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The Incredible Hulk: Season 1
DVD | Box Set
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"…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
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My fears were at once dsipelled upon my first viewing of the pilot episode (which I had never seen before). Bill Bixby, Lou Ferrigno and Jack Colvin were a great ensamble. Bixby has a warmth about him, and he generates a certain empathy, especially as he must go on at the end of every episode as a lonely fugitive. Ferrigno, of course, is outstanding as a body builder and captures the Hulk's spirit of intense anger juxtaposed by a childlike goodness. Colvin as McGee adds a tense edge and energy to each episode, even if his appearences are brief.
The moving soundtrack also adds a certain pathos to this outstanding show.
Through the eyes of an adult, I am still completely caught up in the Hulk myth.
Despite high-tech CGI, the newer cinema version does not compare to the humanity behind the Bixby/Ferrigno/Colvin trinity.
The first season set consist of the first 2 pilot films and all 10 episodes from the first season. It would have been nice to have a few behind the scenes features, but it does have some commentary and bonus episodes which to me are a waste of space as Hulk fans are going to buy all the seasons anyway. The episodes look very clean and complete. I rate it 4 1/2 stars for a quality release.