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A man with the darkest of pasts...

... allegedly.

After yesterday, there could only be one direction to go in - the only show with a sillier voiceover than Street Hawk. Yep, it's Manimal. Now, I love Manimal. I've even done detailed posts on every flipping episode, so it's fair to say that I'm a fan. But dear heaven that is one annoying voiceover. It requires some serious fast-forwarding, every single time. The theme is quite good, though - all growls and yelps and wibbly eighties music, plus there's lots of nice shots of the panther. Manimal wasn't always the most well made show on the planet, but one thing you couldn't fault them on was the camera work. The animals in particular always looked good, especially that panther. It was nearly as big a camera whore as Street Hawk.

The plot, then. Jonathon Chase has the power to turn into any animal he chooses, and uses this skill to fight crime, in the company of old war buddy Tyrone, and utterly useless police detective Brooke. Aided by super senses, super healing powers, and various other super whatnots, Jonathon turned into a variety of creatures every week, all in the name of bringing crooks to justice. Several times an episode, when caught in a dangerous situation, Jonathon's skin would ripple and pulsate, and he would tear himself out of his clothing, only to miraculously grow it back again when he returned to being a human. One can only assume that it wasn't really clothing at all, but some sort of psychically-controlled skin layer. Or that his clothes were magic. Or that clothes really are of secondary importance when you're talking about a man who cheerfully turns into a house cat in order to search a woman's apartment, and into a shark in order to intimidate a man into confessing. I always did wonder who exactly that guy was supposed to confess to. But anyway. Manimal, then. Fun, growly, filled with genuinely impressive FX. Where the hell that "darkest of pasts" comes into things is anybody's guess, though. For something that they felt the need to tell us about every blasted week, they certainly kept it awfully well hidden.


No more cheesy voiceovers. Honest.

I may be lying.

Comments

( 4 fierce growls — Growl fiercely )
ladygretchen
Jun. 24th, 2010 10:05 pm (UTC)
MANIMAL! What's the point of that secondary minute of credits? The wibbly (love it) 80's music and show clips are perfect as is!

The Manimal transformations are pretty darn awesome and scary, and so is the music, You think they over-did the pulsing flesh? Ever since the howling movies the spfx teams went pump crazy. lol. But I actually find that more realistic than the boring cgi transformations or worse yet, NO transformations, just a blink and they are another creature.

swordznsorcery
Jun. 25th, 2010 12:59 am (UTC)
It's insane, isn't it. It doubles the length of the credits, and tells us endless things that we have no need to know. So many TV shows seem to have these bizarre voiceovers, just in case we're all incapable of remembering the plot from week to week. This is one of my favourites, the beginning of the sixties show The Invaders. Every single episode tells the story of how Architect David Vincent, surely the man with the strangest first name in television, saw aliens whilst trying to stop for coffee. Every. Episode. Once would really have been enough...

But yes, Manimal had some amazing transformations. The snake one was particularly impressive.

elenopa
Jun. 24th, 2010 11:04 pm (UTC)
So that's what happened to Dale Arden!

I missed the first episode of this, but watched the rest. The Wolf Girl episode got reused in Thunder in Paradise, pretty much word for word if I recall. I think I told you this before.
swordznsorcery
Jun. 25th, 2010 01:02 am (UTC)
Sadly her acting hasn't improved any since Flash Gordon!

Yes, they did reuse the Wolf Girl episode. We probably talked about that when I posted the Thunder in Paradise reviews recently, as I don't think we were talking here yet when I did the Manimal ones. It's not a word for word copy, though. Not quite. In Thunder it's a little boy rather than a young woman, and obviously there's no implied romance subplot. Other than that it's very similiar, certainly. I once read an interview with the writer, who said that he was fairly sure he'd got away with it, as nobody remembered Manimal!
( 4 fierce growls — Growl fiercely )

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