Tuesday 16 June 2015


From 1980: Another random scan... this time issue 26 of MARVEL UK's STARBURST MAGAZINE.  

Starburst went through a frustrating phase of not dating issues anywhere obvious (possibly to accommodate any hiccups in the publishing schedule) so i can't be more specific than the year.  

The DOCTOR STRANGE TV Movie, starring Peter Hooten and SLEDGE HAMMER's Anne-Marie Martin (albeit billed as Eddie Benton), had aired on CBS in September 1978 (part of their brief flirtation with all things tights-and-capes) so the British Bullpen were a little behind-the-times.  This may have coincided with the British broadcast.. although I don't ever remember seeing it on British TV.  

The movie doubled (of course) as a pilot for a perspective TV show but, probably thanks to the abundance of similar product already on the schedules (CBS was already the home to WONDER WOMAN, THE INCREDIBLE HULK, SPIDER-MAN and the two CAPTAIN AMERICA tele-flicks), never progressed beyond this first outing.  

Director Philip DeGuere (latterly to also take credit for THE TWILIGHT ZONE and WHIZ KIDS (see here) amongst others) was, despite his best efforts, never going to be able to match the sheer outrageous spectacle of the Dikto comic books but, nevertheless, this is a watchable effort. 

There was a UK VHS, for the rental market, back in the Eighties but this has otherwise remained pretty much buried ever since.  Along with the SPIDER-MAN TV show and NIGHT MAN (the pseudo Marvel show airbrushed from the corporate history), it's one of the few Marvel screen outings that hasn't been allowed to resurface.  

There's also a link to today's JURASSIC PARK post... Anne-Marie Martin was married to novelist/ screen writer/ director Michael Crichton between 1987 and 2003. 


  1. Re: Dr Strange pilot movie.

    From memory, this was due to be shown on ITV (at least in the London region) around 1980. I clearly recall it being billed as part of a kind of "Super heroes" season of early morning movies, preceded the day or week before by the Captain America pilot. However, Dr Strange was replaced at the last minute ("in a change to some scheduled listings", as they say) by an episode of The Incredible Hulk, much to my young irritation. Perhaps Dr Strange was deemed too dark to go out at 9 AM?

    I don't recall Dr Strange ever materialising, nor the second Captain America pilot (at least, I think there were two). Nor was Captain America repeated, as far as I can recall--but it was very underwhelming, I think he only wore the costume in the last few mins when he rode a motorbike...?

  2. this was definitely screened on HTV on a holiday Monday morning some time in the early 1980's.


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