"…Don't make me angry. You wouldn't like me when I'm angry." Mild-mannered research scientist David Banner (Emmy nominee Bill Bixby) finds he must offer this heroic warning after exposure to gamma radiation transforms him into the terrifying and enraged Hulk (Lou Ferrigno). Bursting from comic book pages into this 4-disc DVD set, the Complete First Season of The Incredible Hulk boasts all ten heart-pounding episodes, the two original feature-length films, a preview episode from Season Two, and in-depth commentary from producer Kenneth Johnson. Intense. Immense. Incredible!
One of the best television adaptations of a comic book, The Incredible Hulk
(1978-82) lent gravity and pathos to the fantastic premise--an experiment gone wrong causes a scientist to transform into a giant creature whenever he becomes angry--established in the popular Marvel Comics series. The network version stripped away the Hulk's outlandish foes (as well as his rudimentary speech) and instead focused on the loneliness of his human alter ego, David Banner (well played by the late Bill Bixby), as he traveled across the United States in search of a cure for his affliction as well as an escape from a prying reporter (the late Jack Colvin, also terrific). But despite its Fugitive
-like premise, the TV Hulk never lost its comic book audience thanks to the plausibly ferocious performance by actor/bodybuilder Lou Ferrigno (whose growls were dubbed by actors Ted Cassidy and Charles Napier) as the Hulk, who handled the action portions of the show with plausibly superhuman brawn. The Complete First Season
set contains both of the pilots that kicked off the series ("Pilot" was previously released on a separate single disc) as well as all 10 episodes from the first season; among the adventures encountered by David and the Hulk are a gambling scandal in Vegas ("The Hulk Breaks Las Vegas"), a meltdown at a nuclear facility ("Earthquakes Happen"), and a runaway plane ("747," which reunites Bixby with his Courtship of Eddie's Father
co-star Brandon Cruz).
Extras on the set have been the subject of much Internet debate--the commentary by series writer/producer/director Kenneth Johnson on "Pilot" is the same as on the previous DVD release of this episode (as well as the introduction by Ferrigno), and a proposed gag reel mentioned in promotional material has been moved to a future DVD release. The sole fresh bonus material is "Stop the Presses," an episode taken from the series' second season. --Paul Gaita