The sea levels are rising
Dr. Schubert is back! This time he’s melting the world’s ice caps with microwaves and causing the sea levels to rise. He promises to stop if Mark will agree to become his test subject.
The first regular episode in the series. Absent is Dr. Miller (Kenneth Tigar) from the previous three TV movies but Dr. Merrill (Montgomery) and C.W. (Fudge) soldier on with Mark (Duffy) on his upcoming adventures. There’s a noticeable difference here in that Mark’s physical strength is prominently displayed as he easily battles four muscled henchmen and can smash his way through doors quite easily. Also; he seems to be able to stop machines from working using only his mind!
Overall; this episode is quite good. It’s pretty much lull-free, competently made with some good looking locations, OK sets and a fair amount of action. Some stock footage from the earlier TV movies is applied – mostly containing the sub and of Mark swimming underwater.
Script wise; this is an OK idea for a villain as Dr. Schubert, of course, has no intentions of stopping the melt down as he’s still intent on destroying everything on land. Problem is; Dr. Schubert isn’t a menacing presence but a bit clownish and silly looking. But Victor Buono is a fun actor and he at least makes Schubert memorable.
Acting wise it’s Duffy that deserves all the praise. Montgomery is remarkably stilted and lifeless (perhaps a bit disinterested) but here’s hoping she’ll get going in future episodes and Fudge is sort of neither- here-nor-there. In the last TV movie (“The Disappearances”) C.W. showed comedic potential but he’s completely static here; probably his character still a work-in-progress. Duffy, however, makes the most out of his character and is becoming quite the leading man.
Guest star alert; Dee Wallace plays a small part here. Only four years later she headlined one of horror’s most impeccable werewolf movie “The Howling”. Here she isn’t even credited.