The Amazing Spider-Man - Pilot
Edward Montague, Charles W. Fries (executive), Daniel R. Goodman (executive) for CBS
directed by E.W. Swackhamer
starring Nicholas Hammond, Lisa Eilbacher, Thayer David, Michael Pataki, David White, Hilly Hicks, Jeff Donnell, Ivor Francis, Robert Hastings, Dick Balduzzi, Barry Cutler, Norman Rice, Len Lesser, Ivan Bonar, Carmelita Pope, George Lane Cooper, Robert Snively, Kathryn Reynolds, Harry Caesar, Roy West, Jim Storm, Ron Gilbert, Larry Anderson, James Brodhead, Chip Fields, Mary Ann Kasica
screenplay by Alvin Boretz, based on the comicbook created by Stan Lee (writer), Steve Ditko (artist), published by Marvel Comics, music by Johnnie Spence
Spider-Man, Amazing Spider-Man
Somebody is mind-controlling quite a bunch of honourable citizens of
New York, forcing them to commit daring heists they wouldn't even dream of
otherwise and the like. Eventually though, whoever it is who is behind the
mind-control scheme requests 50 million Dollars from the city, otherwise
he has no less than 10 prominent citizens kill themselves at a set time.
a seemingly unrelated story, science student and wannabe newspaper
photographer Peter Parker (Nicholas Hammond) is bitten by a radioactive
spider, which gives him super strength, enables him to climb tall
buildings, and equips him with extra acute senses, especially the spider
sense that makes him feel if there is something evil going on.
Somehow, he's there when professor Tyler (Ivor Francis) crashes his car
into a wall after a heist (obviously he was mind-controlled), and that
gets him involved in the whole case, especially since the investigating
inspector Barbera (Michael Pataki) suspects him anyhow since he was on the
scene of the crime, and since Peter soon starts dating Tyler's daughter
Judy (Lisa Eilbacher).
Peter decides to investigate the case on his own,
being perfectly equipped with his super powers and especially his spider
sense, and for some reason he also tailors himself a fancy red-and-blue
costume and calls himself Spider-Man, to keep his identity a secret.
much to and fro, Peter and Judy attend a seminar of Judy's fathe's
self-help guru Byron (Thayer David), and to the audience it becomes
obvious from the go that he's involved with all the mind-controlling going
on around town - not so for Peter and Judy though, both of whom are soon
equipped with buttons that will submit them to Byron's will ...
hour on which all these people are supposed to kill themselves moves ever
closer, Peter runs a few computer tests, figures out how the
mindcontrol-signals are transmitted, and figures out how the signals can
be jammed - but then he is brainwashed into killing himself by jumping off
the Empire State Building, and only a silly coincidence that removes the
mind-controlling button keeps him from doing so in the end. Then, as
Spider-Man, he destroys Byron's transmitters, defeats all the baddies and
brings Byron to justice ...
Pretty weak pilot to a rather weak
superhero-series. The problems with this pilot are that Spider-Man's
origin story and the plot about the mind-controlling baddie don't really
gel, seem to be totally sepearate and independent entities, crammed into
the same movie by bad luck rather than anything else. And while Spider-Man's
origin story is at least told ommitting most of the more cheesy parts
(including the almost inevitable "with great powers come great
responsibilities"-speech), it's still pretty boring and uneventful.
Add to this an inevitable directorial job, a below-average cast (only
Michael Pataki is at least some fun, even if his role is terribly
clichéed and he hams it up, too), and special effects that do little to
actually bring the Spider-Man to life, and you are left with
very little ...