society, and the primitive creature (played by Lou Ferrigno) that he is capable of becoming when anger and frustration overpower his usually calm personality.

During an experiment on the effect of gamma rays on human strength, Banner is accidentally injected with an overdose of dangerous gamma rays. The result is a terrifying Jekyl / Hyde personality that he cannot control. While searching for the scientific answers and antidote, Banner faces yet another danger, sharp-eyed reporter Jack McGee (Jack Colvin). McGee has witnessed a bizarre murder, and believes the mysterious creature was responsible. Thus, he is eager to find the fugitive Dr. Banner, and expose his desperate secret. But the world thinks Dr. Banner is dead — and he valiantly attempts to shake McGee and the police from The Hulk's trail, and resume a normal life.

The theory behind unleashed superhuman strength is a valid one, and it is presented in a very realistic manner. In the first of two two-hour introductory episodes, we are taken into the medical labs, and witness the scientific tests that are conducted. We examine molecules and cellular structures, and receive carefully documented explanations of an adenine thymine [sic] combination which, when triggered by an outside source, results in superhuman strength. When Dr. Banner attempts to experiment on himself, the tragic result is The Hulk.

A beast reminiscent of our most basic concept of primitive humanity, the Hulk is seven feet tall, has massive hands, a greenish hue, and extraordinary strength. Mentally, he is pure, primitive emotion running wild. But in keeping with a thematic emphasis on reality, the transformation is approached scientifically. On the screen, the imagery of superhuman strength is crystallized by the use of a stop-motion optical process. The emphasis is on scientific possibilities, rather than pure fantasy — and the emotions are also extraordinarily real. Philosophically, the show reaches out to an even broader point — how can man learn to control the demon within him?

Subsequent one-hour episodes show Dr. Banner as a fugitive on the run, encountering various strangers who try to help, hinder, or understand his plight.

Multi-talented Ken Johnson, long associated with "BIONIC WOMAN," is executive Producer. He is joined by James D. Parriott and Charles Bowman who serve as co-producers.